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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Waiting For Godot - I Mean, The Plumber

The series of unfortunate events that has led to the budget overruns I talked about last week continues on this week also. It has been quite hectic dealing with the problems and their aftermath. As I feared in my last update, the breakages continue to happen at home, leaving me in quite a bad mood!

The lastest thing to take a break on me is my water heater. For the past few weeks, my water heater has been acting weird. When I open any hot water faucet in the house, sometimes, no water comes out. No hot water, no cold water, just no water at all. Then after a while I would hear a big clanging noise like that of a big valve suddenly opening up, and the hot water would start coming out.

And when I close the hot water faucet, unless I am very slow and deliberate, I would hear a clunk after the faucet was closed, and I would get no hot water when I opened the faucet again until the big clanging opening of the valve again. This has been bothersome, but we have managed to get the hot water going whenever we wanted it, so I have been postponing having somebody take a look at it. All my online research never revealed any problem like this or a solution to it. It was as if my hot water heater was refusing to release hot water by clamming down on some valve, and opening up the valve required some effort, only for the valve to jam shut again soon after. And part of my hesitation about calling someone to complain about the problem has been that the problem has been so hard to explain to anybody!

But finally, yesterday evening, the valve (wherever it is, and whatever it is supposed to do), clanged shut for seemingly the final time, and will not open up. I have tried every trick I know (including opening the drain valve on the hot water heater) to try and get some water flowing through the water heater, all to no avail. So, I had to call the plumber. And I have been waiting for the plumber ever since. It has been 10 hours since I called the plumber, and I am given excuse after excuse about major emergencies that they are attending to. I am supposed to be the next customer on their list, but no plumber has shown up at my doorstep so far.

I will probably have to get my hot water heater replaced when the plumber does arrive and take a look at the problem. And who knows how much of a blow that will be to my budget? I have to wait and see!

This is on top of the tension caused by the roof job at the house. Instead of leaving well enough alone, I decided to replace the powered vent fan with a solar-powered fan, and that caused all kinds of problems because the technology is new and nobody knows how to use these new devices. I spent a couple of days and evenings reading up about attic vent fans, mostly only adding to my confusion rather than clearing up any. Ultimately, I made the call to go ahead with the replacement, and I sure hope I made the right call.

Because of all these tensions about various things happening in the house, and all the research I have been doing on these various problems, I lost track of my blogging and added almost nothing to my blog since last week. I did publish a post about the attic vent fan conundrum on Wednesday. Then on Friday, the washer and dryer got delivered and installed at home. Since it happened when I was at work, I was a little tense until I got home and tested them to make sure they worked fine. They did, but you can never be sure until you see it with your own eyes. On Saturday, I wrote up a review of the washer for my blog.

I still have not completed my series of posts on my Peru vacation, and it is stuck at day 7 still. I only have a couple of days to go, but it has been difficult to focus on blogging with so much else going on in life. I now also have to write up and publish a review of the dryer I bought.

Yesterday, I sat down and assembled two laptop/writing desks my daughters insisted I buy for them for the new school year. The furniture was from Value City Furniture, and cost me only $100 per desk, but they were quite solidly made. Moreover, the assembly was easier than I expected because large parts of the desk came preassembled. All I had to do was attach the legs to the top of the desk and that was it. But that still took me about an hour and a half per desk.

Then today morning, the handyman working on my yard helped me unhook and dispose of a very old range and over-the-range exhaust fan from my laundry room. It took us about 2 hours to get the whole job done, and the cleanup fo the nook where the range sat for god-knows-how-long took about an hour! I donated blood yesterday, and combined with all this hard work, I was quite beat up today.

I guess I should not complain too much about waiting for the plumber because all I have done during this time has been to walk back and forth thinking about various things. In the meantime, my wife took my kids to the library, then to the swimming pool, then finished grocery shopping and is now picking the kids up from the swimming pool. If the plumber hadn't kept me waiting, I might have had to do all that!

My blog did get visited by one new country this week also, and that was Guyana. That makes it 146 countries from which I have had visitors to my blog!

Will I get anything useful done this coming week or will I be spouting more excuses next week about how I did not have any time to put up more than a couple of posts in my blog? Well, you never know. You will have to come back tomorrow to check on what happens!

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