Archive for the ‘plumbing’ Category

Valley of the Shadowy Pee
16 September, 2011

Steampunk Urinal: somebody is taking the piss

It seems that Brisbane’s favourite nightclub and random glassing by inebriated strangers precinct has a wee problem:

People are going out, going hard and then… well, just going wherever they feel like it. A Mr Mergard said the problem was so bad that “There is a toilet in which people urinate outside and people inside get urinated on.” Don’t worry too much about that one, Mr Mergard –  I think it’s in The Beat, and the patrons actually like it that way.

Other instances of public tinkling are non-consensual, however, and it’s a bigger problem than you might think. Up to 30 people a day are being fined under a Police public nuisance blitz. 30 a day? Makes you wonder how many caught-short scoff-laws are whizzing undetected.

Not to worry, though, I’ve come up with some workable solutions:

The Garden Bed 

Just pop bunches of these little beauties, in a circular formation, at regular intervals down the Brunswick street mall.  No need to weed!
Heritage Pissing
These are a personal favourite. Shame that ‘Monastery’ is now closed, but there are still a number of operational and converted churches in the Valley that would be enhanced by an open-air installation of gargoyle pissoirs. I’d also like to see several rows of them against the flats they built on the old Cathedral site, in memory of the Vatican pinching all the money raised for building on that block.
Go-Go Glowsticks
An idea derived by this charming invention for those caught short on the golf course. Just increase the volume and, erm, calibre of the average glowstick, include a screw-on lid, and voila! Rave on, hipsters.

Plumbing the Depths
20 February, 2011

Despite my lack of plumbing know-how or the proper tools, I fixed my kitchen tap last weekend. Just as we were running out the door to cricket on Friday night, Magic Man said, “Muuuum, the tap won’t turn on!”

I replied with something like “It will if you try hard enough, man up my boy.” but bugger me if the child wasn’t right. The damn tap wouldn’t turn on. So I did the sensible thing and ignored it, and we drove off to an inglorious defeat courtesy of Maleny.

Saturday morning was crunch time. Equipped only with my bone-deep fear of how much it would cost to call out a plumber on the weekend – and knowing I had less than a hundred dollars with which to feed the household until payday – I strode out to the water mains.

It only took two tries and a bit of cursing and I managed to switch the water off. I pulled the tap apart, mostly using my bare hands and a rusty old screwdriver – strange, I expected sturdier construction from a crucial piece of kitchen plumbing. The washer seemed okay, so I’d reached the limits of my knowledge of “things that can go wrong with taps”. Since the tap spun uselessly, I thought maybe I needed a new handle.

Off we trot to the local hardware store, liberally smeared with tap grease. New tap handles are not cheap, and they come in pairs. Idly scanning the racks of mysterious plumbing accoutrements, I came across a pack of little hexagonal bits of plastic (they’re thermal shields, or whatever)

“Hmm,”  I thought  “that looks just like the one I just pulled out of my tap, but instead of a little slit mine’s got a bloody big hole. Could that be the problem?”

Sure enough, it was. Magic Man thought I was a super hero for at least a day and a half.

“Mum,” he said, in tones of hushed awe, “You fixed the tap. You’re a genius!” Sadly, the tap-related hero worship has completely worn off. Maybe I’ll get him to watch while I clear out the drain pump on the washing machine.