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This week, especially Tuesday (which ends when I go to bed) 
2nd-May-2007 02:42 pm
I'm tired today. (Ok... what else is new?)

I am so grateful I got out of storage last weekend. I said I'd be out by the 5th, which is Saturday, and so far this week I had a meeting after work on Monday (after which I got to bed a bit after 1), I will have another one which will probably run longer today. I have my Japanese class on Thursday, and I've agreed to go off and have fun for part of the day on Saturday.

Tuesday is my "get home at midnight" day.

I left work a little bit early in order to stop by Carpenter Brothers before my ESL class. I bought a cute little rake (normal sized handle, about 9 inch tine-span), the only switch they had (it was their last one too) for a pedestal-style sump pump, and some replacement parts (not the ones I originally chose, but the ones the helpful employee talked me into) for the flush-mechanism on a toilet.

I got home just after midnight.

While putting out the trash I could hear the screaming of the backup sump pump battery.

Braved the screaming of the backup sump pump battery to go bash on the primary sump pump (which I heard as soon as I was inside the house) until the switch turned off and it stopped sucking mostly-air.

Used my new rake to move the clogged up leaves away from the house where all (well some of) the rain we've been getting has been leaking into the basement. (The spouse tells me that could be causing the problem.)

I tossed a couple other towels down on the floor. I really hate standing water near walls.

I added LOTS of water to the backup sump pump battery that's been screaming at me constantly for a few days. I had hoped that would allow me to trick it into shutting up the way it had a few times in the last few months, but it didn't. So I d-r-a-g-g-e-d the battery that the spouse had in the family room (for a different project, but I'd been told I could) downstairs and wonder of wonders it fit into the box the WatchDog had been in (kind of) and after I hooked it up was met by BLESSED SILENCE. (Although for the next few hours I was still hearing a ringing in my ears that sounded like it was at the same frequency.)

I'm a tad ambivalent about the sump pump switch. If the pump is already past its life expectancy, should I replace the switch which seems to be the part that is wigging out now, or should I replace the whole thing? I finally resolved that it was very stressful to me to come home and find it running constantly -- I don't like the smell that fills the basement, and I don't want it to burn out -- we need that pump! Plus, I hoped it was within my ability to replace the switch, so I decided to do that. It might be within my ability to replace the pump (and if I decide to do that before the spouse's return, I will probably call you, C.) but I felt rather less than confident on that, and I had, after all, bought the switch. There were a few differences between what I bought and what was on the pump, but only a few, and they were cosmetic. In my exhaustion (when I started I think it was a bit before 1am, and I've been getting to bed about 1am or later for I don't remember how long, and I need well more than 8 hours of sleep and I like 13) I'm glad the instructions reminded me to unplug it before working on it -- the rest of them were incomprehensible, but that I could do. The backup pump cycled 2 or 3 times while I was working, and there were a couple of times when I tested what I had so far by plugging the main pump in and flipping the switch. The hardest part of this was getting the wires disconnected from the old switch. The crimpy connections were very tight on the tabs. The instructions only told me to connect the black and the white wires, but since the other-black and orange wires existed and had been connected, I connected them too. After a few cycles, I got it set up in a place where it would turn on and off, and seemed to be operating well. Finished this at about 1:15.

Well, that's not counting the time I spent plunging my hand, watch, and shirtsleeves into the COLD water in the crock trying to find where my little screwdriver had gone after it dived in.

Since I was up late anyhow, I decided to do a little bit more work. The lever in the downstairs toilet had decomposed over the weekend and when I removed the lid to flush manually, I was pretty well grossed out by the appearance of the flapper. I worked getting the old parts (that remained) off of the tank. The nylon bolt and nut I attacked with some channel locks, as they were not finger-loose. It behaved seriously cross-threaded, and indeed, by the time I had that thought they surely were, but I cannot vouch for whether that was damage that was already there, or whether I caused it. I didn't know that that bolt was left-hand-threaded! Cutting up and replacing the flapper went well. For those who are noting my endeavours to stop being such a pack rat, I did throw out the nice, chromed, flush-lever that I took off of the toilet.

By 2am I was mailing the spouse a note containing the resolution of my current battles. A bit later I started my half-hour nordic track routine. (EVERY night that I am home...) While skiing I heard a sound that I identified as the sump pump staying on which started about 5 minutes before I was done. I chose not to run and check, but I felt really discouraged. Turns out the pump was fine, but the either the fridge was doing a cooling cycle or the freezer doing a defrost, and I misinterpreted the noise. Then I bathed, (decided that I was too tired to wash my hair) and at 3:17 I was crawling into bed. I expect that by 3:18 I was fast asleep.

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