Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Adventure of the Lock

Last Tuesday, just a mere week ago, it was over 60 degrees F in Salt Lake City.  I took a nice, long walk in the late autumn leaves.  I didn't need a jacket; a sweatshirt was fine.
Today, however, after two small-ish snowstorms, we have near-hurricane force winds in some parts of the state.  In the Salt Lake Valley, the gusts are reaching up to 60 MPH.  With the windchill factor, the temperature is -8 F.  (That was a MINUS sign, folks.  It's negative 8 out there.)
Yup.  Winter is here.
(I recall one Sunday in January of 2005 when it reached exactly 32 F or 0 C in Edinburgh, Scotland, where I was living at the time.  An older lady at church shook me by the shoulders and said, "It's zero degrees out there!  It's literally freezing!"  I blinked a couple of times, then smiled and said, "In Utah, when it gets UP to freezing in January, we call it a good day.")

So, last night, the deadbolt on my back door was stiff.  I decided to "take care of it in the morning."
I should've known better, as I do not have a good history with locks.  (There was the time when the doorknob on the spare bedroom ceased to function and I accidentally locked myself in.  I had to dismantle the doorknob with a pair of scissors, as there were no tools in the room.  And all the while I was wearing only a towel, as I was fresh out of the bath.  Then there was the time that my key snapped off in the lock, and the only spare key was in my parents' car -- and they were out of town.  I called Max, and he and I spent 45 minutes breaking into my own house.  And, while I was -- fortunately -- thoroughly dressed for that occasion, I had a horrid migraine at the time, so pounding hammers were NOT what I wanted to hear.)
So, at 8:00 this morning, I heard the wind blow some object against the side of the house, so I got up (Yeah, I know; I was still in bed at 8:00.  It's winter break!  I don't have to get up at 4:30 this week.) to have a look -- and the deadbolt froze in the open position.
Once I'd thrown on some clothes, I tramped across the frozen wasteland (ankle-deep drifts of snow) of the back porch to get to the garage.  The WD40 was exactly where it was supposed to be, but it was a mighty cold metal can.
Once I got the WD40 back into the house, I let it warm up.  Only then did I notice that, when I had last used it and removed the tiny red straw which allows the user to direct the spray into a small area, the little blue plastic adapter circle which is supposed to fit into the push-nozzle had stayed on the straw instead of in the notch on the nozzle.  This meant it would be harder to reattach everything.
I grabbed a rag and took everything over the kitchen sink for better light.  I wrestled with the nozzle and blue circle/ straw combo, trying to snap things back together, when suddenly, PSSSSTTT!!
It took me a second or two to find what I'd hit; two full cabinet doors were dripping with WD40.
I sighed heavily and found the 409 under the kitchen sink.  (Normally I clean with vinegar, but I keep 409 on hand for nasty greasiness that needs a hefty dose of chemicals.)  As I hadn't used in in many a month, it was dusty and had to be cleaned off before I could use it to clean the doors and now the counter top where the oil was dripping.  Fun.
Once I finally got the *&&%% pieces of the spray can put together, fixing the lock was a snap.  Two shots of WD40, and the whole piece was as good as new.  I didn't even have to dismantle the lock to oil it.  :D
(Shout out to Dad, here, for teaching me to fix stuff and for never thinking that a girl didn't need tools or knowledge like this.)

Now I'm all set to wait out the wind.  Here's to hoping the power stays on, as I'd prefer to have heat in the house today. :)


  1. Sounds like a comedy of errors, glad that you finally got everything clean and working!

  2. From things such as these we learn. It's that kind of error-strewn past that taught me so much about computers.