April 2007

Monthly Archive

Spare the rode, spoil th child

Posted by Office-Bob on 23 Apr 2007 | Tagged as: Rants

Those that know me well are aware that certain writing and grammar errors really get under my skin. The two worst offenses, in my opinion, are:

1) Not knowing the difference between lose and loose;

2) Not knowing when to use an apostrophe.

This weekend, I identified another one…people who don’t know the difference between silicon and silicone.

I was reading the local paper and found a review of Guitar Hero II, a video game where you use a controller shaped like a guitar to play; the writer referred to a “silicone axe.”


I was willing to overlook this until I read a tech review of some earbuds in the same paper; the reviewer (not the same person who did the game review) mentioned that the earbuds would fit most people’s ears because they include a set of different sized silicon fittings.

As much as I’d like to instruct the reviewers on the difference between silicon and silicone - preferably with a clue-by-four - I’m going to place the blame for this at the feet of their respective editors…if copy isn’t being properly vetted, the editors are the ones who should be taken to task. Even Wikipedia, though not to be relied upon as the final word on anything, mentions that silicon should not be confused with silicone (and vice versa).

I think I’ll start by giving the editors silicon butt implants so they’re reminded of their folly every time they sit down at their desks.

Popularity: 40% [?]

Family Ties

Posted by Office-Bob on 19 Apr 2007 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

In the past, I’ve been careful to avoid posting anything about my “day jobs” because either:

1) I’d be complaining about something, or

2) I’d be violating a non-disclosure agreement.

However, a project I’ve been involved with has been freed from the confines of the office, and I like it so much I thought I’d spread the word.

It’s called Kinzin and it’s a social networking site designed specifically for families. It allows you to record family events, archive recipes, create photo albums, and even create journals so everybody in your family, no matter where they are, can keep track of what’s going on.

If that isn’t enough to make you rush out and sign up, right now Kinzin is offering a Mother’s Day giveaway where the first 3000 families who qualify can get a free personalized photo book…if you’ve been wondering what to get your mom for Mother’s Day, this might be just the ticket.

If you’ve been looking for a way to bring your family together, check it out - it could be what you’re looking for. It’s free to join…and if you ask me nicely, I just might invite you to join the Office-Bob family.

Popularity: 22% [?]

My toilet tank runneth over

Posted by Office-Bob on 15 Apr 2007 | Tagged as: General Craziness

About a week and a half ago, my wife found water on the floor of the downstairs bathroom. When I checked it out, I discovered that the fill assembly - where the tank refills after you flush - appeared to be broken; water was spraying out of the top like a bidet on crack, and this was dripping out from underneath the tank lid.


The problem was made more challenging by the fact that I’d never had occasion to turn off the water valve to the toilet so it was stuck; I had to get a pair of pliers and use them to turn the handle until it loosened up. Finally, the water was off and I could drain the tank.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time during the week to buy a replacement part and we were heading to Norwescon that weekend, so I knew it would be a while before I would get the toilet fixed - we have a second bathroom so we weren’t in dire straits, but the downstairs bathroom was the only one with a fan.

You can guess how well that worked out. Thank goodness for matches.

I managed to finally make it to Home Despot where I found, to my delight, that you can buy a replacement kit for the feed valve on top of the tube…but my joy was short-lived when I got home and saw that the new kit was designed with 4 screws while the valve in the tank had 3.

Still, I’m not one to give up easily and I thought it might be possible to use the parts inside the kit while retaining the original housing, but this idea was soon put to rest when I started unscrewing the valve cover and the plastic, brittle from age (we’ve been in this house for about 15 years and we weren’t the first owners) and exposure to cold water, broke apart.

Just say no to crack

Some cursing, then back to HD to return the kit and purchase a complete feed assembly.

I installed the assembly and got ready to reattach the feed tube from the water valve to the tank, only to find that when I flexed the rigid tube to get it in position, it cracked right where it joined with the valve. There was one good piece of news, however - there was enough of the pipe sticking out from the neck of the valve that I was able to grab it with needle-nose pliers and remove it.

Another trip for parts, but this time I went to Rona because it was closer than HD. I bought a flexible feed tube which went in place just like it was supposed to.

I left the label on because Murphy's Law states that if I'd removed it, the hose wouldn't have fit

Finally, it was time to turn the water back on…success! I have a working toilet with a new feed valve assembly and a new water feed hose.

Don't it look purty?

Being the paranoid cautious person that I am, I’ve left a pan underneath the toilet tank just in case my plumbing efforts spring a leak; I have no reason to believe they will, but better safe than sorry (I remember one time my dad replaced a kitchen faucet and created a decorative waterfall - but that’s another story). Once I’m sure everything is working well, I will probably perform a pre-emptive strike on the upstairs toilet and replace the same parts there so I don’t have to worry about being a one-toilet household again, for a while at least.

After all, if a man’s home is his castle it stands to reason that you can never have too many thrones.

Popularity: 28% [?]