Posts Tagged ‘toilet’


Charmin bath tissue (can we just call it toilet paper?!?!?) has long moved away from the days of Mr. Whipple.  “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin.”

The advertising of today is this:

All right. All right.  All right.  This is where $hit gets real.

Now I fully understand that bears in the wild do NOT wear underwear.  These are cartoon bears.  Apparently, we are led to believe they do wear underwear.  And the boy bear’s underwear are clean–CHARMIN CLEAN!–thanks to Charmin.  I can follow that.

Even if they don’t wear underwear, I’m sure they would want to still be CHARMIN CLEAN!  Otherwise Goldilocks is going to have a brown stain on her dress after she sits in the bear’s chairs.  And we don’t even want to think about the sheets on the bed, no matter how hard or soft it is!  Of course, in the modern version, Goldilocks is probably wearing sweatpants with PINK across her butt, but she still doesn’t want a brown stain on that.  Nobody got time for that!  Although she could use a Tide Pod!  But I find it very confusing when people wear colors other than pink, that say PINK, like blue sweats that say PINK!  It’s a trademark!  I know.  It’s still very confusing!  Don’t do that!


But if these cartoon bears WEAR underwear (unlike their natural, non-advertising wild types) then why aren’t the bears wearing underwear in this commercial?  Mom, dad and son are all standing there naked, singing about clean underwear, but not actually wearing any underwear while they do this.  Is that not disturbing?  I think Mr. Whipple would have fainted!

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Last Spring, I bought an old historic house.  This is realtor speak for “money pit.”  My house would make Tom Hanks and Shelley Long proud!  I have already blogged about my pond pool, but since then we have added a new roof–at one point all five skylights were leaking when it rained.  An old cast iron drain pipe from the upstairs bathroom needed to be replaced, but not before it leaked into the basement and created a mold problem.

Finally, winter came.  The pool is closed.  The roof is on.  The skylights no longer allow cascades of water to fall inside my house.  The pipe is fixed.  A closet and ceiling were torn to the bare bones to mediate mold.  I can now sit in front of my fire and enjoy the house I bought.

Until the master bath toilet backed up.

I tried a plunger.  That worked as well as duct tape on the skylights.

Was it just coincidence that the water was backing up when the temperatures had been in the single digits for a few days?

The master bath is huge and non-historic, having been redone back in the 1980’s.  It has two toilets–his and hers–three sinks, and a large walk-in shower and steam room.  (The steam generator does not work.  Imagine that!)

When you use any of the sinks, the water backs up in the toilet.  The shower is fine.  It has a separate drain pipe–the one we already replaced.

The plumber insisted it can’t be a frozen pipe.  Four inch pipes don’t freeze, and we have no other frozen pipes.  He thinks there is a blockage somewhere, but would need to come back later with other, presumably more expensive, equipment.

So with nothing else better to do, I decided to do some investigating.

Here is where the drain pipes come down into the basement.


The darker pipe is from the shower.   It’s cold in this room but not pipe freezing cold.

So where does that pipe go?


Behind that cabinet?  How interesting!  There’s actually part of the cabinet cut out to access the pipe.


Is it going through the wall????  WTH!  The blue packing material isn’t really insulating very well.  There’s a draft here.

So I head outside into the frozen tundra to see what is going on.

The hole in the wall should come out somewhere underneath this brick patio.


So let’s take a peek . . .


Holy Crap!  The drain pipe actually comes outside the house and then back into the basement!  No wonder it froze!  Who in the wide, wide world of sports would have thought it was a good idea to run indoor plumbing outside?  Maybe you can get away with that in Phoenix or Miami, but not here in central Pennsylvania!

And in further confirmation, once the temperature rose above freezing, the toilet and sinks worked normally again.

Did the previous owner never notice this?  I’m sure it must have been below freezing at some point in the last thirty years.

It has subsequently froze a second time.  I hope spring comes quickly!

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Wall of Shame

I recently read another blog about the “man-code.”  To wit, I quote:

The Man-code has been hard-wired genetically into the DNA of the entire male species; of which membership is determined by whether or not the individual in question is unable to pee into a semicircular opening without randomly distributing bodily fluids all over the toilet seat. I suspect a teenage boy who can hit a three-point jumper with deadly accuracy from ranges greater than 30 foot, would suddenly be unable to hit the same shot if the basketball rim suddenly resembled a toilet seat. Think about it. All the shots would bounce of the rim or fall short of the intended target.

As a man, I have always been fascinated by this whole toilet seat issue.  YOU CANNOT LEAVE IT UP.  I’m not yelling at you in all caps; I am merely trying to save you some pain down the road.  Just.  Don’t.  Do.  It.

And why?  Because apparently, the next female to use that toilet will splash down unexpectedly.  They will then hunt you down like Bobba Fett on a Han Solo.

You see, apparently women never look before they sit down.  They just back into the bathroom.  BEEP.  BEEP.  BEEP.  Splash.

And it is the man’s fault.

But if you go without putting the seat up, then you will likewise be relieved of your manhood should someone of the non-male persuasion come along and sit on a wet seat.  I don’t know about you, but all these rules makes something that should just come naturally become so confusing.

