The Joys Of Homeownership: Part 3

No shit there I was…

For no reason whatsoever the basement was entirely flooded. Actually scratch that; the only people who think things happen for no reason whatsoever are socialists explaining economics and hippies dismissing engineering. There was a reason; the reason was because life sucks.

I also have to comment about the handyman/carpenter who was there at the time. The dude is a goddamn hero! But what really stands out is that I had brought him to my house for very small simple project and when we descended the cellar stairs I discovered Armageddon and he didn’t even crack a smile. Think about that. He took a job expecting to make a couple hundred bucks but suddenly it turned into big money and he don’t even smile. That kind of sparing my feelings is priceless. (Actually it has a price. I cut the check a few days later but I’m still thankful.)

The details are pretty boring but I reflect on the immediacy of that moment. Once there’s water in the basement it’s all about getting the job done and nothing about planning. Schedules were cancelled. All of life went on hold. It’s all practical. No theoretical. Here’s a hint, I’d vote for damn near any politician who could actually fix my basement on their own but a politician is all talk and no balls so they can’t even try. That’s what you need to know when thinking about politics. As for me, I cut the power, swore, made peace with a big expense, and got to work on what would consume every waking moment for a few days.

What surprised me most was that my basement isn’t very good at keeping water out but for some reason it was really good at keeping it in. Go figure.

As a certified survivalist nutcase, tinfoil hat wearing, redneck Curmudgeon I have plenty of tools and supplies to handle most “unexpected” events but this one got a little chaotic. For example, we needed a pump to clear my fledgling Batman style swimming pool. I happen to have a sump pump but it has its own history.

The saga of the sump pump: when I was dumb enough to buy this house I knew the septic system was shit. (See what I did there?) We muddled through as best we could for a few years but finally there came a moment when it simply couldn’t move enough water to do its job. I was broke. Unlike most Americans I still adhere to the simple value of not buying shit you can’t pay for (try it sometime… it’s interesting). Instead of putting a whole septic system on debt I built a graywater system to limp by for a while. I cut into one of the septic lines in the basement, which only took water from the kitchen, the dishwasher, and washing machine. I added a valve and an S trap such that when I opened the valve graywater would go into a large plastic container. I stuffed a cheap sump pump into the container and then ran flexible hose out into the yard. Shockingly, it worked incredibly well! I opened the valve and thereby intercepted half or more of the graywater going into our septic system, the pump did it’s job flawlessly, and the grass was greener, and the septic tank could handle the reduced load of the bad stuff. I put off the septic tank job for several uneasy months. Later, when the septic was rebuilt properly (or what passes for proper given the monkeys I hired to do it), I closed that valve and forgot all about it.

So we needed a sump pump pronto and Curmudgeon that I am I had to fish around in a gnarly recycled plastic bucket that’s had standing water since Obama’s first election. The sump pump emerged with… Ick. Yeah that’s the word; ick. And when we plugged it in the ick stuck and the pump did nothing but make a squealing sound like it was going to die. Lesson learned, when you build an auxiliary graywater system it behooves you to properly decommission it.

The handyman, who is a goddamn hero, took the pump to my garage and started hitting it with various objects. This fixed it. Meanwhile I managed the hose which I’d cleverly heaped in a big slimy pile in a crawlspace. I routed it from my Batman basement to the lawn.

With the two of us working together it didn’t take too long for him to repair the pump and me to string the hose. Since the power was down we strung an extension cord from the garage. I engaged the pump because if someone is going to get electrocuted it might as well be me. The pump sprang to life, charged the line, and three different fittings exploded. Lesson learned, cheesy hose clamps from an old redneck hack job might be loose. Twenty minutes later we had tightened all that could be tightened and tried again. The clamps held and the hose sprung a leak. Lesson learned, crappy old flexible hose that has been sitting for several years in a crawlspace might not be pristine. We duct taped a pinhole leak, then another pinhole leak, then four more pinhole leaks, until I was out of duct tape and I had to use up the real stuff (gorilla tape). Several more leaks and we had it done.

That’s when the fittings that hooked the hose to the pump failed.

This was the first of several runs to the hardware store. Setbacks like this continued most of the afternoon. In the end we pumped out most of the basement with a sump pump, and another inch with a tiny bilge pump I happen to have. I think I swore enough to make some of the water evaporate.

Did I mention of the power was still off? I could not turn it on until I found the original leak and fixed it.

But you’ve heard enough of my stupid saga for one day. More, including the jackhammer, will be in my next post.

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Political Conventions Are Hilarious

During a series of chaotic home maintenance “events” I dropped off the grid. (Don’t worry I’ll tell you all about my adventures in home maintenance later.) I happened to drop off the grid at an opportune moment. It went like this:

Last week:

“We here at America’s Pravda are bringing you the news report for the future scene of what we expect to be a Class VII Shitpocalpse. After carefully considering all of our biases, we have decided that the Republican convention is almost certainly going to bring about the end of life as we know it. Reliable reports (that we made up) indicate the Donald Trump is not only the Antichrist but that he is going to rape a monkey on stage. We fully expect that the entire city of Cleveland will be burned to the ground. We recommend to our listeners that you shelter in place and pray for the lost souls of the everyone in Cleveland who will be certainly killed by Trump’s hair.”

This week:

“Despite the fact that virtually nothing exciting happened last week we are still making shit up. Now we’re concerned that Hillary Clinton’s coronation may be mildly disrupted by the unexpected discovery that Hillary Clinton plays just as fair as the doped up Russian Olympic team.

