one hour.

When the big hand AND the little hand are on 12, I need to have your entries for Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub) in hand.

As I said yesterday, our In Real Life activities will prevent me from posting our entries until tomorrow, so I’ll post my choices now, in the interest of transparency.

Sparty beats Florida State, and UNC beats Virginia. And in the title game, the Izzoheads beat Roy’s boys, 74-70.

So let’s hear from you, kids. Remember: free, easy and $50 in goodies at Piper’s Pub for the winner.

birthday surprise. also, meat.

In the midst of what was an internet-light day — it was, after all, Mrs. Crappy’s birthday, and we spent the whole day kicking around town, doing fun birthday stuff — we came across something kind of cool.

We had already finished a yoga class this morning, her first at the beautiful BYS Yoga studio on Carson Street. We had also finished a kickass breakfast at Waffles Incaffeinated down the street (where we watched noted Stiller DeAngelo Williams have breakfast with his daughter [we think]).


After changing clothes, we headed to Shadyside, where we found ourselves in need of a little coffee. And while checking our phones there, Mrs. Crappy noticed the tweet from Podcamp Pittsburgh:

blog o the week

That’s really cool, I thought. Also, I should probably write something, given that I’m the Podcamp Pittsburgh Blogger of the Week and I haven’t posted anything in eight days.

Like, say, this example: I was shooting for a beer show a few weeks back, at an event held at Wigle Whiskey for local bloggers. Seven or eight years ago, I would have known nearly everyone in the room, just because I was also a Pittsburgh blogger, and there weren’t that many of us; on this night, though, I didn’t recognize a single person who was there to blog about whiskey. And that’s a pretty cool thing when you think about how long we’ve been hearing about the death of blogging. It’s not going anywhere, boys and girls; in fact, it’s still growing.

But as I said before, today was Mrs. Crappy’s birthday, so I’m going to go ahead and do what I’ve always done — and, presumably, what has over the years earned me this honor: Here is the rest of our day.

There were presents:

She's wanted a chainsaw for years. And I am the greatest husband ever.
She’s wanted a chainsaw for years. And I am the greatest husband ever.
Tibetan turquoise setting and prayer box.
Tibetan turquoise setting and prayer box.

And there was food, in this case our first meal at Gaucho Parrilla Argentina.

Giant. Plates. Of meat.
Giant. Plates. Of meat.

We then returned home; I made a Manhattan and watched the Republican debate, while the birthday girl poured herself a beer and sat down with a book about cats and Taoism.

I may be blogger of the week. But Mrs. Crappy will always be smarter than me.

johnny (part one).

So how was your Mother’s Day?

Mine? Great, thanks. I spent it playing with sewage water, lead and 76-year-old toilet wax.

This began while Mrs. Crappy was getting ready for work this morning; as she summoned me to the upstairs bathroom, I knew immediately that my plans for the day — mostly stuff in the yard — were about to be altered.


She was right to be concerned about seeing water seeping from around the base of the toilet, especially when considering its age; a plumber we had in not long after we bought the house in 2008 noticed the stamp in its tank reading “1938” — the same year the house was built, meaning that was the one and only toilet that’s ever called that bathroom home.


After a little online research, I settled on a suitable replacement. After some further research, I felt confident that I could get through the process of removing the old toilet and replacing it with a new one. Off to Home Depot to grab the new one, a new supply line and a few other little things I’d need.

How’d it go? At first, great. Drained all the water. Dug through the corrosion and removed the nut from one side of the bowl. And then I started to do the same thing on the other side. I dug. And I dug. And I dug. And when I got through 76 years’ worth of toilet gunk, I was met with a nut that would not budge.

This required another trip to Home Depot, for a can of WD-40 to break the nut (a trip that will guarantee that I find the can of WD-40 we already owned before the day is over). I eventually got that one off too — by stripping off the top of the bolt — and was met with a bigger problem: a flange that was buried in a 76-year-old wax ring that didn’t want to budge.


More digging, which revealed another problem: a flange that wasn’t bolted to the floor. Instead, it was held in place lead wings that are attached to … something. But by the time I got to this point, Mrs. Crappy had arrived home with a new flange that I may or may not use. Oh, and also a pizza. My patience had been tested enough, and with the exception of hauling the old toilet out to the curb after we ate, I had had enough for today.

What’s left? If there’s a wood surface under the current flange, I’ll remove it and use the new one. If there’s tile under there instead, I’m going to need further consultation with someone at Home Depot who knows more about this than I do. Once that gets done, dropping the new one in place will seem easy by comparison.


In the meantime — anyone have a need for a 1938-vintage toilet? It’s free to a good home.

warmed up?

It’s finally here — the start of the Ninth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Bocktown).

That’s good news, in and of itself. The better news? If you haven’t yet entered, you have until noon Eastern today to get your picks to me. Email, Twitter, FB, skywriting — any method you can think of will be fine.

Circumstances will force another change to our normally scheduled program. Because I’m shooting a beer show this afternoon, I won’t be able to post the full roundup of entries until late tonight or tomorrow morning. Rest assured: This will leave me even more time to screw up someone’s picks (but yeah, I have yours).

The work thing also means I won’t be able to follow Ohio State’s first-round game against Dayton. So if someone could live-tweet that for me, that would be really cool.

Enjoy the hoops, boys and girls, and good luck to everyone.