29 May 2014

A Less Stressful "Thorsday"...
I'm sure the thunder god is smiling down on us.
(about time, too...)
Been an interesting 24 hours, that's for sure.
In that time, we've had the lawn torn up, a sewer "cleanout" installed, the hole back-filled, along with a visit from NIPSCO and the city inspector...
Oh, and that was just from 0930 - 1640 hrs...rest of the day I was "hurtin' for certain"....and still am achy today.
But, we'll talk about such things in a few...
The Hoosierland weather today might be a carbon-copy of yesterday...temps back into the low to mid-80s and a drop in relative humidity, cooling off nicely by nightfall. Not bad at all. And I can use the respite, believe you me.
Anyway, go top off that morning beverage and let's get into the (seemingly) never-ending SAGA of Home-ownership in the Heartland.
*** First out of the drainage ditch is the answer to yesterday's WHO SAID THAT? quote:
"You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity."
This was attributed to the wonderful philosopher of Grecian antiquity, EPICURUS (341-270 B.C.) and here is his WIKI:
All I will say is give it a read, especially if you're into the absence of pain to derive pleasure and happiness in life (sounds hokey, but makes sense).
There is the "Epicurean Paradox", that flies in the face of Christianity, but does raise the same questions that many Christians DO, and this was long before the advent of true Christianity.
Epicurus is mentioned in the works of Hume and Locke (both notable philosophers, and even Thomas Jefferson cites Epicurus when he (Jefferson) speaks to "inalienable rights" and ALL MEN BEING CREATED EQUAL.
A very intriguing fellow for his time, that's certain.
Meanwhile, back at Winston's septic and sewer sucking service...
*** Roto Rooter showed up around 0920 hrs, and the first man on site was named Tom (former USN - and an official "Shellback" who served on the USS RANGER CV61) - he would be driving the "digger", a fully-TRACKED vehicle with from-end bucket (called a "Mustang").
Now THAT dog will hunt...and looks cool.
John arrived soon afterward and would be doing the sewer pipe install among other things.
The fence was disassembled and rolled aside. Soon,. the crawler rolled into the yard...pretty odd to see such a vehicle in your yard and have a notion to "play" on it.
The dig was going well, until Tom encountered a 3 inch pipe (only) several feet underground, and it was NOT a sewer or drain pipe (uh oh,  that can't be good).
It was a GAS pipe, that looked to be an abandoned line (it was capped off in our basement), but you just don't go and start cutting things like that WITHOUT someone from the utility company stopping by.
A call was made to NIPSCO and it wasn't long before a nice gentleman came out named Dennis, who proceeded to check the line out and confirm is was an abandoned line from decades past.
I wanted to show him the capped pipe in the basement, which turned out to be a MIXED blessing.
He took his "sniffer" with him (device for detecting gas leaks) and it started clicking when he got near the capped pipe. Dennis then started checking the access pipe coming into the house and when he got near a coupling (near the recently installed water line from last week), the sniffer started to scream...we had a LEAK, and not a minuscule one.
Top-center was the scene of the 3.2 leak - all fixed now.
He then went to the other side of the basement where the furnace and water heater are, and when he got to the feed line for the water heater, the sniffer REALLY screamed.
Pegged at about a 3.9 on his scale - 4.0 is considered FLAMMABLE...(yikes!)
The feed pipe, coupling AND the shutoff valve needed to be replaced, and ASAP, too (unless we wanted to unexpectedly wind up in Decatur, Indiana sometime in the future...without having to DRIVE there, if you get my drift).
Something ELSE to get fixed...add it onto the other bill. John from Roto Rooter said he could do that while Tom was digging and cutting the old (fired clay) sewer pipe out.
Roto Rooter signed off on the NIPSCO call and Dennis left. John was amazed at how FAST they came out. Well, the call went in as a leak caused by a pipe that was struck by the "crawler"...not true, no one said that, but hey, whatever was interpreted is what works for me.
Let's make some mud-pies!
Around 1100 hrs. the digging was done, and a nice BIG pile of Heartland "soil" (we call it CLAY) was piled up alongside the 7 1/2 ft "trench".
Nope...no Jimmy Hoffa found HERE, either.
The access pipe assembly has ready to go in, and that went very well.
A 29 inch long section was placed where the old pipe was removed with that 7.5 ft "stack" rising above to ground level.
Gravel was placed at the bottom for bedding and stabilization of the new pipe assembly.
New pipes ready for inspection, SIR!
All that was needed was a city INSPECTOR to arrive on site, sign off and give his "blessing" before the backfilling could commence.
THAT is what rook time. John had to run back to the shop to get the black iron pipe for the gas leak, so Tom and I sat on the trailer and jaw-jacked for a bit while waiting for the city to show up. Tom was on the horn with dispatch every 15 minutes to get a fire lit under the inspector...good dedication.
Finishing the job WAS hinging on his arrival.
Anyway, John comes back, and sets to work on the basement leak and pipe replacements.
John swapped out  that cast pipe and the valve
What is funny about the leaks near the water heater...a few years back, I smelled gas in the basement, did a "bubble-test" on one joint and found it was leaking, so I shut off the line, uncoupled it, wrapped some Teflon tape around the threads and re-coupled the joint together...END OF LEAK (yes, I have done some of this before,...in another one of my several lifetimes), and it was THAT coupling that was NOT leaking...LOL.
(I guess I'm still good in that regard...heh)
By the time John was almost done with the pipes in the basement, the inspector shows up, plays "20 questions" with John and Tom regarding what they did and the specs of the materials, and then he signs off on it, and leaves.
All we have to do now is back-fill, while John goes down to turn the gas back on and relight the pilots for the heater and furnace.
And there's the new access after some back-filling.
Tom hops back into the crawler and uses the bucket to slide the dirt (read clay-balls) back into the hole. I was using a steel rake to even oit the dirt when it was close to the top of the hole, so the dirt would settle more consistently, as it will over the next month or so.
After that was more or less complete (we had dirt left OVER???), Tom backed the crawler out of the yard and onto the trailer again, lashing it down and getting it all squared away.
Then, they went about setting the fence back up.
By now, it was after 1600 hrs, and we did have some dark clouds around, but NO rain.
It took all THREE of us to get the fence back up, as the tension on the chain link was REALLY tight, but it looks as good as it did BEFORE the dig, so we must have got it right.
Doesn't look TOO bad, considering.
Hell, we didn't even loose that much foliage along the fence, and what we did will grow back fast enough in a few weeks.
(I sure do want to be a kid again, and play in that dirt pile, though...)
My mom used to have fits over stuff like that...wondering HOW one child could ever get SO damn dirty in such a short time.
(it's an "acquired trait", mom...LOL)
So, all that was needed after all this was a few "autographs" from ME...a signed check, sure to lighten our "financial burden" a tad, and a couple heartfelt handshakes and thanks to two fellows that made me proud that I used to be a technician, and actually provided me with a greater modicum of HOPE for humanity.
Would it be that more people could be found who are as personable, professional, and just plain good folk.
*** Lastly today...maybe we've just been fortunate enough to have people working on our "Fortress:" who ARE good at not only what they do for a living, but have a good heart to boot.
Maybe it's divine intervention steering the "right" people to US (that is a true blessing), or maybe it's dumb luck.
Whatever the case, both of us DO so appreciate the time and effort put into such matters by such people.
And we feel we ARE getting what we pay for in these instances, and that's not bad either.
With all that behind us now, we should be able to catch our collective breaths around here, hopefully for more than a week, as we've the other issues like the neighborhood itself to concern ourselves with.
One of the BEST teachers ever to be found in life.
There are those times when you CAN relax your guard...other times, you simply cannot.
And, as is always the case, it comes down to the PEOPLE involved.
With GOOD people...ethical people, you can take time to heave that sigh of relief, while the BAD people will provide you with plenty of "keeping you on your toes" time.
Still, you do what needs to be done, in the order it needs doing, and you take people one at a time, just like everything else in life.
To do otherwise negates the main "reason" we have this thing called TIME...
And we have time, simply so all the crap doesn't happen ALL AT ONCE.
Therein lies the lesson for today.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


