Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wherein I learn that parts is not parts

You know ... "Parts is parts." Well, they ain't.

My guest toilet hasn't worked for quite some time. I tried to fix it, but in the process, it began leaking between the bowl and the tank, but only when I flushed. Did I say "leak"? I meant "flood". So I wrote that off to incompetence and resolved not to fix my other toilet unless I had to ...

and then one day, I had to. The cheap-ass parts inside finally gave way, so it was time. I put it off until guests were scheduled to arrive (you know you can use a toilet without flushing, right? Two ways: dump water quickly into the bowl to force the contents down, or you can also fill the tank manually and flush like you would ordinarily), but guests probably don't want to do that.

So off I go to Lowe's to pick up a toilet repair kit. It's pretty easy to replace the fill valve (the one on the left side, for most people), because you just unscrew what holds the pipe in place, pull the old valve out, put the new one in, adjust it, screw the pipe in place, and you're done. If you have to replace the flush valve, then you've got to take off the tank ... sigh. Not fun. (It's more challenging if you have one of those things that sits above your toilet ...)

So I get the pieces in place (except for one that stops leaks – I figured that out shortly before the end of the story), flushed to test, and hey! There's that flood thing again. I put the tools down, come back out to the living room, and play some more keyboards for a while.

Once I've calmed down, I Google "Fluidmaster leak between tank and bowl." Not quite helpful enough. Then I hit another thread that suggests something about toilet types. Hmm. And finally I found this one. Some toilets need bigger gaskets ... hmmm ... I'd better go check.

Sure enough, both toilets are Gerber toilets. The last guy to post says that he kept his old gasket, used the rest of the new parts, and it worked. I do the same. ta da!

Problem solved. Back to the store I go tomorrow to get a gasket (hopefully) for the other toilet.

Parts is not parts.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NHL 10: First half of March '10

Three games this week: home against the Kings and Blues, then on the road at Pittsburgh. Trade deadline's coming up, but that shouldn't be an issue.

March 2: Destruction. I did take one penalty, although I thought it clean ... they scored almost immediately on the ensuing power play. The coach didn't say anything, so it must have been a good one to take. Other than that, it was a great game for me: no long shifts, no turnovers.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, +4, 5 shots, 2 PIM, 2 hits, 1 blocked shot
Result: W 7-2 vs. Los Angeles
Grade: A+ (A+/A+/A+)

March 4: Five seconds from a shutout and we let one in. At least I wasn't on the ice for it. Decent game, led pretty much the whole way again ... Auld did a fine job in goal. Another silly tripping call, although this time they didn't score on the power play.

Stats: 0 G, 1 A, +1, 2 shots, 2 PIM, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots, 1 takeaway
Result: W 3-1 vs. St. Louis
Grade: A+ (A+/A/A+)

March 6: Great win. The last few seconds of regulation were tough: they had a couple of chances, but our defense held them, and then Ott had a breakaway but not enough time to get a shot off. First line held them off, then after a change, we got the game-winning goal.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, -1, 4 shots, 0 PIM, 0 hits, 1 blocked shot, 1 takeaway
Result: W 4-3 OT at Pittsburgh
Grade: B+ (A+/A/C-)

Three games this week: the other tough road game at Washington, then at Buffalo, and finally home against LA.

March 8: We chased Varlamov with four goals in the first (got to like facing the backup goalie). Three more on Theodore and it was a walkover.

Stats: 0 G, 2 A, +3, 6 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 0 blocked shots
Result: W 7-0 at Washington
Grade: A+ (A+/A-/A+)

March 10: This was a tough game in two senses: we lost Grossman early in the game to an injury, so Campoli and I had to double-shift, and Buffalo lost Thomas Vanek as well. (He's out 4-5 weeks, that's a huge loss for the Sabres. He's second in the NHL in points.) I drew a high-sticking call with five seconds left in OT, but we lost the faceoff and went to a shootout. I tried five-hole again and it didn't get through. Richards scored in the fifth round and we won the shootout 1-0. I had one nice shot that he deflected past Miller for our second goal ... I'll take the assist.

Stats: 0 G, 1 A, even, 6 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots
Result: W 3-2 SO at Buffalo
Grade: A (A+/A+/A-)

March 12: Another big win over the Kings, although it should have been even bigger: we gave up two goals in the final minute of play (not while I was on the ice).

