Friday, June 28, 2013

Hot water part II

Things very seldom go as planned, at least for me.
I replaced the lower thermostat on the hot water tank, waited until the water got hot, took a shower and went to work three hours late.
I forgot me cell phones.
Mrs A was desperately trying to get in touch with me. The upper thermostat had gone haywire. Mind you I did not even touch the upper thermostat. But when I got home there was evidence of a fire, and the plastic shield that covered the thermostat was mostly missing, with drips of plastic and flame and scorch marks going up the side of the tank.
I think it was a message.
So I quickly went down to the Hardware store and bought a similar sizee and design hot water tank. Then I needed all the adapters elbows and pipe to replace the stuff that hooked up the old tank.
The hook-ups for the tank are 3/4". The house line is 1/2". So I had to go back and buy adapters to go from one pipe to the other. And adapters to go from brass pipe to plastic pipe.
When I first started filling up the tank, I forgot to leave a faucet cracked, but it is a good way to test the system for leaks. I heard hissing and was checking the pipes to see where the leak was when
BOOM! Loud hissing.
I hadn't done a very good job of putting pipe goop on one joint and it had blown apart.
Mrs A thought I had been killed or something, ran to the top of the stairs yelling "AL, are you OK???" I was
busy turning off the water, then answered. Scared the heck out of her.
Regooped everything and put it back together.
Ran water, and did not have a good seal on the adapter that goes from brass to plastic pipe. Leaking pretty steadily. Only one way to fix it, and that was to cut the pipe so I could unscrew the fitting and goop it and put it back on. Of course it was too late to go down to the hardware store and get an adapter to glue the two halves of the pipe together, so no shower.
Fill the bathtub part way. Get your largest kettle. fill with water, heat to a boil, add to bathtub.
Mama was not happy.
Hell, I wasn't happy.
Gotta stop on the way home and buy an adapter. Might buy a couple just in case.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hot Water

No, I haven't gotten myself in trouble in any way.
As a matter of fact, the paucity of hot water was the issue.
I went to take my shower before I went to bed last night. standing there naked turn on the hot water tap and wait for the water to warm up. And wait, and wait. No hot water.
Of course the first thing out of my mouth is "Who used up all the hot water?" Since there are only the two of us, I guess that person would have to be Mrs A, who is known to take long showers, and then do laundry. Well, she comes back with the fact that she hasn't taken her shower yet, and is doing a load of laundry IN COLD WATER.
This is not going well.
Head back to the bedroom to get dressed. Go down in the basement and head for the fuse box.
Indeedey the circuit breaker for the water heater is tripped. So I go to reset it.
POOF! sparks and it immediately goes back to the off position.
Not good at all, since this means there is a dead short someplace.
Go ever to the water heater and remove the inspection panels.
Top one looks fine.
Bottom God what is that terrible smell! Why that would be scorched insulation, burnt wiring, melted wire insulation, burnt plastic. That is one of the worst smells there is.
The former thermostat is a melted, burned up piece of crap.
Fortunately the heating element seems intact and the water tank has not been breached. The tank itself appears to be in good shape, but it is night and the hardware stores are closed, so I go ahead and drain the tank and remove the thermostat and check the lower element. The lower element was fine.
So off I go to the hardware store first thing in the morning. Fifteen bucks for a new water heater thermostat. fifteen minutes to tape up the wires where the insulation is burned off. Close my eyes and reset the circuit breaker.
Turn the water to the hot water tank back on and let it fill. Bleed all the air out of the lines.
Wait for the water tank to do it's thing. Take a shower, and off to work.
I ended up three hours late for work. No big, I have about six weeks worth of vacation saved up.
It's always something.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Father's Day

It was not the best Fathers day I have ever had. Not the worst by far, but not the best.
I have been experimenting with BBQ sauce. Most of the stuff on the market is just too sweet for me, both because I don't care for the taste, but also because I am a diabetic so I watch my sugar intake (read carb intake).
I was In Uwajimaya a couple of months ago and I came across some dried tamarind. I has eaten tamarind when I was going with my Min Lao girlfriend before I met the incredible Mrs A, so I was familiar with the taste. I wondered "I would tamarind taste as the base for a BBQ sauce?" The idea intrigued me, so I bought a sizable chunk. A couple of months ago I made the first batch, but it sat in the fridge until BBQ season came around. I tried it, and it was pretty good, but needed something else to zip it up.
Take the dried tamarind, and soak it in warm water. Filter out the seeds and pod pieces, It should end up about the consistency of tomato paste. It tastes kinda citrus/fruity.
Add dried onion, dried garlic, chipolte pepper, a little sugar (very little), some salt. Low sodium soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and some paprika. It comes out a redish brown and is very tasty.
It being Fathers day, I sent Mrs A down to the store to buy some ribs and she fired up the coals. The ribs were great. Between the two of us we devoured a rack of ribs.
So all of that was great. I had some tome to go out and work on the Z, finishing up the carpet and starting to put the console, and put on the seat covers while the seats are out of the car.
L. called and we had a very nice conversation. We don't get to see them as often as I would like, but stay in touch.
As I was getting ready to take my shower and go to bed, N, my son called. It was good to talk to him, we don't stay in all that close of contact, as we are both very busy people. Unfortunately one bit of news was that he and D were getting a divorce. I was not really surprised or shocked, but some disappointed. As it was nothing I had any control over, I just let him know that I still loved him and supported him.
I never heard from R. Maybe that was a good thing. The only thing she has given me for several years is pain. Usually she doesn't call because she is doing things she knows I would disapprove of. But it wouldn't take but a couple of seconds to text me.
Oh well. wothehell, wothehell.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rattlesnake Ridge

Sunday was nice, with hazy sunshine and the temperature around 70 degrees, so we decided to go foe a hike. Neither one of us had ever hiked the Rattlesnake Ridge Trail, so we decided to try it.
I had been to Rattlesnake Lake once before, about 40 years ago, but I had never hiked the trail. It is a couple of miles, all uphill. It is a nice trail, but there were too may people. I guess we should have waited until Monday to go to avoid all the people and dogs.
For me, coming back down was worse than going up. My calves area little sore today. Need to get out and hike more.
By the way, there are not now nor have there ever been any Rattlesnakes at Rattlesnake Lake or Ridge. If there were, Mrs A would never ever ever have gone there. In fact there is a sign there that says there have never been Rattlesnakes there, but they have no idea why it is called Rattlesnake Ridge.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Roof Roof!

Did you hear about the talking dog?
Hey dog, what's on top of a house?
OOPS! I gave away the punch line.
The first quote came in on my request for bids for a roof.
The roof wasn't bad, but man did the other things dd up.
Rebuild the chimney top, 900
Replace the soffets 2800
new gutters and downspouts 1200
Insulation in the Attic 1200.00
And then the roof 5500.
Plus tax.
Hey dog, what's on the outside of a tree?
Hey dog what goes good with cheese?
whine, whine
We'll be here all week