Friday, March 2, 2012

Brent vs. The February

February is gone, and it's time to check up on the resolutions:

1) Pick 12 things of social importance that I've had limited exposure to, but decided I didn't like and immerse myself in each of them for 1 month.

Jazz Music - As much of a music geek as I am, there are a few holes in my knowledge.  Jazz has never really appealed to me, but then again, I've never had any extended exposure.  To be incredibly honest, I didn't know where to start, so I found myself hitting up Pandora and just typing famous names like Herbie Hancock or Charlie Parker.  Halfway through the month, things started popping up that I knew I liked, but didn't think was "jazz," only to find out it was (e.g. 30s Swing).  

So, I'm starting to get a handle on what I like within the genre and what I don't.  I'm finding it very hard to like Jazz that's too driven by trumpet players.  That sound just seems to irk me for some reason (sorry Louis Armstrong, just stick to the singing).  

Either way, we're talking 2 months where I've gained appreciation for something new to the point that I want to continue to explore it.  We'll see if we get another month of that and I have to eat some of my words in March, when I'll be taking on the Harry Potter franchise...

2) Learn 12 new recipes (1/month). 

This month I aimed to make some Pesto sauce, and it was pretty good, but I need to go with less oil and less salt (for starters).  I'll keep modifying until it's really good.  Didn't do the Scotch Eggs that I planned...but maybe for March.

3) Do 12 home improvements (1/month).

Dishwasher - When we were buying our home, we were told by the previous owners that the dishwasher never worked when they bought the house.  I've never had one, myself, other than the one my parents bought that lasted less than a year.  So, I really couldn't say for sure, before this, that I could operate a working one.  It was getting really old wasting so much time on dishes, though, and as head dish washer (and dirtier) of our household I needed a reprieve.

I was threatening to buy one, when my wife made the comment that her best friend's mother is really good with them and maybe she could take a look at it.  Well, I didn't want to look like a complete idiot before she came over, so I started reading and taking things apart the Friday my father-in-law, wife, and I went to Pizza Hut.  When I got near wiring and the motor, I ended up cutting off the breaker, and continued to completely disassemble whatever I could (this happened in spurts over 3 well-spaced days).

Eventually I started to get how everything worked, and developed a theory of what happened.  Before I took it apart, I could hear a light hum of the motor, but wasn't sure it worked at all.  I flipped back on the breaker and looked under the bottom panel with the dishwasher on to see the motor was still running and the wheel still spun just fine.  The wheel going to the impeller didn't have the belt on (which broke beneath there), but it wouldn't spin manually either.  So I figured that it jammed and the belt eventually snapped off.

I already had almost everything apart, and did a nice lube, clean, turn, and grease job on that, and went to get a new belt on primary day before voting and running.  After putting it together and anchoring everything back in place, I ran a few cycles to see that it worked and clean it out.  Then I tried it with dishes, and it worked, but I was getting a leak.  I got that sealed up, but a couple of the rubber washers on the hex screws need to be replaced.  They don't drip much (maybe 3-5 drips for a full cycle) but enough to go back and work on.  At some point I should also trade out the water hoses, especially since one got rubbed by the belt (none of them leak yet, though). 

So our early 80s Maytag dishwasher that hasn't run in at least 7 years works and will soon be good as new.  I'd say that's a pretty decent and unlikely improvement to our home.  Also, it will give me a lot of extra time to do other things.  I'm excited about it.

4) Try 12 new restaurants (1/month). 

Five Guys
Not the most classy addition to my restaurant repertoire, but it's still a new place.  I'll try to get some real, honest-to-goodness sit-down and stay restaurants on here eventually.  Then again maybe not...

As far as the running stuff, I haven't been pushing it enough.  I need more daylight for longer runs, and more time.  March will be better once things settle down around here.  There are a lot of work things going on, we had a little health scare here that, thankfully (and hopefully still), was a false alarm, and then there is this little guy....

They both like the girl most, though

He's adorable, and he's been pretty good most of the time, but it's still a bit of work.  He doesn't live up to the name "Renfield," because he's not feeble-minded and obedient.  He's exactly the opposite (strong-willed and smart).  It's going to take a lot of effort to show him who's boss, and he's going to constantly test the boundaries.  He's definitely smart, though, and I'm enjoying having a dog more than I thought I would.

As far as the running, and the whole marathon resolution.  I'll get there.  As soon as the days are longer, I'll be out there more.  I'm in dire need of some speed training right now.  I feel slow.  I tried to ramp up every couple blocks yesterday until I was losing my breath and then I'd back off.  It didn't make me run my route any faster, though.  In fact I got the same exact time that I did just a few days prior.

Other than that I'm now pretty convinced I'm running on a broken toe.  Not a lot to do about it now.  Oh well.

1 comment:

  1. Renfield is adorable!!!

    Well done on the dishwasher debacle and I hope the health scares remain only false alarms.


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