they must have eaten their Wheaties
Sunday, January 15 2006
Today while Gretchen, Ray, and Nancy were out doing things (including looking at a brand new super-energy-efficient house further up Dug Hill Road), I continued work on my heat exchanger project. By the end of the day I had both the supply and return pipes for the heat exchanger's secondary connected, though the connections were made using inch-diameter union fittings, and (given the restricted space of the installation) I was having trouble cranking them down tight enough to keep them from leaking. It's difficult to understand how an all-metal union connector can hope to create a leak-free seal just by squashing metal against metal without any sort of o-ring or gasket, but these sort of connectors are commonly used even in pipes carrying natural gas. It must be that one of the metals deforms slightly under the pressure of the tightening union nut, flowing like a viscous fluid into whatever tiny scratches are present in the surface of the metal it is mating against.
This evening all four of us went to dinner at Penny & David's house in nearby Marbletown for a dinner of matzo ball soup and veggie pizza. Also present at P&D's was a couple comprised of an impossibly tall woman and an even taller man. Unlike the rest of us, they must have eaten their Wheaties. Everybody there had a good sense of humor and had no problem talking about the sort of troubles one has when, say, cleansing one's anus in the middle of a days-long plague of dysentery.
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