Pfhew, excitement! First things first, I applied to UK’s graduate school yesterday. Yes, I know, I’m crazy! I’m going to get my Master’s in computer science because I enjoy having $22,000 in debt already from student loans and I think my life would be more complete if I added another $10,000 or so to that. In related news, I am scheduled to take the GRE in under two weeks because I’m a bit behind on applying for funding and if I want to be considered for a teaching assistant position, I’ve got to get a move on. Luckily, the computer science department doesn’t require a subject test, just the general test.
I spent my evening coding a Ruby on Rails version of a PHP web application for one of my professors because his requests are involving hairier and hairier database stuff and I’m sick of using straight PHP when I know ActiveRecord, in all its glory, is just around the coding corner. The rewrite is progressing nicely; I’ve been coding my models and getting all the
has_many... :through..., etc. stuff set up. I even used this lovely module to ensure I have proper foreign key constraints.
After my programming fest, I went to Jon’s house where, upon starting to watch Battlestar Galactica, we got interrupted by a flurry of activity: his step-dad Kevin started assembling a treadmill that had been hanging around in its box for a few weeks, occupying space in the living room (not that much has changed: the fully assembled treadmill is still in the living room), and Jon decided he could no longer bear their whistling toilet. You read that right: their downstairs toilet has been whistling in a high, keening manner for a few weeks now. There was debate tonight between Jon and Kevin as to whether anyone had actually called maintenance about the offending plumbing and I think the final consensus was that, no, no one had called, but no one was really going to get around to it either. I completely don’t understand that last part because a whistling toilet, especially one that’s freaking loud like this one was, is a big annoyance. Seriously, you go to use the loo and you have to turn the water on at the toilet base, it starts whistling while you do your thing, then you flush it and wait around for the tank to refill before hastily shutting off the water, lest it serenade you again.
Well so Jon took to prodding at the tank innards and I went back and forth between the living room and the bathroom, watching the two do-it-yourself projects develop. Jon on the john (snort) experimented with prodding various things, checking for leaks, loosening stuff, tightening stuff, and generally just invading the commode’s privacy. Kevin had me fetch up my rubber mallet from the back of my car (never know when you’re going to need such a thing) for use in whanging some plastic feet into place on the treadmill, but that didn’t go so well because the plastic was el cheapo and bent too much to stick. It’s really not all that exciting to watch a treadmill being assembled so we just chatted about various things while Jon made trips between the kitchen and bathroom, which is something that’ll either pique your curiosity or disturb you as you realize he was fiddling around with a toilet while he was in the bathroom.
Turns out he did silence the porcelain god by using a small bit of aluminum foil with a small bit of squishy foam wrapped around it, this all shoved into the little knobbly thing with the float on it. That’s as descriptive as it’ll get because I don’t know what to call all that stuff inside a toilet tank and if I try to be any more specific I’ll just end up using non-words like ‘fiddly bit’ and ‘doohicky’ which won’t clarify anything for you at all. The toilet now gives a pleasant little squeak after refilling and then sits there, quiet and complacent.
See, throughout the rest of the evening, we’d hear it start to sing again but before it could really get going in all its pitch-changing glory, it would shut up again. So it’s probably just a temporary fix and they’ll need to get a maintenance guy out there eventually to jab at it properly, with new parts and everything.