Plumbing; Roller Coaster Tycoon

The new year marches on. It really seems pretty hard to believe that we are already midway through the ‘aught’ decade. I can remember the eighties pretty well, even the nineties, but if you were to ask me about anything that has happened since the calendar rolled over to 2000, the only thing that I could come up with would be 9/11. At least the only thing that I could come up with quickly. Were I to sit down and think about it for a few minutes I am sure that I could start to name off a bunch of crap that has happened since then. I don’t really want to though. Not to mention the fact that doing something like that would make me think about the president, which would lead to me thinkinking about all of the presidents there have been since I was born, which would lead to me starting to think that I am getting older. Not that there is anything wrong with getting, just that it is something that you usually associate with your parents, not something that you think would ever happen to you.

On that subject, I did get a bit of satisfaction from a comment that one of my boss’ daughters made. Apparently she still has a picture of me from the time I went to the prom with a girl in 1994 (which was the fifth consecutive year that I had been to a prom, still a stat that I am kind of proud of). I was twenty at the time. She said that I haven’t aged a bit since that picture, which made me feel good. Unfortunately, I think that she was only talking about the face part of the picture. The slowing metabolism that seems to come with the late twenties/early thirties has hit me full force, I have put on a couple of dozen pounds since then. My hair is graying more and more. It takes me more time every day to get up and walk without pain in my lower back (which is based solely on the fact that my entire adult life has always involved jobs with a lot of heavy lifting). My eyes seem a bit more sunken, I have wrinkles when I smile, the list goes on and on. Still, it was a nice compliment…If only I could feel like I was still twenty…

• The plumbing issues that I have been discussing since Christmas have been mostly taken care of since last Monday. I have additional parts at the ready to replace the rest of it throughout the house, but I have yet to do so. I had put off filling back in the ditch that houses the new pipe for a week, just to make sure that there weren’t any leaks, not to mention that we have been getting a hell of a lot of rain down here which kept leaving the hole partially filled with water, and the dirt I needed to put back weighing in at double what it did dry. I did take care of that yesterday, man it was a lot of work.

Let this be a lesson to all of you; If you are going to dig a ditch at your house for the purpose of plumbing, fill it back in ASAP. For some reason, most likely the fact that it had been wetted and dried so many times, the dirt was just about the consistency of nearly dry concrete by the time I started to fill the hole back in. It was so thick and heavy that I was afraid to try to do heaping shovelfulls for fear that I would break the shovel’s handle. The dirt was only like that for the first couple of shovelfulls from the mound though, unfortunately, that meant for each section of the mound. All forty feet of it. I initially started filling in a section of the trench completely, then moving forward to the next section. Problem was it was so hard to do the first couple of of throws each section that I feared I wouldn’t be able to get it all done if I continued in that manner. When I finally decided to just do the hardest part all the way down it started to go a bit better, except that by the time I was done with the hard packed stuff my arms were like jello. Fortunately for me the rest of it went it pretty easily, I just used the shovel like a rake/hoe and scooped it in (which would have been a much easier endeavor if I owned a rake or a hoe. I do own both of those, but the rake is a ‘leaf rake’ -yes, an absolute must own in a desert, when you have nothing with leaves-, and the hoe is a children’s toy that is about three feet in length. Both of them were at the house when I bought it, I never really thought I would need real ones). I finished that by about 10:30a.m. yesterday, and that was it for me as far as any sort of physical labor.

My plan had been to fill in the hole, then go ahead and replace the copper lines in and out of the water heater, you know, baby steps. If I do a little bit of the plumbing every weekend I will have it all done over a couple of weeks instead of waiting until something else breaks. Much like any plan I ever have, it all went to hell. Each process is always way harder than anticipated and usually takes twice the time I think it will. I will say again, though, that I really think the hard part is done now. Which I am not even sure I believe. Considering that I said that after I dug the ditch, after I ran the pipe under the sidewalk, after I drilled the hole through the wall for the pipe (both times), after I had the main water line run into the shed, after my father-in-law helped me tie it back into the existing plumbing, and now that the ditch is filled back in. That makes it quite a few times that I had speculated that the hard part was over, only to find that there was more ‘hard part’. I fear that every damn thing is going to be the ‘hard part’. When you live in a house that is more than a century old, you really should expect that things are not going to be as easy as they would be if you lived in a mobile home. Funny how I can say it, but I never believe it.

Enough about plumbing.

• The rest of Sunday was pretty much consumed by the damn Roller Coaster game. I would probably have felt pretty guilty about wasting away the day in that manner were it not for the fact that my wife was sitting right next to me playing it on the other computer. I don’t know what it is about these little ‘simulation’ games that sucks me in, but they always do. The wife actually seems to be a lot better at the game than I am. She can play the scenarios through while maintaining a near perfect park rating, while I am usually struggling to keep it at the 60% or 70% that is required. I am going to attribute that to her being a girl. Girls have, it seems, a knack for design (not the rides, but in general) that makes them far more suited for this type of game. While I use the ‘throw the shit wherever you can fit it in’ method, she kind of seems to think about it a bit more logically. I am not sure if she is going for an aesthetically pleasing layout, but I am sure that she does a lot better at the park layout than I do.

I can still be proud of the fact that I make damn near the most sick, sadistic coasters available. Well, not judging by the ones that they have on exchange on the RCT website, but I am getting better.

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