MORE Water Problems!

I guess it’s one of those, “Be careful what you wish for” things, right?  Woke up at 9 o’clock this morning per alarm, went to the bathroom per SOP, and the toilet tank wasn’t refilling.  Turned on the tap and got the barest trickle of water.  Called the apartment manager.  It appeared the city had turned off the water because they were working on the water main and said they would “probably” have the water back on by 5 p.m.

So, I did what any normal person would do.  I went back to sleep.   (This might have had something to do with the fact that I’d made the mistake of starting a book at 10 o’clock at night again, it was good, and I wasn’t paying attention to the time and finished reading the book at 5 a.m.).  Slept all day, as a matter of fact.  Woke up briefly in the afternoon because the cellphone under my pillow was playing a funny tune. (The battery had run completely down, which was strange because it was fully charged on Monday.)  And the water was still off.  Put the charger on my cellphone and went back to sleep.  Woke up again at 6:40 p.m.  The water was still off.  Too late now to call the apartment manager (she goes home at 5:30 p.m.) to find out what the deal was.

They’ve been having trouble with the swimming pool (such as it is), which is over behind the office, and there’s been a big open ditch next to the office with tape around it, which probably has something to do with the swimming pool, but the problem with the water main is a city problem, and I’m not sure the two are related.  Of course, you can’t get anybody at the city after “normal business hours” either so there’s no way I can find out what’s going on until tomorrow morning.

I’ve got drinking water.  I’ve got a half gallon bottle of water I keep in my fridge, and I’ve got some water still in the reverse osmosis tank under my sink.  But I’ve got no toilet flushing water.  If I’d known ahead of time they were going to shut the water off, I could have filled up my bathtub and filled the toilet tanks as necessary with a bucket of water from the bathtub.  Sigh.

Also, when I took my cell phone off the charger, it said “Emergency Calls Only.”  I called Consumer Cellular — my bill is not due until Saturday, so I knew it wasn’t that.  I had a full charge, so I knew it wasn’t the battery.  So, I called Consumer Cellular on my land line to see what the deal was.  We tried turning the phone off and back on.  No joy.  I got transferred to tech support, and got a very pleasant and helpful tech lady. We tried taking the battery out and putting it back in.  No joy.  I was able to copy my phone book to the SIM card, which I wasn’t sure I had done, so when we did a hard reboot of the phone I didn’t lose my phone book. That solved the problem. I did learn that I shouldn’t be keeping my cellphone under my pillow, which the tech lady said you should not do because this does not allow heat to dissipate and, as we all should know, heat is a microelectronics killer.  This might have been part of my problem this time.  At least the phone still works, so I don’t have to get a new phone.  I’ll have to start keeping it someplace else I can reach from my bed, like maybe in my night stand drawer.

So, as of 8 o’clock at night, I’ve solved exactly half of the issues I had when I woke up.  I’ve used one toilet twice and one toilet once.  I suppose I could go to Walmart and buy a bunch of 1-gallon bottles of water — at a buck a bottle.  At least I could flush my toilets before the smell becomes overpowering.   And depending upon how long this waterless issue drags on, I could take the empties over to my mom’s and fill them up from her hose(pipe) again . . .  Today is payday, and I can get to my money after midnight, I need to shop groceries anyway, and Walmart is open 24/7 . . . .

Also, under the general category of annoyances and aggravations, I’ve gone through three weather widgets in as many weeks.  My Yahoo weather widget quit working (they’ve evidently stopped the webpage it was drawing its weather from) and then I found a desktop weather gadget I like which worked initially, then quit working.  Now I’ve got a Weather Bug, which I don’t like (for one thing, it stays on my task bar not my desktop and you have to do stuff to it to be able to read it, and it’s big and busy when you open it up to see the weather), but which works.  I’ve also got an Accuweather gadget which shows the temperature range, a general weather icon and the current temperature (which is 91 F/37.2 C at nearly 9 o’clock, BTW), but which you have to click on to see the 5-day forecast.  The Yahoo widget, which I really liked, showed you the 5-day forecast, as well as the current conditions, at a glance.  There are all sorts of gadgets out there, but they’re either for android devices, iDevices or Windows 8 or 10 (which don’t work on Windows 7, of course).  AAARGH!