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, +1, 5 shots, 0 PIM, 0 hits, 2 blocked shots
Result: W 6-3 vs. Los Angeles
Grade: A (A+/A/B)

Four more games of our six-game home stand next week: Colorado, San Jose, Philadelphia, and Ottawa.

March 14: woo goal! This one was my first solid goal: I walked into the slot, got a pass, and snapped it to the left side. Didn't even get the shot high, but the goalie never got his blocker up. It was the game-winning goal for a while, but we let in a couple of bad goals ... eventually, though, we put it away.

Stats: 1 G, 1 A, even, 6 shots, 0 PIM, 3 hits, 1 blocked shot
Result: W 7-4 vs. Colorado
Grade: A+ (A+/A+/A+)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

NHL 10: February '10

February 2: I'm fitting into the offense better, getting a better idea of when to join the rush. Still can't put one past the goalie when I want to, but I'm getting better chances. We gave up a goal to the fourth line in the third, which made me unhappy, but at least we got another good win.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, even, 7 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 1 blocked shot, 2 takeaways (+1)
Result: W 4-1 vs. Minnesota
Grade: A- (A+/A+/C+)

February 4: Another shootout against Columbus. Took a 3-0 lead in the first, lost most of it in the second, fell behind in the third, tied it, went to a shootout and won. Of course I missed my shot ...

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, -1, 5 shots, 0 PIM, 2 hits, 3 blocked shots
Result: W 7-6 SO at Columbus
Grade: A- (A+/A+/C-)

February 6: woo goal! I thought this one might have been tipped, but it went in cleanly. I even got the third star ... not bad for just two points on the night.

Stats: 1 G, 1 A, even, 2 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots, 1 takeaway
Result: W 6-3 vs. Phoenix
Grade: A+ (A+/A+/A+)

Three games this week, all on the road: at Chicago, at Calgary, and at Phoenix.

February 9: A good win over a good Blackhawks team. We led wire-to-wire and added an empty-net goal; thankfully I'd just got on the ice and got a cheap plus from that.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, +1, 3 shots, 0 PIM, 0 hits, 1 blocked shot
Result: W 4-1 at Chicago
Grade: A- (A+/A-/B)

February 11: woo! Scored the only goal in the shootout. I guess those fakes do work sometimes ... trickled one through Kiprusoff's five-hole. Lost Slava Kozlov for a week or two, though. That one will hurt. The win pulls us within two points of fourth-place San Jose, but we're still a ways behind Anaheim.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, +1, 6 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 3 blocked shots, 2 takeaways
Result: W 2-1 SO at Calgary
Grade: A+ (A+/A+/A+)

February 13: tough loss in OT. We had a 3-on-2 in overtime, I shot, Bryzgalov saved, they got the puck at a wide angle, and boom, that was it. sigh. (Kozlov also played in this game, not sure what that was about.)

Stats: 0 G, 1 A, even, 8 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 4 blocked shots
Result: L 2-3 OT at Phoenix
Grade: A (A+/A/A-)

No games next week or the week after because of the "Olympic" break.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NHL 10: Second half of January '10

January 18: woo goal! Nice wrist shot, beat the goalie high to his glove side. Dominance from start to finish. Would have liked to get another point and get a star, but it didn't happen.

Stats: 1 G, 1 A, +5, 5 shots, 0 PIM, 0 hits, 1 blocked shot
Result: W 6-0 vs. Minnesota
Grade: A (A+/B-/A+)

January 21: stupid loss. Long shift, couldn't get off the ice, couldn't control the puck. I crunched Steve Bernier in the first period ... he was up against the boards and I popped the puck loose. I don't think he returned. Sucks to be him. (He's out for two weeks now.) Oh, and I took a silly tripping minor – well deserved, but fun, because when I came out of the box, I got to be a forward.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, -1, 4 shots, 2 PIM, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots, 1 takeaway
Result: L 1-2 OT at Vancouver
Grade: B+ (A+/A-/C-)

woot! Moved up to the first pair. Unlocked some new skates, too bad I have no boosts to put in them.

January 22: gah. awful. Gave up a PP goal as well as a ton of other goals. gah.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, -4, 6 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 3 blocked shots
Result: L 4-6 at Edmonton
Grade: B (A+/A/F)

Three games this week: at Colorado, then back home (finally) against Calgary and the Avs again.

January 24: Nice win, can't believe I was a +4. Had a near-breakaway too, but I tried to pass and blew it. Also had a good shot in the slot, but didn't score.

