Saturday, October 20, 2012

A New Solution to an Age Old Problem

(This is my first post to what Elizabeth kindly calls “our blog”.) 

Ya' know how we old guys tend to let our eyebrows grow wild. You know the long straggly, twisty bit just above our bloodshot eyes. Well I've discovered a solution to the issue. Fire balls. 

So I was thinking -- the guy who owned our house before us kept replacing the water heater and just kept cutting pipes and putting in junctions. There had to be a better way. From the look of things, he had replaced the water heater at least 6 times. You see, the water heater is outside and exposed to elements such as hurricanes, wind, salty sea air, sun.  And it was leaking, so something needed to be done.

So the first thing I did was to have a little shelter built to help protect said heater from the vagaries of tropical weather. It's pretty cute, isn't it? 

Shelter to protect the heater
Anyway, I thought that cutting out all the junction bits and replacing them with a single, easy disconnect fitting would be a good solution to future heater replacements. A hand job rather than a hacksaw/glue job.

I bought the parts I thought I needed and went at it. I warned Elizabeth that I was going to turn of the water. The husbandly thing to do. Turned off the water, cut out some of the messy bits, and inserted the hand-tighten connectors.  It all fit! Just goes to show that waking up at 3am and thinking about how to accomplish this task has its benefits. 

Easy change fitting in situ

OK, so I turned the water back on and with a minor leak, easily fixed by tightening the hand junction, my solution was actually working. No leaks. Water flowed.

Time to relight the water heater. Well the damned pilot light wouldn't catch.  After a little frustrated cursing, I remembered that I had turned off the gas tank. Gas (butane) in Belize is via tank rather than delivered by pipe. So I turned the tank back on and heard a rush of gas. Ah, I thought, it must be filling up the void from being disconnected. Now the instrucciones are all in Espanol in Belize. Not too helpful to a Brit, but at least I don’t have to wade through paragraphs of warnings. 

So I bent down with my handy long-necked lighter and lit the pilot. Now the pilot is back inside the bottom of the heater, so naturally I had to look to ensure that I was placing the lit torch in the right place.

The pilot light and source of kaboom

And bam, kaboom, and fireball, it was lit. The problem was, or the solution to eyebrow taming is, the fireball had no where to go but into my face. 

You know how in the movies, especially the Bruce Willis movies, the heroes run from the onrushing fireball?  Well, not so much. While my reaction time may have slowed a bit with age, there ain't no way one can flee from a fireball. 

So I got my eyebrow problem taken care of. Short and frizzy. No more long, straggly hairs to have people see and shake their heads. It also does an amazing job on eyelashes. Mine are now history. You should try this.  It is really effective. 

Now here comes the legal bit -- the contradictions:
  • You won't be able to see properly for at least a day, perhaps more. Then you'll see this fuzzy glow, sort of like the old Vaseline on the lens trick. (My theory is that your eyeballs swell, thus changing the focal distance of your lens.) 
  • Reading or working on a computer is very frustrating. I actually had to find out how to increase font size in FireFox (ctrl + mouse wheel).
  • Your eyes will get very red, the theory here is that small blisters form on your corneas that feel like large cinders under your lids. Frozen towels placed on ones eyelids helps immensely.
  • Your honey, in my case Elizabeth, will not only titter and outright laugh in your face, but will refuse to kiss you, since you eyebrows, mustache, and any other localized hair has turned extremely rasplike.

After a few days of ice packs, pain relievers, eyedrops, and recuperation, you'll feel like new, sort of. 

I won't have to worry about eyebrow overflow for a few weeks, but what a solution to that old age problem!

WARNING: Do not attempt this at home. This solution is only viable for a well trained, experienced ass.


  1. Hi David,

    Congratulations! You're now a fully experienced DIY'er here in Belize.
    Documentation to follow.
    Hope you get well soon.


  2. OMG my friend James woke up one morning smelling a propane leak in the kitchen. He fiddled with stove half awake and without thinking flicked his lighter to look for the leak. The explosion knocked him out the kitchen door that was open. While laying on the ground he realized his eye lashes were on fire. He's fine now. Everyone knows drunks don't get hurt :)