We’re aware that everyone with a pulse knew the Democratic Party was going to pull out all the stops to get Hillary elected (like the 450 superdelegates wasn’t a big enough hint?). But we had no idea that those unemployable “Feel The Bern” commie dipshits would figure it out too! Who can blame us? Who could possibly have imagined that Hillary Clinton would be associated with unpleasant leaked emails? I mean the first 30,000 e-mail leak was merely clear evidence of felonious mishandling of classified material. All we had to do was twist the FBI into a pretzel to get out of that. Now there’s another 13,000 e-mails from a different scandal? No rest for the wicked eh? We had no idea that people other than Hillary could get hacked. We use Apple products so we thought we were immune! Besides nobody in our industry studied science so we think computers run on magic.

Also, we’re surprised to find out that hippies and Commies can read. Who knew? We haven’t found a way to blame this on Trump or his hair but were pretty sure that we can blame it on the NRA or guns. So it’s all cool.

Incidentally hippie socialists who really like to protest stuff, when gathered in a place and informed en masse that they’ve been fucked, have a tendency to protest. What’s up with that?”

What a difference a week has made. I’m starting to enjoy the decline.

Also if I’m locked in my truck forced to listen to America’s Pravda at least it’s on the one day they ‘re hoisted upon their very own petard.


Update:

I just heard the newest idea they floated and it’s epic. The new theory is that these emails were leaked by Russia because Vladimir Putin is somehow enthralled with Trump’s hair. That’s pretty classic. I’m not saying that Russia didn’t do the leak but what I am saying is that if they’re worried about this level of Russian “blackmail” they ‘aint seen nothin’ yet. Hillary can’t make a week without committing malfeasance and if she gets elected it’s going to be 24/7 scandal until the wikileaks server melts.

There’s a solution to public revelations like this. Don’t lie, cheat, and steal. Then you don’t have new scandals every few weeks. I’m pretty sure I figured that out when I was six.

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The Joys Of Homeownership: Part 2

OK so here’s what happened in the last few days; Turkey had a coup attempt and my plumbing mutinied. Shockingly, only one of those events made the news. Details will follow about the more important of those two events when I get my feet back under me.

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The Joys Of Homeownership

Today was a special day. It was the kind of holiday homeowners truly appreciate. It was the day that I got a handyman to come to my house! This is better than Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny at the same time.

I had selected a couple very simple projects, things that could get done and show obvious improvement in my losing war against entropy. Low hanging fruit. Nothing big like remodeling a kitchen! I’m not ready for that war yet. It was just a simple little electrical project.

The guy was perfectly happy just assuming I would kill the power. I operate under the assumption that I might be a dumbass and I don’t want anybody dead on my watch. So I carefully led him down to the electrical panel so that he could switch the circuits himself and know for sure. That’s how I think; so I assume that’s how anyone else would think.

It went like this:

“Okay the main panel box is down here. All you have to do is…… AAAUUUGGGHHHHHH There’s half a foot of water down here! And I can hear water spraying out of somewhere! Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit!”

That’s how fate can turn your world around on a dime. I reached over the water and killed the main circuit panel before he stepped into the water and got fried. Then I splashed around until I found the leaking pipe and… No good! When I moved into this house there were no off valves anywhere. I installed several valves and every one has been worth its weight in gold. But I never put a valve between the wellhead and the pressure tank. The wellhead had built up pretty decent pressure and, even though I had killed the pump’s power, there was nothing I could do but watch more water spray until the pressure receded. Not that it mattered, once the place is several inches deep a few more gallons is irrelevant.

Of course my rubber boots leaked. I should’ve taken better care of them. Plus it was raining cats and dogs outside while I got tools from the garage.

What a fun afternoon: waving around a flashlight in a gloomy basement, water still spewing all over the place, barefoot and ankle deep in cold water, shit floating past your feet, is that a dead mouse, will the 50# bag of rock salt turn into a giant crystal, why don’t I live in a condo…

In for a dime, in for a dollar. Go big or go home. Tomorrow I bring out the jackhammer.

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Suburban Versus Rural

Living in the middle of nowhere is a pain in the ass. My driveway cycles between muddy, rutted, and snowbound. My lawn goes feral every spring. Pipes freeze, trees fall, skunks must be chased away (or killed), I spent a fortune on a septic tank, my mailbox rarely evades the snowplow, etc…

Then I remember life in the suburbs. Living in the middle of nowhere, even if I freeze to death in a blizzard, is better than the constrained and emasculating hell of the suburbs. Nobody else says such things so I figure I’m just Curmudgeonly.

But here’s a post that comports with my experiences; Rural – Where Less Can Be More. It includes this: “At the farm, I can see the Milky Way rise and set in all its glory every night that is clear. I can see stars that do not exist in the city.” That sums it up nicely. My homestead is a mess but I’ve got stars. Just about every night I spend a few minutes “checking out” the sky, ostensibly to look for northern lights but mostly because it’s beautiful. (Same article linked at Suburb vs Rural: Let’s Compare and Contrast and hat tip to Maggies Farm.)

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Henri Le Chat Noir

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Good Book: Hallow Mass

I recently read Hallow Mass. It was fabulous.

Imagine if a bunch of egghead social justice warriors bumped into the Cthtulhu cult and (as is their won’t) embraced diversity all the way until the end. Plenty of humor and lots of SJW blood. It’s not Shakespeare but it’s perfect summer reading.

Hat tip to Liberty’s Torch for pointing me in the right direction.

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