Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Screaming Toilet Valves... not the name of a punk rock band.

It really needs to be.

About a year ago, our toilet started making a loud, high-pitched screaming sound after it was done filing, or at completely random times. Like 2:03am. Then again at 2:37am. Then again at 2:46am. Then again at 3:09am. Etc., etc., etc.

Fun times.

If I can find a replacement valve, I may be able to fix it, but given all the other weirdness with this stupid toilet, it probably has some sort of custom valve that has to be shipped special from Indonesia and will take two years to get here. Seriously; this thing is really starting to piss me off. Under the lid, it looks like part of a Saturn V main engine instead of a toilet, and it's been nothing but a giant pain in the ass since it was new. I'm ready to yank it out and replace it with some cheap Home Depot piece of crap from China.

Speaking of things pissing me off. We have a hot water heater that has done nothing but leak propane since the day it was installed. We are on something like the fourth or fifth valve and I constantly smell mercaptan. The propane company insists that it's all in my head, probably because it's close to being out of warrantee. Given that we had to pay $100 every time the valve blew out bad enough that they couldn't deny that it was leaking, I'd hate to think what it will cost once the repair isn't "covered". I can guarantee one thing; once this hunk of junk is out of warrantee, it will be replaced, and not by the ass-clowns who installed this one.

Did I mention that we paid top dollar for the toilet and the hot water heater because we bought and had them installed by small, locally owned businesses?

That will teach me to deal with a local company instead of a multinational big-box corporation. Their crappy merchandise likely would have failed as fast as what we have, but it would have cost a hell of a lot less.

And pass the beer nuts.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Life in Florida

Woman arrested while trying to yank out another woman's hair and uterus.

Pasco man arrested for driving into person who set bananas on his car.

Hours after Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County tickets residents for code violations.

And yes, I saw the update where the county tries to walk back its profound stupidity. There is no possible excuse for hassling people who are standing outside their destroyed home trying to find missing relatives about a damaged pool fence. As far as damaged electric and gas meters, there is nothing a resident could do about it even if Home Depot happened to be opened. Those are the property and responsibility of the utility. So again, why are you hassling someone more concerned with where they are going to live and what they are going to eat because their gas meter isn't properly attached to their destroyed house?

Whenever a stupid man is doing something that even he knows is stupid, he will always use the excuse that he was just following orders.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dr. Nefario's Snowplow

We sooooo needed this when we lived in our little log house:

Those are MiG-15 jet engines. Leave it to Russians to invent a snow removal device that looks like a doomsday machine from a Bond flick.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dr. Jerry Pournelle, RIP

Lost in all this hurricane nonsense was the news that Dr. Pournelle passed Friday afternoon (September 8th). I never met him in person, but we did communicate via e-mail on occasion. Thinking about it the past few days, I realized just how much Dr. Pournelle influenced the path of my life; from his monthly column in Byte magazine, to his daynotes website (the world's first blog, although he hated the term), to his books, one of which (Oath of Fealty) is directly responsible for us landing at Arcosanti.

Steve Sailor over at Taki's Magazine has a memorial article on Dr. Pournelle:

In 1977 Jerry paid $12,000 to have a state-of-the-art personal computer assembled for him, supposedly to boost his productivity. By 1980 that led to his long-running “Chaos Manor” column in Byte magazine in which he would document his troubles on the bleeding edge of PC technology. As fellow word-processing aficionado Dave Barry explained jealously, Jerry got paid to mess around with his computers when he should be writing:
Every month, his column has basically the same plot, which is:

1. Jerry tries to make some seemingly simple change to one of his computers, such as connect it to a new printer.

2. Everything goes hideously wrong…. Sometimes there are massive power outages all over the West Coast. Poor Jerry spends days trying to get everything straightened out.

3. Finally…Jerry gets his computer working again approximately the way it used to, and he writes several thousand words about it for ‘Byte.’

I swear it’s virtually the same plot, month after month, and yet it’s a popular column in a magazine that appeals primarily to knowledgeable computer people.

I like to imagine Steve Jobs circulating “Chaos Manor” columns to his executives with scribbled annotations suggesting that some people would pay good money to not have to go through all this.

Sailor doesn't mention it, but Dr. Pournelle always named his computers. His first one was christened Ezekiel, or Zeke for short. He frequently referred to it as his "friend Ezekiel, who happens to be a computer." Zeke now resides in the Smithsonian.

I tried to remove the link to his website from my list over there on the right, but I just... can't. That link has existed on every website I have ever maintained. Someday it will disappear. Today is not that day.