2005-02-10: Mr. Newton, Tear This Wall Down

So, today started when Craig knocked on the door. This touched off a chain of events which lead to the more or less total destruction of my bathroom wall, and the filling of poor Artoo with so much cruft that I'm afraid to open up the trash tank.

Today was my second vacation day this week, for the explicit purpose of working on the bathroom. To be honest, this day has been difficult to write about because so much was done that it's a blur.

I will, however, give my best effort to re-constructing it. Today was mostly concerned with getting the leak stopped and the water turned back on. The first thing we did, was to take out the rest of the wall that was preventing us from getting at the shower pipe. This is what the shower wall looked like after the morning project, when we were getting it opened up enough to remove the corroded 'tree' of plumbing which controlled the various hot/cold/shower valves involved in taking a shower in my bathroom. After that was done, we made a run to Home Depot for replacement parts. I was very lucky, that they were closing out some Glacier Bay shower parts for $10 (down from $70), which had the correct dimensions to replace what had been in the wall up until now. We also purchased appropriate amounts of piping, L-junctions, and plumber's tape to construct a replica of the original tree.

At that point, we installed it and discovered that the copper pipes had not exactly been fitted to the bottom of the tree in a water-tight manner, and had in fact relied on some kind of strange plastic washers attached to the bottom of the old tree to prevent them from spraying water everywhere. After we got the water shut off, Craig had to bail to take care of his son and I made another trip to Home Depot. The particular parts which had been used on the old tree were non-existent, so with the aid of a dead ringer for Vasquez from Aliens, I was able to find some bright orange conical washers to stick into the copper pipes. I had to cut the washers to fit, but after fitting them into the ends of the pipes and screwing the pipes into the bottom of the tree, there was no leak whatsoever.

That having been done, I turned my attention back to the floor. I scraped a lot of the concrete off of it, and removed a bit more of the adhesive residue from it. That didn't change the fact that the wood behind the tub was quite wet, and in fact there's some white mold and some black mold growing back there. This has resulted in the postponement of the bathroom project for a while, just to give the mold a chance to dry out and find out that conditions aren't going to be hospitable to it anymore. Just at the time the mold was discovered, the background music being played on my bedroom Linux box set on "Joe's Apartment". This Demento song which I can't find the link for, chronicles the life of a creature which evolves from cheese left in the fridge for too long. It seemed quite appropriate for the creatures which were growing in the wall behind my shower, which were thereafter cut off from moisture and left to die an unlamented death.

I'm going to have to get one of those mold testing kits to determine whether or not I've got the "black mold of death" growing in this place. If I do, well, I'm not quite sure what the course of action is but I can almost see the insurance company just deciding to have my trailer replaced with a new one. Of course, that could lead to some fun and entertaining quandaries about just where I'm going to live in the meantime, though... plus the annoyance of moving all my stuff out of one place, then into a new one. I just got it all IN here, for crying out loud!

At any rate, once Craig's son had been put to bed, we got back to the wall and took out most of the masonite which was left. I believe that during this picture, Craig was right in the middle of demanding a biscuit. Yes, thanks to Farscape, "make me a biscuit!" has caught on lately.

Another project which was undertaken, was replacing the window operator in Brian's bathroom. This project met with mixed results. Namely, the plastic shower sheathing got cracked, the actuator arms for the window snapped off on both sides, and I still haven't put the frame back on because I haven't dug up replacement arms yet. On the other hand, we did manage to get the window operator out and then replaced with a new one. At least something went right. However, Brian's shower now features decorative duct tape. Definitely looks like a proper redneck trailer now.