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My coming of age story.
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Latest Humorous T-shirt Slogan:
"You Wish!"
This one has to be taken in context to be appreciated. The girl wearing this belly shirt was maybe 5'0" tall, with a muffin top going on, despite the fact that she was clearly in her third trimester of pregnancy. In addition she was wearing a thong that came up past her low-rise jeans and pushed her muffin top down over the edge to really emphasize the roll. I'm not in perfect shape so I don't expect that others should be, but when you are wearing that shirt, along with the rest of the outfit, you open yourself to scrutiny (and perhaps random looks of horror).

It's fun to hate:
The Soccer Moms who insist that they drive gas-guzzling SUV's for the safety of their children despite the fact that they are 6 times more likely to be in a rollover accident than any other vehicle. It's like beating your child unconscious with the butt of your gun so that he will remain on the floor, thus making him less likely to be hit by a random bullet coming through the front window.

When Shadowtwin reigns supreme:
There will be mandatory, passive birth control required to participate in any form of government assistance. If you can't afford to raise your child on your own we are here to help you, but we must first make sure that your reproductive organs are adequately contained. If you don't like that policy all you have to do is support your kids your damn self!
Vote Shadowtwin!

Wildly inaccurate, yet shockingly precise, predictions based completely on happenstance and arbitrary universal fluctuations.
Your Horoscope:

Sagitarius: 11/22-12/21
A typographical error in your Church's newsletter will lead to you performing sex acts on dozens of anonymous strangers in your pursuit of "oral highground."

Capricorn: 12/22-1/19
The stars did recently tell your wife to "listen to her heart" regarding whether or not she should leave you. The stars did not intend for you to listen to her heart. But once you used that bonesaw on her sternum (not trusting the stethoscope which just responded with a cryptic thumping sound), we're pretty sure she made up her mind anyway.

Aquarius: 1/20-2/18
The stars would like to apologize for stating in their last prophecy, "Be wary of the stranger you meet at beach this weekend. The stars aren't sure why, but they don't trust him." Through a cosmic hiccup, that information was supposed to be released this month. The August prophecy should have read, "A dark and handsome stranger will approach you on the beach, profess his love for you, and sweep you away for a jetset marriage. After which you will lead a long, happy, prosperous, healthy life as the Queen of a small island nation." We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

Pisces: 2/19-3/20
Your new stopwatch will allow you to time how long you can hold your breath underwater down to the thousandth of a second. Unfortunately, poor planning will mean that you are not able to actually share the information with anyone.

Aries: 3/21-4/19
Your innovative new device for beauticians to use while giving pedicures can be wildly successful and make you quite wealthy IF you change the name. Trust us, no one is going to buy a "Ped-O-File".

Taurus: 4/20-5/20
Your Mother always told you to wear clean underwear just in case there was an accident and paramadics had to see them. But as you board that plane today, the stars want you to know that you needn't worry about it. The debris field will be more than 8 square miles, making it impossible to find most human remains. Not to mention that the ensuing fire burned so hot that it disintegrated not only all fabric, but most of the thin metals aboard as well.

Gemini: 5/21-6/21
You just had to get that genital piercing, didn't you? The stars tried to warn you not to, but you went ahead and did it anyway... Now all your worst fears will come to bear when, at a campground this weekend, you run afoul of this guy:

Cancer: 6/22-7/22
The less traveled by areas of the Grand Canyon's north rim offer some of the most breathtaking views of this natural wonder. You will soon find out they also include some of the worst footings and none of the handrails. They do, however, provide equally awe-inspiring, terminal velocity impacts.

Leo: 7/23-8/22
The stars heard your pleas, begging for someone who you could share your love with and embrace for the rest of your life. If you are still single, throw your arms around the closest person to you at 3:44pm GMT on Dcember 9th -That'll be the one. Trust us, you won't have time to be picky...

