Avoiding a Hot Mess – #SoCS

This has been a busy D-I-Y week, so it’s appropriate that we take a few minutes – 60-to-90 is a few, right? – to relax at the bar, sample the adult refreshments and meet the challenge given to us by the lovely and talented Linda G. Hill. Our Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt for this week is:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘puzzle.’ Use it any way you’d like!”

If we were having a beer, you’d be wondering why I have so many projects.

“Cheryl, I think my young friend is on his way in. Let’s get him set up with a Corona.”

“And a John Howell’s special for you, David?”  

“Of course, thank you.” 

“Hi David, hi Cheryl.” 

“Hi Dan, here’s your beer and David, here’s your bourbon, your seltzer and your ice.” 

“Wow, that was fast.” 

“David thought you might be thirsty.” 

“Yes, I drove by your place earlier and I thought I saw you welding something in your garage. I figured that’s hot work.” 

“It is, hot and dirty, but necessary.” 

“I thought you built yourself a woodworking shop. What were you welding?”

“You might say I was completing a puzzle.” 

“A puzzle?” 

“Yes. You see, one of the things I eliminated in the garage, when I expanded my workshop, was a place to do metalwork.” 

“Why can’t you do metalwork in the same shop?”

“Metalwork is the original hot mess, David. Sparks and metal dust from cutting and grinding don’t mix well with wood.” 

“Sparks would be a problem. So, what we’re you welding?” 

“My vice. I rigged up a fold-down table and I needed a way to put a vice on it.” 

“I thought you came here to take care of your vices, Dan.”

“Different vice, Cheryl.”

“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I forgot David’s cherries…talk about vices.”

“Thanks Cheryl. Dan, I don’t pretend to understand any of this, but why not just bolt the vice to the table?” 

“Like I said, David. The table folds down. It would be too heavy with the vice mounted. Plus, the vice takes up too much space.” 

“So you welded it to…what?”

“A heavy metal plate that I can attach to the table when I need it.”  

“I see. So you can mount other things on this work surface if you’re completing a different puzzle. Good idea. Do you have all the pieces in place or are you still looking looking for the top of the shepherd’s crook?”

“Top of the…”

“The last puzzle I did with my wife was a flock of sheep.”

“I have lots of active puzzles, David. Earlier in the week, I was assembling one upside down, under our kitchen sink.” 

“Cheryl, please bring Dan another beer.”

“Coming right up. You want another splash of bourbon?”

“Please. Now Dan, why were you under the sink?” 

“I was replacing a hot water heater.” 

“Aren’t those usually in the basement?”

“No, not a whole house unit, David. This is an on-demand unit for hot water at the sink.” 

“How hot?” 

“A hundred and ninety degrees.”

“What do you use that for, Dan?”

“I use it for making tea.” 

“Here’s your beer, Dan. That’s not hot enough for tea.” 

“Dan, I have to agree with Cheryl, water should be boiling to make tea.” 

“You two sound like my wife.” 

“I take it she doesn’t use it for tea, either.”

“No, but she uses it to warm up her cup before pouring water in from the kettle.”

“Then she makes a proper cup of tea, Dan. Wouldn’t you agree Cheryl?”

“I would, David. My husband and I make coffee in a pourover pot. Warming the cup is essential, otherwise the brew is tepid.”

“Tepid? That’s the point where you can drink it. Why not just brew it so it’s tepid to begin with?”

“Dan, there are more things wrong with that question than there are words in it.”

“David, I spent forty-five minutes, on my back looking up at the underside of our sink. The box says the unit is great for hot drinks, so I’m using it.”

“Sounds like you installed it for yourself, Dan.”

“We use it for other things David. There are lots of time when you need a little hot water.”

“So, are there more puzzles Dan?”

“There are always more puzzles, David.”

Note: After discovering numerous problems with Block galleries, I have reverted to a gallery in a Classic block. If you want to see the full captions, click on any image, and (I think) click on the little “i” to turn on captions. I am sorry – this should be easier.


  1. Dan, that’s a VICE. Wow – they baby will hold about anything. You were using a folding table, and I was using my folding shelf. Not a lot different, and very handy. I’ve started digging up bulbs and that’s a good place for them to dry out. Maddie is probably enjoying these temps a lot better, and now you can brew a quick cup of tea to enjoy while sitting with her. Happy Saturday. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    • When I took the metalworking bench down, I told myself “I really don’t do much metal work” and then I started to realize how often I wanted to clamp something in this vise. There isn’t any substitute. I like this arrangement because if I have to cut something, I can get the sparks to go outside. Folding shelves/tables are a great use of space. I know we’re in sync on that and things on wheels.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 45 minutes under a sink? You earned an adult beverage! That looks miserable, but what a handy end result. That vice takes me back to my dad’s workshop, where mostly I was banished; he seemed to think I was in the way. Your workshop makes my dad’s look like Tinker Toys. I’m guessing you are thoroughly enjoying its evolution. That pine cone must have been quite the acrobat.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to go through the trouble of boiling water on the stove for my cup of tea, but now I just use the Keurig for the hot water and it is so much quicker–and easier.
    The photo captions all showed up under the photos–except for the photo of leaves–without me having to click on the circled i.
    Just curious–when David drives by your house, does he honk his horn and wave to you? Enjoy the weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan I like your removable vise. If I might make a suggestion drill out the mounting holes on the vise, cut off some bolt heads and weld them from the bottom of the plate. Sooner or later the cast iron base is liable to break free of those welds. Joining malleable steel to cast iron is right in that making tea with tepid water category. I would hate to see the vice come loose at a critical point. Any hammering on the vise and those welds to cast iron are liable to fail. Whew why am I suddenly thirsty ?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m with Cheryl, Dan, you need boiling water to make tea otherwise it doesn’t steep properly. I know coffee can be burned so maybe this temperature is perfect for coffee. I don’t drink coffee so I can’t say. A nice innovation for your metal work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My dad used his vice a lot and so did my husband when he was still able to putz around.

