(Updated 11-22-07)

For those of you who have lost sleep over my loss of sleep... Rest easy.

Last night (Tuesday) I went to bed at 9:30 pm, and did not get up until 5:00 am (getting seven and a half hours of sleep). Even though I had doubled, and in some cases more than tripled the amount of sleep I have in any of the past four nights, I came as close to a nervous breakdown as I ever have in my life. It is now just shy of 7:30 pm (Wednesday), and I am crashing hard again... See the problem is that I am still WAY behind on sleep.

At least tonight is not as bad as last night.... Let me explain.

As I had previously referenced somewhere here on the blog, a few days ago our washing machine quit working. It has been out of commission for three days now. Being the skinflint handyman that I am, I planed to repair it myself. I played around with the washer, did some quick research on the web, located what I thought was the problem, and ordered the parts. I called home to tell the Mother of Five the update on the washer, when she filled me in with some news of her own.

The day took a real downward turn from this point on. By the time I got off work, and was heading home I was very tired, even crabbier than I was tired, and was going to have zero patience for my wife, the kids or myself. . I was nodding off, and could hardly stay awake.

When I got home, the house was messy, and my wife was watching the neighbor's children, and the house was in general turmoil and chaos. It was more than I could handle. So I volunteered to take Jonathan (#2 of 5) to his Speech and Occupational Therapy sessions - because, quite frankly - I could escape the chaos and sleep in the waiting room for two hours.

When I arrived, I quickly discovered that I left my MP3 player home. I was >>so<< looking forward to drifting away from the conscious world, blocking out the other parents and children in the waiting room with the aid of Jim Morrison and The Doors. Alas, that was not to be. I did sleep for about an hour, but the noisy waiting room was just a bit too much.

When Jonathan and I got back home, I was going to quickly check e-mail before he and I ate our (late) dinner. My life took another downward step when I could not connect to the internet and the computer stalled out. The Computer flashed some warning about a "serious fatal error". Fearing the worst, I rebooted several times, restarted the software, and tried every trick in the book that I knew. I checked the modem, the Com port(s), and configuration, but I still could not connect, and was unable to determine if it was a software issue or a hardware issue. To make matters worse, I was unable to find my internet provider’s install disk (to try and reinstall the software). By this point, I was starting to really loose all grip on reality.

About the fourth round of going through the reboot and retrying the internet provider software (fighting of tears of hysteria), I was called upstairs to spend time with the family and Molly. I had almost forgotten that this was going to be the last night Molly would be with us. I went upstairs to face that bitter reality.

Our digital camera started giving us problems as we were taking photos of the kids with Molly. (Why not?? Everything else was going my way.) After muddling through this, (thankfully) the evening was quickly drawing to an end.

After getting the little kids to bed, and Ben coming over to see Molly one last time, the Mother of Five started scolding me good. She said I was stumbling, loosing my balance and bumping into things.

It was our last night with Molly, I had a digital camera that I wanted to throw against the wall, a broken washing machine, and now a fried computer. I had enough. Since I know I needed some serious sleep, and I was appearing intoxicated anyway, I decided I had nothing to loose, and poured myself a ‘lil nightcap “to help” (not that I needed it). Afterwards I poured myself into bed, plugged in to The Doors (having missed the opportunity earlier), and was asleep before the Crystal Ship set sail.

A short seven hours later I started "snooze-barring” the alarms (yes, plural) until the last possible minute, got ready and then and headed off to work.

While at work, I got word that washing machine parts came in. I needed more time than I had available to complete the things I needed to get done, so when the opportunity to take a half day off presented itself, I jumped at it!

I went to my parents place, downloaded the software for my Internet access (since I had lost the CD), and headed to Appliance Sales & Service. While at the parts store, I took a quick peek at the “over the stove” microwaves. Our current microwave was on its last legs. (Broken door handle, broken vent cover, cracked door, and a cracked keypad). While looking at what I can not afford the different models, I noticed what I thought was a typo on a sale card. One of the units displayed was marked 200.00 less than all the others (what I paid for our first unit, and what I expected to pay for a replacement)!

I spoke to the salesman and he explained how they had a huge sale earlier in the year, and these units were bought as "door buster" items. After the sale, they had five remaining in the warehouse, and decided to put them back out as a Black Friday door buster. This deal was WAY too good to pass up, so I headed home with my software, the parts for the washing machine, and a new microwave! (Yeah, it’s great and all but it’s just what I needed - another item to add to my list.)

I got home, and loaded up the internet software - voila! That repaired the problem... (I am afraid of a possible (impending) hard drive crash. I will need to back up EVERYTHING tonight - just in case!) So far, so good. It was time to tackle project number two. The washing machine...

I needed to rebuild the "Thrust Bearing" in the lower unit. Coming off the success of the computer, I was excited, and I dove right in. Once again - the job went amazingly well. I hit a little snag putting the final retaining clip in place, but once I got it in place, reconnected the supply lines and the drain hose, plugged it in, and turned the machine on - Our washing machine was back to normal, and was going to be put to some hard labor catching up after its three and a half day vacation! (That'll teach it a lesson!)

Could it be possible?? Could I hit a triple?? I ran upstairs and looked at the clock, my wife, and the microwaves... I decided that since everything seemed to be making up for the bad day I had previously, I was going to run with it, and give ‘er a shot! The sheer angles and weights of removing the old, and installing the new microwaves would require a bit of assistance, so before she left for work, I would need the help of my wife.

All things considered, the job went pretty well. It was more involved than I had hoped, and it did not go as smoothly as the two previous jobs (my wife had to leave to get Rebecca from "Batton class", then head off to work), but by 5:30 pm – I had completed (and cleaned up after) all three projects!

Not bad for it being only two hours after my normal “getting home” time.

The successful completion of all three tasks made taking the half day off worth it. By 7:30 (the time I stared this post) I had relaxed quite a bit, and (although still tired) was feeling 200% better than I had just twenty four hours ago.

I plan on being in bed between 9-10pm, and up at 5:30am for work. I work until 3pm, and will have plenty of time to catch up with the Thanksgiving festivities. (Sometimes the Thanksgiving “leftover goodies” are better than the first time around anyway!). After which I will be back home relativly early, and will have time to sit and relax with my wife and children just a wee bit.

So fellow bloggers, friends, family and who ever stumbles across this post...

Have a wonderful, merry, joyous, relaxing, and trouble free Thanksgiving .

A wish from me, to you.


  1. That microwave looks like one I picked up from "The Big Orange Store" and not realizing how heavy it was, tried to install by myself.

    Let me explain that I am only 5'7" and my microwave weighed 53 lbs. Now, I curl this much in the gym with one arm, but holding this much weight, chest-high while trying to simultaneously get the back, bottom edge centered on the tiny metal lip that holds it up...was a bit of a challenge.

    I assume this is part of what you meant when you said it didn't go as smoothly as your first two projects.

    A fellow handyman

  2. Hi Dobeman, thanks for swinging by!

    Let me tell you - this GIANT of a guy (6' 4" to 6' 5" and 275-300 lbs) had a hard time hoisting that microwave and getting it hung on that little tiny lip. It truly was a "challange"!

    Yeah, lifting, leveling, and the sheer number of steps made this job so much more involved than the others.

    You too have a great blog! I've got you on my "regular diet"!

    Thanks for the link - and I hit ya back with one on my end too.
    (I also fowared it on to a fellow like-minded father that I thought would enjoy readnig your blog too!)


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