- Somebody finally wised up and told Bob Villa to get his shinebox and go shine shoes someplace else;
- how to match old cement in bricks.
So anyway, that stuff wears out and it's a real bee-yotch to try to mix up something to repair it that will match the old stuff (unless you dig out a lot of it and re-point your whole house). So when they repaired an old townhouse in Shaw, a gentrifying neighborhood (that put the "hood" in neighborhood), they matched the old cement perfectly. How? They took a sample of the old cement and dipped it in Hydrocloric Acid. The acid disolves the lime, and leaves only the sand. Then you take the sand and find matching sand, add lime and voila, a perfect match.
This episode of This Old House did not suck because it was unlike the other episodes. What makes the other episodes unrealistic and unwatchable is the following:
- I wouldn't trust Bob Villa to shine my shoes (my regular shoes or my ninja climbing shoes), so I don't buy him as the host of a home improvement show;
- the houses on that show are usually in the million dollar plus range and the repairs are usually more than most people pay for an entire house. (I'm sorry, but I don't give a flying fig about renovating the governor's mansion, asshat. I wanna' know how the easiest way to insulate a really old house that had NO insulation whatsoever, so that I don't freeze to death or go broke paying the gas company) who has half a million for a renovation budget???;
- Something about Norm Abrams that I can't put my finger on makes me not like him. He's got that Unabomber thing going on. (I got my eye on you, man, so don't even think about it!);
- they tend to try to keep those places like museums. Who the hell still uses plaster? If you need to repair it, that's one thing, but if it's so bad that you had to remove it, why not just put up sheetrock like a normal person...or a person like me.
I don't think I would use that Hydrocloric Acid trick myself (I don't mind endangering myself by doing electrical work, but something about Acid scares the crap out of me), but I thought I would throw it out there in case somebody finds it helpful.