May 2005 Archives

The Big Toilet Decision


prodcar7a.jpgI probably should have started writing about this six months ago, but then, I haven't written much about anything in that period so we'll just skip that part by giving a quick synopsis and getting down to business.

Last January we decided to look into selling our condo in Vermont and building a house over the border in Saratoga Springs, New York. Within 2 weeks we had a buyer and found a builder. There has been much waiting around until recently but now it's all beginning to hit the fan.

We close on our condo July 1 and have rented a townhouse in Rensselaer (yes, that is spelled correctly - didn't study your Dutch too well in high school, did you?) to live in until the new place is complete. In order to give us some wiggle room, we get the townhouse June 1. That means that we are currently dismantling the VT place while starting the SS place while moving into the R place. Things are getting hectic.

We are in the "selection" phase of construction - select all the plumbing fixtures by May 15, select all the appliances by May 31, select all the flooring by June 15...

Which bring us to toilets. We need to choose three. But who knew there are 12,356 different toilets to choose from? Are we ready for "comfort height" (read - ADA / AARP compliant)? elongated or round bowl? single or dual flush (literal number one and number two)? non-slam seats and lids? antique porcelain? siphon or gravity? Between comfort height and dual flush I can't decide if I'm aging or regressing.

Now comfort height has it's appeal. A slightly shorter trip when squatting down and a slightly shorter trip on the way up. Think of the energy savings. I might even be able to swing my legs while I read. It bears consideration.

But dual flush REALLY appeals to the geek in me. The undisputed world champion of dual flush is Caroma. This Australian company has been making dual flush for quite a while as it is required down under. Push one button for liquid and the other for solid. It's supposed to save scads of water a year which is good when you have a well (as we will). It also has a REALLY WIDE TRAP - just the ticket for those times when a herculean effort is required to get rid of last night's chimichanga(s).

With such a short window of time in which to make a decision one must be decisive. We have boxes piled up all over the house, art work stacked like a Louvre yard sale, and the cats are starting to puke sponteously - this is no time to waffle.

So Caroma it is for the "high traffic" bathrooms. We'll go with a mundane crapper for the guest bathroom.

There, I feel better already...

I wonder if you can get little #1 and #2 labels for the buttons?

Figurative to Literal


It’s not often in one’s life that the figurative melds into the literal in a matter of seconds. It happened to me on Saturday.

We were in Brooklyn visiting Corie, cruising around DUMBO. The path had to lead by Water Street because that is where Jaques Torres’ chocolate shop is located and it was Mother’s Day and even if it weren’t - that is where Jaques Torres’ chocolate shop is located. We were about to go inside when I looked across the street at the old warehouse building and I saw a great photograph to snap.

As with many old, 19th century warehouses, this one had those great iron shutters that protected the opening in each story where goods were once hauled up via block and tackle for storage. Old, dark, rusted iron against the weathered brick. To top it off, a pigeon sat quietly at the peak of the topmost iron shutter, artfully punctuating the composition. “Wait a sec”, I told Nancy and Corie, “I want to shoot a few pictures” and proceeded across the street.

As I walked across the composition formed itself in my mind. I had the nice wide-angle lens on the camera. I’d stand at the very base of the wall and shoot up, getting the deep perspective of the windows framed by all the brick with the eye coming to rest on the solitary pigeon. No one was walking on that side of the street - I could take my time and compose.

I set the aperture. I focused. I composed the shot. Then everything went into slow motion. Not just any slow motion - think Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch - think Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde. The next three seconds took thirty…


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This page is an archive of entries from May 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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