Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Showering On It

The leaves are getting more colorful.

The air is getting crisper.

And if you walk outside (especially in the morning) and listen really closely you can hear the collective whine of the nation about how cold it is and how we've skipped fall and gone straight to winter.

Last year we made it til the first weekend of December before we turned the heat on.

This year I know we won't make it that long.


Not because we're thin blooded and can't take the cold, it's because some of us are descendant from thin blooded people who can't take the cold.

You see this Thanksgiving we have family visiting (and no, that's not a blog euphemism for me being knocked up--been there, done that and have the Chunky Turkey Baby to prove it).

Grandma and Grandpa Mad Scientist, despite dealing with ginormous financial problems this year that I won't air here, in typical Mad Scientist genetic style (i.e. money burns a gaping hole in their pockets in an alarmingly fast fashion) bought tickets down to New Jersey with their PFDs before they even got them.

Anyway, after learning the hard way coming home one March day from a shrinky dink appointment a few years ago to find the babysitter all bundled up like she was traveling to the Arctic, we've learned that guests require heat.

Which brings me to this problem.


Plus this:

Plus this:

Equals a trip to the burn unit and a visit from DYFS.

I've googled "radiator covers" and basically I have three options:

1. Spend an ungodly amount of money for covers (we're talking at least $200+ per cover);

2. Make your own cover out of plywood and stuff;

3. Surf craigslist until you find someone selling a set that fits your radiators at a decent price; or

4. Shower on it and come up with something more creative.

Here's my problems with these options in the same order:

1. We rent this dump. There's a dinner plate sized hole in the living room ceiling that leaks every time it rains above a sprinkle that the landlord doesn't give a shit about fixing, the bathtub never drains no matter how many times you snake it, there's a light fixture in the "closet" off the living room (that also has a history of a leaky ceiling) that appears to be impossible to change the burned out light in, and the list goes on. I ain't sinking $200+ dollars into something that I'm not going to be able to use once we move. And asking the idiot landlord for help with this is out of the question--he can't even fix a leaky ceiling!!

2. I like this option. But I don't really have the power tools to be this old housing up a set of covers. ETA: I'm fully aware that a lot of your major box hardware stores will cut your plywood to your specs. Have you been to Home Despot on a weekend (the only time I could get this done)? Yeah, I don't want to spend all day there getting a piece of wood cut. It's almost as bad as shopping at Costco on a rainy Sunday where people feel the need to block the ginormous warehouse sized aisles with their carts while they wait in line for a cup of microwaved potato soup made from a powdered mix. Two bites of soup people. If you're really that hungry go to a REAL soup kitchen and get out of my way!

Woah. That was a little off track there.

3. I like this option as well. Except you have to basically take a gamble that the person writing the post in multiple misspellings knows how to operate a tape measure.

4. I'm about to go off and do this right now.

I might also ponder how to break him of the habit of caving to the siren's lure of the flashing modem lights.


The stale froot loop back there probably isn't helping.



Blogger Trillian42 said...

Well, your local Orange or Blue Home Improvement store will cut plywood for you. If you can figure out how big the pieces need to be, and assemble them yourself, they can do the bits with blades and sawdust. Just a thought.

And if you don't care about being able to see the lights, you could always cover them with a bit of electrical tape so that a certain someone doesn't see them. :)

7:24 PM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

Yeah I've heard the electrical tape trick too. Might help!

And I've had wood cut to spec at Lowe's, they were great.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

That's tough. I completely agree with not wanting to spend the money buying "home improvements" for someone else's house. Could you rig up a bunch of baby gates? It wouldn't look very pretty, but it might serve it's purpose. Just a thought.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

Been there, done that, do the baby gate rigging if you can.

We have the expandable baby "fencing", and use two panels for the rad and five panels for the TV. The TV jobbie is self-contained, and didn't require extra hardware. The rad, however, required creativity: I took twine to attach it to the closet hinge on one side, and some heavy nylon rope and a couple of eye-hook thingies (and a couple of bastardized bowlines) on the other. Keeps N. out of the closet AND away from the rad. If you don't mind two tiny holes in moldings or walls, it works really well; I'll post a pic on my blog.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Crafty Christina said...

I was going to suggest the baby gates as well. When Pi was little, we had an old radiator just like that. The baby gates did the trick.

Oh and when the heat is on, my mom used to put aluminum foil on top of the radiator and dry wet laundry on it. She said if you're going to pay for heat, might as well have it do double duty.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

hmmm...no clue here. We don't have radiators around here.

10:15 PM  
Blogger SiressYorkie said...

