Saturday, July 07, 2007
Seems like if it could go wrong, it did this week! First, it was the critter invasion around the Homestead. It all started with our until-now benign pet woodchuck who suddenly decided to make a buffet line out of our gardens one night. We no longer have a pet woodchuck. Lisa replanted the garden. Next was the discovery that a mouse (hopefully just one!) made its home inside the blower housing of my truck. Apparently my turning on the fan killed the mouse (imagine a really high RPM gerbil wheel and you get the picture). A couple days later my truck smelled like some disgusting combination of urine and decaying flesh. I took apart the blower housing and removed the corpse while wearing surgical gloves and a respirator. I think the only thing worse would be having to do this procedure twice, which is exactly what happen next. Seems the little rodents also shacked up in the venting of Lisa's old car, which has been parked in the garage unused for quite awhile. Yeah, that was a good day. I won't even begin about the bats that were sleeping under the soffits or the hornet nest that I found the hard way under one of the Adirondack chairs in the yard...what, are we living in the WILDERNESS or something!? Fortunately, I had a chance to clean up from all this fun before our water system failed. It started with pressure loss when we were taking showers. Then the water slowly turned black and smelled like sulfur. At this point I realized the pump was running continuously and something was very wrong. Anybody heard of dielectric corrosion? Apparently I skipped chemistry class the day it was presented, because neither had I. It is believed that using dissimilar metals in plumbing connections can in certain cases cause an electrochemical reaction in which one of the components corrodes away. I still don't know if I believe it, but something has caused a section of galvanized pipe to corrode completely in half in the 3 years since I installed the well. We pulled up the pump and its 85 feet of pipe on the 4th of July with the help of my parents. Replaced the corroded part with a new coupling on the 5th and lowered everything back into the well with the help of my brother-in-law. For two days, the water looked like black mud from all the disruption, but it is clearing up finally. Today, I had to take apart and clean out the clogged lines in the water softener and the clothes washer, as they were both completely stopped. But at least I could take a nice shower when the work was done. But all this aside, the GOOD NEWS is that the Building Official has granted the verbal "go-ahead" on building the foundation for the barn!!! After considerable deliberation, I guess I finally convinced him that everything was okay. I don't actually have the golden ticket (a.k.a the building permit) in my possession yet, but we will proceed anyway. Hopefully, things will pick up from here on out.