Monday, September 21, 2009

Successfully assembled—Or was it?

My wife recently completed some kitchen remodeling and I must admit that she did a fine job. Other than saying; “I think that’s a great idea” a lot, I didn’t help much. You see, my wife thinks I’m “tool challenged” and I do my best to reinforce her belief. She’s not the patient sort and usually all I have to do to get kicked off the job is grab the pointy screwdriver instead of the straighty one and say; “I think I can make this one work.” Shezam, she takes over.

There are times however when my services are required, generally where brawn is involved. As part of the remodeling effort I was given the task of installing the new kitchen sink. I think I got the job because the sink weighs more than 70 lbs. It’s actually called a DOMSJÖ because IKEA has the annoying habit of assigning hobbit names to all of their products. The DOMSJÖ also came with a HJUVIK which required assembly.

In America, HJUVIK is pronounced "fo-set." The HJUVIK came with 12-pages of assembly instructions which I’ll reprint here in their entirety; “Turn the stopcock off before replacing the old mixer tap with the new one” and finally; “Flush the mixer tap clean before using for the first time. Unscrew the filter and let the water run through for about 5 minutes. Then screw on the filter again."

The end. The faucet has 36 pieces to assemble and only 44 words of instructions. That's about 4 words per page. Besides reminding me of the unwelcome phrase “I have a headache,” the stopcock isn’t even labeled. What is a stopcock? Why is it called a stopcock? What happens if I turn off the mixer tap instead of the stopcock? All unanswered in the instructions.

The rest of the 12 pages consist of assembly “drawings.” By carefully following the instructions I was able to successfully assemble the faucet. However, a difference of opinion exists on the “successful” aspect of the assembly. Because there were parts left over, my wife thinks the assembly was not entirely successful. On the other hand, I feel that since water (hot and cold) comes out of both the faucet and the sprayer without leaking, the assembly is wildly successful. Since the "extra" parts aren’t indentified in the assembly hieroglyphs, I can’t even tell if they’re supposed to be in the box or if someone on the faucet assembly line misplaced parts from their lunch-break scooter repair.

It’s been a year since the faucet was successfully assembled and I’ve never given it a second thought. On the other hand, my wife has been troubled by those “extra” parts for the entire year it's been operating and she recently inquired about the location of the "extra" parts. So even though the faucet has been functioning perfectly for over one year, she "just wants to see if there is something I may have missed." I’m not bothered by her checking up on me at all, but because I love her and want her to have peace of mind—next time there are extra parts, I’m secretly throwing them in the garbage.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cure for Insomnia

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Let me preface my comments here by first noting that sleeping in church is really, really, wrong—but it’s not like it is one of the 10 Commandments or anything. In fact, I don’t think sleeping in church even makes the top 100 list of LDS “don’ts”—unless you squeeze it into the broadly defined “don’t give offense” category.  Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf once noted that he was “pretty sure that church sleep is among the healthiest of all sleeps.” For the most part, an occasional Sacrament meeting nap is harmless, however, sleep sometimes brings her ugly roommate, snoring. Pretty much everyone thinks snoring during a church meeting is disrespectful and disruptive, so it's best to try to avoid it.

Once upon a time when I was single and attending college, I was a member of the 136½ Ward. Our congregation met in a large auditorium-style classroom. The Bishopric and speakers were seated on the floor, the congregants sat in ascending rows of chairs. Everyone could see everyone else. One Sunday, I was attending and sitting all by myself. All alone. Not long after the meeting started, my late-night Saturday caught up with me and I was soon comfortably asleep. After some unknown time period, I gradually awakened, only to notice that everyone seated in front of me had turned around in their seats and were looking in my direction. I believe I may have also turned around to see what it was in the back of the room that had everyone so enthralled. No one was anywhere near me. Weird, I thought. Later I was informed that my deafening snoring had attracted the attention of everyone in the auditorium. Funny thing, it turns out that loudly snoring in church is not looked at approvingly by the single ladies. No one wants to date the infamous church-snorer. “But he snores just like my dad!” Nope.

After a long workweek, a quick nap during church can be very refreshing but it must be done without snoring. According to Dr. Internet, the best way to sleep without snoring is to wear a nasal strip or an anti-snoring mouthpiece. The trick is applying these remedies without your family noticing. If you can do this, here are a few tips that might help you sleep in Heavenly peace:

·         Wear sunglasses: Sunglasses conceal your eyes and make it less noticeable if you close them to nap. To avoid suspicion, you must wear sunglasses every week—just not on Napping Sundays

·         Find a good spot: Hard to do in the chapel but back or side rows work best and are less noticeable to speakers and the bishopric.

·         Keep your head down: If you're napping, keep your head down and try to position yourself so that your face is not easily visible to others. I like to rest my face in my hands. You can also rest your head on the pew in front of you. Just make sure you don’t sit behind a family with toddlers, or there will be more picking up toys and hair pulling than napping.  

·         Use props: You can hide your napping by holding your scriptures or a lesson manual in front of your face.

·         Keep your napping short: Try to keep your napping short, no more than one speaker so that you don't fall into deep sleep and become harder to rouse.

·         Do Not Snore: Snoring will get you poked in the ribs, and you’ll wake up grumpy.

Now, lest it seem like I’m whole-heartedly endorsing napping in church, remember this story. When Jesus, Peter, James and John went to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Savior asked them to wait while He went to pray. Peter, James, and John promptly fell asleep. Jesus came and found them sleeping. He awakened them and asked them to stay awake. Jesus went again to pray, and the Apostles again dozed off. Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.

Morale? Like my wife, Jesus is also against sleeping in church, but if you must doze, keep it on the downlow—and please don’t snore.