every small component of every appliance
Friday, November 12 2004
There was snow this morning and it continued throughout the day, never accumulating more than about an inch. It had difficulty sticking to anything in contact with the ground, which is still warm from the summer. But it accumulated on the decks and in the trees. I drove to Redhook today across the Hudson River and didn't experience any problems with snow on the road.
It was a good day to stock the house with cheap Hannaford-brand imitations of major food brands and then build a roaring fire in the woodstove. I'd found a stack of user documents concerning the boiler, oil burner, and indirect hot water heater, and I sat in front of the stove for a while examining them. They seemed amazingly devoid of the specific information I was seeking, while documenting all the features that hadn't actually been implemented in our house. For example, our Liberty Slant/Fin boiler can supposedly serve as a tankless hot water heater. But nowhere does it explain the differences between the two separate boiler water returns (there's only one supply).
Back when we first bought the house, much of the boiler room was a mystery to me and I only barely knew the function of each appliance. Now I'm aware of the function of every small component of every appliance. It's no longer a mess of pipes, boxes, and wires. Everything has its purpose (under heaven: turn, turn, turn).
I took Sally to the Hurley Veterinary Hospital to have a couple worrisome new lumps examined. In the waiting room Sally was a nervous wreck and was actually shivering from fear, something she doesn't normally do unless there is a thunderstorm raging. Meanwhile I was mostly just bored, as waiting rooms tend to make me. I looked around at all the changes being made to the building, which is undergoing a massive expansion. There's a mysterious new galvanized sheet metal duct impinging on the wall of the waiting room like a huge robotic slug, a bit of expensive new infrastructure protruding through finishes that will have to be refinished.
The vet pricked Sally's masses a couple times and, as usual, they turned out to be benign masses of fat. Once that was over and we returned to the waiting room so I could pay the $65 fee, Sally was a different dog. Somehow she knew that all the bad stuff was behind her and that soon we would be going back home.
Gretchen prepared one of her vegan nut loaves tonight and invited the Meatlocker People. They brought a bottle of wine, which we mostly drank while waiting for the nut loaf to cook. By now the fire was blazing through the stove's windows seemingly as bright as the sun. Eleanor had dragged a pork bone up from the downhill neighbors and I threw it into the fire to see what would become of it. (It turned grey and split into long triangular shards.)
After dinner we went upstairs to watch a particularly hilarious South Park episode that Gretchen had saved on the Tivo. It was the one where "Wall Mart" came to town and had to be destroyed in a manner that aped the second movie in the Matrix trilogy. "Bargains" thwart our heroes at every turn, but yet they persevere. A hilarious recurring theme in this episode had to do with the supposed axiom that things always crap their pants as they die.
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