Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers' Day, Now Get to Work!

The Mrs. really found a way to make this Fathers' Day special for me - she made me install a wall oven.

See, it all started back when she willed our old oven to death. I said she could call our appliance guy to fix it (when you deck out your kitchen in quality GE appliances, you get to be on a first name basis with an appliance guy), or we could buy a new one and then she could call our appliance guy to install it. She chose the latter (I think I covered this before).

We ordered one from Lowe's, and it took two weeks to come in. I was out of town on a boondoggle when it arrived, but before I left, I asked The Mrs. if she would be able to handle calling the appliance guy and getting it installed when I wasn't home. She assured me that she would be able to "manage".

When I arrived home at 2am Thursday night, I saw a big giant box in the entrance way.


Then Friday night, The Mrs. said, "I thought tomorrow maybe you'd want to see how far you can get on the installation, and then we can call the appliance guy."

"Well, I can remove the old one and maybe cut the hole to the right size for the new one."


Saturday morning comes along, and I pop the old oven out pretty quickly. It is very light and flimsy-feeling, which is to be expected given it's a low-end GE. I can lift it and carry it to the garage with no problems.

I go to get the new one, and I can't life the box. Not to worry, I have a furniture-moving dolly because I own just about every bizarre little tool one could hope to. I get it up on that and wheel it into the kitchen, where I open it up to get the install instructions.

And this is when it all goes so horribly wrong.

The hole needed to be 1/2" taller and 1/2" wider. Not a big deal, except if I cut the opening 1/2" higher, it would violate the minimum clearance spec between the top of the hole and the thing above it (the microwave). So instead I had to lower the bottom of the hole.

Except the bottom of the hole has a shelf flush with it that the oven sits on. At this point, I tell The Mrs. that this is turning into a lot bigger job than I want to deal with, and that she should call Jeff (our contractor - not our appliance guy) to finish it, cuz an appliance guy isn't going to want to deal with carpentry.

She says, "No. You can do this."

"But you said I should just do as much as I was comfortable with, and I'm not comfortable doing this."

"Nobody else will do as good a job as you. You know what to do. Keep working."

"But you said... Grrr..."

So now I have to remove the shelf, remove the boards that hold it up, which are both nailed and glued to the sides of the cabinet, but then the electrical junction box didn't clear the support, so I had to notch that.

And, of course, I had to figure out how to connect up the copper wires in the pigtail to the aluminum supply lines. My house is wired for a double-oven (despite us having only a single), and anything higher than 30A has to be aluminum. That meant a trip to two different stores to get the proper stuff. The guy at Ace told me to rewire the circuit in copper.


The guy at Lowe's (a retired electrician), set me up with the goods.

But, all that extra work and chasing around meant I didn't finish Saturday before we had to go to a birthday party. It also meant I left the kitchen in absolute disarray with an oven on the floor, a shop vac, packing material, and an assortment of about 20 power and hand tools. Some very, very sharp.

So bright and early on Fathers' Day morning, I began the task of actually installing the oven, all while my cheerful fambly grouched at the kitchen table eating a breakfast of raspberries, having been unable to get to the cooktop to fry up some eggs.

It took only about three more hours, including the trip to the hardware store in the middle to pick up some wood filler to fill a hole left from the previous oven.

And then, joy of joys, it was time to go bowling to celebrate Fathers' Day. The Childrens like to take me either bowling or miniature golfing on Fathers' Day.

But first, we got to load up the back of the truck with the old oven, the packing material from the new one, a broken lawn chair, and a broken toy tractor with trailer. Why?

So we could go to the dump. After all, the dump is clear across town (~25 minutes away), but so is the bowling alley. So why not kill two birds with one stone?

At the dump, MaxieC's nose sprang a leak, and he covered himself with blood. So much so that he needed a change of clothes before we could set foot in public.

So, it was back home again, change clothes, then back across town to the bowling alley. There, we each bowled one game. They gave us two lanes, one with bumpers and one without.

Sadly, I could have used the bumpers. Both of my bowling balls were hanging up on my thumb, and that made my aim (which isn't all that great to begin with) completely erratic. This takes the joy out of bowling, and it's the main reason I always choose miniature golf if given a choice.

The Mrs. ended up beating me by over 40 points. Humiliating. I barely beat MaxieC, who was bowling with the aid of one of those ramp/chute things that you point and roll the ball down.

However, the pro shop was open, so we stopped in afterwards and he sized my thumb, and then decided the thumbs holes on both balls were too small (they hadn't been drilled the same size to begin with). As you get older, your knuckles get fatter. Anyways, he charged only $5 a ball to redrill the thumbs.

The Mrs., not to be outdone on Fathers' Day, bought herself some new bowling shoes that were on sale for $30.

Then it was back home, where I dropped off the fambly and then headed back out to get both propane bottles refilled. See, on Friday we had a BBQ that I didn't know we were having, and I ended up killing both bottles as I had the smoker and grill going simultaneously. Luckily, everything was done when the last bottle ran out.

Oh, I also got gas.

Back to the house, where I wanted to have a nice, peaceful ride on my lawn tractor while mowing the lawn. However, MaxieC needed a ride, and he needed to drive, so this delayed my joy.

The Childrens got me a T-shirt that says, "Life is Good," and has a cartoon of a guy grilling on it.

After mowing the lawn, I got to watch one hour of uninterrupted television before I had to go outside to watch The Childrens while The Mrs. heated up leftovers for dinner. I wrote most of this post while watching DIY.

So, to summarize, it was a normal Sunday here, except I went bowling, got a T-shirt, and watched one hour of TV. Oh, and I tried to be nice to the kids. HannahC only called me "the worst dad in the entire world" once. I had sent her to naughty corner for torturing MaxieC.


Wife said...

It seemed to me that you celebrated Father's Day yesterday at the party, followed by 13 hours in bed by yourself.

The oven is lovely, and I stand by my assertion that it would've cost us over $500 to have those gaschmolls do it wrong. Thank you.

Wife said...

I probably shoulda let you win at bowling. Sorry.

CherkyB said...

Sorry, I completely forgot that sleeping at night counted as a special occasion.

Fat Moother said...

Hehe- laughing my fat rump off - you are hysterically funny! Happy Father's Day! Tigdaa!