I’ll Do It Myself

For the past few years, every time I’ve gone in for an oil change in my Accord, the man at whatever oil change place I go to insists that I really need to change my cabin air filter.  He further insists that I need to pay him upwards of $50 for the honor of changing it for me.  Being the skeptic that I am (not, but knowing that I don’t want to pay that kind of money) I always beg off.

“No, I’ll get it next time,” I always tell the man.  The truth is that I’m not even sure what a cabin air filter does or even if it exists.  For all I know he could be making this up.  Whatever it is, I grew up breathing the air in norther New Jersey so my cabin air quality can’t be all that harmful to me.  And it certainly shouldn’t run my $50.  How I know this is beyond me.  Just go with it.  Esperanto wouldn’t charge me $50 for a cabin air filter.

While at work this morning, and very much in the mindset that there are things I can do myself now that I’ve begun working on fixing up an entire house, I decided to look up this whole “cabin air filter” concept.  Well, it turns out that it is very real.  I still have no indication what it does.  But the good news is that it only costs $15 and, thanks to Youtube, takes all of five seconds to replace.  So, during a break between classes I ran around the corner to the auto parts store and came back with my new filter.  Have I noticed a difference in the air quality of my cabin?  No.  Do I feel satisfied that I saved $35?  You bet.

Now then, I headed over to the old house one last time after work.  I had a few tasks to complete since we would be turning over the keys tomorrow.  Let’s see…

  1. Gather remaining clothes from closet.
  2. Sweep garage.
  3. Avoid tracking ANY dirt/dust into the house since the cleaners were there the day before.
  4. Replace toilet tank in master bathroom.

It was on this last point that I almost became a full-fledged alcoholic.  No, not that polite, humorous, social drunk I aspire to be but a raging, wall-punching, beast.  You see, many months ago my son had broken the lid to that toilet.  He wanted to see how the inside of the tank worked.  No biggie.  It happens.  I did slice my finger open at the time trying to clean up this mess but that’s OK.  He didn’t get hurt.  A few months later, still without a lid because they’re ridiculously expensive and we didn’t want to replace the whole toilet, my wife and I noticed that the tank was constantly running.  Ultimately, it turns out that the main valve supplying water to that tank was, itself, faulty.  In the meantime, I attempted to replace the toilet guts and discovered this valve deficiency.  Giving up (since it was now completely unnecessary to replace these guts), I started putting things back together.  The funny thing about porcelain is that it cracks under pressure.  And, you guessed it, I before the day was up, I had produced a slight hairline fracture in the tank.  Barely noticable.  Didn’t even drip.  But I knew it was there.  Anyway…  Let’s start a new paragraph, shall we?

Still with me?  Good.  On this last night, my wife had instructed me to do the right thing and replace the tank.  She had purchased a new tank in order to get the new lid that comes with it.  My brother-in-law came over to help me shut off the water to the whole house.  This was a nightmare scenario in itself as the water lines here in Texas seem to be buried in the front yard in a concrete box that, in our case, was filled with mud from the recent rain.  By the way, it hadn’t rained for months prior to that event.  We were unsuccessful in that task so we simply got a bucket to catch the water as we changed the tank.  And I almost had the entire task completed when I found out that I don’t know my own strength.  Reason #715 I will never be a professional plumber: I broke yet another toilet tank.  This time, the darn thing cracked wide open.  With nothing more than a sponge mop on hand my wife set about quickly cleaning up my mess (but she’s used to that) and her brother and I set about quickly replacing the old, only-slightly-less-cracked tank.

And then we got the hell out of there.


One response to “I’ll Do It Myself

  1. Makes you wonder why something used many times during the day wouldn’t be made of sturdier stuff. My sister just went through
    the same thing with hers. I wonder if SuperGlue would do the trick…

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