Monday, January 21, 2008

A Charmed Life

I think I live a charmed life. I offer these recent experiences as proof.

Snow melt during the day has made the road soft and tires squish out deep muddy ruts. Before the sun rises, while the air is cold and the road is frozen, is the best time to haul water. Before leaving for work one morning I got a load well before the sun had touched the eastern horizon and pulled up beside the cistern. On top of the cistern I keep a two inch hose that is 12 feet long coiled in a large circle with the outlet inserted into the inlet end to protect it from dust, insects, and rodents. I hooked the hose to the tank and began to straighten it to insert it into the cistern. The cold made it stiff and resistant. I needed only a little more length and cautiously put more pressure on the outside of the curve. A sudden loud brittle crack and four equal pieces lay on the ground. I couldn’t risk leaving the water in the tank to freeze and thought I might be able to get it in the cistern if I could back in close and splice about six feet of hose with the only coupling I had. Three tries and I had the taillights within two inches of the tank and less than a foot of hose inserted into the tank. I didn’t have to dump the load on the ground.

On Thursday morning I woke up at 5 AM and the house felt cold. The house was 54 degrees (the greenhouse was 61!) and the outside air temperature was minus 8. The furnace was humming but not igniting. I checked the pilot lights on the kitchen range and confirmed my initial suspicion – no propane. I assumed the pressure regulator was frozen. Julie has a small heating pad about 12 by 24 inches. I wrapped the regulator and connected it to an electrical outlet. Within 30 minutes I had the range heating the kitchen and had set about lighting the pilots on the furnace and water heater.

We have a four day weekend (Friday through Monday) so we decided to take the popup (aka folding tent trailer) to Lake Mead National Recreation Area to escape the cold and do some hiking. We were nearing Ashfork, Arizona when I heard a noise that caused me to look in the mirror. The right side of the trailer was lower than normal, a blowout. A simple tire change turned into a problem. I couldn’t get the bolts loose. I took a piece of pipe and put it over the ratchet handle and couldn’t break them loose. Holding the wrench in place I asked Julie to stand on the end of the pipe and the bolt appeared to turn. When she removed her foot a strange feel like a spring contracting told me something was wrong. I noticed cracks on two sides of the socket. There was no hope of changing the tire. Fortunately we were within one half mile of the Ashfork exiT and a garage was at the exit. Fifteen minutes and five dollars later we were on our way again.

Yes, I think I live a charmed life.


Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

Any one of those scenarios would have taken ME three times as long to resolve, IF I resolved them at all, because for some reason it takes me forever to reason my way through things, but also because I never seem to have all those widgets and thingamajigs necessary to solve the problem close at hand, forcing me into a time-consuming loop of fetching things and returning to the task at hand only to have to go back and get more stuff........sigh

1/21/2008 01:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok Paul explain it again.
We will start with "What is snow?"

1/21/2008 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

Paul, do you lead a charmed life or are you a Master Problem Solver? Charms help, but you gotta have the skills.

(Note to Steve - Screw you, mate!)

1/21/2008 09:15:00 PM  

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