Virgo: 8/23-9/22
The stars have piled up most of your things on the front porch. You can stay at a friend's house, but you aren't coming back home until you admit what you did and apologize. The stars' Mother was right about you... (you must have really pissed them off; the stars were in tears while they told me this)

Libra: 9/23-10/22
The stars have been doing a little thinking and a lot of math. The population of planet earth is roughly 6,796,590,704. That means that roughly 566,382,558 people share each astrological sign. About 18,620,796 have the same birthday. Based on average life expectancy as many as 248,277 people were born on the same day, in the same year, for every zodiac sign. How can one statement possibly predict the future of all of them? Ehh, fuck it. "A full moon while Venus is rising is an omen of good things to come."

Scorpio: 10/23-11/21
They say you never know how you are going to react to a crisis. After a home invasion this weekend you will: You will scream, "Do whatever you want to my wife, but leave me alone!" You will then create a distraction by throwing your newborn at the assailant as you dive through the window to safety. Now you know.

Music lost to history:

Aerosmith - Dream On When I started doing these, I could never have imagined that I would be putting an Aerosmith song here. Since I was born in 1974, this song is well before my generation. It was recorded in 1972 and released in 1983 on Aerosmith's Self-Titled Album, but to read the information on it at Wikipedia most of us would become familiar with it from a re-release in 1976.

Like most of the music being released in the late 60's/early 70's that was pushing the rock-n-roll envelope, Dream On relies heavily on solid composition and and melody. Before the era of the modern effects processor, these bands had no distortion to hide behind (or very little), and synthesized instruments hadn't yet made their way into music. In that way the music always sounds more raw to us today because, quite simply, it was. While it seems laughable to think about today, music like this was so far removed from the bubble-gum pop of the 50's that it still wasn't accepted into the mainstream. As the baby-boomers became the target demographic, the rock-n-roll movement really started to pick up speed, with bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith clearing the path for the much darker and heavier bands like Black Sabbath.

While I (and most of my generation) are probably far more familiar with the Aerosmith of the late 80's and early 90's, the reason this song makes it onto my MLtH page comes down to one thing: Age. Not necessarily the age of the song; In fact, as I sat down to do the research for this today, I had no idea when it was released, but would have guessed (closely) the mid 70's. Tyler was born March 26, 1948, meaning that this song was written when he was only 24 years old. I'm not sure why, but I have always thought this song was pretty amazing given his age at composition. I suppose it is human nature to wax poetic about the days of yore and the imminent passage of time, but the melody sets a mood that makes you feel it right along with him. As the song nears the end and his lyrics become more more frenzied, you can almost feel the pain (longing?) in his voice. Listen to it with headphones and no distraction sometime, you'll see what I mean.

I wrote a short bit some time ago about Kelly Sweet's cover of this song (see the video on Youtube). While I have since gotten over the initial hatred I felt towards the cover of the song, I still just can't like it. The words are there; she hits the notes; but I just can't hear it in her voice. As if there is somthing very personal about the song and Tyler's deliverance of the lyrics that just can't be duplicated. At least to me.

That said, I have heard Aerosmith doing the song with an orchestra, and it also seems to lack the passion of the original. So perhaps the thing that I like so much about it is the under-produced, raw sound of it, or it may be that I am still hearing it through the ears of that impressionable youth that heard if for the first time in a dusty old Van with my Uncle Art. Either way, it seems it is Lost to History.

Music Lost to History Archive

I Can't Believe it's Not Porn!
WhorePresents.comYep, it's not porn. It's not a site with gifts for sale either, which is probably a good thing since I can't imagine that any woman would be at all flattered to get a gift -no matter how nice- in a box that says "Whore" on it.

Daily Reading:
Magazine Man
Shane Nickerson
Wil Wheaton
Hoyazo's Poker Blog

My reading list changes from time to time, and there are many sites that I visit that are not on the list. They are listed in the order that I visit them, enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Site Upgrades

Just want to throw a quick note up here to let anyone who happens by know that there might be some blank screens or display errors in the next couple of weeks, for reasons that I will explain (very briefly) below.

I have had the site hosted through since I created it in 2005. Gate was, at the time, about the cheapest thing going, and while I had a pretty good working knowledge of html, I really had no idea how to go about getting a site hosted and building it from the ground up. Gate had been fine for me at the time, since I was only concerned with basic html hosting, but they have become annoying to the point of extreme frustration as of late.

