• Home Improvement

    How to: Replacing a Tub Drain Strainer

    I was recently called to a rental property to see if I could find a stopper that would fit a tub drain. Apparently, a previous tenant had removed the pull-twist stopper and has misplaced it. Unfortunately, this manufacturer was no longer selling their parts around my area, so it was not economical to get the same stopper. But to install a new stopper, I had to remove the old center post from the drain strainer. The bad news was, that the center post was riveted to the strainer and would not come out. My only choice was to remove the whole strainer from the tub, but with the center post in the way, no drain wrench would fit. So I had to chisel out the strainer  – and decided that it might be fun to make a how-to video at the same time.

    Necessary Tools:

    • Hack saw (electrical recommended)
    • Cold chisel (3/4″ wide or similar)
    • Hammer
    • Pliers with long handle or needle nose
    • New tub drain strainer and stopper
    • Eyes & Ear protection
    1. Make a notch about 1/4″ deep into the inside edge of the strainer.
    2. Place chisel at an angle into the notch.
    3. Hammer chisel to turn strainer counter clock wise.
    4. After loosening, use pliers as handle to turn strainer.
    5. Remove strainer.
    6. Clean drain area.
    7. Apply new bead of plumber’s putty.
    8. Insert new strainer.
    9. Use drain wrench to tighten strainer onto tub.
    10. Attach new stopper to strainer.
    11. Check for water tightness.

    If you feel at all uncomfortable with any of these steps, please have a professional do it for you.

  • Sidetracked


    The Bear Promiseâ„¢

    My bear is special

    I brought it to life.

    I chose it.

    I stuffed it.

    Now I am taking it home.

    Best friends are forever (sic)

    so I promise right now

    to make my bear my

    No. 1 pal!

    Doesn’t this poem remind you of something else?

     This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.


    “The Bear Promiseâ„¢” poem is trademarked by Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.

  • Sidetracked

    Choosing between the ACU and BDU [Propper]

    If the title caught your attention, you are one of three things:

    1. A combat operative
    2. A sportsman
    3. A shop-a-holic

    If you are thinking of getting some kind of camouflage clothing for your job, AirSoft, or an assortment of adventurous endeavors that may or may not include zombies or excrement that defy gravity and keeps on messing with your ceiling fan, you will probably encounter a manufacturer called Propper. On their web site, you will find out that camo gear now comes in two styles – the ACU and BDU. They are both American combat uniform standards like 501 and 505 are for Levi’s jeans.

    Although there are many top and bottom combinations for combat gear, in this article, I will talk about the jacket and trouser combination. Because the difference between the ACU and BDU is mostly in the jacket.

    Alphabetically, A comes before B, but for historical purposes, we will start with the BDU.

    [amazon template=image&chan=celiamania&asin=B001B8HXLE]BDU is short for Battle Dress Uniform. The BDU jacket comes with four pockets on the jacket and six pockets on the pants. It has been the standard shape for combat uniforms for two and a half decades until 2005 and the inspiration for many military style street clothing. This is the version you want if you want the pockets on the bottom of your jacket. Keep in mind, any equipment you don on yourself will inhibit access to all four pockets on the jacket. Most BDUs don’t come with the the soft patch of looped velcro fabric for placing patches. You’ll need to sew them on yourself. The pants have the traditional taper, and fits like “loose” jeans. There will be two front pockets, two seat pockets, and two cargo pockets on the outside of the knees – a familiar design to most men who have worn cargo pants.

    [amazon template=image&chan=celiamania&asin=B00DE5LZD4]ACU is short for Army Combat Uniform. This is the newer (not necessarily better) style combat uniform with only two pockets on the front of the jacket but with added pockets on the sleeve. You know, the ones in the post Desert Storm movies with the slanted front pockets? You will find yourself trying to put your hands in the nonexistent bottom pockets during winter. Do the slanted pockets help? Well, the idea was to make bigger pockets on the ACU than the BDU, and they slanted the pockets so to be able to put one’s hands all the way down into the chest pockets to fish out that dime you keep in there to tune the comm radio after its knobs fall off during an IED blast. This is the jacket you want if you carry everything on your chest from your armor, mags, pouches, water, etc… also these are the ones with the pre-sewn soft loop velcro patches on the chest and arm for branch, name tapes, and ranks etc. The mandarin collar can be closed to keep the dust and snow out of your neck. The pants are of the “baggy” nature and you will probably want to tuck them into your boots if it is allowed. Most ACU style pants come with more pockets on the calves for a total of eight. ACUs incorporate velcro pockets for elbow and knee pad inserts – which is great for general kneeling, but I can only imagine that the fabric would get torn during active sliding and diving.

    Still confused? If there’s a dealer near you, you should try them out. After all, combat uniforms are just like any other clothes. If it doesn’t fit you properly, you’ll be uncomfortable and look bad. If your financial situation allows, maybe you should get both kinds.