Jack of All Trades, Master of None

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, one filled with friends, family, and good food; although not necessarily in that order. In the absence of family, we decided to fill our holiday with friends and good food… lots of good food. Fortunately this year it was more than just Leslie, Jack, and myself so the amount of leftovers we had to go through was not nearly as obscene. We did wind up making the decision that we will not be making not-quite-Christmas punch AND homemade ice cream on the same day again; the two combined simply promoted a level of overindulgence that left everyone feeling very uncomfortable. It is worth noting that last year I had to shovel two foot of snow off of my back porch before I was able to deep fry the turkey, this year I deep fried the turkey while wearing a t-shirt and enjoying temperatures that are very prohibitive to snow. I am mildly disappointed in this turn of events as it means that I have not had the chance to exercise my new snow blower.

Friday we got up late and made a light breakfast of pumpkin pie and not-quite-Christmas punch, after putting Ayla down for her morning nap we told Jack that after his sister woke up from her nap we would go to the park to enjoy the 60F degree temperatures. He was very excited about this proposition and talked about nearly non-stop until Ayla woke up. As we were getting everyone ready he kept running around the house yelling, “Park! Park!” After putting Ayla in the car seat he kept getting in her face and hollering, “Park sissy, park!” As Leslie began to put on her shoes Jack got a puzzled look on his face. Leslie looked at him and said, “Mommy’s going to the park with you, Jack.” All of a sudden he burst into a mournful wail and said, “Noooooooo. All done!” Needless to say I got a kick out of that.

Saturday I spent the morning teaching myself how to rebuild the carburetor on my dirt bike. I understand the general principle of how the carburetor works but I am absolutely floored by the precision with which this relatively simple piece of equipment is manufactured. It is truly a remarkable device that performs a very simple task. I think Leslie was more impressed with the fact that I was able to put it all back together without consulting any diagrams. My carburetor did not seem to be in particularly rough shape as I broke it open but I was impressed by how much this simple cleaning boosted the performance on my bike.

I made the decision to rebuild the carburetor because of some issues I was experiencing with the bike… namely that it wouldn’t start. I rebuilt the carburetor, replaced the spark plug, reinstalled the carburetor, reassembled the parts of the bike I had to dismantle simply to get to the carburetor, and filled the bike up with new gas. My heart sank as I hit the starter switch and encountered the exact same problem that I had before I did all this work. I wheeled the bike out of the garage to give myself a little more room to work where I noticed that I had forgotten to do one very important task during my reassembly… I had forgotten to reconnect the fuel line. Chagrined, I slid the fuel hose back onto the carburetor and hit the starter switch; to my great pleasure the bike started up on the first try.

Saturday night we decided to go out for dinner since we had not left the house all day and we were all getting a little bit of cabin fever. I have not hidden the fact that I have a strong appreciation for Sam’s Club food, primarily because it is good and I can feed my entire family for $8. I’ve even gone as far as to say it is one of my favorite places to eat in Albany. I did not realize how much my feelings had rubbed off on my son until we got into the Sam’s parking lot. No sooner had I turned into the lot and afforded Jack the view of the Sam’s sign then he started exclaiming in a very excited tone, “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” Yea… I’m not sure how proud I should be that my son’s initial reaction to driving into the parking lot of a bulk retailer is to start telling me how enthusiastic he is about their pizza.IMG_4108

On Sunday morning Leslie and I finished our joint task of building a clock for our church. We were very pleased with the final outcome and several people commented on it as I hung it on the wall after church. One guy even went as far to say that I should quit my day job and take up woodworking. Nice try, I am fairly confident that my skills are not nearly good enough to support a living for a family of four off of a simple hobby. This would appear to be evidenced by the fact that the bench I built several months ago has warped enough to make it very uneven. In the meantime I will stick to making crooked work benches, benches, and tables only in my free time.IMG_4109


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