I attempted to set up an sql database on Gate some time ago. Just as I wanted to find an embedded mp3 player that I could load directly to my server for the Music Lost to History segments, I wanted to get a blog publisher that I also had complete control over. Blogger has been so hit and miss with connectivity since I started using it, and even when it does work, it will often take ten minutes or more for it to actually get a post uploaded. That, more than anything, is why I post so infrequently; I actually dread having to stare at the screen while I pray to my pagan gods that it will complete the transfer.

Gate theoretically had sql databases available for quite some time, but when I tried to set it up a while back (I think it was in August) I just couldn't make it work. I just gave up and moved on. But Gate recently "upgraded" my user account to make sql and php work better, so I decided to try it again. Once I set the sql database up and tried again to get wordpress working, I was getting an error that the database didn't exist. So I emailed's technical support asking them to verify for me the sql database name, and my user id for said database. Their response, days later, was "the database is working properly. We do not offer support for third party programs".

That pissed me off.

The second I got that reply, I bought hosting at, and started ftp'ing all my content pages to that server. The GoDaddy hosting plan I bought comes with wordpress pre-installed, and it was operational within about 4 hours after I updated my name servers at Gate (another annoyance at Gate was that the scripts to run the "upgraded" user controls fail as often as work, and when I was trying to unlock my account to transfer it I just kept getting, "an unexpected error has occurred" messages. I actually paid an extra 3 bucks a month for the first six months to get a dedicated IP address at godaddy so that I would be able to ftp my files there immediately. I would have had to wait until the nameservers were updated otherwise.

So for now the site is on GoDaddy. What you are seeing now is an exact copy of my old website, but on a new server. Over the next, well, as long as it takes, I am going to be pulling the front page down as I edit the wordpress settings. I know very little about css, so it is a guess and check type thing. Unfortunately, the page that runs the wordpress database shares a name with the regular main page of the site, so I have to take this one down to play with the other one. The downtime should be minimal, as I am removing the wordpress file from the directory when I am done editing it for the day, but just in case you happen to hit the site and see it when it is virtually blank, that's why.

I hope to have the brand new site launched within a week or two. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 13, 2009

CyberPower PC response

After my last, rather angry, post about CyberPower PC, I thought I should probably post that I did get a response from them regarding the condition of the PC when I received it.

First I want to say that one thing that they did right was to never try to blame the damage on UPS shipping. I say that because while it may be possible to believe that a component had come out of place during shipping, it doesn't seem that it would have been possible for the graphics card to unscrew itself, the CPU fan to detach itself, the front panel fan control to loosen its screws, and the Motherboard tray to also loosen its screws. This was clearly thrown together very quickly, most likely due to my email telling them to give me my money back if they couldn't ship it on the date promised.

As I said in the previous post, I put the components back in myself, tightened everything down, and fired it up. It seemed to work just fine except for a high pitched squealing noise that was coming from one of the fans. Since the two fans that were flopping around loosed during shipping were the one on the graphics card and the CPU fan, I naturally that one of those was going to be the culprit. But in typical, lazy fashion, I wanted to try the easiest ones first. So I began disconnecting the fans one by one (starting with the case fans) as I powered the machine up. It turned out that both of the 120mm side case fans were making a hell of a lot of noise. I was able to bang one of them around to get it a bit quieter, but I had to disconnect the other one entirely to be able to use the machine without getting a splitting headache. The back exhaust fan on the case is also making a lot of noise, however I think that it is just louder than the others due to it being an 80mm fan and -theoretically at least- running at a higher RPM.

I sent CyberPower PC an email at about 2am on Wednesday morning when I first opened the box. That email said that there was damage to the machine and linked to my last post for them to see it. I sent them another email at around 11am, after I was able to determine that the case fans were the ones in need of replacement. I finally got a response to the emails via a phone call on Friday night (more than 48 hours later). The guy was nice enough. He said it would be no problem to send me the new fans, they just needed to verify my shipping info. So we did, and that was that.

