About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 35 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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Perfect grammar—whether written or spoken—never solves a problem (except the problem of imperfect grammar). It doesn't make a person more creative or a better thinker. It can't turn a bad idea into a good one, or an unclear thought into a clear one. It doesn't guarantee that we will be understood.

Stuart Froman



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 6/2/2024

Totals
Posts - 2654
Comments - 2677
Hits - 2,670,998

Averages
Entries/day - 0.35
Comments/entry - 1.01
Hits/day - 349

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 5:44 AM Pacific


  11:49 AM

We’re staying in San Francisco for a few months, so we’re in a rental. It’s nice enough, but there are little things here and there that feel like they could be improved. (For example, no rental I’ve ever been in has had enough lighting.) One such thing in this rental is the kitchen faucet:

I hand-wash dishes, so I like to have a sprayer attachment for the kitchen faucet. I reckoned that hey, they’re not expensive, I’ll just get one and attach it myself.

Well, not quite. I took the aerator off the existing faucet and went to a plumbing supply place, where I explained my quest to the woman. She got out one of those gauges that they use to determine size and thread count, but to her surprise, mine didn’t fit any of them.

Hmm. We went to find another guy who tried the same thing. At that point I mentioned that it’s possible that this faucet is from IKEA. Ah. “My condolences,” he said, adding that he couldn’t help me with metric sizes and threading.[1]

Being an old guy, I remembered that when I was a kid, we used to have a little shower-head-looking attachment for our kitchen sink. It just slipped over the end of the faucet. Did he have any of those? He did know what I was talking about but told me that those were long gone.

Well, not quite. I went online, and dang, there was the very thing I’d remembered:

Not only was the device still available, the web even told me that it was in stock at a hardware store within walking distance.[2] Price: $4.99.

And so I went to Cole Hardware off Market Street. The outside looked unpromising, but they’d somehow crammed a complete, old-school hardware store into a space that’s the size of a bodega—two floors’ worth.

I wandered up and down the tightly-packed aisles till I found the plumbing stuff. I had to get down on the floor and root around in the back, but sure enough, there it was: the Slip-On Wide Sprayrator (“For mobile home kitchen sinks,” wut). To my professional amusement, the instructions for installing it are wrong—they show you how to screw it on, whereas the entire point is that you don’t:

Whatever. I had to enlarge the hole a little bit, but it did in fact slip on, and I now can enjoy the benefits of a sprayer while I wash the dishes:

I enjoyed the entire experience so much—success in finding a nearly ancient piece of plumbing technology, plus my visit to Cole Hardware—that I got myself a hat that features a skyline made of tools:

At this point, it would probably be wise of me not to study our rental apartment too closely. As much as I’m now feeling empowered, I should probably rein in any further urges to improve the place.

[1] Based on my limited sampling of AirBnBs, IKEA is the primary source of furniture and fixtures for rentals.

[2] If you like to walk and are a person of leisure, such as myself, everything in San Francisco is within walking distance.

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