Update:  As of 9 pm, I now have water.  They didn’t get it turned back on until after 8 o’clock.  I had to call the maintenance emergency number to find out about it.

Engage Nepal

Doing a little signal boosting for a worthy cause, aid to the people of Nepal who are still suffering the after-effects from the devastating earthquakes that happened there over a year ago.  The artist G. C. Myers, a personal favorite, has gotten involved with the Soarway Foundation which was formed this past year by former US Ambassador to Nepal Scott DeLisi and his wife, Leija. Their goal is to raise awareness and funds that will get quickly into the hands of people and organizations that can have an immediate impact in Nepal.

soarway-poster-smNot only has he allowed the use of one of his paintings as a poster (Signed prints of which can be obtained for a $25 donation), but he has also  has donated this lovely painting to be awarded as part of the fund-raising campaign.  Do go investigate this by clicking here, not only for the charitable effort, but as an opportunity to help thwart human trafficking in this desperately poor country.


Argles, Signal Boosting and Life Happening

I’m still slowly recovering from the out-of-the-blue leak. The world is still not all back together, though, and I’m debating about going on a cleaning bender and having it all to do again in three months when they put in the new windows. . . the thought makes me tired.  I’m about to decide I’m not going to bother because the major disruption that will be having new windows installed, all in one day no less, is going to be such a big, fat, major disruption, what with having to moving furniture and all, that the major cleaning can wait until all the furniture has to be moved anyway

This has been a very watery apartment: Root infested sewer lines that make toilet overflow, stuck float valve in the toilet of the apartment above that soaked both bathrooms and nearly soaked both bedrooms, and now this random act of the universe that put a leak in a pipe inside a wall and flooded the floors.

Signal boosting this comic.  There are still radio stations, of course, but it makes me think interesting things about somebody with a server full of music and an internet connection and internet radio. . .

We went on our trip and the trip part of it was good.  They were mostly people my mom knew, and there was the usual disconnect between the middle of the road 4/4 white bread drumbeat they marched to, and the world beat I’ve been dancing to a long time.  It was also a little like herding cats.  I went along for the ride and it was interesting.

We sat on the runway for an hour in Dallas because of a big lump of bad weather between us and Georgia and planes being routed around it and the need for maintaining flight intervals, but we finally got there.

Guess what?  The coast is HUMID!  Savannah was having the kind of weather where the air is too warm, too humid, and too motionless.  We rode trolleys and saw places where history happened, and there was that familiar surreality of trying to imagine what it must have been like to live in all those historic houses when they weren’t historic yet, or museums.

The steroid burst helped my mom’s leg, but she still did the stair-step two-step.  I always went up behind her as much for safety’s sake, as I did because it gave me a chance to rest between stair steps.  Needless to say, we here in the flatlands are not used to the kind of of humidity they have out there — when we get 50% humidity here, we’re smothering.  It was around 80% to 90% out there, and Savannah, particularly, was a like steam bath. Both Savannah and Charleston are not only on the coast but next to rivers.

I’ve got to make some decisions before I do my post on the trip, though.  I’m about to use up my free picture storage allotment on WordPress, so I’ve got to curtail my blog in some way in order to avoid having to pay for extra storage space. I think what I’ll do is make an archive blog in WordPress and move all the Blogger posts to it, and then delete them from this blog.

The Thursday after we got back, I was sitting at the computer, and all of a sudden, I had no internet. I reached for the phone to call Suddenlink, and had no dial tone.  I went to turn the TV on and had no cable.  I called Suddenlink on my cellphone and they could not find anything wrong at their end, so they sent a technician out bright and early Friday morning.  He went out to where the cable comes into the building, pootled about and discovered that I had been disconnected by mistake.  Turns out there was a disconnect notice for apartment 7, but whoever came out to do it disconnected mine by mistake.  It appears my cable connection was labeled with smeary ink, and whoever it was misread my “1” as a “7.”  My cable connection has now been relabeled.  I was remarkably civil about the whole thing, however, as no water was involved.

