Posted by: David | June 10, 2007

Vacation Over

It’s the last day of my vacation. And I still have not won the megabucks, so I guess I’ll have to go back to work tomorrow. It’s been a really nice break though. Probably a little too much me time. Oh well, you know what they say- “It’s all about me.” They say that about me, I think.

NO, they say that about ME!

Today’s project is to attempt to install an outdoor spigot on the front of the house. This means drilling through 2 layers of cement block that make up our foundation and cellar walls. I bought a bit for that. Also will have to solder some copper pipe together. I have not done that for a while, but hopefully it will be OK. Maybe I’ll document it, minus all the swearing. There will probably be swearing. Actually, if there is swearing then there probably won’t be any pictures snapped. We’ll let you know.

The clematis is blooming.

The jerusalem artichokes have grown almost a foot in the past week.

The window is covered with bird snot.

I keep blogging. WordPress rules!

The spigot project worked out OK.

The only issue with the spigot project was that the initial hole drilled through the concrete block wall was too small. The 3/4″ bit just didn’t make a big enough hole. I had to go buy a 1″ bit and that cost $40! So the whole cost of the spigot was pretty close to $100. I guess it would have been more if I’d had to hire someone to do it. All my solder joints were good! When I opened the valve (it had been closed for a decade or two) it spit quite a bit. Just needed to tighten down the packing nut. Not much swearing was involved. Voila!



  1. Hey man, nice spigot.
    Perspective question: your photo looks like there’s a pipe running vertically just about a foot from the spigot hole, which intersects something closer to the ground running off screen. But as far as I can tell, the new pipe is coming from an unrelated pipe, similarly off screen. Does the new pipe actually intersect the vertical pipe in the corner where the latter bends? What’s going on here? Have you been playing Pipe Dreams again?

  2. Wow, I didn’t realize how confusing that photo was. Now I’m kinda dizzy. Maybe that’s from playing Pipe Dreams. I think I have to pee too.

    But anywho … (why is “anywho” in now?)

    The camera is looking up at the undersides of the floor joists of the first floor. The blue handle is on a valve that a thoughtful plummer ended the main cold water pipe to the first floor bathroom. The red thing is a hook where I hang a bicycle. The little white plastic “J” thingies are pipe hangers holding up two runs of heating pipes that have nothing to do with the spigot pipe. However, what happens at that elbow going down is a decrease in pipe size from 3/4″ to 1/2″. Which then goes back to 3/4″ which is the diameter of the frosft proof spigot. Not sure why I thought I had to go down to 1/2″ first- it was RANDOM. That seems to be a problem of mine.

    The main thing was that valve end, which was just begging for continuation … and the fact that the spigot in back of the house is a little harder to get at now because of the garage excavation.

    I hope that you understand the spigot project better now. Please let me know if there are any other questions about the plumbing.

  3. I have never seen a yellow bird in the wild. Has he escaped from some cage? The other day somebody told me he had seen a green bird out in the campo, a parakeet (what a strange spelling!). When people go on their summer vacation they set their cat or a dog or a bird out in a field mostly to die. Cats and dogs try to get back home by following some highway and get hit by a car. Cats find their way back for miles and miles.

    We have lots of yellow birds at our feeders. 200 miles south of here green parakeets are wild in Fairfield, Connecticut.

    What’s this about people abandoning their pets each summer?

  4. Don’t they abandon their pets in the US ? Where do they put their cat or their dog if they leave for a vacation? Do they all go by car?

    So here they leave their dog at some crossroad. And if in July or August you go for a walk on the farm roads, soon enough you see this poor little alternative family (or what do they call it?) of scraggly dogs, a great big black one, a wee little white one, a medium sized chequered one, all with their tongues hanging out looking towards you to see whether you will throw a stone at them.

    Yes, and cats, dead on the road.
    The town government tries to catch them to get other people to adopt them but there are way too many.

    Yes, many pets are abandoned here in the USA, but people are not so blatant about it generally. The only way you know it’s happening is that the animal shelters are always full of pets waiting to be either adopted or euthanized. Your image of the “alternative family” of vagabond pets is very amusing! Pets, like babies, seem so cute until they poop on you. Hmmm.

  5. I am in a hurry because I am trying to prepare reading material for a French teacher who had a baby .

    And the “Biking” blog somehow changed its name again and ended up as “Shop Talk” at

    Accidentally I have already gotten into a wasp nest by saying something against Esperanto.

    I liked the cake a lot! I had never seen a square cake, nor such a simple beauty of a cake.

    I like your new blog. The graphic of the person working on the bicycle is very apt. The symbol of a two-wheeled, human powered conveyance works nicely for language. Do you think so?

