Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Non-Work Weekend...

I haven't worked (for my job) even 5 minutes this weekend.  I can't remember the last time I did that.  Please note that this is not a complaint – I love the work I do.  I work long hours because I want to, not because anyone asks me to.  I'm just making the observation that I haven't worked at all this weekend.

But that's not to say that I just stayed in bed or watched TV!

Friday night I replaced our kitchen sink's faucet.  This is challenging mainly because it involves lying on your back under the sink, working overhead in a very tight space.  The old faucet (a top-of-the-line Moen) had a piece of cast iron in its guts that had rusted and falling apart (after 8+ years of good service).  I replaced it with a new top-of-the-line Moen – but one whose innards are entirely made of brass and stainless steel.

Saturday morning I assembled Debbie's Christmas present.  Crazy woman that she is, a couple of months ago she announced that the only thing she wanted for Christmas was a barbeque grill.  We've had a cheapie “baby” grill for the past year, and we've gotten much good use out of it – and I'm a frequent beneficiary of the good food resulting.  So I had no objection to this notion.  I did some research, asked some friends, and ended up selecting a Weber Genesis S-310.  The best price (including free shipping in the equation) was from Amazon, so I ordered it about 10 days ago, and had it in just two days.  I was a little shocked at its weight: 220 pounds.

Yesterday morning I finally had the time to open the box and see what I'd gotten myself into.  Unpacking it carefully took the better part of an hour, and left our living room strewn with dozens of large metal parts and bags full of small parts.  My first impressions were positive: the packaging was very well done, finished metal parts were covered with protective plastic film, and all the fabrication work looked to be top notch.  There were a half-dozen or so large aluminum castings, all very well made.  All but a few of the steel parts (and all of the exposed parts) were stainless steel, and heavy gauge (which is where the 220 pounds came from).

There was but a single sheet of instructions, which was a little worrisome given the quantity of (often mysterious-looking) parts littering the living room.  But as I started in on the assembly, I found the instructions to be clear and complete.  I had very little trouble finding the right parts and putting them together.  About the only critique I can make of the instructions is that there were a couple of occasions when the size of the part I was looking for was so different than what I'd expected (based on the drawing) that I had trouble identifying it – but compared to most such assembly experiences, that is a trivial criticism.  The fit of every single piece was literally perfect – I had no banging, sawing, filing, or “encouraging” to do.  Best of all, when I finished (after about three hours), there wasn't a single part missing, or left over – and the resulting grill looked great and felt solid.

But now that we owned a “real” grill, we had to wander down the hill to buy and fill a propane tank.  We took the opportunity to stop by the Bravo Cafe to deliver our Christmas gift to Manoli (and to receive ours in return!).  We had one of his delicious-but-gut-expanding breakfast burritos (which was the end of our eating for the day).  Then we went home and tried out the new grill.  Worked the first time, producing large quantities of heat with no effort at all.

We are now ready for serious grilling!