12/30/12

Living with Engineers

So here's what happened.  I have a large industrial type hood over my kitchen cooktop.


A while back, I posted about when we remodeled our kitchen and the significant effort we went to installing this hood.  The kitchen is on the middle floor, and so it required some thought and no small amount of demolition of the ceiling.


Fast forward to today...or, more accurately, about two weeks ago...and you'll find me happily cooking up something in the kitchen with the fan sucking exhaust like it was intended to do.  I think I was frying up bacon or something that makes a lot of grease, and the fan was going full blast.  When it's on full blast, it sounds something like a jet engine.  (Fortunately, it has some quieter settings as well.)  It was roaring along nicely until I shut it off and there was a distinct sound of rattling inside the fan followed by a high-pitched wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee sound.  "Oh no," I said.  "That can't be good."

When Mike got home, I told him what had happened, and he knew instantly what the problem was.  It seems that when the hood was installed, there was a bushing missing and so he and the guy we hired to do the duct work jerry-rigged a part that would do the trick.  Over time, that solution has failed and the flapper valve (these are technical terms, so try to keep up) fell down onto the fan.  

Knowing what the problem was and fixing it turned out to be two different balls of wax.  For the past couple of weeks, Mike (the engineer) has been considering options for lowering the hood (preferably without dropping it) and repairing it.  Calling a repairman is always out of the question when one lives with an engineer.  Finally, he figured out what he was going to do, and today he put his plan into action.  

It involved the purchase of a motorcycle/ATV jack, which will come in handy when he needs to repair the ATVs.  (Why do I get the feeling that the plan was always going to include the purchase of said jack no matter how the fix went down?)  So today, he called me into the garage to admire the contraption he built.  He is calling it the Deepwater Horizon II.  I have to admit, it does look something like a scale model of the Deepwater Horizon, minus the Gulf of Mexico.  In giving it that name, he also hoped real hard that there would be no problems with it bursting into flames and sinking into the ocean.


Step back and let a professional show you how this thing works.


Here's how it looks from the other side.


And here's your little helper.


So, as he lowered it down, he realized that he would also need to support the "chimney" (for lack of a better word).  He needed that to stay up so that he could unscrew the hood.


And may I just say right here that anything that can be done in the kitchen is always better with a can of tomato sauce added.


Smitty was wishing very much that someone would do something interesting.


Yes, as a matter of fact, I DO rule the roost.


I took pity on him and threw his favorite sparkly ball up the stairs a few times to wear him out.  This is his favorite game, and he likes these balls, which inconveniently look like Christmas bows.


Oh, and while Mike is unscrewing the hood, I'll just show you the apron that Santa Claus brought me.  Isn't this a riot?


So once he had the hood disconnected and lowered.  He could see the problem.


And here is the culprit, just as he predicted.


So this is where he left it when he went into town to buy some parts.


As I'm writing this, he is putting it all back together.  He's already turned it on, and it sounds like the old familiar jet engine again.  What a relief.

When I wasn't holding things up or handing him tools, I was working on my latest Doors of Ireland quilt block.  Here's the door I'm doing:


And here's what I ended up with.


I think next time around, I'll give this one a try, and maybe 'zazz it up with some terra cotta pots or something.  I kind of like the split door feature.


How has your weekend been?




23 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kate said...

I live with a physicist, which is just about on par with an engineer, so I understand the issues. However I have to admit he is remarkedly handy to have around most of the time.

Great job on the new "door" block. It's almost a dead ringer for the photo.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

An ingenious resolve and fix I must say. I think Smittie is just the most handsome fellow! Love the new door block and ohh, the next looks intriquing!

The Slow Quilter said...

Good job, it is alway nice to have a man who does his job and a cat to help with the waiting. Great job on the door.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Glad it's fixed. Mine is a carpenter so I understand completely. Good thing Smitty was there to lend a helping paw.

Quilting Babcia said...

We are so very lucky to have our very own Mr. Fixit's around our homes aren't we? Now, it's hard to say which one I like more, your Irish door block or that fabulous apron! Can't wait to see the door quilt in its entirety.

quilary said...

