email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Week In The Life...

Some weeks, problems accumulate...

1.  Naturally, I had to order more cat food just as the snowstorm struck.  2 boxes of 8 trays total, scheduled to arrive Wed and Thurs.  Well, I had the driveway and sidewalk cleared of snow Sunday, but I didn't shovel the front steps.  Figured I would most of it melt and shovel the remainder Tuesday afternoon.  The first box arrived Tuesday morning.  UPS left it at the garage door.  So I pushed the box inside the garage.

I forgot about the box when I decided to drive out for some errands Wed.  Well, you would be surprised at how many cans of cat food an SUV can crush beyond use...  ARGHHH!

2.  The outside unit of the heat pump stopped working.  I'm getting normal heat via electrical induction from the inside unit (like an oven), and I suspect it isn't costing MUCH more than the usual heating (some normal furnaces routinely operate that way).  I have been trying a few things hoping the outside unit will just "start" again.  I shovelled the snow from around the unit where air comes in, scooped out accumulated snow inside the unit, poured hot water over the insides hoping some ice was preventing operation, pulled and re-inserted circuit breakers, etc.  No luck.

But when the block of ice inside the outside unit finally melts and it doesn't start working normally again in a couple of days, I will have to call for repairs.  I didn't call immediately, because I AM getting heat, and I know they take complete failures as emergencies first.  Besides, they always want to just replace the whole unit. 

3.  My automatic garage door openers stopped working.  The overhead door light just blied rapidly.  That probably means something, but I couldn't find the manual.  But it isn't THAT hard to just raise and lower the door manually.

So I checked the power supply, circuit breakers, spring attachments, possible blockages, etc.  No luck.  Finally, I followed the wiring down to the bottom of the garage door track.  Well lookee there!  There is a set of safety lights at each side.  If the light beam between them is blocked, the system shuts off.  One of them had gotten pushed off.  Well, I guess when I ran over the box of cat food, I also pushed it into the light beam device.  Took just a minute to get it clipped back on and aimed properly. 

At least SOMETHING got working again.

4.  I mentioned previously that I had set up a regular birdfeeder on a pole on the deck to feed the non-finch birds sunflower seeds during the snowstorm.  They emptied it today.  The stepladder is still buried under the deck snowdrift, so I figured I would just untie it and set it down flat to refill it, and them put it upright again and retie it.  Brilliant but dumb idea!

The instant I untied the last know holding the pole tight, a strong gust of wind hit.  So there I was holding the bottom of the pole while the heavy top started to fall over.  I couldn't hold it up.  The feeder can crashing down on the deck.  The wooden feeder broke into 4 pieces!  I said a few BAD WORDS.  But what is done is done, and you go on from there.

I took the pieces down to the work bench and set about regluing the pieces (with exterior waterproof wood glue).  It took 12 bar clamps (you can never have too many bar clamps).  The feeder is back together, but it has to set until tomorrow morning.  I started to put out a tray of seeds, but even with a brick in the tray, the wind was slowly pushing it around.  And even if I clamped the tray to the deck rails, the wind would probably just blow the seeds out.  Sadly, the birds will have to wait til I get up in the morning...

5.  The trash company didn't show up for regular pickup today.  I'm leaving it out by the street.  I recycle and compost so much that about the only thing that goes in the trash is used cat litter, styrofoam,  and chicken skin.  And I out the chicken skin IN the litter bags.  So I feel pretty confident that NO scavenger is going to bother MY garbage can!  LOL!

BTW, I drove out today and saw a neighbor's TRASH can knocked over and the contents spilled out.  It was ALL cans and bottles.  All recyclable.  Aw c'mon...  We get free street-side recycle pickup and you don't even have to sort it.  Are they ACTIVELY against recyclying?

6.  This one is a bit long...  My waterbed sprung a leak.  That happens.  I have a repair kit.  I've probably patched it a dozen times (the waterbed mattress is at least 35 years old).  I only noticed when I pulled the sheets up for washing and the edges in one corner were wet.  I pulled up that corner of the waterbed. I thought it was wet cat food at first (because there was some there), and thereby hangs a short tale.

Ayla eats only in the bedroom, and sometimes she decides on some odd places.  That morning she had decided she would eat on the bookcase headboard of the waterbed.  I sure don't argue about it.   It's not like she gets to make a WHOLE lot of decisions in her life, so I give her the ones I can. 

That afternoon, when I pulled the wet sheets up I found her bowl tucked into that corner.  WOW!  I sure didn't think there was THAT much water in canned cat food (and it didn't smell like anycat had peed there).  But the cause and effect seemed clear.  So I cleaned up the spilled cat food, wiped it clean, and stuffed an old towel down to absorb the water.

Well, THAT wasn't the problem.  There was TOO much water the next morning and the towel was soaked.  So I pulled the corner of the waterbed up (which is not easy - water is heavy).  And I found a strange little piece of sharp metal.  I can't identify it, but I assume it took a while for it to slowly wear through the waterbed mattress. 

I can't get a patch to hold in the corner unless I drain the mattress and remove in entirely.  And even that might not work.  So, after all these years, I think I will replace it.  It's OK, they aren't expensive.  $50 to $200 depending on whether you want baffles and lumbar supports etc.  But I'm used to the cheap kind with nothing fancy so I will stick with that.

There COULD have been a better time for this.  All my hoses are outside and too cold to uncoil without maybe causing a break.  But at least the forecast calls for 50F temperatures Sunday, so I can probably get one into the basement undamaged and let it warm up inside.   One of the problems with a waterbed is draining them.  That can take a couple hours.  And then you have to fill the new one.  Filling a waterbed takes about 30 minutes from the outside spigot, and it takes all day for the heater to warm the water. 

Fortunately, my basement laundry tub faucet has a garden hose screw fitting.  But my water heater doesn't hold enough hot water to fill the king size waterbed mattress.  So it will be a balancing act to get the heated and cold tub water mixed right so I can sleep on the new mattress the same night as I empty it.

I'm probably not saying this clearly.  I have to get up in the morning, drain the old mattress, remove it, pull up the old liner (old and worn out) dry the wood frame, set the new liner in place, set in the new mattress, fill it, get the water warm enough, and put the mattress pads and sheets back on.  My recollection from the last time (30 years ago) was that took all day.  So I will be in for a very boring (watching a waterbed mattress fill up is like watching paint dry), but dedicated day...

7.  I had a mouse invasion.  Marley caught 5 mice!  I initially blamed the snow for making mice seek shelter, but it might have actually been my fault.  Last Friday, when the snow began to fall, I brought a few tubs of planting soil into the basement to thaw out so I could plant leftover Spring bulbs in them for forcing by Spring.  There MAY have been mice nesting in them in the leaf litter covering the soil. 

I HOPE he caught them all regardless of how they got inside.  Probably.  There were 4 caught one day, I found a 5th in a bucket the 2nd, and none for 4 days.

Quite a week!

1 comment:

Megan said...

What a week!

1. Bugger. But if YOU were disappointed, just imagine how the cats felt!

2. Bugger.

3. Yaaaaay you.

4. Bugger.

5. Bugger. PS. There's no explaining some people's behaviour.

6. Been there done that. Several times. Our waterbed was only a queen size, but you're right - it takes a long long time to heat up the water. You may need to use something under the sheets, like a sleeping bad rated for cold weather, if you want to sleep on the bed 12-14 hours after filling it. Still ... you've had excellent service from the one liner. My experience is that ours only lasted about 7-10 years each time. PS. The baffles are worth it - go on: treat yourself.

Hope next week is a better one. LOL

Sydney, Australia