Three events make a trend, and on that basis our house is falling apart. The build quality on the stuff I'm having to replace is driving me crazy -- it's almost like these things have been built without any consideration for durability or maintenance.
First thing in the trio: the light in a ceiling fan blows out. How hard can it be to replace a bulb, right? Well, I can not get the fixture open. There's a nice, friendly "Open" sticker right on the metal housing with an arrow pointing counterclockwise. I grip and turn. The whole fan unscrews from the ceiling. I try the glass dish. Nothing doing. The stuff's been factory tightened and it's not going to come loose. Worse, I don't know which thing to pry loose -- the metal housing (which has the sticker) or the glass (which is how most light fixtures work). It takes a visit to Lowe's and a chat with my builder before I get the idea of using a rubber mallet to tap the glass fixture open.
Next to go: a part of the fence in our backyard. There's often standing water on the other side of the fence, and it's rotted the post out. A little wind (a wisp by Oklahoma standards) and the fence blows down. Digging it out, I realize that the post has been set in concrete, but there is no gravel or anything to drain the water away. No wonder it rotted out so quickly.
This morning, the wife woke me up, declaiming "no hot water. Do something." "The pilot light must have gone out," I mumbled out of bed. I get to the hot water tank and find that the screws that cover the pilot assembly have been nearly welded to the metal, but I figure that if I hold the propane lighter in just the right angle, I can reach and light the pilot flame. But the pilot flame doesn't stay up. So, I twist and angle the thermocouple out. Not looking forward to angling the whole assembly back in.