the day after Donald Trump's infamous fascist stroll
Tuesday, June 2 2020
This morning a guy from Rycor came with a replacement for our Rheem-Ruud heatpump-powered hot water heater, whose anode proved impossible to remove and which Rycor had somehow convinced the manufacturer to replace. For us, the only cost would be labor. When the Rycor guy learned that I'd already drained the old tank and cut all its connections, he jested that he wanted to give me a hug (which was absurd given that the pandemic is still raging and we were both wearing masks). The poor guy soon ran into trouble with the replacement water heater, as its anode was out-of-center at the bottom of its little plastic well (he had to end up cutting and removing the sides of that well). With the well removed, he was able remove the anode with a simple breaker bar. He didn't even need a cheater pipe. I then left the Rycor guy to do all the fussy little plumbing things while I returned to the laboratory.
I'd helped the Rycor guy get the old water heater up the stairs and out of the basement, and Powerful helped him get the new one down the stairs into the basement. Interestingly, the Rycor guy's method for doing plumbing was to use crimpable brass fittings with a special tool that managed to seal the fittings against the pipes using crimping alone. After only an hour or so of work, we had a Ruud heatpump-powered hot water heater with a custom aluminum-zinc anode fully operational.
Today I took deliver of a 512 GB M2 2242 SSD, supposedly compatible with my Hyundai Onnyx II ultranotebook. The installation was a little tight, but it fit. Unfortunately, the computer didn't recognize anything about the new storage device, leading me to wonder whether its M2 2242 was problematic or the new drive was. Issues like this have the ability to devour a whole afternoon, and that was pretty much all I did this afternoon.
At around 3:00pm today, our friend Michæl (of the Carrie & Michæl couple) dropped by with his dog Penny for a socially-distanced visit. Michæl has spent the pandemic in the Hudson Valley, but his wife Carrie has been in Los Angeles this whole time, working as something of an indentured servant/nanny for her sister (a highly-paid television writer, shopaholic, and shameless imposer when it comes to family memebers). Michæl, Powerful, and Gretchen all drove to the nearby abandoned quarry, where they also visited the abandoned hotel that we'd last scene in 2012 back when Jessika and Aaron came for a visit. The hotel has degraded considerably since then, owing in large part to further roof failures.
Later Michæl hung out with us on the east deck and we chatted about various things, mostly from an artist's perspective. I apparently hadn't told Michæl about either the Disturbatron or the camera I'd trained last year on a woodpecker nest, and I had to get him up to speed with performances of the former and an artifact of the latter. We talked some about the challenge of ammosexuals at the bus turnaround, and Michæl gave me a great idea. He said that some years ago when there'd been a problem with four-wheel ATVs tearing things up along the creek in the back of their property, Carrie had had the idea of stringing up tapons in the affected area. That was like kryptonite to the he-man offenders, and they never returned. Perhaps tampons (maybe soiled with ketchup and soy sauce) could be an effective repellant for ammosexuals! Michæl also told me about his latest series of "art" projects: reducing various pieces of wood (particularly white ash trees) to charcoal using a custom-made charcoal furnace.
One other piece of interesting news Michæl brought was that the seed library guys (with whom he and Carrie share a compound of buildings southwest of Accord) have been having trouble keeping up with the demand from all the would-be gardeners needing seeds to start their pandemic-period gardens.
This evening after I went to bed, I had unusual trouble falling asleep. All the dystopian imagery of the day, particularly of Donald Trump's fascist walk to St. John's Episcopal Church after having had peaceful demonstrators violently dispersed, had me feeling uneasy about the future. This was similar to how I'd felt early in the pandemic back when it was uncertain how bad things might get. This feeling hadn't been helped by the many disturbing images in my Facebook feed, one of which was so horrifying that it reminded me of some of the darker episodes of Game of Thrones. This is that:
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