    The Esperanto discussion was interesting. It was nice of you to translate.

    Glad you liked the cake. It was very deep chocolate with a buttery frosting. 15 hours of labor (2 women working on it).

  6. The reference to the cake was meant for your latest blog. I did not notice that I strayed again. However this is the post that I really wanted to see because of the story of that tap.

    In the little shitty house where I used to live, little house I really loved like no other, there was a tap that tended to freeze and I knitted things for it. That worked of course. But then it broke anyway, and the wee little town government sent somebody to put in a new meter (device to measure the water flowing through), and they put it in BACKWARDS ! It was so strange the first few days to read how much water we had been using ! We thought we were somehow reading it backwards.

    Knitted insulators for freezing water pipes- brilliant! Very funny about the water meter too- it must have looked like you were using water in negative amounts. 😀

  7. I know how to knit, and when I did not yet know about computers, I tried to learn Russian while knitting. I knitted at least ten nice pullovers (not thick wool!) and two blankets and then I gave up on Russian.

    ∴ knitting ≠ Russian?

  8. The new blog is linguistics, language learning. The kids here are being tortured out of their minds. English is a mirage which is being forced on the population by the publishing industry and the “urban legend” that without English you can’t get a job.

    Kids spend some 10 years trying and failing. Very few succeed, and they are not the brightest, because language learning is a psychosomatic kind of thingie or thang; speaking is a psychosomatism! Spinoza said so! Nietzsche too!

    It is very sad. Just for a second look:


    The first is transcribed into Spanish as zruu, the second as dou, the third as zot, the fourth as zru aut and the last as taff. What kid can learn that and remember it ?

    Yes, what a perfect blog topic for you, my polyglot friend. It’s surprising how the prevalence of English continues to grow. To what do you attribute that- or is it just an urban legend?


  9. The “person” working on the bike is a kid. In the background there are two kids calling and he does not want to hear. It is a relief made by my American friend Andy I told you about. — And the picture is there because the blog was called “Biking” !

    I guess “Shop Talk” is more accurate given your work as a translator. But the Biking title is intriguing to my symbolic mind.

  10. That’s not all. Some parents want the kids to learn French too. To get elected a Governor has to promise multilingual schools where children learn French and English from the age of 4 on.

    I believe that will cause severe psychosomatic damage in many cases. Nothing can be done. Nothing! It is awful.

    I once read someone’s crackpot theory that alphabets, numbers, and language in general has been one of humanity’s biggest undoings. But without it, we would never have had any crackpot theorists. Just like religion- capable of superhuman valor and subhuman evil simultaneously.


  11. To listen to Russian tapes for many hours, I knitted.

    Language learning is is similar to dictionary reading. It is little bits and pieces of sense that do not add up to anything, but are funny or strange or new or very old or nothing, one after another, endlessly, entertaining almost like a screen saver or a chimney fire or a fish bowl. It is not for everybody! Progress is not visible.

    Listening is more difficult and to hold out I kept knitting which has a rhythm of its own, maybe like hammering, so that the tape becomes a background noise, less bothersome.

    Brilliant! I admire your discipline and respect for language. Even if you are a little bit crazy.

  12. English keeps growing for 1000 reasons!
    Technology, industry, the internet, US musical culture, fashion, the publishing industry, the English teachers: every American kid that flunks high school or (in the past) tried to avoid the draft came to Europe to teach. I read US writers on that. They are legion.

    In fact, because of Bush and Cheney, the US influence may have stopped growing. The infatuation seems to have receded. But it is hard to tell. Anyway, there is nothing to substitute it.

    Those legions would be the industrious and enthusiastic dropouts. Who’ve at least gone on to broaden their horizons beyond the coasts East and West.

    The others take their places as wage earners in all the myriad sweatshops the USA has to offer. There is much to do every day, and there are many to do it. As you tell it, English spreads like a virus. It IS hard to tell. One likes to cling to the brilliant belief that one’s life can have independent meaning and purpose. How vain!

  13. Besides symbols, you ought to consider associations or connotations. There is not any symbol, but there is an intention, because I consider words constructs. A term is a construct in philosophy the way a triangle is a construct in geometry. It is made up and put together with more or less knowledge and skill and with more or less attention to detail.

    (abbreviation for God damn Palin)

    She’s just another politician. Words and symbols are nothing to them, as truth is nothing to them. Jigsaw puzzles with missing pieces. Sound and fury signifying nothing. Actors on stage without lines, improvising as best they can. Just like you and I.

  14. The above refers not to “biking”, but to the picture of a kid fixing his bike.

    The bike is to biking what a concept or a word is to language.

    I ♥ that conception! One wheel drives and one wheel steers.

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