Stats: 0 G, 1 A, +4, 3 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots, 1 takeaway
Result: W 5-2 at Colorado
Grade: A+ (A+/A-/A+)

January 27: wow, did we get smoked in the first period. Five goals. It was awful ... surprising that we cut it to two at the end. Natural hat trick for Bouwmeester ... I got an assist on the final goal, but it was small consolation. You can't lose those games at home to teams at the bottom of the conference.

Stats: 0 G, 1 A, -2, 7 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 3 blocked shots
Result: L 3-5 vs. Calgary
Grade: A- (A+/A/B-)

January 29: Complete reversal. We came out quickly and just took it to Colorado. There was no question at all ... plus the Avs made it easy by spending a lot of time in the box. I think I drew four roughing penalties myself; they committed five total. Probably my best all-around game to date: A+ across the board, only one long shift, no turnovers.

Stats: 0 G, 1 A, +1, 5 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 1 blocked shot
Result: W 6-0 vs. Colorado
Grade: A+ (A+/A+/A+)

Four games this week: home against Phoenix and Minnesota, at Columbus, home against Phoenix again.

January 31: Another easy win ... I picked up a loose puck late in the game but wasn't close enough to get a good shot. We lost my former defense partner, Matt Niskanen, out for 9 weeks, which is pretty much until playoff time. Bad news.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, +2, 6 shots, 0 PIM, 2 hits, 0 blocked shots
Result: W 4-1 vs. Phoenix
Grade: A (A+/A-/A-)

NHL 10: First half of January '10

January 2nd: terrible game. I put one in my own net, turned the puck over in the last minute of regulation to give up the tying goal, and was stopped in the shootout that we fortunately won. ugh.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, -1, 3 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots, 2 takeaways
Result: W 4-3 SO vs. Vancouver
Grade: B+ (A+/B+/C-)

Three games this week: at New Jersey, at the Rangers, and hosting the Islanders. We traded away one defenseman and acquired another ... doesn't seem to have affected me, though.

January 5: Another bad game, mostly. Two giveaways by me lead directly to goals. Fortunately, I also set up a nice empty-net goal (wish I were closer), and we scored enough that it wasn't an issue.

Stats: 0 G, 1 A, even, 2 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots
Result: W 4-2 at New Jersey
Grade: A (A+/B/A)

January 6: This one was easy. We dominated from start to finish. I had several good chances ... would have liked to have put one away, but it wasn't to be.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, +3, 8 shots, 0 PIM, 0 hits, 2 blocked shots, 1 takeaway
Result: W 7-0 at NY Rangers
Grade: A+ (A+/A/A+)

January 8: Tough loss ... they scored in the first after I dove to block a shot and didn't get it, and it took too long for us to catch up. Again, I had some quality shots, but just couldn't put any past DiPietro.

Stats: 0 G, 1 A, even, 8 shots, 0 PIM, 2 hits, 1 blocked shot, 2 takeaways (+1)
Result: L 1-2 vs. NY Islanders
Grade: A (A+/A-/A-)

Four games this week: at Columbus, at Philadelphia, at Montreal, and home against Detroit.

January 10: I hate Rick Nash. I think every shift he took, he ended up doing something against us. I mean, I had two assists and I was still a -2. So glad we managed to fight back with two in the third and one in OT.

Stats: 0 G, 2 A, -2, 2 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 4 blocked shots
Result: W 5-4 OT at Columbus
Grade: A (A+/A-/A+)

January 12: Gave up a last-minute goal while I was on the ice. sigh. Just missed a breakaway pass, too.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, -1, 8 shots, 0 PIM, 0 hits, 1 blocked shot
Result: W 4-2 at Philadelphia
Grade: B (A+/B+/C-)

We traded for Richard Matvichuk ... that's not good. Well, it's good because my line position is unrelated to team talent, I guess, so it means our top pair got better. Four D in the 80s, plus one at 79 and me at 76.

January 14: Better game for us, but I'm still making little mistakes. Had a good shot from the slot, but Carey saved it.

Stats: 0 G, 0 A, +1, 4 shots, 0 PIM, 1 hit, 3 blocked shots
Result: W 3-2 at Montreal
Grade: B+ (A+/B-/B)

January 16: wow. Huge win. I did contribute to their lone goal, but it didn't matter that much.

Stats: 0 G, 1 A, +4, 2 shots, 0 PIM, 0 hits, 3 blocked shots
Result: W 6-1 vs. Detroit
Grade: A+ (A+/A/A+)

Next week, three games: home against Minnesota, at Vancouver, and at Edmonton.
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