Irresponsible Hardwaring

Man, did I make some progress on the Honey-Do list this weekend! I started by regaining control of the yard. While this is not on the official list, it is a given, if you know what I mean. Not only did I bring the gangly green back into proper submission, I did so without the usual telling peaks and valleys that normally accompany my hurried hack jobs. It was a cool Saturday and I rather enjoyed my stroll around the yard… again… and again…

Back in the house, I looked over the list and spotted the most precious of items on a Honey-Do list; those that require a trip to the hardware store. It was just a simple 1/2″ elbow joint. Little more than a plastic doohickey that directs the plumbing around a 90° turn. I had need of one to replace the one that I, um, well… er, broke. OK, I can see that look in your eyes. You’re going to make me explain that one, huh?

You see, I have found the best way to water a plant is to stick the thing in the sink and with the hose/squirter thingy, shower the plant thoroughly. That was my intention. For some reason, on this occasion, the hose only came out of its seat about maybe 70% of what I thought it should. Certainly a little tug would coax it out the remaining distance.

Within moments I was under the sink grabbing for the shutoff valve. I grabbed the valve and turned. At this point the 90° elbow I mentioned above gave loose and the valve I was turning dangled freely and unencumbered by plumbing continuity. There I was, completely unable to turn off the water. The water that was now spewing full force onto the kitchen floor. I blink and I am on my neighbor’s porch knocking on their door. They answer and I ask to use the special wrench they have to turn off the public water at the curb. We go out to their shed. Did I mention the spewing water? With the wrench finally in hand I shut off the water to the house. I gather some towels and begin to sop…

With the excitement of the 90° elbow that couldn’t even take the most gentle of tugs a mere memory, I found myself in the hardware store wondering up and down the isles looking over things that I can’t imagine anyone ever needing and pausing at the things that I am amazed that I have done without for this long. I look down through the signs at the ends of the isles — isle 8: Electrical, isle 9: Plumbing. Wait a second; Electrical right next to Plumbing… how irresponsible is that?

I shake my head and make my way down the plumbing isle and consider my options. Yes, when in the market for a 1/2″ 90° elbow, there are options. Actually, some pretty cool options. The latest technology in plumbing joinery is a system where a pipe can be simply slipped into a joint snuggly and without glue or solder — without leak. Sweet! The joints come with a plastic ring that, if needed, can be pressured up against the joint to release the seal and thus the joint itself. Now, how cool is that? Almost $20 later I make my way from checkout to the car. Hey, I needed the tool that makes a precise, clean cut on the pipe prior to connection, right? I wouldn’t want this to be some amateur slack job.


My drive to work is about 30 to 35 minutes and typically uneventful. This morning, as I slapped the left turn signal on for my final turn before entering the company parking lot, I realized I could not recall my drive to work. It was one of those surreal sensations that make me wonder how infact I arrived alive… I am also wondering what effect it may have had on my fuel mileage.

The Plague

I have occassionally shared the odd bit of information and goings-on in the life of Samuel Pepys as shared in his diary. As of late, daily life in London is very much effected by the latest news regarding the plague. Pepys reports on some numbers and projects a certain gloomy outlook:

Thus this month ends with great sadness upon the publick, through the greatness of the plague every where through the kingdom almost. Every day sadder and sadder news of its encrease. In the City died this week 7,496 and of them 6,102 of the plague. But it is feared that the true number of the dead, this week is near 10,000; partly from the poor that cannot be taken notice of, through the greatness of the number, and partly from the Quakers and others that will not have any bell ring for them.