Friday, August 17, 2012

Last Day

Today is Shelly's official last day off for the summer.  She starts back to work on Monday and the boys back to school on Tuesday.  Michael will be a senior and Ethan is starting Jr. High.  Wow, I must be getting old and summer seems to have gone by way to fast.

One of the joys of having a driving teenager is a little yellow light on the dash every time I drive the car.

Got out last weekend for a ride, 47+ miles in just under 3 hours.  It was great except for the two packs of dogs.  I may need to pick up some mace/pepper spray.  Both of these were packs of 4 or 5 dogs which always feel more dangerous and both were on uphill climbs.  Yelling at the dogs (and the owners) had no effect.  No teeth marks or crashes though.

At least I have been able to occasionally enjoy living in the country.  Between the loud country music and ATV's of the neighbors, the almost daily smell (of the still failing septic system), and that when Brock is awake there is no such thing as relaxing, there has been a limit in the amount of time spent relaxed on the porch.Got to drink a cup of coffee there this week before work though, 59F with a light fog and no noise except for some birds and squirrels.

Speaking of coffee, another Friday alone at the Donkey.  I am supposed to meet a group of men here on Friday mornings, but life doesn't always work out that way, we are (sadly) very busy people.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer is almost gone.

Lots happening...

Friday started well enough with a macchiato from Donkey and a conversation with Ryan.

We have been having problems with our septic system, stinking black water on the ground.  Shelly's cousin dropped off his backhoe to me to use to see if I could find the problem and repair it.  Sadly, what I found was not promising.  Our system is a settling tank and leach field.  The leach field is made up of an Infiltrator chamber system.  These chambers have an appearance of half a black culvert pipe.  they are buried in the ground with the open bottom exposed to the dirt.  All of the parts I have dug up thus far are full of clay.  The health department stopped by Friday to take a look and make suggestions.  Short of it is this: doesn't seem like they were installed correctly; they are too deep (one section is 4' deep) and they were not backfilled correctly.  One of the panels was even buckled and he even commented that the section we had dug up had never had any effluent in it.  It does not seem promising to rescue the installed system. Yay, time for a new septic system.

Friday also resulted in a phone call from Michael that the car would not start.  Yay, new battery.

Saturday was more digging before finally getting the bike out for a short ride.  The ride ended early when I started to hear a hissing sound from the front wheel: tore the valve stem.  No cell service either and I carry a patch kit and levers, but did not have a tube.  Worse, I could hear thunder in the distance.  Luckily, I got a text message to go through and Shelly picked me up.

Sunday was off to church, lunch with my folks, home in the afternoon to try to get a few miles on my legs.  Ended up racing another thunderstorm back to the house, only getting 12 miles before it dumped over 2 inches of rain.  Back in the car and over to pick up Brock and Ethan before heading to a bible study when Shelly notes that the tire pressure alarm is on.  Great, found a screw sticking through the passenger rear tire.  Put on the spare, got the boys, and headed home, missing the study.  Was welcomed home by a driveway with major erosion ditches cut into it by the heavy rain.  AWD doesn't work so hot with one tire so much smaller than the rest.  I wasn't sure the car was going to pull up the driveway.

Dropped the car off at Huddle's tire in Athens on Monday morning.  Actually got to ride my bike too.  Had the d440 on the roof so I peddled about 5 miles over to the office.  Had a spill proof thermos of coffee in my backpack and around mile 4, it let go down my side.

They got the tire fixed and put it back on, replacing the spare.  Finished the day entertaining Brock through the evening while Shelly and Ethan were at soccer conditioning.  Dragged out the old Honda and idled around the yard with Brock for a while.  He liked it so much, he fell asleep on my lap.

Fast forward to today.  After stopping at Economy Supply at lunch (to check on some plumbing supplies) I stopped uptown to check in with a good friend.  No change in my pocket, so I found a space with a green parking meter.  Still didn't make it back to the bike in time, so I won a prize from the PD.