Saturday, February 05, 2005

Now You Tell Me, Pussy Cat

PipesSeveral weeks back we discovered that the drain running from our kitchen sink was no longer living up to its name. After exhausting the normal homeowner remedies we called a plumber. He had no more luck with the drain than had we until he crawled underneath the house. He found the stoppage was the least of our problems. The cast iron pipe was also lying on the ground, completely rusted through and broken. Until it plugged, water from the sink and dishwasher had been leaking underneath the house “for many years” creating a small lake.

A few hundred dollars later (ouch) the drain was repaired and things are better now.

About that same time I noticed my car wanting to drift left while going down the road. "An alignment problem," I thought. With a trip this weekend to Blacksburg to hear Doc Watson at the Lyric, I wanted to get that fixed. While I was at it my car needed her regularly scheduled maintenance. As it had been a couple of years and many miles since she had seen a dealer's service rack, I scheduled a trip to Charlotte on Thursday. After I added a few other items that needed attention, the mechanic and service manager added a few others, a broken motor mount for example. What started out as a simple wheel alignment took two days of labor and about 2K$. Ouch!

Still, I have no complaints. Olympia has carried us safely almost 180,000 miles, with few unpleasant surprises. The service staff at the two dealers I have used have been very professional. And I mean that in a nice way. Driving back from Charlotte Olympia ran smoothly and straight down the highway. Things are better now.

A couple of days ago I noticed the smell of fuel oil inside our house when the furnace was running. As it seemed to be getting worse we called a heating and AC mechanic. Yesterday after crawling back from underneath the house his first words were, “ Do you have a backup source of heat?” After I told him we had none he suggested we would need something for a while because he had just disabled the furnace. It was not safe to operate, he said. Besides the flue being stopped up, “collapsed” was his description, the heat exchanger seemed to be leaking. These conditions would account for the smell – and probably carbon monoxide – inside the house. Given the age of the furnace – about 30 years old he estimated – and the location – sitting on the ground all that time – he suggested we probably would need a new furnace even after the flue is repaired. OUCH!

It is 59 degrees inside the house as I write this, and dropping. My fingers are cold. It will probably be a few weeks until we have resolved all the associated issues and we have a functioning heating system again. Things are not better now.

While driving back last night from a failed attempt to locate any space heaters at Lowe’s or Wal-Mart (?#@**^%!?!!!!), a black cat ran across the road in front of my car. I started to laugh. “Too late,” I snorted, “Too fucking late.”

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Malindi says:

Mom says you have to laugh, or else you'll go crazy. And she's been put to the test with Buzz and all. So maybe that black cat did you a favor. . . and you did it a service by not taking your perfectly-aligned Olympia and swerving in it's general direction!!!!

PS> You can have all the change in my piggy jar (which turned into a drained half-gallon Absolute Vodka bottle sometime in my collegiate days). Either way, it's yours if you want/need it.

Anonymous said...

Such language! I don't think my mother (Sue) or your mother would approve.

No seriously, sorry things are rather crappy right now. Hope you're able to handle it with a laugh as Malindi suggests. Take care.

-Adam

Bibb said...

I'm sure any language you might be referring to is so foreign to my dear mother and sweet sister that the words would fly right by, little noticed. Now my daughter on the other hand would scarcely notice them for a completely different reason.

Until that black cat ran in front of the car I had no interest in posting about these recent events. The cat became the catalyst. (rimshot) It was at that moment when humor struck and I realized that laughter was more appropriate than being…….annoyed.

Blogger tells me I have posted 1,753 words since I started. The number of “bad” words I have used probably totals less than five. Not exactly “South Park.” As I posted in “Voice” last month, I will “store up this special vocabulary for when the time comes.” The time came.

Remember Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message?” I guess neither of you remember 1982 too clearly. “Don’t push me ‘cause I’m close to the edge.” That’s the persona I am trying to develop here, a bit edgy, close to that edge. “What’s that boy going to write next?”

Remember, here on the internet I could even be a Dog.

Did any of those previous paragraphs have anything in common?

Anonymous said...

I looked and looked for a common thread between those paragraphs, but could not find one - well, except for the fact there was no questionable or colorful language used.

Did I win??

Take care

Adam

Bibb said...

Sure!

What game was that again?

Malindi said...

now wait a minute. here i am offering you my piggy jar and you allude to the fact that i'm a seasoned curser! i fucking resent that!

(like i was gonna pass that up)

Bibb said...

That's my Gal!