Thursday, December 8, 2016

I Saved Thanksgiving

Since we bought a house a few months ago, I have began my pursuit to become a competent handyman. I have fixed, built, and installed things since moving in, and although most people aren't incompetent boobs when it comes to these things, I definitely started as one but have now evolved into only sort of a dumbass. If there was a riddle that said, "Every time you use one, you look like one," the answer would be tool.

My shining moment began on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I was at work, while my wife had the day off since her whole family was either in town or on their way. She contacted me to tell me that the oven was having issues. I knew that was not good, because a working oven is an incredibly important aspect of cooking a Thanksgiving meal. Since the oven was likely 20 years old, I told her it was probably in our best interests to get a new range (that's the fancy word for an oven/stove combo; I honestly don't know if you can get the two separately).

Since I wasn't too busy at work, I did some research on ranges. I found some Samsung options that I liked and figured that if they're good enough to make a TV in my living room, they're certainly good enough to make my home appliances. Also, one lady gave a review where she described the knobs as "sexy." SOLD.

But there is an issue with that. Apparently, stores don't just have a bunch of ovens hanging out in the back. Luckily, my wife was able to shop around and find a Lowe's where a customer service rep not only found one in the back but accidentally promised next day delivery when he definitely shouldn't have done that. Oh well, our score, as once they said they could do it, they had to honor it, so we were going to get an oven delivered on Wednesday.

Oh, and just as a fun sidenote, we also found out that we only had 7% of our propane tank left, so there was a chance that even with a new oven, we may not have enough propane to actually run it.

The range got delivered on Wednesday night around 5:00, and that's where I come in. I had already disconnected the old one and saw that this was actually going to be a super easy installation. Plug it in for power and then connect the gas and make sure there isn't a leak there, and bingo bango, we'd be ready for turkey the next day.

Everybody was going out for pizza, so I figured I'd be good after a quick hookup to feast on some celebratory 'za. That's when I ran into some issues. I tried to hook up the propane and realized it didn't fit, because apparently they are supposed to sell you a conversion kit to help hook up propane to a gas range. Apparently propane and gas are different things and not just like in-line skates and Rollerblades or tissue paper and Kleenex. This is literally what I thought, because I am a stupid person.

But I guess it's good that they didn't give us the conversion kit initially, because that gave me time to read through the instructions on installation. Yeah, that whole propane is not the same thing as gas talking point I mentioned earlier? Apparently, you can't just convert the connection in the back of the oven and call it a day. You see, there's these things called orifices, and they allow the gas to come through so you can cook. The issue is that gas is denser than propane, so you need orifices with smaller holes so you don't have an excess amount of gas coming through when you try to cook. That seems important.

Oh, and when I looked at the instructions, they blatantly stated that only a professional should do the propane conversion. They may as well have said, "Hey dumbass, don't even think about it, because you're going to blow up your house. You're out of your league, dipshit." I looked at that and thought to myself, "Uh, well, that's not good." But I also had another thought, "I want me a damn Thanksgiving meal, and what's the worse that could happen...oh, it's blow up the house? That is quite bad, but I still want me a damn Thanksgiving meal, so let's get after it."

Everybody went out for pizza to leave me alone with my new project. This was definitely a good thing as I like to work through my thoughts, so I really didn't want the in-laws looking over my shoulder trying to be helpful. So I had to switch out seven orifices. These orifices are about the size of a kernel of corn, which doesn't help make things easy. Still, the stove was pretty easy, as I was able to pop the tops off, unscrew the old ones and pop the new ones in. There was one that was a little difficult, just because it was a small burner so I didn't have much room to work with, but I got the job done. I'm glad I did this last, as it didn't give me time to get cocky.

The oven was another story. Luckily, they gave me a diagram of what I needed to do. Unluckily, the pictures were so tiny and zoomed in that I often had no idea what the hell I was supposed to be doing. Whenever I didn't know what to do, it was time to play with Casey The Dog to clear my head. Then I would come back to the project refreshed and ready to just start unscrewing stuff until I found what I needed. What did I need to unscrew? Oh, that turned out to be everything. These orifices were in the least convenient place possible, and it made me understand why people talk shit about engineers, because they are assholes who definitely do this shit on purpose. I literally took apart everything in that oven, and only one of those things was I not supposed to remove (I dropped a relatively unimportant screw and knew that my wife would not be pleased if she heard a rattle in the oven, even if I assured her that it was unimportant). They really do not want you doing the conversion yourself, but I was undeterred. Okay, I was actually frequently deterred, but I persevered, and that's what matters.

Eventually, I tore up that oven, replaced what needed to be replaced and put the entire insides back together. After all that, I just slid the door back on, and of course, the oven door wouldn't go back on. After all the shit I went through, I couldn't get the damn door back on. At that point, I did the logical thing and decided to wait for the in-laws to get back, because I did an entire conversion, so the least they could do is figure out the damn door. It still took them a good half hour to figure it out, and I came in at the end  to help make some final adjustments. But finally, we had a working range. I fired up every burner and the oven, and they all worked beautifully.

Everything went flawlessly the next day as I sat back and watched sports waiting for the meal as I basked in the glory of saving Thanksgiving.

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