Friday Wrap #12a – The “why can’t things be simple” rant edition…

There is something to be said for standardizing things. Not all things. But some things. Mechanical things. I am all for individuality, uniqueness, and the like – but come on! Keep that stuff to the non-mechanical things.

Thursday the toilet flush valve broke in the main bathroom. A decade ago we bought matching toilets for the two bathrooms, both low-flow (because you can’t buy other things) and with buttons on the tank lid. The inner workings of the upstairs flusher thing fell apart.

I knew what the problem was, and I knew what doo-dad I needed to get to replace the flusher thing. Try finding it… fat chance! I went to the building centre where we bought said toilets and while they still sell that toilet, they do not sell the parts to fix that toilet. Why? Because astronauts and chili peppers I guess. (Note, astronauts and chili peppers are just as plausible as the real answer.)

I went to not one, or two, or three different local places and nothing. Almost ordering a part on Amazon to get here in two weeks, I resorted to one last store and they had the part.

Except I discovered after attempting to take the tank off to change the valve, then calling a friend over to fix it for me, that what I bought was a three inch tank valve, not the two inch one that I needed. This discovery was at 6pm tonight and all the stores are closed because it’s Friday night and well, why not.

A frantic search online for the part, in a two inch version resulted in me wanting to hit my head against the wall in frustration for the lack of options, and finally the right part. That part is 60KM away so I get a nice drive Saturday morning to pick up the pieces of my toilet. Joy!

I like things to be standardized. We did that when we bought the same toilet, times two, for two bathroom projects a year apart. Our kitchen cupboards are all the same make and design. My hobby, model trains, has “Standards” for many things. Standardizing parts means the same item can be used in multiple products. A widget can work on this TV and that TV. It’s a widget. Why do you need more than one type of widget? I don’t.

Yet somewhere along the line, an engineer somewhere thought “hey, let’s make things more difficult for people to fix.” And so they did. Which is why I am driving all over the place and pulling what little hair I have left out, to find a two inch dual flush top button toilet tank valve, instead of the three inch one I found today. Really, what is the difference an inch makes?

I run into this a lot as well. As Rodney Dangerfield famously said, “If it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.” No matter what I buy, I choose wrong and fixing something or replacing it, is a challenge. Buy new dishes, the store discontinues the product a month later. I go back to buy a dish to replace one I broke, can’t find it. There are many examples of this.

What is wrong with standardizing parts? Nothing. We already have some standards. In North America, houses run on 120 volt circuits. There are three prong plugs that every device uses. Our cell phones have the selection of three different ends for charging cords. Door knobs all use the same size hole in doors. CD discs are all five inches round. See! Standards. You can have variation of the standards like brass or nickel door knobs, but still you know that to install that knob, you need a two inch hole in the door. Why can’t we standardize things more, like toilet parts?

Three things I liked:

  1. Craig Baird – This history guy used an AI imaging software to generate images of all Canada’s prime ministers as members of 1980’s metal bands.

    Twitter avatar for @CraigBaird

    Craig Baird – Canadian History Ehx @CraigBaird
    Every Canadian Prime Minister as the lead singer of a 1980s metal band: 23. Justin Trudeau
  2. That Ontario’s minimum wage is increasing in October. Should happen now.
  3. Donald Trump was indicted in NYC. Knew I liked that city for some reason. 

What I’m listening to: HELP – The Beatles. Just received the 2009 remastered album on CD. I only need Yellow Submarine to complete the entire 2009 remaster collection.

What I am reading: Still reading “Get out of my head” – haven’t done what the book says.

That’s all for me…