David, my son, and his wife Jeanie are constantly working to maintain our home to the high standards set by my wife Patty when she was alive. David and Jeanie recently pointed out to me that the the kitchen sink faucet was worn out and leaking and they proposed that we install a new one. I readily agreed and David purchased a new faucet and installed it without any significant difficulty. We did not suspect that we were  engaged in an enterprise which would provide absolute proof of the truth of the old adage “No good deed shall go unpunished”. We later realized we had a problem when the area under the sink was discovered to be flooded. The connecting lines were leaking! After a brief interval of finger pointing and blame assignment, we decided that continuing down that particular path was not in keeping with our mutual goal of fixing the leak. We then went through a period of time involving the inspection of relevant washers and the purchase and installation of new ones.The end result is that we called our plumber and made an appointment for him come the next day and fix the leaks. Later, after the plumber said he would be delayed by a day, we resolved to fix the leaks ourselves and cancelled the appointment. By unanimous consent, we agreed that my continued active participation in the work would stop. This had already proved to be somewhat counterproductive. I had came to the realization that my only proper role in the project was that of a spectator. David and Jeannie were unable to find the source of the leaks and, after an overnight timeout, we reexamined the various washers. David discovered that the the shutoff valve washers, installed on the advice of a ‘big box hardware store’ clerk, were made of an inappropriate material and were too small in diameter to work in that particular shutoff valve in any case. A case of the blind leading the blind. A trip to our local Ace hardware store, where the correct washers were purchased, led to the elimination of the leaks. Problem solved at last! Jeannie then proceeded with the task of cleaning up the mess accumulated during the period when the faucet was being installed. She ran the garbage disposal and was very surprised when the waste water discharged into the area under the sink and onto her shoes instead of down the drain. We quickly determined the drain pipes were misaligned and leaking. They were probably disturbed sometime during the ‘fix the leaks’ work described above. Fixing the pipes was easy but the cleanup was not. Wiping up all that ground up uneaten cat food was not fun.

As of now, the new faucet is working OK and we are recovering nicely.


I am 89 years old and was married for 66 years. My wife passed away in 2016. I am a retired engineer and spent 35 years developing INS gyroscopes. I was a High School mentor in physics, a mountaineer, a model builder, a machinist and I have a degree in Physics. My interests include railroad history and photography, science history, cosmology, interesting people, and old engineering drawings. I place a high value on my friendships. I enjoying my life and I try look forward with a sense of anticipation and curiosity about what my future has in store for me.


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