Entries to Win Afghan

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Fix-it Day at Work (Sort of)

We had a repairman with us at work all day. First he got the front station on the inserter working, which has been non-functional for two weeks. No picture of that.

Next he replaced this belt that was really torn up. It's just spread out on the floor here, to measure for the new piece, but you can see it was completely split up the middle.

split conveyor belt

It's part of the belt system that carries papers up the wall. Here's where it came off of. It goes around those exposed rollers.

conveyor belt

He was going to also replace the belt that carries papers from my station out the window, but that didn't happen for some reason.

He was also going to hook up our new to us (refurbished) stacker.

newspaper stacker

Guess again. Now we have to have an electrician come before that can be accomplished, and we have a large inanimate object to work around for another unknown length of time.

The strapper didn't heal itself in my absence either, so we have to do the little dance with the strap reel for who knows how long. That's making my hip ache. We've looked at the manual and on line, and can't even actually figure out what part is causing the problem. Clearly not the part that's listed in the troubleshooting guide. If we take it apart now, before the current reel of strap is used up, that will all be trash because they just come unwound if you take them off, mid-reel. So, I'm sure we won't even look at it till it's empty.

And there is still no heat at work. Only in our room... We are special.

And there is still no water here. I thought the heater I bought was defective. I could not get it to turn on in the well pit this morning even though the little light said it was getting power. So I took it to work and it was fine (although it couldn't make a dent in heating our huge room). Brought it back and it still wouldn't work in the well pit. What the heck, right?

Took it to the house, and it's fine. I finally figured out that the sensor to turn it off if it tips is REALLY sensitive. I'll have to go back down in the pit with a board and a level because there is only has a dirt floor, which that clever animal has dug up. What fun. I should do that before I go to work in the morning. We'll see.

I went out to catch you another sunset because color is GOOD!

I also caught the red-tail hawk. Not a great pic, but I'll take it. S/he always makes me smile.

redtail hawk


Bed soon. We hand-stuffed papers for hours today because we couldn't run the machines while the guy was working on them. I'm bushed.

See The Stacker
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tomorrow Will be Warmer

Well, the pump was still frozen despite the heater I put down there yesterday (which is practically new, and was working fine last I used it... who knows?), and the young whippersnappers that came were not amused. I'm sure they get tired of dealing with frozen pumps all winter.

So, they put a concentrated heater right beside the pump, and it should be thawed tomorrow. I went and bought this milkhouse heater to replace the failed one. Don't think I should plug both it and the one the guys brought into the circuit at the same time.


The weather is supposed to warm also, nearly up to freezing, so that will make it easier for whatever heater to do the job on the pump.

I also got chewed out for the not-so-great cover on the well hole. That was somewhat deserved, but it was the best I could do at the time and it's done the job for four years without a problem even in really cold weather. I think the other heater must just have failed.

The biggest problem with covering that hole is that it's a large well pit. There used to be an actual shed over it, but that burned down something like 45 years ago. I've drawn plans for two different style covers, and then got thinking about them and realized each had flaws that were going to be difficult. Not to mention expensive. So nothing decent ever got made.

Guess I'll need to get serious about that this summer and figure out something.

Meanwhile, here's a nice warm sunset.


Tomorrow we should also have water. Maybe there will be heat at work- that would be nice too.

See Four Years is Better Than Three
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Four Years is Better than Three

I'm trying to find some way to stay positive about the water situation, but I confess to feeling a little bit whine-y. We haven't had water since Friday evening. I'm not feeling whine-y about the actual lack of running water (I've lived a lot of my life without water in faucets- see Houston, We Have Soup), but more about the level of my involvement in fixing the situation.

I'm more willing to spend the rest of the winter without water than I am in messing around with the well pit again. I realize, this is not an acceptable answer, but it's how I feel.

well pit

Of course, the lack of water was discovered after dark. I went out to see if the cover I had rigged over the hole after the last episode had gotten compromised, because nothing froze two weekends ago when it got SO cold. The cover was fine, and everything was frozen in around the edges, and it was dark, and I had to go to work. End of Friday story.

Saturday, I was pooped- that was the day I pretty much stayed in bed and read a book. Omer left a message on the pump guy's machine.

Of course, they didn't call Saturday or Sunday.

Monday, Omer left on a trip. I talked to the pump guy and he won't even come till we've checked to make sure it isn't frozen. I tried to explain that once I open this cover, it's just going to be fairly unprotected until it can be closed up tight again. There's no hatchway or door. It's layers of boards, tarp and styrofoam insulation. Basically, they don't care. They aren't coming until I check to see if it is frozen.

But, you may recall that I was doing Girl Scouts all day yesterday.

I finally managed to talk myself into going out and opening the hole this morning. Frankly with my iffy shoulders and wrist that hurts all the time, I won't exactly say that I'm getting too old for this, but it's not a lot of fun.

Anyway... I took the shovel and went out and got one corner open. I guess the heater could have failed in the last week. Some animal has dug in under the block walls and added about 6 inches of dirt to the whole floor. The bottom of that oil-filled heater was buried fairly deep. Would that make it fail? I pulled it out of the dirt (you can see how deep it was by clumps stuck to it.)

I have a little ceramic heater, so I put that in there and it's blasting on high. No water yet... If it's not thawed by morning, I think I can tell the pump guy that I tried.

So, the only good news here is that I thought we last had pump problems three years ago, but it was actually just over four years. Time flies when you're having fun (or water).

See Thankful for Water Fall 2012
See The Object of Today's Affection 2010
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Monday, January 15, 2018

Girl Trail Power

Today was devoted to Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts and the North Country Trail

Girl Scouts and North Country Trail logos

The troop- 5th and 6th graders- from Ravenna was looking for someone to come talk to them about hiking, and specifically how to be prepared for day hikes.

I said I'd do it, and I sure had a good time. The troop wants to take on the challenge of 50 miles on the NCT in this next year for a patch. I think I talked too much, but the girls seemed to enjoy seeing all the gear, and they listened very attentively. I was impressed.

hiking gear

I couldn't both talk and get any action shots, but I did have someone take a group picture afterwards.

If you are wondering why I wore the "Bad Decisions Make Good Stories" t-shirt, that was my kickoff line. Sometimes we end up with funny stories to bring home and tell, but sometimes we end up with really bad things happening. My mantra is plan, plan, plan, and plan some more. I think I hammered that message home.

Girl Scout troop

Anyway, we did a list of 10 things to take even on a day hike, and 10 things to do before you go.

Now I'm home, and I have to put all that stuff away again. But it was worth it.

See Shamu is Packed
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Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Flurry of Production

It would be really great if this level of snowfall had persisted beyond the few minutes it lasted. I think I jinxed the snow by buying skis. The next day it turned to slush, then ice, then melted. There's not enough on the ground to ski yet. Bummer.


My flurry of production lasted longer. All day really. I know this isn't my writing blog, but it's pretty much all I did, so I guess you get to hear about it.

I formatted The Secret Cellar, and it's nearly whipped into shape to print sample copies for the test readers. I have to do one more iteration of the map, and another interior drawing that I can do.

I'm also working with the likely cover artist to get closer to the final cover. Here's my most recent concept cover.

concept cover for The Secret Cellar

Still no water. Didn't even expect to hear from the pump guy today.

See The East South River Road Neighborhood
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