Our kitchen range (that would be "stove" for people who don't live in woodburning land) got old and we had to put it out to pasture. In it's place there is a shiny convection-oven five-burner thingy. There was some obligatory grumbling due to the gas inlet location but after a bit of impassioned male grunting I got it installed. Now we can bake bacon in about 1/2 the time. That's hot.
Our house is well past voting age and there is a pipe that runs about 60 feet from the garage to where the main drain plumbing assembly is back near the bathrooms. This 2" pipe ends at about 18" up and takes a turn down and enters the rest of the drain. I know the rest of you with an engineering background are starting to think about slope and flow rate... Let me assure you that there is too little of both for anything more than plain water. Any wee scraps of food or lint from the washer turn to cement in the line and it stops draining. It likes to do this every couple of months.
Usually these backups happen when we have guests, or when it's late at night, or cold, or whenever it's most inconvenient. Being as handy as I am, I have always resolved the issue myself. Let me assure you (once again) gentle readers that this is uniformly a Very Icky(TM) process with the junk that comes out of the pipe. It does not lift ones soul.
So this last time, after making a horrible smelly mess for two hours and not resolving the problem, I called in a professional. Actually I called two of them. The first one to come and unclog the drain (which was done rapidly and without a mess for well under a C note), and the second to give me an estimate on replacing the 63 year old pipe that doesn't slope enough with a slick new one that is pitched more. We'll hear on Monday or so how much they'll want for that. Don't tell them in advance that I'm pretty much gonna pay whatever they want.
On the way back from buying the stove, Sharon and I saw a fellow dressed in a white suit, with white shoes, carrying a white briefcase, wearing five-foot long angel wings - feathers and everything - just walking down the sidewalk in Belmont as if he was on the way to the drugstore or something. We asked each other if we had really seen that, then wondered if it was worth turning around for to take a picture. It almost was.