While we were on our trip, on the Sunday morning when we went out to Tybee Island, one of the ladies on the tour wore a square printed cotton scarf that had woven tape edge trim and tassels on each corner.  She folded it in half diagonally with the point in front, and crossed the ends behind her neck and dangled them to the front.  I liked the scarf and liked the look and immediately decided to work out how to knit a square scarf from the center out that could be worn in a similar fashion.

2016_05_20-02On my first attempt, I decided to knit a stockinette square 9 stitches x 9 rows, where you would pick up stitches down the side, across the bottom and up the other side for a total of 36 stitches (9 stitches on a side x 4 sides), and then continue knitting from there.  This part worked exactly how I thought it would.

Now, in order to knit a square from the center outward and have it lie flat, you must increase by 8 stitches every two rows.  Usually this works out to doing the increases all on the same row (two stitches at each corner) alternating with a row that has no increases.  However, if you do that, you’ve got to keep track of the rows.  My first attempt (above left) increased one stitch at every corner on every row.  It was an interesting effect, and will become Spinning Squares Scarf when I publish the pattern, but it was not the look I was shooting for.

IMG_0001On my second attempt (at right), I took the tack of beginning with a 4-stitch x 4 row square, and increasing 8 stitches (two at each corner) on a knit row, and then doing K1, p1, on the next row as a way of differentiating the rows so it would be obvious what row I was on.  This produced an interesting pebbly effect.  I tried to find out what this stitch is called but have not found anything that is an exact match.  I think it’s a variant of moss stitch, but the pattern is complicated by the fact that you’ve done a kfb at the beginning and end of each quarter on the knit row, and that shifts things on the k1, p1 row.

IMG_0005Whatever the stitch is called, I liked the effect, though, and I wrote a shawl pattern and a headscarf pattern based on it.  I’ve called them “Cobblestone Pie.”* I’ve been working on the head scarf for two days now and I have knitted 20 inches of the 22-inch width of the scarf.  I’m making the scarf on a set of US10 (6.0 mm) straight knitting needles.  I have several pairs of “long 10’s” as it happens, and just now, I noticed that the pair I’m using consists of a green needle and a blue needle.  Oddly enough, I have another pair just like them.


There is an A. A. Milne poem in one of the Pooh books called “Cottleston Pie.”  I chose the name “Cobblestone Pie” as a backhand allusion to the poem.

Herding Turtles Through the Water

Note: I didn’t post this until after we got back so as not to advertise the fact that I was gone on vacation.

It’s 11:00 o’clock Monday evening, 25 April.  We’re supposed to go on our trip to Savannah, GA, Friday morning, 29 April.  I’ve got to get the house cleaned up, buy groceries, pay bills, do a couple loads of clothes, pack, and get Jaks loaded up and to the pet hotel Thursday evening, and hie me to mom’s house, where I will spend the night, as we have to be at the airport at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning.  I’m in the “office” working on the computer, Jaks has begged at the arm of the chair several times, which usually means one or the other of his bowls is empty or the poop box needs to be sorted.

I get up to go see what he wants, and as I go into the hallway, there’s a big puddle of water on the floor.  The little throw rug by the poop box is soaked.  Surely, he hasn’t knocked over his water bowl, I think, but no, there’s too much water! The other throw rug is soaked.  I check the full bath.  The bath mats are soaked.  I dash into my bedroom to check the half bath.  The bath mats in there are soaked and the carpet in the entryway to my bedroom squishes.  I dash upstairs.  No, my upstairs neighbors assure me.  No water is on up in their apartment.  I leave a frantic message for the maintenance man and start bailing.

There’s water all in the hall closet where the poop box and one vacuum cleaner live.  I’ve got to move it into the “office” along with Jaks’ food and water and Jaks and shut him up in the office.  I’ve got to take the plywood box the poop box lives on top of out of the closet, get the extension cord (!) that powers the poop box and the vacuum cleaner up out of the water on the floor and start sponge mopping up the water.  I load dripping throw rugs and bath mats into the mop bucket and dump them in the washing machine.