    I just pop my mug of water in the microwave, click “beverage” three times, click start, and one and done. Remove and insert teabag in cup. Repeat as needed throughout the day!

    All the captions appeared at the bottom of the photos. That mushroom cracked me up. It looks likes one of the wooly balls I use in my dryer to fluff the laundry up during the cycle and soften the clothes. Lol.

    That’s one well balanced pine cone. More than I can say for a lot of people I know!

    Hope you have a great weekend Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We don’t have a microwave, Ginger. It lost the space/value battle.

      Apparently, I use the vice more than I realized. I thought I could live without it.

      That pine cone sure stuck the landing when it dismounted from the tree.

      I hope you have a great weekend, too.


  7. I must be some kind of heathen tea drinker. In the summer, I sometimes put a herbal tea bag in room temp water and maybe in the sun for my version of “sun tea.. It just takes longer to brew. Your wife must appreciate you being so helpful and knowledgeable around the house, because there are always more puzzles.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hubby just fired up his propane forge in the new building this week. He is still waiting on Duke power to trench and bury the power from the pole. He also has a welder/generator to make sparks fly! I like your idea, as space – no matter how much one has – always seems limited.

    All of our coffee is made using a pour-over cup now. One of the luxuries of retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Smokey is looking rather dapper, Dan! Love that mug! Under the sink would be my least favorite place to work. While tepid might be the ideal drinking temp, starting there means after adding the necessary accoutrements my brew would be cold. Not an option for me. Lol. I like my coffee strong and hot or strong and frozen. Speaking of ‘upside down’ I’m bingeing Stranger Things-again. 👏🏻👏🏻I love, love, love puzzles. Congrats on getting your welding station operational

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I got a few tea shivers reading this and a few comments, Dan. But you know me and tea, at least I think you do. Not all tea should be brewed at boiling, but I’ll just leave it at that. :-) How about passing me an adult beverage instead. If there’s not a porter or stout available, I’ll take a Moscow mule or a gin and tonic. Adult beverages are appropriate here because we’re engaged in a rugby 7’s viewing fest and rugby and adult beverages go together like…things that go together perfectly. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m amazed by your skill, Dan. And, it doesn’t stop under the sink. Your photos are equally impressive. BTW, my grandson is a budding engineer. He’s been figuring out how things work since he was three. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My dear, dear friend, you are a Philistine. Proper tea is made a particular way for a reason and those who appreciate the beverage understand that. Shoot, now I have to go and make myself a cuppa tea. Oh by the way you got dumped again by your Horrible Engineers. Don’t worry I will always find you. You can run but you cannot hide! Ha ha ha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ouch!

      It’s ok. I’ve been told the same thing by my wife regarding the tea.

      Me and the H-Engineers have been having a very bad week – I’m thankful for you and the others who search for me. Sorry to show my Philistine side ;-)

      Enjoy your cuppa.


  13. I boil hot water in a kettle and keep it in a thermos to drink the rest of the day. I love to have a hot water unit. It seems like Corona is your favorite? An engineer friend retired and combined his chemistry and engineer training to convert the entire garage into a brewing factory. I love to sample the bitter one. Have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I used to not be a tea drinker. But I had gotten some tea I wanted to try, but it was too strong. I gave some to my uncle and he also said it was too strong. He also complaining about how I was heating up the water. My mother had found a Keriug and fixed it so now I get chai tea latte K cups.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 45 minutes under the sink = a Corona. I love our old vice. It was my dad’s, and it was probably old when he used it. The metal arm that spins by hand works beautifully. Nothing fancy, just a great tool. Old can be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. That vice looks heavy! He-Man had one bolted to his old workbench, but I think he left it on the bench when he put the whole thing in the dumpster when we moved. I’ve gotta tell you there have been several tools he binned that I’ve missed since moving!

    Ooooh! Having hot water for tea on demand sounds so good! Baby Girl got a water cooler thing that dispenses both hot and cold water on demand that I’ve been coveting. I love using it at her house. I have an electric kettle at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’ve always dreamed of the spigot over the stove for big pots, but I don’t think it’s a dream that will be realized. We do talk about the tiny hot water heaters that heat as you go, and I think that one will be realized. Also lots of talks about whether to buy an electric kettle for tea as well.
    We’ve had a surplus of mushrooms this fall, too. I think it’s because it’s been very wet, but that’s just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

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