So on Friday night they verified the info. I expected they would ship them out on Monday, I would likely receive them by Wednesday. Instead, I got an email from UPS on Wednesday evening saying that they had only just picked the package up from CyberPower, I wouldn't be receiving them until Friday. At this point it doesn't matter a whole lot as far as the functioning of the PC is concerned, I still have three functioning case fans and have been running it without the fourth. What does matter though is that when they had the chance to really redeem themselves from a customer service standpoint, they failed twice. It took over 48 hours to respond in the first place, then they called to verify shipping, which was absolutely unnecessary unless they thought I had moved in the two days since they had shipped me the machine in the first place. Then it took them another 5 days to go ahead and drop the fans in the mail.

So, would I recommend CyberPower PC? At this point I would have to definitely recommend against customizing a pc through CyberPower and having it shipped to you directly. However, CyberPower does have pre-assembled machines available on NewEgg. The machine that I got from Newegg came in within 3 days, was assembled correctly, and has worked flawlessly for the last couple of months. Also worth noting, Newegg has probably the best RMA program in the business, I have never had a problem getting an RMA, nor do I get the accusatory "something you did caused it" attitude. You can get the CyberPower machine pre-assembled through Newegg cheaper than you can build it on their site, the only downside being you can't customize it so you just need to make sure it meets your minimum requirements or plan to upgrade it yourself.

I don't know if I just got unlucky on my particular order through Cyberpower, but I do know that while I would gladly order another CyberPower machine (even the one that arrived damaged has exceeded my expectations) I would certainly involve a third party distributor in future purchases. While they may be slow to react to a single customer, I would be willing to bet my house that they wouldn't give Newegg that kind of lackadaisical response time. Even if they did, Newegg wouldn't pass it on to their customers as they have their own reputation to think about.

In a nutshell, to get back to the point of this post. CyberPower did make it right for me in the end... It just didn't seem like they were all that concerned about getting it done very quickly.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

CyberPower PC disappointment

Normally I am not the type to complain. Well, I complain a lot here, but I mean in real life I am not the type to bitch about a lot of things. The world is an imperfect place, imperfect things are going to happen, if you spend your time bitching about it, you are dwelling way too much on it and it just puts you in a foul mood. But sometimes I just get really, really irritated.

I mentioned previously that I was extremely happy with my new CyberPower PC. Happy enough, in fact, that I decided to get one for my wife as well. The one that I am using I actually bought pre-assembled from Newegg, but I wasn't able to find a similar deal on a similar system when I started looking to buy a new one, so I went straight to the company's website instead.

They give you options... Boy do they ever give you options... In fact, they give you every option. I chose to go with a gigabyte motherboard with an AMD Atholn 3.0ghz processor complete with a mean ass cooling thing, 4 slots for DIMM (upgradeable to 16gigs), 4x2gig (some brand) RAM with heat spreaders, an nVidea GeForce 220 1 gig video card, 4x red neon cooling fans, 500gig HDD, 22x DVDR, front panel fan control unit, and a 600 watt power supply, also threw in a red cold cathode light just for fun. I put my order in and they charged my credit card immediately. Then it listed my estimated ship date to be 16 days later.

Now the delay in shipping wasn't a complete surprise; the website actually displayed a date a couple weeks in the future, but I assumed that was just so people wouldn't get pissed off if it took them 5 or 6 days to get their system. What was a surprise was that as I checked my order status everyday, they had not even began to assemble the machine on the date it was supposed to be shipped. The order still just read as "payment processed". The lines for assembly date, quality control date, final quality control date, etc. were all blank.

Since it was already about 3pm on the day they were supposed to be shipping the machine, I dropped them an email that basically said, "Look, you haven't even started to build it yet, give me my money back so I can buy the parts and build it myself." That email got a quick reply stating that the (some brand)RAM I had ordered was on backorder, but that they would upgrade me to Kingston HyperX RAM so they could get the machine together and ship it that day.

So, at 3pm they had not even started to put it together, but by the end of the business day they actually did ship it. And a few days later it arrived at my door.

I just opened it up, and here is the first thing I saw when I got it out of the box:

That empty PCI slot you are looking at is where the video card is supposed to be. At first I thought that maybe they had forgotten to install it, but then why would they have removed the shield for the slot. So it must be in there somewhere...

