Home Plumbing Projects: Save Yourself Time, Aggravation and Money by Calling a Pro

By John Focht

When it comes to figuring out the worst home repair mistake I ever made, the problem isn’t trying to identify one, the problem is narrowing down my list of choices to just one. To steal a line from Frank Sinatra: “Mistakes, I’ve made a few.”

There was the attempt I once made to do some minor re-wiring in the house. By the end of my project, I was left turning my back porch light on with the dimmer in my dining room.

Another time, I had actually convinced myself that I would be able to replace a window frame in my bedroom. Luckily for me, a close friend of mine who is a contractor was able to quickly come to my aid and assist me with the wide, gaping hole I left in my bedroom wall.

Plumbing is like peeling an onion – the more you peel, the more layers you find, and the more it stinks

My all-time biggest home repair project mistake I made though was believing I had the know-how and the tools to do some modest plumbing.

My job was simple: replace the pipes under the bathroom sinks and install new faucets. The prime mistake I made with the project was not doing some upfront homework to be sure I was getting the right size pipes, and to make sure I had the right connecting pieces. “A pipe is a pipe is a pipe,” I thought. What I was left with was a sink with no connection, and a bathroom floor littered with disconnected pipes.

When it came to changing the faucets, let’s just say the instructions in the packet, and the picture of the mom on the front box easily changing the faucets aren’t exactly honest advertising.

Plumbing is definitely a craft not to be taken into lightly. Doing some homework upfront regarding instructions, pipe sizes, and tools is needed. (On the positive side, I was able to understand why they actually call it a plumber’s wrench).

Lessons Learned from Plumbing

Two vital lessons I learned during my brief experience with plumbing: the first is to shut the water valve off on the area you are working. I learned the hard way while changing the shower head the importance of shutting the water valve off.

The second, and probably more important vital lesson: call a professional. At some point you are going to get the feeling that you can conquer all home projects on your list. Well, the lesson I learned was stick to writing and next time call a plumber.

Originally published on Yahoo! Voices June 3, 2014.


Your All Time Classic Summertime Playlist

Your Top Ten Classic Summertime Songs for the Ultimate Summer Party Playlist

Your BBQ or beach party isn’t a party without good music. Be sure to grab a hold of these summertime classics for your summer party playlist

By John Focht

When it comes to classic summer party songs, there are some classic artists and bands who have created some of the ultimate summer anthem tunes of all time. Here’s your list of top 10 classic summer songs.

Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett

You have to start where it all began, with Mr. Summer himself, Jimmy Buffett. Margaritaville is summertime’s version of the nation anthem. Every bar, every party, every summer, Margaritaville lives on.

Jamming – Bob Marley & The Whailers

Let’s be honest, the entire Bob Marley – Legend album should be included in the top ten classic summer songs. There isn’t BBQ, family reunion, or beach party around that isn’t playing Bob Marley’s Legend CD. But let’s just start with the top song on the album: Jamming. Everyone knows it; everyone plays it. Summer simply isn’t summer without Bob Marley and Jamming being played somewhere.

All Summer Long – Kid Rock

Kid Rock released All Summer Long in 2007 and it has been a summer mainstay ever since. Combining a little Sweet Home Alabama and Werewolves of London, with a little of your own summer nostalgia and summer memories, has made All Summer Long a song that rocks every summer playlist.

Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

As far as classic summertime tunes, Summertime from DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince ranks among the top. This 1990 summertime hit sparks up the summer nostalgia like few other summer tunes can.

Summertime – Kenny Chesney

Keeping with the summertime theme, Country star Kenny Chesney struck summer immortality with his 2005 hit Summertime. Chesney’s 2005 album, The Road and the Radio created a few good summer tunes and is highly recommended to go along with any BBQ you host or attend this summer.

It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere – Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson

When it comes to top ten summer songs, Jimmy Buffett’s songs could easily take up the entire top ten list. When Buffett teamed up with Alan Jackson for this number, it was instant summer madness. It not only coined a phrase in American culture, but launched a Happy Hour and summer tune that sets the night and the summer season into motion.

Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters

We are really going old school on this classic, but it is a summer must. The Drifters created summertime immortality with their hit Under the Boardwalk. Not only did it create an everlasting summer hit, but it created a destination for those late-night, or daytime, summer flings to create their lifelong memory!

The Summerwind – Frank Sinatra

It doesn’t matter the style or genre of music you like and you are playing, a summer playlist without Old Blue Eyes and the first song paying tribute to summer has to be a part of it. The Summerwind by Frank Sinatra may be an oldie, but it is without question, a goodie. The Summerwind is the ultimate summertime song because it combines the classic of Sinatra with the enjoyment of summer. If it’s not on your summer playlist, you should add it today.

Summer – War

When it comes to laid back summer songs, Summer by War is one of the most relaxed summertime songs you can find. This 1970’s funk band put together quite a few hits in their day, but they put themselves forever in our summer hearts with their hit, Summer.

Summer in the City – The Lovin’ Spoonful

The Lovin’ Spoonful struck classic summer lore in 1966 with their Summer in the City hit. When you hear the song and listen to the words, you immediately feel the heat of the summer sun. You sense the city coming to life as the chorus echoes “hot time summer in the city.” The Lovin’ Spoonful nailed the essence of summertime classic with Summer in the City.

This article was originally published June 13, 2014 on Yahoo!


Collegeville’s Top Butcher Shops

By John Focht

Looking for a Great Butcher? Look No Further Than the Ones in Your Own Backyard

When it comes to finding quality meats in the Collegeville and surrounding areas, there are quite a few top butcher shops in the region who serve up some of the top meats you will find. Try one of these for your next dinner or party.

Foresta’s Meats

Located in the heart of Phoenixville on West Bridge Street, Foresta’s has been providing the area with top meats since 1934. For the second year in a row, Foresta’s was named a Top Taste at the 2014 Taste of Phoenixville.

At Foresta’s, you will get only finest cuts of beef, pork, and poultry. Foresta’s deals with only the top suppliers in the business including Certified Angus Beef, Alderfer, and Jaindl brands.

Available for catering too, you can easily order luncheon packages, sandwiches, hoagies, hot trays, deli platters and more for your afternoon party or event. Great sandwiches.

West Norriton Farmers Market

Don’t be fooled by the name. At West Norriton Farmers Market in addition to being the area’s leading produce market, you will find some of the finest cuts of meats around.

Terrific cuts of steaks and pork chops, as well as their delicious beef cubes for a beef stew dinner. Also don’t forget to check out the rotisserie chickens as well as their amazing wings, drums, and thighs.

You won’t be disappointed at the West Norriton Farmers Market. Conveniently located at 1930 West Main Street in Norristown, stop in today to find a great dinner for tonight.

Carl Venezia Meats

As proudly boasted on their website, Carl Venezia Meats is a family tradition since 1958. Family owned and operated, they provide you with only quality butcher cut fresh meats.

While you are in their shop, you will need to try their specialties which will simply make your mouth water:

  • Homemade beef patties
  • Italian Style Pork Roast
  • Boneless Hams
  • Sausages

Find an amazing selection of the freshest meats like beef, veal, lamb, pork, and poultry. Try walking out without one of their homemade prepared meals: meatballs, stuffed pork chops, stuffed peppers, breaded chicken cutlets, and many more.

Located in the Plymouth Valley Shopping Center at 1007 Germantown Pike in Plymouth Meeting, it’s a stop you won’t be sorry you made.

Worrell’s Butcher Shop

Travel down Rt.29 into the town on Malvern and you will Worrell’s Butcher Shop . Located at 111 King Street in Malvern, Worrell’s has been providing families with quality meats and dinners since 1966.

Family owned and operated, Worrell’s will never disappoint with their specialty selection of buffalo filet steaks, buffalo burgers, and venison chops. You will also fine prime beef and lamb.

Worrell’s prides themselves on customer service and fresh meats. Stop in and check them out fro yourself.

Article was originally published on the Yahoo! Voices Network.