But actually this subject reminded me that I had a couple of bathroom photos I have not blogged yet.  These were taken from a men’s room (since, quite frankly, it is not physically possible for a woman to do this AND I am not in the habit of entering women’s restrooms.)  Now I want to be clear on one thing here.  I am not ordinarily in the habit of taking a camera (in this case, an Ipad) into any public restroom.  People will look at you funny.  Sometimes you get arrested.  Just trust me on this one.  For the record, this particular toilet is in a single restroom (one toilet, no urinal, please lock the door.)  It is a restroom I use frequently (not in my home or office but I’m there on a weekly basis and I have to stare at this wall as I give back the coffee I drank earlier, so to speak.)  So I took the Ipad with me for the specific purpose of documenting the drippage on the wall behind the toilet.

I’m not sure which is more disturbing:  the fact that someone missed so badly or that their urine is fluorescent?  (It doesn’t glow in the dark, and yes I turned out the lights to make sure.)

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There are certain things that I will never understand, despite being able to take apart an engine and rebuild it with extra parts to spare.  Actually, I can take practically anything apart, put it back together, and have parts left over every time.  But I digress.

The confusing subject of this diatribe is the bathroom.  You wouldn’t know that from the title, but bear with me please.  Sometimes it takes a while to get these things out.

I am not a complete idiot (I am a partial idiot.)  I know what the general purpose of the bathroom is.  I’m not entirely sure why it is called a bathroom, since we more often use it for other things.  Showerroom?  I suppose it sounds better than the peeroom.

It was done in the peeroom, with a wet towel, by Miss Scarlet.

That should keep you thinking for a while.  Anyway, distraction is not the intent of this blog, despite the fact that I am easily distracted.

I suppose I should qualify my subject (I don’t know why, but I will do so anyway since it is my blog and I can clarify if I want to.)  I am talking about bathrooms that have a definitive female personality.  You know the kind I am talking about.  I am not talking about the port-a-potty at the job site.  I understand those.  They make sense, even if they don’t always smell good.

I am talking about restroom facilities with ambience.  These are facilities with household items that do not belong in a bathroom.

I can’t bring myself to call it a powder room.  I have not—will not—put powder on in a bathroom, or any other room for that matter.

There are candles.  Since Thomas Edison shocked the world (and himself,) there is no good reason why there should be candles in a bathroom.  Especially if they are lit.  And, especially if I burn myself on them. And don’t even get me started if they are scented.

I once went to the bathroom and ate half a bowl of something called potpourri.  I thought it was a trail mix or something like that.

There are often little carved soaps.  I can’t count the times I have been berated for washing my hands using the little decorative soaps the hostess displays.  Why are they there if I can’t use them?  Who decorates with soap anyway?  They look like individual, personalized soaps.  I came out of the bathroom, and I told the next guy going in, “don’t use the rose.  That’s mine!”

This past holiday season, I had the opportunity—well, several times—to use the facilities at a party I attended.  For some unknown reason—unknown at least to me—there was a birdcage hanging in the corner.  I looked and the bird seemed a little under the weather.  I felt sorry for him—or her since I can’t tell the difference without lifting their feathers—so I offered Tweety an hors d’oeuvre.  (Despite what it might taste like, there is no hors meat in them.)  It was a little piece of crap—I think they call them water chestnuts—wrapped in bacon.  I have a few others in my pocket for later.

Well, I shoved the treat in his face, and he fell dead.  I mean he dropped off his perch to the bottom of the cage.  I killed him.  Maybe it wasn’t a water chestnut.  Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten a plate full of them—although that would help explain why I was back in the pooproom again.

I tried to revive him.  I tried to give him mouth to beak, but I think I blew too hard.  He shot away like a deflating balloon.  I used CPR, but his little body just crunched under my fist.  I think I pressed too hard.  His beak fell off.

Thar she blows!

So there I stood with the hostess’s dead pet, in front of the toilet.  Well, what would you do?  I flushed the little bugger and went about my business, hoping that it wasn’t the water chestnut or a piece of bad bacon that did him in.

Back at the party, I pulled my wife aside, and I told her what had happened.  If I keeled over and my nose fell off, I wanted her to know it was the hors d’oeuvre.  I also did this because sooner or later they would go to feed Polly a cracker or a poisoned water chestnut and discover that she (or he—I forgot to look before I flushed) was gone, and I knew from experience I would be blamed.

My wife told me that the birdcage was a decoration.  It was a fake bird.

Did I feel like a partial idiot or what?  I spent five minutes doing mouth-to-beak and chest compressions on that feathered bag of sawdust.  (It did, though, explain the after-taste in my mouth.  I had always thought that parakeet would taste like chicken.)

I was glad the bird wasn’t real.  I wasn’t too keen on handling a dead bird after all, and I had a hard time washing my hands after the funeral.  I couldn’t get the soap to lather at all.  I figured it must have been due to hard water.

“That was the hand lotion,” my wife said.

I should have stuck to the decorative soaps.

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