There is no need for me to buy a new fridge, The Chemical Engineer in our house can fix a leaky fridge ...eventually. We are on our third "fix" - fingers crossed this one is the "for real" fix - maybe I need a cat on hand to help oversee the project?

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I love this! My hubby is not an engineer but I can so relate to your story. Esp when they have to run to the Depot to get part........several times ;-)

Elizabeth said...

Hi Barbara,
I love watching the doors evolve from pictures to quilt blocks! I've gone through the tutorial and hopefully my "no reply" problem is fixed. Thank you for the help!
My weekend involved stopping at two quilt shops during their "end of year closeout sales" and came home with three bags stuffed with fabric. I went specifically for backing for several quilt projects and succeeded, and at 40-50% off! If the weather goes as predicted, I'll be sitting at my sewing machine watching the snow out my window. If it doesn't snow or not much, that NYE party still sounds like fun! Happy New Year! Liz

Kris said...

Wow, that was quite the day!! Glad its all fixed!! I love your apron and what cat doesn't rule the roost?? LOL!! And what a neat idea on your doors of Ireland quilt blocks!! So clever!!

Leah said...

How about living in a house with 2 engineers... It is interesting at my house, with both my husband and I as engineers.

Glad he was able to solve the problem... My husband still has our boiler pulled apart and yes boilers pulled apart in December mean no heat - good thing we have a wood stove and a few space heaters!

LynCC said...

lol!! Your poor kitchen. How awesome to have a hubby who can fix that, though. Look at Smitty's eyes in that one shot! Sooo green.

charlotte said...

Love watching an engineer solve a problem. Those pictures of Irish doors are awesome. I would love to get a few of those and frame them.

Celtic Thistle said...

Obviously a handy man to have around Barbara!

The Irish door is lovely.

Dana Gaffney said...

What a nice gift that was for Mike, did you do it on purpose? and he gets to keep the jack, wonderful. The picture of Smitty with his eyes glowing green is beautiful.

Donna F said...

I so know what this statement, "Calling a repairman is always out of the question when one lives with an engineer", is all about! I too live with an engineer and everytime you write about these topics I crack up laughing because it's like looking in a mirror. My Mike loves to buy "equipment" such as the atv jack etc for problems like these and yes, it's usually not "just" to repair one thing. At my house these items have extra value to have around for reasons other than what is spoken about at the time...if you know what I mean. It gets interesting for sure. I should be starting my blog this year so we can compare notes, but I haven't taken time to figure out how yet. Starting my blog was on my list of things to do before the new year, I guess I dropped the ball on that one.
I swear Smitty is the cutest cat in the world! Seeing him makes me miss my old kitty, Mo-mo. His real name was Moron but we shortened it. Living with Mo-mo, I always had the craziest stories. Some people didn't believe them until I began to video tape some happenings. Maybe you can video tape Smitty kitty sometime when he's up to no good. I would love to see it!

Donna F said...

Oh yea, I LOVE the apron! How cute is that!!

treadlemusic said...

I, too, love the jack purchase. I am sure it was in his mind for a while as a crucial part of the solution! The door block is so well done!!! New Year's Blessings and Joy!!

Sarah said...

I live with an engineer. I'm really impressed that yours came up with a solution AND implemented it on the same day! Mine always seems to do a lot of thinking/planning/designing, general faffing about before implementing, if at all! I understand the we don't call a trades person situation. We hear the "ill have a look at it later" statement. But, my husband is handy and things do get done, eventually! I love your Irish doors block. Looks authentic!

Pattilou said...

Enjoyed reading this fun post! Not having an engineer type hubby it was fun for me to read. Love your Irish doors block!

quiltzyx said...

Good to know that your engineer does implement his plans in a timely manner!! Did that put you behind for your New Year's Feast cooking?
Excellent job on the new Irish door block too. You're getting better & better at 'story' blocks!

Needled Mom said...

I KNOW my weekend went better than yours, but the door project looks fabulous.

Angel and Kirby said...

It is nice to be able to do your own home repair! Saves money and time, not sure whoes, though!

Denise :) said...

Bahaha!! And I thought it was just former electricians who didn't call repairment for most anything! GREAT narrative ... I felt your pain and rejoiced with the fix and everything being back in order! :)