Thumpy thumpy Tuesday: Tales of Plumbing, Food & Fitness

I set my alarm for 7:15 a.m. today which when you are used to working second shift is ungodly early.

Why would I do such a thing?

Because today is plumbing day! Lehigh Valley Plumbing, owned by Alan, is the plumber who bought the business of my previous plumber when he retired. Why are there no young plumbers left?

Today is the day Alan came to rip out my old, rusty fairly utilitarian and industrial shower in my downstairs bathroom so I can convert it into a half bath and laundry room.

He also needs to fix the sink in that bathroom but he’s doing that another day. I think it’s because he didn’t have the right part. Though he could be waiting to see how the washer and dryer fit.

Work in progress

Turns out the bottom of the shower is a massive concrete slab. Alan couldn’t move it by himself and, like so many other employers, can’t find people willing to work.

The teenager tried to wrestle up some help, but our firefighter neighbor is sick and his teenaged son didn’t have time.

I figured I could ask the guys at the gym— and offer to pay cash.

But then the teenager said, as she and the other teenager started to maneuver it. “Mom, it’s not that heavy.”

**It’s at least 100 pounds. Maybe 200.

“We can do it, Mom.”

The plumber looked aghast. But we did it. We totally carried it out the back door, rolled/maneuvered it down the steps, and used the hand truck to move it to the front of the house.

Shower slab

To celebrate our success I made smoothies:

  • Fresh mango
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Frozen orange juice concentrate
  • Vanilla extract
  • organic vanilla milk
  • Fresca

Then, I headed to the gym. Dan had me doing upper body supersets including 20 lb dumbbell each arm incline bench presses where he had to assist. But damn it was a good workout.

Came home and made an ooey gooey egg sandwich on multigrain thin with cheese, avocado and Hungryroot’s spinach artichoke dip.

Today has been filled with drills, saws, banging and now an overloaded washing machine making thump stuff

One thought on “Thumpy thumpy Tuesday: Tales of Plumbing, Food & Fitness

  1. I know the reason for the Plumber’s plight. I watch “This Old House”. (:

    There are few “tradespeople” in the 30-60 age range. They are very old. Or very young. Because the generations coming to age in the 80s, 90s, 00s were all told you have to go to college. Even in my high school in the 70s “Trade” was a 4-letter-word. So everyone went to college, and few ppl entered trade school. About 10 years ago there was a collective aha moment and they are actively recruiting for the trades again. But it takes 10 years till you’re good at many of these trades. Before industrialization, you started apprenticing when you were about 10.

    TOH has a segment called Generation Next where they have apprentices working on the house. I saw an ad for the carpenters union hosting summer apprentice sessions. Some of the trades (I know a welder) are hiring HS students and instead of going to vo-tech (In my HS only the “dummies went there), they are “co-op” learning. Half a day on the job learning the trade. Half in academics. I’ve also seen signs for “brick or stone layers wanted. Will train on the job.”

    As the old, mostly men, die off, there will be precious few to replace them. Wait times will get longer. Prices will skyrocket. Until the current generation has enough experience to take the reigns. On the positive side, it’s no longer mostly an old-boys club. But I bet it will remain, majority immigrant. Because, as they sing in “Hamilton”– “Immigrants: We get the job done.”

    (Speaking like the old-lady I am, I find young people often don’t have the patience to be an apprentice, and journeyman, and then master. They want to grab the golden ring at the start. )

    Like

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