Do they really get that hot?

We've had radiators in the last 10 years exclusively, and they never got hot enough to burn...startle, yes, but not burn.

Failing that, yeah, baby gates from a second-hand store, maybe Or putting something in front of the radiator. The rooms in our houses always had badly placed radiators, so we were obliged to put heavy furniture in front. Maybe that would work.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Coco, not as in Chanel :) said...

We do not have radiators this part of the world -- Middle America -- at least my part of Middle America. I like the baby gate idea as long as you can rig it up to where it will not collapse and have him fall into the radiator. I wish you could move.

4:33 AM  
Blogger Poops said...

Fireplace/woodstove stores also sell gates to keep kids away from those as well.

Fireplace screening would work if you could affix it in some way. And I know you could...

6:28 AM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

Don't you have to be careful not to totally block off the rad so the heat can still radiate? It's been years since we had them and I remember them getting hot but not burningly so.

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking baby gates....I think the fireplace gate is a better idea. They are made to stand on their own and you would only have to figure out how to make them stay in front of the rads. Love, Mom

8:10 AM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

houses still have radiators?

i'm not much of a home improvement guru so i can't help you there. but i know what you mean bout the family coldness. my dad/stepmom pitched a fit when they came to visit because i kept my thermostat at 62. and i had turned it up just for them.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Ina said...

Sorry, I got nada on radiators and wires, but how cool you'll have family visiting.

11:11 AM  
Blogger sgeddes said...

I've had the box shops cut wood and it will work.

Have you thought about bartering? Is there anyone you can barter with to make them? It seems like bartering is becoming bigger and bigger maybe you cna advertise on craigslist to see if someone would be interested.

12:07 PM  
OpenID bonne-amie said...

I also think baby gates would be the way to go. My kids grew up in a house with radiators (all with covers) and they liked to nap on top of the radiator. In fact my nearly 23 yo son still likes to lie atop the radiator cover. Radiators are great for setting things on to dry or for proofing bread (if not too hot). And you don't have hot, dry air blowing around.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Meg Weaver said...

Get those free standing baby fence things for in front of the radiators. Alternately, rearrange the furniture to block the access to the radiators and then use your fans to circulate the heat out from behind the furniture. Thirdly, buy Moochie sized fireplace gloves and let him go at it.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

We had radiators in our apartment. The one in the living room Al "built" a cover and then painted it. It was put together quite poorly, but it was good enough for our purposes. The others in the apartment were left alone, and Danny, after touching it once when it was barely warm, learned very quickly not to touch it. Though, if you don't want to chance it (and I wouldn't...I'm SUPER SCARED of DYFS), I'd do baby gates. You could get those off of freecylce/craigslist.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

How about a couple of fireplace screens wired together somehow? and the modem thing...is it the lights that are attractive? cause if that's it, then get a small carboard box, cut a slot in the back for the wires and put ove rthe modem....

Ps. the word verification is giving me fits. here goes try number 6. Or is it 7?

3:24 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Well, I guess I'm one of the whiners, because it seems like here in Ohio we don't really have four distinct seasons anymore. Yes, I'm whining! I miss having a spring and fall that lasted longer than a couple of weeks, like it was when I was a kid. The leaves don't even seem to change color fully before it starts snowing. Sigh...

I wish I could help you with your radiator problem, but I've never lived in a house with them. I'm surprised your cats don't try to lie on or near them, because of the heat. My cat I got when I moved into my first apartment hopped up on my electric stove with the old coil burners, right after my husband finished using the stove, and the burners were still hot. My husband claims the cat flew straight up in the air when he stepped on the burner, but I think he's probably fudging the truth, ha, ha!

That's a shame though that your landlord is so lax about making repairs, especially since you have little kids at home.

6:48 PM  
Blogger DPUTiger said...

I love fall, and my summer sucked serious donkey omelets, so there are exactly ZERO complaints from me about the weather. Good luck with the shower. Hope you came up with something good!

9:55 PM  
Blogger Miss T said...

Could you just put a baby gate around it?

12:15 PM  
Blogger Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

I've had radiators here in middle America, but I've never had kids here or anywhere. I don't know what to tell you, but it doesn't seem like he could get burned emergency room badly, especially because it won't be THAT cold for a while yet.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

FWIW, a colleague of my DH lives in olden days and has a wood stove to heat his house. He says each of his (5) kids has touched it once. After that, they never did again.

Not my idea of a solution, but thought I'd throw it out there.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Good luck! I liked another comment here where the idea was mentioned to use a baby gate. May be the easiest route.

10:01 AM  

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