Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
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   driver's test in Hudson
Friday, August 28 2020
Gretchen took a shower in the new upstairs bathtub this morning, and as she did so, I monitored the bottom of the tub for leaks through the hole in the ceiling below it. Last evening, I'd further tightened the brass tub drain hardware to stop a slow leak coming from there, and I was hopeful I'd fixed the last of the leaks. I'd seen a few drops appearing far from the drain hardware that I'd assumed were the result of condensation, because otherwise there would have to be leaks in the fiberglass material of the tub itself. Gretchen showering with hot water would therefore be a good test.
To my dismay, I saw that those water drops forming far from the drain hardware were definitely still there even with hot water going down the drain. Not only that, but they were actually dripping repeatedly. One of these was dripping at a rate of about once every couple seconds. That's a substantial rate! It also meant that the tub itself leaked. Normally what one would do in a situation like this is send the damn thing back to the manufacturer. But that would require removing tile and ripping it loose. There was no way I was going to do this if I could fix it in place. So, after first recording video of the leak (as a means of obtaining some sort of partial refund), I made plans to apply some sort of substance to the leaks to make them stop.
It appeared that the only leaking was coming from a chamber in the floor of the tub that surrounds the drain hardware. This chamber is connected to a channel in the wall of the tub coming from the overflow drain near the top of the tub. It is supposed to empty water from the the overflow into rectangular holes in the side of the drain hardware. Of course, water can go both ways through those holes, and in this case water going down the drain was backing up and overflowing into that chamber. And that chamber apparently had manufacturing defects because, as I could see, it was leaking. The pressure of the leaking water would never be particularly high, which meant I could probably patch the leaks from downstream (the outside of the tub). Normally in a situation like this, one would want to patch the leaks from upstream, so that the pressure of the leaking water would press the patching material into the defective tub material. But that would require removing the tub hardware yet again and then trying to poke patching material through a narrow slot and onto the walls of the chamber without being able to see what I was doing. It seemed far easier to just slather on some sort of material on the bottom of the tub and hope that it would hold.
At noon, I drove to Herzog's hoping to find JB Weld "Water Weld" epoxy. But they didn't have any, which sent me to Home Depot. I know I'm supposed to be boycotting them, but they'e the nearest of the big box hardware stores. And they had Water Weld. I also bought a pair of half-inch-to-half-inch brass nipples of different lengths, because I was tired of waiting for the one I'd ordered to arrive and I wanted to install the other shower head.

The leaking tub today.

I was able to quickly apply a generous layer of JB Weld Water Weld overall the leaking sites on the bottom of the tub. Initially I had a little problem with adhesion, particularly at spots where water might've still been present. But after the epoxy cured, I tested the tub and all those leaks seemed to have been stopped.

Meanwhile Alex was in the office having a rough time reconciling the numbers on a few of my tax imports. It turned out that in one of my calculations, I'd subtracted a fee instead of adding it, and when I corrected that, everything was perfect.

Meanwhile Gretchen and Powerful had driven to Hudson so Powerful could take his behind-the-wheel driving test (at this stage of the pandemic, these weren't yet available at the Ulster County DMV). Happily, Powerful easily passed his test, getting a perfect 30/30. He also impressed the test-giver, who told him horror stories of all the incompetent young drivers he'd had to grade. In keeping with Gretchen's down-to-wire way of doing things, the Nissan Leaf only had ten miles of battery charge when the test began, though that proved sufficient. While the car charged at a charging station, Gretchen and Powerful went to eat some celebratory pizza. Originally Gretchen had wanted to go to Baba Louie's. But they were closed, so they went to a grossly inferior place instead.
After Gretchen and Powerful returned home, they collaborated in the kitchen to make a vegan lasagna. Gretchen's old poetry protégé Natalie would be coming over to celebrate Powerful's obtaining of his driver's license, since she'd given him hours of instruction while Gretchen and I were in the Adirondacks earlier this month.
Natalie joined us for our socially-distanced lasagna dinner (with vinho verde) out on the east deck, and then later the three of them went to go see The Shape of Water at Hasbrouck House in Stone Ridge.

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