Friday, September 25, 2009

Showers and Karate

For all it's worth, I graduated up to the next level in karate and got my green belt the other night. I'm finding that as I move up in the ranks, my sensei is no longer as warm and fuzzy with me, and most of the time I get the distinct impression he wants to kick my ass. When you get to the green belt, you are no longer considered a child, and testing involves sparring with two people, which includes the sensei. So not only do I have to defend myself from two sets of hands and feet, but one set is a third degree black belt who is enjoying beating me up. He even said that according to Master Hammond, as soon as you arrive at the green belt, you are required to bleed at every test. Something to look forward to.

By the time I was finished sparring, I was about to pass out. It was crazy trying to defend myself and clarified to me how out of shape I am. Every time I thought he would show me a little mercy, he said to keep going. We must have sparred for five minutes and I was drenched with sweat, but you don't consider these things when you're fearing for your life. When I see the look in sensei's eyes, I can't help but think he's enjoying himself while I bleed.

However, that said, it's satisfying to come out the other end alive, and inspires me to work hard and get in shape. Time to break out that jump rope.

Also, we changed the shower head at home. When I say "we", I mean me and my Mentor. We had an old shower head in the downstairs bath that was a complete pain because it sent spray all over the place and made showering less enjoyable. I'd toyed with the idea of changing it, but it was just another thing to deal with. Enter my Mentor... somehow I can envision him in blue tights with a red cape.

He didn't hesitate and said he'd be right over and we'd go to Home Depot. It's actually nice because the kids enjoy the trip and we get ice cream! So we went over and I did what I always do, which is go with what is cheapest. I know this drives my Mentor crazy, because he is a believer in quality, especially when it comes to tools, whereas the Asian side of me goes for the cheap. I suffer the consequences of this often, but never seem to learn.

However, this sometimes works in my favor. Not by design, mind you, but purely as a result of serendipity. My Mentor is believe in showers on a hose because it increases the range of possibilities, and I agreed. I do think this is more applicable to shower/baths, however, because there is more room to work with and move around. The shower we were working on was just a shower, no bath, so there is limited space. Even still, I went with the hose, and when we got home, my Mentor installed it in minutes, though I think I could have done it myself. It was pretty straightforward.

Anyway, the thing leaked a bit, and in the limited space of our shower, there wasn't much use for the hose, which really got in the way. I decided within half an hour of having it that it was going to be replaced, but didn't really think I could take it back since it was out of the box and installed. This was a case where it was a good thing I went with the cheap, because replacing it was not painful. It only cost about $10. Also, the thing was so cheaply made, with weak plastic attachments and all that good stuff. I know my Mentor disapproved, but he said nothing.

We jetted over to Home Depot and got a shower head, and I came home and replaced it, just to prove that I can do it myself. I learned a couple of things. First off, shower heads alone are a lot cheaper than the ones with the hose. Second, it's pretty darn easy to change a shower head. In fact, the one I bought (I got the second cheapest one) did not even require tools, and it works beautifully. Thirdly, you can really come to regret buying the cheapest thing you can get. As the saying goes, you get what you paid for. And finally, I'm just not a shower hose kind of guy. I need my hands free so I can practice my karate moves. We have the hose and I'm thinking we can install it in the upstairs shower so the kids can play with it, or use it in the barn. I'll have to check with my superior, i.e., my wife.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Kriss Szkurlatowski for the pic.

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