all three cars deployed
Sunday, August 30 2020
We'd had a power outage last night that was still happening this morning (for us and over 120 other households, according to Central Hudson), but then the power came on just as Gretchen was leaving for work. It was only up for about an hour before it winked off again just seconds after I'd begun microwaving a cube of leftover lasagna, which I was then forced to eat cold.
I'd arranged to perform a landlording chore early this afternoon, and as I drove the old Subaru to the bottom of Dug Hill Road, I came upon a phalanx of motorcyclists held up by an obstruction. A dead tree had fallen across the power lines and was now hung up in the thick phone cable. There was possibly-live electrical wire and debris in the road, and even those bad-ass bikers were too chickenshit to drive across it. This almost certainly accounted for the ongoing power outage.
Despite concerns, one of the more intrepid bikers were using dry sticks to poke enough debris out of the way to get through. Once the bikers all gingerly made their way through, I followed behind, safely encased in the steel shell of the Subaru.
I drove to the Wall Street house, where the new tenant hadn't been using the half bathroom due to a leak that manifested with every flush. I'd assumed the leak was happening where the toilet interfaced with the plumbing, but no, it turned out the problem was where the tank dumped into the lower half. The tank was attached to that lower part via three screws, something I'd had to deal with nearly six years ago when I'd installed that toilet (it's an old model from an architectural salvage place). Back then, I'd apparently had to install an additional rubber gasket, and over the years the whole thing had loosened up and the gaskets worked their way askew. The solution was just to take the tank off and rebuild the connection.
The tenant had passive-aggressively complained about the front door, whose antique latching mechanism has always been broken. So I then turned to that and managed to stuff a bunch of 12-gauge copper wire into a hole that was now too large and chewed-out to hold a screw. With that copper in place, I could then insert a screw to hold flat an escutcheon plate, making the door latch correctly once more. The last thing I did while there was to rip out about 20 feet of decorative fence, which was rotted-out and fallen over. I put it all on the roof of the Subaru and tied it down.
I made another trip out to Home Depot on the long way home to get some more nipples for the tub faucets, which I wanted to electroplate with zinc. I also wanted to try installing five-inch versions instead of the existing six-inch ones (thereby limiting possible vulnerability to leverage stress). I also bought a kickstand doorstop for the front door, which had been repeatedly slammed shut by the wind. (We'd had a cold front last night, leaving us with clear blue skies and temperatures more like October than August.)
While I was out, Powerful also went on a drive in the Prius, putting all three of our cars simultaneously in operation for the first time since we'd bought the Nissan Leaf. Our vision had been to have a car for each of us, and now that vision had been realized.
Back at the house, the power was back on, so I quickly electroplated one of the five-inch nipples and then installed the fancy electroplated faucet (as the cold faucet).
When Gretchen got back from work, she cobbled together a meal of leftovers (including pad thai and that weird bean & olive dish Powerful had made a week or so ago). Later I took a bath, using a great new rechargeable reading lamp to overcome conditions that were otherwise unfavorable for reading non-screen text. (Gretchen had used that lamp last night during the power outage and had thought it was amazing.)
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