Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The plumbing post

Last ... well, let's say last fall - water started backing up out of the floor drain every time I did laundry.

I solved it by wearing shoes.

Well, maybe "solved" isn't really the word.

In December, I finally called a plumber, but things didn't fall into place until January.  He came, and realized he needed a bigger cable to snake the pipe, so he had to come back again.

He arrived again near the end of January and snaked the pipe, but it didn't work.  He said that it felt like the pipe narrowed outside of the house and I should call the city.

I didn't.

You see, the city would need access to the main clean-out pipe, and the people who'd owned the house before me put a handy wall in front of the clean-out pipe.  The wall needed to be modified, and I had camp, and then I was away, and then a friend was in town, and I just didn't have time to deal with it.

I continued wearing shoes, as that was a much easier solution.

As I mentioned, I cut a hole in the wall on the weekend, so Monday I called the city. 

They asked if I was going to be home for the next three hours. I said no, and they said I needed to call when I was going to be home for 3 hours - and I could call after hours, because they work then.

Yesterday, I got home from work by 5 and called, and they suggested I call back today because it wasn't an emergency. (It wasn't an emergency on Monday, either.)  She gave me the extension of the right department so I didn't have to call the general line.  I don't blame the woman I talked to yesterday - I was totally fine with calling back, but it would have been nice to get better information the first time.

This morning, I called the extension she gave me at 7:30, because that's when she had told me they opened. They called back at 9:45. On the bright side, they had someone here by noon.

He experimented and determined that the issue wasn't outside of the house - it was inside.

Despite the going in circles, this was good news - digging up a pipe sounds expensive. Before he left, he explained what kind of equipment was needed to fix this - basically, it's a snake with a blade on the end.

(Um, plumbing snake, not a live snake. That would be both scary and ineffective.)

I emailed plumber #1 and he said he didn't have the right equipment. He suggested plumber #2. I called plumber #2. He arrived at 5:45 and left at 6:45.

It's fixed.

I'm totally doing laundry in my socks this weekend.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Getting things done

As much fun as the cruise was, there was one part I didn't enjoy.  The day after we were in Mexico, my sinuses went into overdrive.  The nasty side-effect was that I started coughing. It was a terrible-sounding cough - which is not fun when you're in public places.

Or any other time, really.

I got back and gave it a couple of weeks. It didn't improve.

I googled it, and found out that dairy can make it worse, so I cut out my morning yogurt. That was about 2.5 weeks ago.

Yesterday I started feeling better.  I can breathe normally, and I cough a lot less.

As a result, I got a lot done this weekend.  Nothing too exciting - cut a hole in a wall to get at the plumbing clean out (more on that later), put up some hooks that fell down in ... September, I think? Made buns. Flipped the mattress on my bed (and, coincidentally, found a sock in the pillow case I was taking off the bed and a dishcloth in the sheet I was putting on the bed).

Little things, mostly, that I haven't gotten around to doing in a while.

It was a good weekend.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Is anyone else obsessed with this missing plane?

To recap, on Friday Malaysian air traffic control lost track of a plane.

It's 5 days later, and no one knows where it is or what happened.

Here's what they know:
- There was, at one point, a plane
- It is not in the air right now
- There were no calls of distress between those two situations

Here's what they don't know:
- Where it was last detected
- Whether it crashed over water or land or not at all
- Whether it was intact when it stopped flying
- What country it was nearest when whatever happened happened
- What happened to the people on the plane

Crackpot theories (and a few that might be true):
- the plane randomly turned around and flew in the other direction for a while
- or not
- the plane was on fire
- the plane was hit by a meteorite
- or vaporized into nothing
- or is being held hostage somewhere unspecified
- the Malaysian government is covering up what happened
- the US government captured everything via its satellites, but doesn't want to share it because they'd have to admit what their satellites are capable of
- it might be terrorism
- but probably not

It seems like the world is too big to hide a plane that size, but, of course, it's not. There is a lot of water out there, and a lot of parts of the world aren't heavily populated. (Of course, if you were going to deliberately  hide a plane, I'd suggest a major airport. It would blend right in.)

The odds are that the plane crashed into the ocean, killing everyone on board - which is terrible, of course, but would be easier to accept if there was any sort of physical evidence to back it up.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Thoughts from the grocery store at 9:30 on a Friday night

There are a lot of people here.

And kids. Who brings a three year old to a grocery store at 9:30 at night? Way to ruin your Saturday.

And some of the shelves look like a starving army just went by. Although that wouldn't explain why they're out of vinegar. What would an army do with vinegar? Make little fake volcanos?

Why does the milk case alway smell like spoiled milk? Don't they ever clean it?

If you want your two year old to wear his mitts. You say "it's time to put on your mitts", not "do you want to wear your mitts?" 

So the only checkout is about to close, but the store is open 24 hours? How does that work?

I want bananas, but they're all the way down at the other end. ... I don't need them that badly.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Today is not my niece's birthday

Of course, yesterday wasn't, either.

But even though it's not her real birthday, I thought it was worth taking a look back at the last ten years.

The first time I ever flew with Miss B was when she was coming to visit me in Ottawa. I'd been in Brandon for my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary, and B and her mom came back with me.

Here's a picture from that trip:

The first time she came to Ottawa.

She was 5 months old, and opinionated, and if she didn't approve of what was going on, she'd cry. Interestingly, she'd stop crying if you pointed a camera at her. (Yes, she's the first grandchild.)

"Come on! I can't go swimming by myself!"
The next time she came to visit me was about a year later. She couldn't talk yet, but she could make it very clear that she wanted to go to the beach. (We went to Andrew Haydon park, and when she saw the water, she started pointing and trying to take off her shoes.)

She kept coming to visit me (and Auntie Wanda, who she claims is her favourite), and it's amazing how much she's grown.

And then a couple of weeks ago, I took the second flight I've ever taken with her, and we went to Florida. Well, you've already heard that story.

Happy birthday, B. Welcome to double digits.