The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

February 14, 2015

The 2015 Sledgehammer Valentine’s Day Kitsch Roundup: The Things We (Probably Shouldn’t) Do For Love

Filed under: Holidays — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 1:59 pm


Once again Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and once again, you probably have to do something about this.  Depending on your relationship status, you might find yourself needing to either pursue a relationship or maintain one.  Depending on the circumstances, you could be under a fair amount of pressure to produce something that will either knock his or her socks off (possibly among other articles of clothing, depending on the situation) or something that’ll just simply not mess things up.

As Pat Benetar once sung, Love is a battlefield.  And these are the weapons you do not want to be wielding if you know what’s best for you.  Every year since 2008 I have been doing one of these Valentine’s Day Kitsch Roundup posts, and every year the stores reliably produce a questionable array of seasonal merchandise that will land even the most hopeless romantic on the couch for their Valentine’s night.  Of course, everyone’s tastes are different, and it;’s entirely possible that you might even have someone who would appreciate some of these, but in general, a lot of these things are a bad idea no matter who you’re dealing with.

Previous Valentine’s Day Kitsch Roundups:

You’ll find this year’s selection of questionable Valentine’s Day merchandise after the jump.


February 11, 2015

I Suppose I’ll Just Put Up With it.

Filed under: Random Stuff — Brian Lutz @ 12:44 am

(Apologies for the relative lack of posts lately, I’ve been busy with other things.  The annual Valentine’s Day Kitsch Roundup post is coming though, and should be posted in time for said holiday.)

As of when I am writing this post, I have now been living in my current apartment for roughly 4 1/2 years.  Although for the most part it’s been a good place to live, for virtually the entire time I’ve lived here there have been a couple of nagging issues that I just haven’t ever gotten around to getting fixed.  Granted, none of these little issues amount to much more than just a little nuisance, but a lot of them seem to be things that are hard to ignore completely.  It was just last week that I finally got the creaky floor I’ve had underneath the bathtub fixed after it has been creaking while I try to take a shower for years.  Fortunately I’m not the one responsible for fixing the problem (I’m sure that will come up soon enough when I finally get into a position where I can buy a house though) and all it really takes for me to get it fixed is to send in a service request on the building’s service ticket system.  Even so, I’ve just put it off for this long, mostly because it just becomes one of those little things we put up with even though they annoy us.

A somewhat more significant problem that may or not be related to the first one is that for probably just as long there has been what appears to be a leak in one of the pipes behind the shower.  I suppose if you’re the management in the building this is probably a bigger issue than it is to me as the renter.  For me it’s just a few annoying drip sounds and maybe a little bit of a soggy floor next to the tub (in this case the floor is concrete and the wall studs are metal so there isn’t anything that could actually rot, although I suppose something could possibly rust if I tried hard enough) but to the maintenance staff it means possibly bringing in a plumber, opening up the wall, repairing or replacing pipes and then putting it all back together to make it look the way it did before.  Naturally, this isn’t the only time I’ve had issues with the plumbing here.  When I moved into this particular building it had only been occupied for roughly a year and a half.  In the time I’ve been here quite a bit has changed, and although a lot of it is purely cosmetic (I’m pretty sure the Chihuly glass in the lobby has little to do with the plumbing) there are a number of things that seem intended to fix things that the original builders cheaped out on.  None of it makes the place unlivable or anything like that, but it’s definitely enough to be a nuisance at times.  After all, you never notice these things when they’re functioning properly.

On the other hand, it’s one thing to put up with a creaky floor or a leaky pipe in the shower.  It’s another matter entirely when the minor nuisance happens to be located within your own body.  For some unknown period of time, I’ve had a bit of a nagging issue with my left knee.  Aside from a significant effusion, it also becomes occasionally painful and limits the mobility in the joint.  It’s one of those things that comes and goes, rarely ever much more than a nuisance, but every so often it would make me walk like an old man for a couple of days at a time.  Walking for the most part is just fine, but if I try to run it will definitely have something to say about it.  Even though it became clear at some point that the issue was not going to go away on its own, it wasn’t until just recently that I bothered to actually do anything about it, and that after considerable persuasion from my girlfriend (yes, I know how stubborn I am about those things.)  Following an initial doctor visit, an MRI, a second doctor visit that resulted in a big needle being used to drain a shockingly large quantity of joint fluid from it, a third followup visit and several hundred dollars worth of bills (even with insurance) I have a reasonably good idea of what’s going on (they’ve basically narrowed it down to a couple of possibilities, neither of them too serious)  but ultimately it’ll probably require an arthroscopic procedure and possibly several thousand dollars more to actually get something done about it.

As the type of person who has never particularly cared for doctors (mostly it’s the sharp pointy objects involved that are the issue here) the temptation to just live with it ends up being rather strong.  After all, it’s not like my knee is about to fall off or anything like that, although it is probably going to provide mild to moderate annoyance for the indefinite future for as long as it takes me to get around to doing anything about it.  It does make running painful, but I’ve never been the type to do much running anyway.  I suppose if Bellevue gets invaded by starving wild animals I’ll probably end up being the one who gets caught and eaten so everyone else can get away, but fortunately the risk of predatory carnivores seems pretty low here (unless they’re opening up some fancy new store at the Bravern that I don’t know about.)  Even so, I suppose that knowing that the problem is more of a nuisance than anything that’s particularly serious should make me more likely to do something about it, even though there’s a good possibility I could be opening a completely different can of worms at that point.

I suppose I can just live with that, right?

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