Memorial Day weekend

May 25th, 2009

What I wanted to accomplish this weekend: Dig a couple of holes in the front yard, plant a couple of bushes, change the irrigation line setup to fit.

What I actually accomplished this weekend: Dug one hole...which suddenly started filling with water. Grabbed a wrench and ran out to the shutoff valve. Crushed some slugs, cursed, and managed to get the valve closed. Dug out the muddy clay to discover two PVC water lines, one on top of the other, one of which had a hole from the pickaxe. Dug a bit more to find a third pipe, directly underneath the second, with a smaller hole. Dug out some more to discover a fourth pipe, about two or three inches to one side of the three stacked pipes.

Spent some time trying to figure out how to fix two pipes that were touching each other (and touching the third, undamaged pipe). Used a dremel to cut the holed pipe sections away (no room for the PVC cutting tool). Built some repair joints (coupling-pipe-coupling). Discovered that the jar of PVC cement had solidified into a rubbery mass. Realized that I couldn't fit the new pieces in without being able to bend the existing sections of pipe...which I couldn't. Unless I dug out another few feet on each side. Tried to find solutions that didn't involve digging out a few more cubic feet of solid clay.

Dug hole for second bush while waiting for inspiration to strike.

Decided that I needed to visit the hardware store for more glue and an assortment of 3/4" couplings. On the way, realized that using 90-degree elbows would let me connect the various sections in a way that wouldn't require any pipe bending.

Came home, set it up, turned on the water (removing part of a knuckle in the process)...and discovered a very small leak.

Next day: Dug out half a foot on either side, and a few inches below the lowest pipe. Another trip to the hardware store for compression joints, extra 3/4" PVC pipe, and a tool to turn off the main water valve. (I usually won't spend $14.27 for a tool that's used for one thing, and only occasionally at that, but it's worth it to be able to shut off the water quickly, easily, and without finishing the task covered in crushed slugs and nursing bleeding knuckles.)

Did some more testing, and discovered that I had two leaks. One leaked all the time (on the main water line to the sprinklers), and the other leaked only when the sprinklers were on. Decided to leave the second one alone. Decision vetoed by wife.

Cut out both "square jog" sections (bend-pipe-bend-pipe-bend-pipe-bend), twisting the blade of my trusty, long-serving mini-hacksaw in the process. Built a drop-in section of pipe+coupling, and slid a compression repair joint on it. Got the first one in, and the deeper hole finally let me get enough leverage to be able to tighten down the ends of the joint (I tried this on the first day, and just couldn't get it to work).

Built the second drop-in section so that the fat compression joints would mesh with each other. Forgot that I would still have to screw down one end cap all the way to achieve this. With my wife's help, managed to lever the other two pipes far enough away to be able to tighten the end caps, with only a few crushed fingers. Turned the water on. Tested the sprinklers. Put tools away. Took shower, scrubbed off as much clay as possible. Decided it was time to collapse into a motionless heap.

Decision vetoed by children.

And another thing

May 22nd, 2009

In the grim darkness of a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland ruled by evil robots bent on the destruction of humanity...all of the humans have excellent dental hygiene. Their teeth are straight, unchipped, and blindingly white. I guess they ran out of toothpaste, and had to start brushing with bleach.

Movie review: Additional comments

May 21st, 2009

Seriously: A 10-story tall robot (which, by the way, looked like it escaped from Transformers) somehow snuck up on them?

What, does it sneak around in Ninja Mode before transforming to Loud Clanky Earthrumble Battle Mode?

(Ok, maybe it was only 5 stories tall, but the damn thing was huge.)

Movie review

May 21st, 2009

If you ever think, "I'd like to see a movie that consists mainly of chase scenes, and really noisy action scenes, and lots and lots of explosions, but I want it with bad acting, characters I don't care about, and a plot that makes no sense, and may not even exist (but if it does, is dependent on the characters doing absurdly stupid things)," then I heartily recommend that you see Terminator Salvation.

Technically, not belated

May 20th, 2009

Bloody hell, this has been a busy week. More refinancing fun, more amusingly irrelevant job offers, and a few positive things, too.

No resolution about my current job, though, and there likely won't be until June 1.

However, I realized that I completely neglected to wish Oso a happy birthday. (Mostly because I didn't realize that it was this late in May already; not a good excuse, I admit.)

So: Happy Birthday, Oso!