Ah yes, there it is, hanging ever so precariously in the middle of that mass of wires, a mass of wire which can be seen much better in this picture:

You can even see the now completely broken cold cathode tube floating around in there amongst the wires. But the fancy light was the least of my concern. Here is how it looked as I began to pull the cover off to assess the damage:

The Video card is actually sort of connected to the CPU cooling fan, which has also fallen off of the fancy heat disperser thing. Now they are both floating around in there beating each other up as well as the rest of the components. Here are a couple more shots of the Video card and fan, taken simply because I couldn't believe I was actually looking at it:

The enormous cooling fin system on the CPU is also bent, but doesn't appear to be damaged beyond cosmetic. The screws holding down the motherboard are all loose. The fan control on the front of the box is also loose and flops up and down every time you touch it...

I am very disappointed with the condition of the system and the non-existent customer service prior to my angry email. If one of the components that I had ordered was not available, why didn't they call or email me sometime prior to the day it was supposed to ship to ask if I would like to choose a different type of RAM? Was the sale so important to them that they rushed putting this together to get it shipped? I would have been irritated if it had taken an extra day to get the system, but I can guarantee you that if it had arrived in perfect condition I wouldn't be writing this -despite the wait.

I put the parts back where they go and powered it up anyway. It is currently downloading updates. The motherboard, power supply, HDD, DVD, CPU, and RAM all appear to be in working order, the only question is which of the fans was damaged. I know one of them was damaged because I can hear the high-pitched squeal of it even as I type this. If it is one of the 5 dollar case fans I will simply buy a new one. If it is the fan on the Video card or CPU (which seems the most likely since they were the ones banging around during shipping) I will ask them to kindly send me a replacement -which I will install myself- and hopefully they will; I would love for this to have a happy follow-up, but I'll be damned if I am going to send this back to them and wait another month to get it up and running.

Update Here

Friday, October 30, 2009


I have been having problems with Leech FTP for a while now, but continued using it anyway. There were random error messages, random disconnects, and at times it would just get stuck on an upload, download, or directory switch. The reason I continued to use it was that it was so simple and basic; I don't need a lot of beneficial features crap cluttering it up. I want to upload and download files, I will handle all editing on machine. Yesterday I couldn't get Leech to connect at all, so I had to find something else. What I ended up with is Core FTP.

Core FTP has roughly the same minimal features, but with the bonus of not locking up at random intervals. An additional bonus is that it automatically refreshes the remote directory on upload, that's something that I always wished Leech did. It occurs to me that rather than post that here I really should just make a short list of links to put on my sidebar with all the programs that I use for website related stuff. Then I could just visit my page to download them if the need arises. But damn I am lazy...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shower faucets aren't really figner tight

I have been having problems with the faucet in my shower for about six months now. I have neglected to fix it because I absolutely knew that I was going to encounter all kinds of problems when I tried to fix it, and of course I was right.

The problem with the shower is a bit odd, really. For reasons unknown the hot water side will gain and lose pressure seemingly at random. It could go for 2 weeks without having a problem, it could go for 2 weeks without working properly. I had tried disconnecting the hot water line and just blowing water through it without success, so I needed to try something else. The plan was to try to just pull the control lever and clean the fittings inside of that; possibly replace a couple of the rubber seats. Of course this all went to hell the second I touched it.

You can see that little bastard here. I have taken off the trim already, and started trying to take the ring that holds the faucet together off. Up to this point it hadn't been working -which is to say that it wouldn't move a bit- so I knew it was only a matter of time before this minor repair became a major headache. You can actually tell from the photo that the whole faucet has been moving as I have been trying to apply gentle and even force with a wrench, you can also tell by the angle it is currently at that is hasn't been working to loosen the retaining ring at all. I already have the water off at this point, and I have no intention of stopping until I get the damn thing working again, for better or worse, so I grabbed the camera to document the demolition phase disassembley.

There are lots of instructional videos online showing just how to do this (take the ring off and replace the seats and springs, that is), and in all of the videos these fittings are barely finger tight, and the entire operation takes about two minutes. Of course in the real world you will be there with a pipe wrench -actually leaning on it for additional torque- and the fucker is going to break. You'll know you've reached this point when the water starts pouring out of the handle as seen here. Pretty much as expected I broke one of the lines on the back of the faucet well before the retaining ring broke free. I want to point out the quality of the image though: you are seeing a version that is cropped pretty heavily and reduced to 20% of the original size, and still those little water droplets just hang there, as if frozen in time... It's a good thing I had the camera handy, eh?