Slamdunk said...

Quite a fix-it show that you had going on there Bob, and glad the results included little plant damage.

Yikes with the leak, but good to get the fix. I guess you were due some good luck.

And with your hole, forget Jimmy Hoffa, I was hoping for DB Cooper's hidden money stash from America's most famous unsolved skyjacking.

Enjoy your pleasant temps today, Bob.

Bob G. said...

As I get older, it seems just a wee bit "easier" to see those SILVER (plated) linings in all the dark clouds that come one's way...

I had not even THOUGHT about the Cooper money cache...good call.
But I was hoping for maybe some revolutionary or civil war artifacts...
(I'm NOT "Indiana Bob", and there was NO Ark of the Covenant..or even a stinking CRYSTAL SKULL....lol)
The plants came though well enough, too...we take our "victories" where and when we can, no matter how small.

BIG time ditto for the gas leaks.

Thanks for stopping by to comment.
Stay safe out there.

CWMartin said...

See, that's God's way of telling you you have a serious gas leak... He clogs your sewer pipe.

Could someone just get that Deity a cell phone?

Glad it is all okay... you might have landed on River Run trail as easily as Decatur...

ms nk rey said...

Wow very thankful you found the gas leaks that is very scary. Sounds like they showed up on time, did a great job and were decent hard working folk.

Bob G. said...

...And THAT is why HE is on "spiritual speed-dial" from NOW on at THIS "fortress"...!
(I hope He's not on one of those "minutes" plans)

--Didn't occur to me...River Run Trail could be another "point-of-call"...depending on which WAY the wind is blowing...lol.

Hey, thanks for swinging by today and commenting.
(nice job w/ the WW1 gig, too)

Stay safe up there.

Bob G. said...

Yep, regardless of all the trials we seem to go through with our "Fortress" issues, we seem to find the RIGHT people and get the jobs done.
Now, if ONLY we could work on the COSTS of all of them...lol.

Didn't even know about the gas leaks...goes to show you should have such things CHECKED from time to time, I suppose.

Thanks for stopping up today and commenting.
You stay safe down there, dear.