All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kitchen Capers

Yanks are on the west coast. I probably won't be staying up to see the whole game tonight. Reds lost miserably. Andy Phillips didn't even get into the game. And if you're wondering, Jolbert Cabrera was called up to take Hairston's roster spot. I'd forgotten he plays SS. Janish is apparently the starting SS now, though, at least until Keppinger gets back. Janish, whom some fans are calling "Soft Baby J," was 0 for 3 with a walk tonight.

And now, I'm heading way off-topic. You have been warned.

So, the management of my apartment complex decided to renovate my kitchen. They've been re-doing all the apartments from a country look to a more contemporary one. They did my bathroom last year. This year, they did the kitchen.

The good news is, it looks great. Very classy. Granite counters, sleek blond wood cabinets, a new built-in microwave (I'll have to Freecycle my old one), a really, really deep stainless steel sink. The tech/modern look suits my taste a lot more than the country look did. Hey, I'm engineer. I like clean lines. My kitchen table, which I've had for awhile, is blond wood with a stainless steel top. It looks like it was made for my new kitchen...but it's just coincidence.

So, I really like the way it looks.'s distinctly less functional than the old kitchen.

We moved around a lot when I was a kid, and my mom would often dismiss a prospective house or apartment by saying, "The kitchen must have been designed by a man." Suddenly, I understand what she meant. (Ack. I'm turning into my mother!)

There was never a lot of storage space in this kitchen. Only one wall has counters/cabinets, and that wall also has the sink, stove, and dishwasher, so there were only two lower cabinets. When they re-did the kitchen, they replaced one of the lower cabinets - the one by the stove - with a set of drawers. I have nothing against drawers, but now where am I going to keep the pots and pans? There's only one lower cabinet now, and it's way over in the corner, as far away as you can get from the stove and sink. And instead of one door that swings open from the edge, it has twin doors that open in the middle. There's a center brace, which makes it really hard to get anything in and out of the cabinet. In fact, my larger pots and pans don't even fit through the smaller openings.

Arrgghhh. Clearly, the person who designed this has never, ever cooked. I'm not sure where I'm going to put the pots and pans. Perhaps under the sink. I had been keeping cleaning products under the sink. Less icky if the sink leaks. I'm really not thrilled at the idea of keeping pots and pans under there, but I don't have much choice.

I mean, what were they thinking?

Then there's the sink itself. It has one of those fancy faucets, tall with a high arch and a bell-shaped end. I need to hook up a Python to my kitchen faucet, to do water changes on my aquariums. (Don't worry, it's designed so fish poop can't get into the faucet.)

At first I thought I'd need some kind of special attachment, but looking closely at the faucet, I realized I could remove the aerator and hook up the Python that way.

It proved to be a lot easier said than done. The aerator was screwed on so tight I couldn't budge it. And it was recessed into that bell-shaped faucet, so it was hard to get a good grip, with fingers or tools. I'm not sure how they got it on so tight; my fingers barely fit into the recess, and my hands aren't very large.

I tried wrapping rubber bands around it (to improve my grip), I tried various wrenches and pliers, I tried jar openers, I tried running hot water for awhile in hopes of loosening it. No dice.

So I stopped by the hardware store after work. I specifically went to the small neighborhood hardware store, rather than the big box place, because they are usually more helpful and knowledgeable. I told them what the situation was, and asked what tool to get.

They were stumped. Good gravy. Is it really that odd a problem? Finally they suggested needle-nosed pliers, but I'd already tried that, and it didn't work. There wasn't enough space to open them enough to get a good grip.

So I was on my own. I looked over the pliers, vise grips, and adjustable wrenches. I almost bought a vice grip, but wasn't sure even the pointy-nosed models would fit. In the end, I chose a long reach flat-nosed plier. It's designed for use in confined spaces, and has a really long nose. The flat head looked like it would grip a large item like an aerator better than the other tools I looked at.

It was $20, and the hardware guys seemed reluctant to sell it to me. I guess because they were afraid it wouldn't work. And they figured since I was girl, I'd never use it again. (They kept saying, "It's $20. And it's a specialty tool." Like I didn't know that.) But I bought it, and ran to the kitchen to try it out the moment I got in the door.

At first I thought it wasn't going to work. But then I found the right angle, and felt the aerator move. I put the pliers down and tried to unscrew it with my fingers. It wouldn't budge. So I used the pliers again. Again I felt it move, and tried to unscrew it with my fingers. Again it wouldn't budge. After the third time with the pliers, I was able to unscrew it with my fingers. Holy crap, that thing was on tight. Why is it that guys think "hand-tighten" means "screw it on so tight you'll need a pneumatic impact wrench to get it off"?

The Python worked great once the aerator was off, and I was careful not to tighten it too much when I put it back on. The tanks are clean, the fish are happy.

Now, back to figuring out what to do with the pots and pans...


posted by BubbaFan, 10:24 PM


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