2016_04_26-01Here comes the maintenance man and the apartment manager (who for some inexplicable reason is wearing a tiara with her tee shirt and blue jeans).  I can hear water running in the wall between the two bathrooms and so can they.  The maintenance man cuts a hole in the sheetrock of the wall of the half bath above the toilet, can hear the water but can’t see it.  He cuts another hole partway through the wall of the hall closet.  The sheetrock is soaked.  Then I have to move furniture out of the half bath so he can cut another hole at floor level 2016_04_26-02and voilà!  And it’s a gusher.  There’s a leak in a pipe right where it comes up through the concrete slab of the foundation.  So then they have to go turn the water off (to the whole building!).  In the meantime, I’m sponge-mopping up water hand over fist. Finally, they get the water off, and are able to stop up the leak.  Finally, I get ahead of the water puddling in the hallway.

The carpet guy comes and vacuums up as much water as he can get up out of the carpet and pad.  I’ve got this whacking great fan drying the carpet in my bedroom and closet, which I had to turn off so I could snatch a few hours of sleep.  My half bath is a mess.  I’ve got the door closed to keep Jaks out of the mess, which is not helping things to dry out. 2016_04_26-04 2016_04_26-05

I’ve not heard from the maintenance guy or the apartment manager yet this morning, so, do I start the washer when my water might need to be cut off at any moment?  I’ve got wet throw rugs that need to be washed.  I’ve got bathmats that need to be washed.  I’ve got two loads of clothes that need to be washed.  I need to vacuum and dust and clean bathrooms.  When I called just now (10:00 o’clock), the apartment manager didn’t answered her phone.

It’s a sure bet I won’t be going to knitting group tonight.

The leak was fixed last night.  (Nice of them to tell me — not!) The maintenance guy came back from where ever he was with a pair of fans.  I didn’t sleep well with my door open and the courtyard lights coming in from the “office” window down the hallway.  I barricaded the half bath doorway because the plug in the half bath (see above) that the fans are plugged into doesn’t work unless the lights are on, and there’s no point in having the fan on with the door closed, and Jaks doesn’t need to be ferreting around in the hole in the wall by the toilet or walking around on the floor.

I got four loads of wash done – two loads of throw rugs and bath mats — they’re hanging on the wooden drying rack I’ve got set up in the living room — and two loads of clothes and sheets.  While I was waiting for the washer and dryer to do their thing, I read and took it easy.  Never mind a good house clean.  I’ll do that when I get back once the dust has settled from the sheetrock repair. About 8 o’clock last night, I took my bath and washed my hair, and had clean sheets to sleep in.  I closed my bedroom door and only had the fan in the hallway going, and got a good night’s sleep. After I took my meds this morning, I went back to sleep and slept til noon.  I was just exhausted.

I’m giving the floors a good vacuum, folding up the last of the clean clothes and generally putting things away and/or sorting them out.  I’ve got everything in the half bath put away or taken out in readiness for them to come fix the sheetrock whenever they do that.  I’ve got to get all that out in the hall so I can vacuum the bedroom, then put it in order ready to put back in the bathroom. I’ve got to get my suitcase down from the closet and I’ll start laying out what I’m going to take on the trip. I pretty much have in my mind what I want to take.  My Social Security money is in the bank, but I can’t use any of it until after midnight, which is when I’ll go get groceries.  I’ve got things to buy for the trip, too, like mosquito repellent and hair barrettes. (It bothers my mom when my hair falls in my eyes.)

I got the money order for my rent and have turned that in. I’ve got all but two of my bills paid, but one I haven’t gotten yet, and one is not due until after I get back. I’ve gotten a 32 GB card for my camera (that should be plenty of room!).  I’ve got trash to take out, the pet fountain to disassemble and wash. I’ve finished packing me and I’m about to pack up the fat(cat)boy. All that will be left then will be to put my suitcase and the fat(cat)boy in the car and and bustle him off to the pet hotel.  Then I’ll land at mom’s.

There are supposed to be thunderstorms in Dallas tomorrow. Hope that doesn’t screw up our flights. It’s also supposed to be raining in Savannah over the weekend and Monday. I have packed a nylon jacket and an umbrella.