The Best Laid Plans of Jessie and Tom...

...often go awry. That's one of few true literary references you'll see me make, so enjoy it. Currently I'm trying to find a poignant saying to describe a phenomenon that we experience almost daily in our home. Steinbeck said it pretty well I think, but it's not nearly depressing enough.

Maybe you remember me discussing this problem when installing the dishwasher back when we moved in. Here's the idea: every job, no matter the scale or complexity, ends up taking 5 to 10 times as long as you plan. Every time. No matter what. Can somebody come up with a catchy phrase to describe our torment and frustration?

We've got a few things to catch up on, but I'm going to run this theme into the ground in detailing this weekend's events in three exciting installments....aaaaand begin!

So, first my mom took the initiative to search on Craigslist and find us a dryer for cheap so we could take care of our laundry in the cold, wet days of winter because it's not as much fun then as it is in the picture above. She went to check it out and paid, all we had to do was pick it up, which we are both extremely grateful for. From the description and sale cost we weren't sure what to expect, but the dryer looks about 10 years newer than it apparently is which is a fantastic surprise. We load it in the back of the car, drive to dinner, then on the way home we get rear-ended. Naturally.

As the story goes, a couple of stupid kids were running across the street while we were turning right, Jessie yelled and I saw them NOT stopping so I slammed on my brakes, avoiding totally wrecking their entire beings. The car behind me slid as it was just starting to rain, hitting us in the bumper, causing almost no damage, but freaking us out and wasting a good bit of our time.

We regroup, come home, unload the washer into the back corner of the dungeon next to the washer, start a load of laundry in the washer, then try to hook up the dryer. All we have to do is hook up a vent line (two screws) and stick a plug in the wall and we're done, right?

Wrong. This house was setup for a natural gas dryer. Thus there is only a 120V outlet and a really poorly placed, completely unsupported iron natural gas pipe hanging down about 8 feet from the ceiling (it's the black pipe on the left).

Ok, no problem. Some previous owner wanted to have the laundry in the mud room between the kitchen and the deck (not our ideal choice, but we'll roll with it for now). Jessie and I try to lug the dryer out of the basement and try squeezing it up the deck stairs, but to no avail. So we walk around the house, in the front, through 3 more doorways to the mudroom and plop it down next to the outlet. Now we can just plug it in, right?

Wrong. Apparently, this dryer is too new for this house at 11 years old. 4 prongs does not equal 3 prongs. Newer dryers have a case ground wire on the 4th prong, not to mention a different physical layout to the plug. The only two solutions here are: (1) rewire the outlet to the new 230V, 4-wire standard outlet in the location we want it to be or (2) put a 3-prong adapter cable onto the dryer and hope it doesn't burn the house down. Guess what we did.

Jessie picked up a cable, all I had to do was remove three nuts and put the new wires on...so of course I drop the ratchet socket into the dryer on the 3rd nut. In case you didn't know, dryers are almost completely sealed boxes, requiring me to tip it upside down on the corner next to the wire connection to get the socket to fall out.

Great, now the wire is on and I plug it in. The outlet is, of course, positioned in the corner right next to the door. Ok, so the door to the deck will officially be just for show until we rewire this outlet. Whatever, it works...finally......just three days later.

Task #1: 3 days vs. however long it takes to stick a plug in the wall (for argument's sake, let's call it a 5-minute job). For those keeping score at home, that's House: 1, Tom and Jessie: 0.


Currently listening "The Twilight Zone" by Golden Earring (seems appropriate)

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