Monday, September 22 2014
Today our new refrigerator would be arriving, so last night I'd stayed up late salvaging the dozens of magnets and stickers from our old one. I also removed the LED lightbulbs and the ice maker. (There might be a usable gearbox or something in there.) This morning at an inopportune time, a truck arrived bringing us our new refrigerator. Gretchen and I immediately got to work removing the contents of the old one. I also turned off the household water supply, since I evidently hadn't installed a valve on the line going to the icemaker. The delivery guys were youngish and no-nonsense, though the one guy didn't believe that I'd turned off the water; he saw a trickle of water and seemed to think it was arriving under pressure. They got the new fridge in place quickly, but then when Gretchen asked about the door being hung the other way (something that was supposed to have happened), they said that that wasn't their job, and that if it wasn't hung that way in the warehouse it wouldn't be done. They explained that this was related to a new Sears policy whose intention was to get installation contractors to do the door rehanging for free, and they weren't going to play that game. This rung true to me; some months ago I'd read something about how Sears is being run into the ground by a vulture capitalist with an unhealthy midlife devotion to the ideas of Ayn Rand, making Sears one of the worst companies to work for in the United States. While that guy prattled on with a sympathetic Gretchen (he turned out to be something of a chatterbox; perhaps it as the crystal meth) I did the work of hooking up the water line to the new refrigerator's icemaker. My first attempts failed and I had to cut off the end of the copper line and fetch a new compression nut out of the laboratory before I was able to make a leak-proof junction.
While Gretchen walked the dogs, I did all the work of rehanging the refrigerator door, which was a bit more of a job than I expected. Near the end of that, Gretchen called Sean over at Sears to complain and so he gave us a $35 refund on the price of that installation (which was supposed to have been free).
Once the door was hung correctly, Gretchen and I moved our food into it, carefully examining items to see whether or not they should be thrown out. We're pretty good about not wasting food, and even with this systematic inventory, the amount thrown away was probably less than five percent, and included two failed units of fava bean tempeh, a huge mass of fake hamburger, an open can of refried beans, a jar of pickled mushrooms, an onion, a jar of strawberry preserves, and a few other items. Much of that stuff could immediately be repurposed as dog food.
It was difficult to keep myself from jackhammering away large amounts of shale in the greenhouse basement. I probably removed about ten five gallon buckets of the stuff over the course of the day, lowering the 20-30 square foot bottom of the excavation by between three and four inches. If the deeper rock remains as weak and easy-to-excavate as this material, it won't be long before I will have achieved one of my goals: a hole so deep that I no longer hit my head on the girder supporting the floor. To achieve that goal, I will need to excavate from six to nine inches deeper. It bears mentioning that the top surface of that girder was, until autumn of last year, the level of the west bedrock-surfaced half of greenhouse basement. In other words, since then, I've managed to dig a hole in that rock roughly my height (70 inches) with a bottom of 20-30 square feet. That's about 145 cubic feet of rock, all of it removed manually in buckets and most it broken loose without the use of a jackhammer.
This evening I made a delicious chili using homegrown tomatoes (which I added at the last minute after Gretchen alerted me to the fact that I'd forgot to add any).
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