Friday, November 19, 2010

The Toilet Whisperer

Now for a brief update on my vermin situation!  It appears that steel wool is the magic answer to all of my mouse infestation issues.  I can only hope that my fragile sense of security will not be broken by finding several new mouse corpses in the next week. 

Of course, it is just the way of the universe that as soon as one aspect of my homeownership saga comes under control, another begins to veer off course.  This time around, it is my toilet.  Don't worry, I didn't do anything to it.  I think.  But last night when I flushed, my toilet gave forth an ungodly noise that literally shook my floors.  Thankfully, everything drained normally and I didn't have any backup.  It just sounded like a mouse armed with a jackhammer was trying to work his way out of the pipes.

In order to remedy this problem, I had to put on my thinking cap.  The first and most obvious choice would be to summon a plumber.  But this is for wimps.  Actually I am more afraid that the plumber would come in, look at the toilet, find nothing wrong and I would be stuck paying for nothing.  To avoid this scenario, I decided to take a step back and assess the full situation.

First of all, I had not flushed this particular toilet in more than 24 hours as I had stayed at my parents' house the night before.  Also, the outside temperature has started to rapidly drop as it is late November in Minnesota.  Now, I have lived in my house for over six years, and in those six years, the temperatures have certainly been lower than they have been of late.  When the house was first constructed, there was an issue with freezing pipes that were fixed through the construction company adding insulation through my garage.  But again, six years with colder temperatures and nary a growl from my toilet.  Whatever.

As I stood there pondering my options, I started to realize that my feet felt a bit cold.  Now, if you know me well, you know that it takes quite a bit to make me admit to feeling cold.  My coworkers can definitely attest that I prefer cold to heat in most situations.  (Heat makes me crabby.  Of course, what doesn't, right?) 

The fact that I noticed the cold rang a bell of significance in my head and I went down to check the thermostat.  I had thought that I had set it to 65 or 66 degrees, but it was in fact at 63 when I checked.  I am well aware that 63 degrees is well above freezing, but keep in mind that my bathroom sits above my garage and my garage is never really at the same temperature as my house. 

I surmised that this could perhaps be a contributing factor to the cacophony in my pipes, so I caved in and moved the thermostat up to a balmy 66.  Eek.  Slowly but surely, the heat in my house increased to the point that my outer limbic regions were not numb.  At this point, I was nearly dead on my feet tired, so I went to bed.

This morning, I groggily approached the bathroom and cautiously attempted to flush the toilet.  On some level, I think I was prepared for disaster, but it wasn't to be that bad.  True, there was some slight gargling, but not at the level of the previous night.  Just to be sure, I flushed again, and sure enough, on the second try there was no vocal accompaniment at all. 

So now I have to wonder, is the problem fixed?  Did I really fix it with my own common sense and ingenuity?  Or is it just lying in wait to explode all over my house in a triumphant, "I told you so" moment at the least convenient time possible?  We'll just have to see! 

That's all I have to say about that.  Maybe someday I will tell you about my epic battle with the garbage disposal (I have yet to declare victory).  My iPod has been giving me crap lately, and I'm afraid that it is not much longer for the world either.  On the other hand, my mom has been asking me about my Christmas requests lately, so maybe I can work something out there.  Or maybe she will just let me have one of her FOUR iPods to use as a substitute.  True story.

By way of an update on my previous HP themed entry, I have yet to get the review on last night's midnight showing.  I did get a call from the theater about two hours before showtime, but I wasn't keen to speak to anyone at 3 a.m., so I will just have to wait.  I hope it was awesome!!!

On another exciting note, I have one week off of classes for Thanksgiving!!!  Yee-haw! 

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