Another thing that all the instructional videos I saw online had in common was that there was always ready and easy access to all of the plumbing. That's nice for making a video, but a house generally tends to have most of the plumbing fixtures hidden away in walls. They are much more difficult to get at there, but they also aren't nearly as much of an eyesore. My house is one that has said plumbing connections hidden away, so there was much work to be done. The wall behind the shower (the one on the outside of the bathroom) is about 18 inches of solid adobe. There is an access panel that goes about halfway up the back of the bathtub, but no reasonable way to access the faucet from there. You can reach the water supply lines and that is about it. That meant I had to do all the work from the front (and theoretically finished) side. First I had to remove the sliding glass doors that I put in when I initially remodeled the bathroom a few years back. That is easy enough; the top bar is held in place only by gravity, and each end is easily pulled off by removing three screws and cutting the bead of silicone running along the edges.

The walls of my bathtub/shower are covered with a 5-piece pre-molded surround. This also went in when I did the bathroom remodel. Previously there had been 8"x8" ceramic tiles that ran only about 30 inches up the wall. Water had gotten between and behind them and done some horrible damage to the adobe. Water is the #1 enemy of any structure, but in adobe that is tenfold: water + packed dirt = mud. The goal was now to try to remove this piece of the surround without doing extensive damage to it. I expected I was probably not going to be able to do it without getting any cracks in it, but I was hoping that I would be able to reuse it; I really don't want to have to replace the entire surround. So with a chisel and some finesse, off to work I go.

Now having mentioned the prior problems I had with water getting behind the shower enclosure, I knew that I took extra effort to make sure that it wouldn't happen again. I remember being pretty liberal with the liquid nails on the back of all of the panels, then going batshit with the silicone near the top and edges, but even I was surprised to see just how much glue I had holding this thing up. I mean holy mother-loving shitballs that is a lot of glue! I was taking my time here to try to do this slowly, peeling it back a little at a time, trying not to let it crease so that it wouldn't crack. You can see one large crack near the top of the picture but thankfully that is behind an overlap when installed.

I managed to get it off in one piece, with only a minimum of damage. Near the bottom left you can see a crease which would end up cracking, but with a little bit of caulking it will be just fine. If I was doing this for someone else I would certainly replace this whole sheet (I should also point out that there is absolutely no way I would do this for someone else anyway, so that example probably doesn't mean much), but since it is my house and I don't mind a few imperfections this is good enough for me. I would move this out of here and lay it flat on the floor after I saw that first crease form, and that was the only visible crack that formed during the process.

Getting the plastic surround off was really the only part I was dreading. Once I got down to the lumber and plumbing I was a lot more confident that I could do this without too much of a headache. The plywood that you see in the picture here was all added when I remodeled the bathroom. There had been a couple of 1"x4"'s behind this previously that were holding up some particle board, and it had all rotted through. Plywood is not an ideal structural material, but in this application the only thing it is actually holding up is the thin plastic shower surround, so there isn't any real weight to it, and it needed to be smooth. This whole thing came off easily, there are about 10 screws holding it up (they can be seen as little black dots throughout). A couple of them had gotten hidden behind that ridiculous mass of glue, but I was able to get them all out pretty easily to get at the plumbing.

The cup that I had been holing all of my screws and other hardware in got knocked over into the tub. As I was picking the parts up, I snapped this picture. If you are ever working on a sink or bathtub, make sure you plug the drain. I just threw a handy washcloth in there, and as you can see there are still a couple of little red washers in there from where the cup tipped. I'm sure that the sliding glass door frame would go back up just fine without them, but the less crap you get in your drain the better. The last thing you want is to have to tear out your drain as well.

Here we see the faucet assembly. The board that it is mounted to is another addition I had to put in there, the old faucet had been simply held in by the pipes and I needed to change that. Also the little pieces of one inch lumber on the sides were added to give me a couple more screw points for the plywood front. Down at the bottom you can see a piece of lumber with a square cut out if it, that exterior access is just below that. As you can imagine it would be impossible to get a screwdriver all the way up to the faucet mounting screws from there. I am to the easy part at last!

