Tonka Tough or Weapon of Mass Destruction

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tonkaRaising a child means learning new things. You learn what is like to be totally responsible for another life. You learn that the little person you are responsible for is comprised mostly of poop, pee , farts, throw-up, drool, and spit, all held together with liberal amounts of snot.
My son looooves construction equipment, he can ID every piece of machinery at the construction sites we pass by, and usually does at the top of his lungs flailing his arms like a mad man for emphasis.
It seemed like a no brainer that we get him some Tonka toys. For those of you who don’t have kids, most new Tonka toys are plastic. This pissed me off to no end. My child should not be forced to play with cheap plastic toys when I grew up with all steel Tonka trucks. We found him a set of old school Tonkas at a yard sale. They have probably been played with almost constantly since the 70’s but were still in decent shape. Nothing like American Made steel toys.(Insert Team America theme song here)
This brings me to my latest teachable moment, or actually two. First All Steel American Made Tonka toys are freaking heavy and very hard, like hard as steel hard. Second every toddler is a Jason Bourne type expert in Eskrima, able to turn any household item or toy into a deadly weapon, and somehow aim that deadly weapon at your junk or boobs depending on the targets sex. When those two are combined nothing good can come of it. Nothing good, except for when that single guy who thinks that kids are all fun and games and buys those loud ass toys for your kid, gets his teachable moment.
So it turns out Plastic Tonka toys were not just some corporate scheme to increase profit by using cheap material and Chinese slave labor. Okay it probably is a scheme to increase profits but that’s ok, or at least ok as far as my junk goes. I’ll be buying plastic trucks for my son from now on.

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It’s cold out there so you better…

hydrant11We have had a few cold spells here in NE Oklahoma recently and I thought I would write a post about what plumbing issues I have seen and how to prevent them if you are so inclined.

The most common issue is broken hydrants on the outside of the house. Often this is caused by leaving the hose hooked up to the faucet. The water in the hose and hydrant freeze causing a leak in the copper or brass of the hydrant. This also occurs when a dripping hydrant is capped during the summer and left for the winter.

The second most common problem I see is pipes freezing in unheated rooms. The majority of these are laundry rooms that have been added to a house or an inclosed porch where the washer and dryer have been relocated to. There is no way to let the washer hot/cold lines drip overnight like a kitchen sink so they freeze much easier.

Solutions: Take the hoses off the hydrants as soon as you stop watering the flowers. Have any leaky hydrants fixed before winter. Install a small heater in any unheated room that has plumbing. This can be a small electric heater used by many in there office, the temp does not need to be comfortable to you just above 32 F. Insulate any visible water pipe, foam insulation for pipe is cheap and easy to install, they also make Styrofoam hydrant covers.