Fixing stuff, once again: Bike and sink drain 

Had to fix my bike and the sink in the bathroom today.

I used to just walk into a store and explain what I need in vague terms and wild pantomime to a guy until he went "Ah, yeah what you need is called Röhrensiphon, here's ten different models", proceeded to reveal their pros and cons and gave DIY mounting advice.

As opposed to that, trying to type "thing which connects sink to wall" into a hardware store's online search mask is a significant challenge for me. Hence my motivation to write down the correct technical terms. Since I also keep forgetting the measurements, here goes.

Bike tire measurements for my mountain bike: 26x1.75, i.e. 26" diameter by 1.75" width, which translates into ETRO 47x559, meaning 47mm width by 559mm diameter.
(Imperial and metric standard phrases switch up whether diameter or width come first. Ugh. At least it's all written on the tire itself.)

Don't forget to mount in the correct direction, it'll say ROTATION or DRIVE with an arrow symbol. Also don't lose track of any shims (ring washers) that might drop onto the floor during disassembly.

Sink drainage (Röhrensiphon): The important measurements are diameter in inch for the plunger connector(?) which plugs into the sink itself, and diameter in cm for the end which plugs into the wall (needs a different kind of large seal called Muffendichtung). 1.25" and 1.5" seem the only common measurements sold, but they're written as 1 1/2" and 1 1/4" respectively. Outlet diameter for bathroom sinks is either 30cm or 32cm, with 32cm the most common.

For the bathroom sink, I need 1 1/4" by 32cm. While you're at it, also swap out the gaskets (rubber seals) for new ones since rubber tends to get porous.

See also Nate Steiner's neat post on house maintenance - he's an XXIIVV webring participant as well.


Spring Cleaning 

Stuff I did these past weeks, in no particular order:

  • Organized all loose items into drawers and baskets
  • Planted some basil (results pending)
  • Installed new ball-bearing rails on cabinet
  • Built new shelf
  • Fixed a few creaky shelves and tightened pretty much all the screws around the flat
  • Cleaned out kitchen, put pans and cooking utensils on hangers
  • Re-organized my work materials, desk
  • Got new lamps with proper luminance (1500+ lm) & a nicely swiveling desk lamp, installed dimmers
  • Cleaned out the balcony
  • Cleaned out the basement
  • Installed OpenWRT on my router
  • Set up a repeater I had laying around
  • Set up printer for network printing and scanning instead of fumbling with USB cables
  • Decorated living room
  • All in all, sorted out half a metric ton of clutter
  • Re-purposed old wooden plates into wine rack
  • Found a beautiful marble plate that had been tragically misused to elevate a shelf, cleaned it with acetone, used as pedestal for decor items
  • De-iced the freezer
  • Prepared my law books with tabs and markers
  • Went running and lifted weights
  • Learned interior design concepts
  • Learned to pick locks
  • Changed my mobile phone provider
  • Set up more secure authentication for online services and moved off SMS 2FA
  • Installed clothes rails and put more of my clothes on coat hangers
  • Re-arranged bedroom
  • Sorted out used seldomly used clothes and gave them away
  • Baked a great many trays of cookies and sent them to family and friends
  • Disassembled several cupboards and tables I was no longer using

Very cathartic.

While going through all my old stuff, I also realized I:

  • Haven't danced Tango in years
  • Don't do even remotely as much martial arts as I used to
  • Don't care about computers much any more
  • Have dumped a frightening amount of math- and engineering-related knowledge from my brain. How did I ever understand any of these things?
  • Am getting very homely here as opposed to my chaotic years of moving and traveling

There I thought I was just going full Mr. Home Improvement, but ended up realizing a things few about myself.

I still miss my friends. About time this whole situation blows over.


Climbing knots 

Posting this mainly so I don't forget myself. In German, because that's the way I learnt it.


  • Ankerstich, Prussig, Doppelter Prussig
  • Mastwurf
  • Halbmastwurf
  • Halfmastwurf mit Sicherungsschlag -> "Halbmastwurf is never alone!"
  • Achter
  • Sackstich (Hausfrauenknoten)


  • Use eight-knot for securing to lap belt
  • Use Halbmastwurf for belaying when securing a climber, keep end of rope (upwards?)
  • Must be clipped in at the top with two counter-facing carabiners when rappelling
  • When climbing along a rope course, have your two carabiners always clipped into opposite directions


  • Have ready: Two carabiners at the ends of your "tentacles"
  • Eighter metal piece for rappelling
  • Prussig, at the back
  • Using upper body strap, not lower


  • Connect two ropes by weaving an eighter from both sides, it's the most practical that way

See also: VDiff climbing