Friday, September 6, 2013

Ok, so it is a toy. But it almost looks like it could plow the back 40, if I had one!

house plumbing

Plumbing is a study in evolution. 
Few things in the building business have changed as much as plumbing. 
This week I added some new red and white plumbing pipe to replace some broken copper lines, from the house being empty last winter when it was quite cold. 
I remember when all fresh water ran in galvanized steel pipe, each piece cut to exact dimension and threaded on site. Drain pipes were all cast iron and were chinked with a thing called “oakum” and then hot led was poured in to seal the joint. 
When I was a kid our pastor built himself a new house and he plumbed the whole drain system in Copper! I looked with awe at those 4” Tees and Weys all in gleaming copper. Copper never caught on for drain. 
Along the way someone invented ABS plastic pipe, and you GLUED the stuff together. No hot lead, no solder, just a can of stinky sticky  black glue. 
Copper replaced galvanized steel pipe for fresh water a long time ago. There were a few steel pipe houses being built when I plumbed my house 37 years ago, but not many. Now copper has given way to a  new system that is another type of plastic, for BOTH hot and cold water. Cast iron was Black, ABS still is black, but this new stuff comes in half a dozen wild colors. 
For no real reason (I am not sure which line is hot and which is cold) I decided on red and white tubing for this project. It just seemed a waste not to use some of that Red pipe! I ran two lengths of pipe/tubing across the top of my cabinets, down the wall, then behind the cabinets to the location of the sink. All in ONE piece of bent tubing/pipe.
To join the new pipe you slip the end into a fitting, slide a copper ring on top of the joint and then with a tool that looks like a fair sized bolt cutter, you crimp the copper ring and there is a joint. It can swivel but it won’t leak. Wow. It is fast and it works.
To make it all even nuttier, there are fittings that are called Shark fittings. Just clean the mud off the end of the pipe and slip the fitting on. That is all. No glue even. I had a plumber agree with me that you can tell by looking that it won’t work, but it does and works very well.
The icing on the pipe is that you can remove  those shark fittings and use them again if you choose.
Amazing stuff
When I think of how things like the simple piping in a house has changed in my lifetime I really feel like an old guy!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Not my mail box! Mine is not quite so interesting!

this old Idaho house

I began building this house in 1976. 
It can be argued that it never was really finished. And that is ok.
It is a small house 1080 square feet in it’s original form. With three daughters still at home (the oldest was off to college and would get married the next year), it had to have two bathrooms, though they are small there are two. One upstairs between the girl’s bedrooms and one downstairs off the master bedroom.
In the front of the house was a 6 by 32 foot area that was designed to be a greenhouse and hopefully to provide some solar heat in the winter. The city thought it was rather dumb idea and did not "charge me for it."
Last year the flood (though I must be careful using that term--floods are generally not covered by home owners insurance!) gutted the building. It was a mass of wet and awful.
A company that specializes in such things came in, pumped the water out, removed and inventoried the contents before thoroughly drying the interior and treating to make sure mold was not a problem later.
I had a licensed electrician make sure the wires and outlets that had been under water were good and then I hired a friend to install the sheetrock. I know how, but I sure did not want to do that job. 
Basically that is how it was when I arrived the 2nd week of July.
More later.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The top picture was taken during an outdoor church. I wasn't paying attention to the sermon, it seems.


This is a new kind of loneliness for me.

We have been apart before, sometimes for a fairly long time (not Viet Nam kind of long time though). But this is the first time I can't call her and talk on the phone.

I woke up from a nap the other day and there she was beside me in the bed. Then I blinked my eyes and she went away.

This sounds a lot more maudlin than it should. Nearly all of the time I am ok, but there are a times here and there.

So, don't feel sorry for me for more than a few seconds. As the father on "Everybody Loves Raymond" would say: "Buck up Nancy."