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The Loop

Happy Labor Day. Projects. Mesa Falls.


Dave

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Not much running going on over here. I've decided this knee thing is tendonitis. Of course I'm no doctor, but I've seen this before. I suspect that my efforts to keep the mileage up after I tweaked the quad last month led to me favoring the left leg and putting more stress on the right. This knee actually has a tendinosis (longer term injury) from an old basketball injury. In the past, more mileage has been good for it, but not this time I guess. Did a test run a week ago and failed. Jogged about a half mile and it was nasty. So nothing since, and it's finally feeling better. I'll probably give it the rest of this week before trying again. Maybe Saturday.

So, what to do when one isn't running in the world of covid-19. Puzzles, TV, sudoku, landscaping and home projects.

Last year when we had new siding installed we noticed that our south facing wall had a pronounced outward bow to it. Our newest next door neighbor (not the psychos who think Tempo the invisible wonder dog poops on their lawn) happens to work for the local bricklayers union. He gave us a couple of contacts and we had one of them do so work while we were in Idaho. The wall, both chimneys and the porch all needed repair. He did awesome. Here are the before and afters.

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With those done, I had to do something with the landscaping by the wall. There use to be four big arbor vitae, but they were old and nasty as well (no before pic), so I didn't lose any sleep when the brick guy asked if we could take them down so he could work build his scaffolding for the wall work. Still need to find some green but happy with how this turned out.IMG_0560.thumb.jpg.601dd6ee20287d9ce880d17212dc076d.jpg148723980_DWS2020090204.thumb.jpg.dd1703f95fbf8163fd3281f0cffab4b0.jpg

Don't know if I mentioned the box I made for the peonies on the north side of the house. Had tons of partial pickets from when T-Rex and I built the fence, so I set up a mini fence with them to rein in the unruly mass that always seemed to look sickly as soon as the bulbs came on in the spring. I used to just tie it up with string, but have felt that was sort of trashy looking. This is better, as soon as I can get the grass to grow back around it.

Yesterday, after I put out the flag for the holiday, I took on my next project, which was replacing the water spigot in the back yard. I had intended to just repair it, since it has been leaking for some time. There are two washers inside that like all rubber seals deteriorate over time. Frustratingly, at Home Depot there were no replacement washers, and no replacement valves, either. I sort of expected the latter, since everything is throwaway now, but I did think I'd be able to find washers. Being stubborn, I left HD and drove to one of the local ACE hardware stores. Surely the little guy would have them. Didn't find out because they were closed, even though the store hours sign said they should be open, including on Labor Day. So I drove to another one a couple of miles away, where I discovered that they only had the complete spigot replacement just like HD.

So, I figured for the $10 they wanted, I could buy a new one, then steal the valve from it and use it to replace my old leaky one. Except when I got home I discovered that my old valve was not the same size. They make them smaller now. Old houses. This is when I realized my next challenge, which was that instead of having the spigot screw onto the end of the water pipe, it was soldered because that's how they did it back in the day. The new plan included, two and a half feet of copper pipe and an elbow connector. And some cutting. And some soldering. I've done all sorts of work, but soldering water pipes isn't one of them, although I've seen it done many times. But, since I had all day and an ace in the hole (which I'll talk about in a minute), I thought it was as good a time as any to try my hand at it.

The cutting was easy, despite having limited space to work in between two floor joists in the basement. I soldered the new spigot to it's pipe extension at the workbench, and that went well. Then I made what turned out to be a rookie mistake and soldered the elbow into the existing pipe, thinking that I'd then insert the extension and solder that afterwards. The space and lighting weren't ideal, but I thought I'd gotten it done OK. But when I turned on the water, there was a tiny pinpoint of water spraying out from that last joint. Spent the next 4 hours trying to get that fixed. Finally, I gave up and used my ace. Bob was my ace. He's one of those older (older than me) guys who, like my dad, really knows his way around repairs of all kinds. Fortunately, he had no plans for the day and was over in 20 minutes. And that's just about how long it took him to undo my error and put it all together with no leaks. Turns out that heating the elbow once and then trying to heat it again is not a good strategy. reheating makes it much harder to get the soldering to take the second time.

Here's the old spigot with it's soldered extension, the double 90 that takes water from the main to the outside, and the new spigot installed.

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I'm a little disappointed with Amazon for not giving us the entire season 2 of The Boys, which is my current guilty pleasure. It's so violent as to be nearly disgusting, but like a train wreck, I can't not watch.

I'll leave you with some pics from the hike Mrs. Dave and I took for our anniversary to Mesa Falls. This place is just outside Yellowstone and is pretty spectacular.

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I did all that for an outside faucet once, the exact same things - drive around looking for parts, go online, no parts, buy a new one which doesn't fit, and have the exciting new adventure of soldering plumbing. No Bob to fix my leaks though ;-(

sorry about the knee.. my bad L knee I thought had scarred over from the meniscus tear but it too is back again like a bad penny.. swam until the outside pools closed this weekend, now it's the bike, at least once the snow stops.

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