leak from some side of the pipe
Tuesday, April 12 2022
The first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning is feed the cats, something made all the more urgent by their behavior as I'm lying in bed before I get up. Oscar walks on me repeatedly and pokes at my face with his paws, occasionally hooking the side of one of my nostrils with his claws. After I'd fed the cats, I happened to notice Diane walking behind the woodshed heading eastward. How did she get out there so quickly? I'd just given her a lump of wet food. But then I looked in the dining room and saw Diane was still there eating. This was some other little black cat. At the time, Ramona was on the couch in the living room, and when she saw the mystery cat, she sat up and looked attentively, something she wouldn't've done had it just been Diane. Evidently there was a difference she could see, one that was lost on me. Perhaps there was a tentativeness to this mystery cat's demeanor crossing unknown ground. Or perhaps it was the purposefulness of its march. The mystery cat continued through the pines on the septic field east of the house and disappeared. Knowing cats as I do, I wondered if this cat had recently been adopted by someone to the west, managed to escape, and was returning "homeward" to where it had come from to the east.
Another odd sight was a mourning dove resting atop the roof over Gretchen's screened-in porch, something it continued to do while the cats were busily eating their wet food through the closest window.
This afternoon before she was about to go off to teach her prison poetry course, Gretchen drew my attention to the medicine cabinet in the upstairs bathroom. The back of it was now wet, and she wanted to know why. I immediately had a theory, and it didn't make me very happy: there's a big three-inch ABS pipe running behind that cabinet, one I had to use heat with a heat gun and squish in order to make room for the medicine cabinet. This had created a few leaks that I'd managed to "weld" shut. But now it seemed new leaks had formed. I tried removing the medicine cabinet to get a better look, but evidently I'd fucking glued it in place.
So then I climbed up on the roof carrying a set of screw-together fibreglass poles (the kind used for scraping the inside of a chimney) and scooched over to where that plumbing stack came up through the roof. I wondered if it had filled with leaves or something, which was causing it to hold water that could then slowly escape through tiny leaks. But when I probed the inside of the pipe, I found it to be dry and uncluttered. And then I noticed the rubber boot around the pipe designed to keep water out of the penetration had cracked open in numerous places. The water was getting in on the outside of the pipe! In fact, the rubber boots on all three of the roof-penetrating pipes had rotted away, meaning rainwater could enter the house in all three places. This probably accounted for a bad spot on the bathroom ceiling above the tub. The good news was that this was now a roof job and not a tear-the-medicine-cabinet-out job. The bad news was this was now a roof job, one that would require messy applications of black tar and perhaps new rubber boots. While I was up there, I also noticed a sheet of shingles had slid out and revealed a triangle of black shingle underlayment on the roof over the laboratory. I was going to have to fix that as well.
I'd decided to turn "my key" in to the Red Hook Office this evening. This would consist of putting it in an envelope and leaving it on Jason's desk. So after I got down off the roof, I grabbed a road beer and Neville and I went over there in the Forester. While at the office, I looked for anything else that might be left for me to salvage. All nine of the remaining glass-pane-containing panels were gone (I'm not sure who got them), so I wouldn't be taking any more of those. It was down to little things like powerstrips, a quart-sized bucket of polyurethane, and five gallon water jug, and an old ribbon-based receipt printer, among other little things. The biggest thing I managed to nab was a glass-topped L-shaped desk, which I managed to break down into pieces small enough to load into the back of my vehicle.
On the way home with this stuff, I stopped at the Lowes to buy three new replacement rubber boots for the roof penetrations along with tar, mesh tape, and other roof repair supplies.
Back at the house, I resumed a docudrama mini-series I'd begun watching this morning entitled Inventing Anna, about the antics and adventures of Anna Sororokin, a socialite high-society impostor who managed to scam her way into the upper-crust New York plutocrat scene. Apparently Anna was a real bitch, which was part of her appeal. But her "fake it until you make it" strategy isn't too different from the one used by all the famous Silicon Valley billionaires you can think of.
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