This shot is just to get a good look at the copper and bronze fittings. You can see a lot of discoloration on them right near the tips, and the hot water side has some running the length of the pipe, but being copper and bronze these are still in pretty good condition and don't really need to be replaced. Those bronze elbows go 5-8 bucks each (depending on the store) and sweated copper pipe can last a hundred years easy, so there is really no need to replace it.

Remember to disconnect the shower head assembly before you start trying to remove this line. I actually neglected to do that during the remodel and was forced to replace the entire line after I applied about three ass tons of force and creased the copper. This top piece is usually in a finished chrome so be careful not to damage it if you are going to reuse it. I find that you can usually stick a screwdriver inside of it and use it for leverage (the top piece that goes into the shower should be bent so this works nicely).

Disconnect the water supply. I am going to point out that this is one area where I probably went far astray from building code. I really shouldn't have the flex lines you see there in this application. I should be using compression fittings for this (the ones with the nut that crimps down on the pipe to tighten it) and I think building code would dictate that since this is inside a wall you shouldn't have this type of connector (I can't swear to that) but when I put this thing in I knew I was going to have to replace it eventually, and using the flex lines meant I would be able to put just about any faucet back in here, where if I had gone with a solid line I would have had to do a lot of cutting and soldering if it didn't all line up. I do have access to these lines from the outside (note the hole in the block in the back of the picture) and since I am replacing the faucet now I sure am glad I did it this way.

Once all the other water lines are disconnected, there are only a couple of screws holding the faucet up. These ones were rusty as hell, but they came right out.

Then to pull the spout out... Unfortunately the length of this piece of pipe wasn't something that I had a great deal of control over. It had to be long enough that the spout would sit snugly against the wall when the whole thing is assemble, and as it turns out that is about an inch longer than the space I had available to remove it. As you can see I actually had to notch a piece of the lumber out in the back to get this thing pulled out. Again, the plan is to reuse all of this, so I didn't want to just cut the pipe.

I wanted to take a shot of this one to show the actual end of the pipe. While it looks extremely corroded, you can see that the threads are still in excellent condition. There was clearly a leak at some point, or it could be from condensation, these lines are not in an insulated area, but there is no damage to any of the pipes or fittings beyond superficial. The flux was still clean and unbroken, there were no bends, kinks, or crimps. I'm sure your helpful hardware store attendant would probably give you the opposite advice, and equally as sure that a general contractor would point to the corrosion as evidence of a need to replace all the plumbing in the house, but in the real world there is no need to throw money at it just because the faucet was faulty.

Here are those pieces again, cleaned up just a bit. Just hit them with a wire brush to get rid of any loose debris. The only concern is anything on the threads that might keep the teflon tape from making a seal, remnants of old teflon tape doesn't fall into that category. Also I didn't clean the threads all the way to the nut simply because it's not necessary to screw them any tighter than a couple of turns. Again, a contractor may offer different advice, but we are looking at real world application. Just as there is no need to waste a lot of money, there is also no need to waste a lot of time, unless you happen to be paying yourself by the hour for this repair, if that's the case, by all means, clean those pipes up like new!

Here is the whole assembly reattached to the new faucet. You can see that the teflon tape hid all those imperfections around the threads anyway. A couple things to note if you are using a single faucet handle like this: The first is to make sure that you have the correct side up. It would be entirely possible to install this thing upside down. As I'm thinking about it, it might still work upside down, but better safe than sorry. The second is to make sure you get the pipes oriented correctly. I could probably still turn each of those pipes a quarter turn with a wrench, give or take, but since they have to line up, snug (with a wrench) is all you need; if you get stuck and are force to back it out, remove the pipe, retape it, and do it again.

It all goes back together just the way it came apart. Just hook it all back up and, with any luck, there won't be any leaks. Make sure to test it for leaks before you put the whole wall back together. I have the wallboard only connected by three screws and the laminate cover not glued in place so that I can check again in a couple days to make sure the temperature changes don't cause it to start leaking.

And that is about as far from the three finger-tightened screw walktrhoughs that you are going to find.


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