Ramona in the Gunther Room
Monday, November 18 2019
On the drive home this evening, I stopped at the Wall Street rental to investigate a loud humming coming from the pipes when the kitchen hot water was a run about a quarter of the way open. The tenant had said the noise had been getting louder and now it seemed the bathroom shower pressure was reduced. When we tested the kitchen faucet, it did indeed make the pipes vibrate loudly, and when I went to the basement, I found that they were vibrating across a very long length. It wondered if perhaps sediments had formed a functional reed (like the kind one finds in a clarinet). Up in the upstairs bathroom, it soon became obvious that any issues it had with pressure were unrelated. The showerhead was a cheap one and broke irreparably when we went to disassemble it. Without it there, water flowed at an acceptable rate. I played with valves in the basement, which seemed to affect the noise, though only temporarily. Not knowing what else to do (and concluding that there was no emergency) I told the tenant I would research the matter further and get back to her. Later, back at the house, my research suggested that the problem was probably a failing rubber washer in the sink faucet.
When I returned home, I found a very excited Neville the Dog chewing on a disembodied deer hoof, the kind that sometimes materialized during deer season. She was being her usual guardy-self, which was merged with a simultaneously delight that I had returned home. So she was both wagging and growling at the same time. I figured Ramona was off being miserable, since Neville is never nice to her when he has something exciting he is chewing on. But she wasn't upstairs in the bed, in the blue chair in the first floor office, in the teevee room, or even in the laboratory (though she's never there unless I am). Where the hell was she? I went outside and called for her, but she wasn't anywhere obvious. Sometimes she goes down to the greenhouse to enjoy the warmth (and maybe get away), but not on a cold rainy day like today. So then I went down to the basement. She's been known to trap herself in the walk-in closet, whose door tends to swing shut after one pushes past it. But she wasn't there, or in the boiler room (where something similar could happen). I ended up finding her in the Gunther Room, whose door was closed. Evidently Gretchen had consciously put her in there, perhaps to keep her from getting in a fight with Neville over that deer hoof. That didn't make much sense, though, because Gretchen wouldn't've trapped Ramona in an unheated room. Much later, after Gretchen got home from her prison poetry class, we pieced together what had happened. Gretchen had been showing a cleaning lady the various rooms with the idea of having them cleaned, and Ramona had been very excited to go into and hang out in the Gunther Room. So Gretchen had let her stay in there, with the door shut, and then forgotten about her. She'd been trapped in that room for something like two hours when I let her out a little after 5:00pm.
As I'd been wanting to do all day, I returned my attention to the laboratory split-wiring project. I drilled a couple holes through the two reachable ceiling joists between the bottom of the laboratory stud wall and the shop's circuit breaker panel. Then I cut a small piece of ceiling out from near the shop stud bay where its circuit breaker box lives. I didn't have a lot of room to drill a hole down into that stud bay from above, so I was forced to use my rarely-used 90 degree drill attachment. But the helical 3/4 inch bit got bogged down in the wood such that the drill couldn't turn it any more, so I gave up and went to bed, at least for a time.
Later, though, I had a second wind and attacked the hole a second time, this time using a spade bit. Interestingly, the much simpler spade bit was able to rip its way down into the stud bay without any problem at all. (I suspect the cone-shaped screw point on the helical bit is a bit too aggressive for my equipment.)
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