(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.|
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.
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.|
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!|
|Nope...no Jimmy Hoffa found HERE, either.|
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!|
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|
(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.|
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.|
(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.
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.|
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.
And we have time, simply so all the crap doesn't happen ALL AT ONCE.
Therein lies the lesson for today.
Stay SAFE out there, America.