High Summer Triumphalism Collides with Amateur PVC Plumbing

I woke up this morning with a song in my heart.  Midsummer Day, blue skies, ethereal luminous landscapes, birds singing, flowers blooming, all that crap.  And as I dawdled over my coffee and bagel Camera Girl did what all wives do best.  She toppled the towers of my fairy tale castle.  Report from the kitchen was that the repair I did to the drain line of the sink had failed catastrophically.

I was outraged!  Just a week ago I had disassembled this piece of pvc pipe and its associated o-rings, gaskets and nuts, cleaned it up, inspected the parts.  And finding them good, I reassembled it and using a very satisfyingly heavy monkey wrench I socked the brass nut down on the iron sink drain with authority.  This failure irked me.  So, I gathered my righteous wrath and got my tools out of the garage and descended on that drain line like Thor.

But the brass nut was now a brass ring and a threaded cylinder.  The damn thing had split apart.  It was almost as if someone had overtightened it.  Knowing this to be impossible I explained to Camera Girl that defective Chinese brass was the culprit.  I sighed a manful sigh and after shutting the water valves to the sink and collecting the spool piece and its attendant fittings and specialty items I headed off for replacement parts.  I was going to go to my local hardware store but since this pvc stuff only came on the scene thirty years ago I thought maybe I should try the plumbing supply place that I had seen nearby.

And it was lucky I did.  The friendly and competent employee behind the counter eyeballed the wreckage of a fitting and instantly handed me a new one.  But when I tried to install it on the pipe, we discovered a very strange situation.  The guy who owned the house before me was a very do-it-yourself kind of guy and what he had done was capture the nut between the flange end of the pipe and a tight 90° elbow that he glued up behind it afterward.  Because the old nut split apart, I could get it around the elbow.  But the new nut wouldn’t get by the elbow.  I grumbled some very uncomplimentary remarks about my predecessor but the hardware professional was unphased.  He noted that the pvc nut that tightened the other end of the pipe in place would fit over the elbow with only light violence and I could use my new metal nut on the other joint.  I thought about this for a second.  Metal to pvc?  Sure, why not?  The worst it would do was loosen and I’d put some Teflon tape on it.

I thanked him and asked him how much for the nut.  He said free.  I said, “I can’t just get it for nothing.”  He said, “Think of it as a sales pitch and come back again next time.”  I assured him I would and it wasn’t a lie.  That guy knows how to run a business.

I got home and sure enough the pvc/iron connection fit like a glove.  I made a point of not socking it down with my wrench and determined to check it periodically to see how much it loosened.  The other metal to pvc joint was equally clean fitting and wouldn’t give me any trouble.  I cleaned up the sink area and returned it to Camera Girl’s jurisdiction with noticeable gratitude on her part.  Hail the Conquering Hero.

In celebration, we took a walk around the gardens and admired the Black-Eyed Susans and roses that were blooming.  And just at that time the guy came returning my lawn tractor from repair.  I wasn’t expecting it back for at least two more weeks so this was definitely manna from heaven.  Even with my 20” push mower working again having the sit-down mower would save me four hours of sweat on a hot July morning.  So, things were really going my way now.

Knowing that good things always come in threes I checked the news to see if maybe President Trump had been recognized as the actual winner of the 2020 election while I was busy.  No soap.

Well, it could’ve been much worse.  Trying to get a plumber in my neck of the woods is difficult.  Leaving Camera Girl without a reliable and convenient kitchen sink would be suicidal.  So, this was indeed a best-case result.

So Midsummer Day was interrupted but not ruined.  Now where was that summer idyll I was dreaming of at breakfast?

O mio babino caro!

23JUN2021 – OCF Update – Focus Stacking Experiments Resume

In March of 2020 I assembled the software on my laptop to be able to do focus staking out in the field.  It was cumbersome especially since the laptop I used was very large but I managed to get a few focus stacks done both outside and in.  But soon after a crack developed on the screen of the laptop.  Eventually I got it repaired but I shifted operation to asmaller laptop and abandoned the older one to a table in my home office.  And up until now I’ve been so busy with other things that I haven’t had time to load up the software for stacking onto my new laptop.

Well, for the last week I’ve been dealing with software issues.  Incompatibilities between the latest Microsoft C ++ version and the Sony remote control package gave me fits but I found a work around and finally was able to run it today.  I’m just doing some still life test subjects indoors but I hope to have some interesting macro subjects soon.

24JUN2021 – Quote of the Day

The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. It was equally impossible to do the plainest right and to undo the plainest wrong without the express authority of the Circumlocution Office.

Charles Dickens

As de Blasio Takes Victory Lap as World’s Worst Mayor Lightfoot Says Hold My Beer

John Kass, former reporter for Chicago Tribune writes a scathing indictment of the dishonesty, incompetency and suicidal nature of the Lori Lightfoot administration in Chicago.

The latest atrocity is a young Latino couple returning from the Puerto Rican Day parade are dragged from their car, assaulted, then shot execution style for the video camera while the perpetrators run or amble away.

Lightfoot goes on camera to say how unacceptable all this is and how the killers will not be given immediate release from jail pending trial.  Boy, that’ll show’em.  Of course, that’s assuming they are ever caught.  After all the police really aren’t arresting people anymore.  Why should they?  If they do, they might be prosecuted if they have to shoot it out with the criminals.

Kass provides a long list of victims that stretch back over the last year of Lightfoot’s tenure as useless mayor of a dying city.  But she’s working hard to rename the iconic Lake Shore Drive after the city’s first non-native settler, the trader Jean Baptiste Point DuSable.  That’s right she is brokering a deal to have it called Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive.  Now that’s what I call statesmanship.

I am curious to see which major city cracks first.  New York and Chicago are in the running for sure.  I’ll define crack as when the National Guard are given shoot to kill orders.  I could go out on a limb and say this summer will do the trick but who knows?  These city folks will put up with a lot.  I’m sure that murder, rape and arson are a small price to pay to put an end to white supremacy.  Diversity, equity and inclusion is tricky business.  Burning down America’s cities doesn’t seem to be too high a price to pay.  Minneapolis, it’s your turn.

Codevilla Proposes a Plan for Avoiding a Civil War – Federalism

Anthony Codevilla lays out how he sees restoring a way of life would have to take place in the United States.  And he clearly says that neither side is going to convince the other side to go along with it.  But he thinks the only way to avoid actual warfare is for the two sides to separate along regional or even local areas and ignore each other.  In this way the larger country can still cooperate on things like roads and armed forces without having to completely split the country in two.

It’s very long but worth reading if you enjoy an historian’s recapping of the historical precedence for re-establishing a conquered nation.  He goes into the way he thinks a national leader has to act to have this movement succeed.  And he does say that a strong leader will be necessary.








The Fresh Prince of Gotham

The NYC Democratic Mayoral Primary is today and although there will also be a Republican candidate selected today that’s more or less a formality and whichever Democratic bozo is the primary winner will be installed as Grand High Exalted Leader of Gotham by the Sea.

Polls have shown that even the brainless progressives who inhabit this modern-day Rome have become spooked by the daily horrific assaults and the scope of the theft that now goes on routinely throughout their once safe metropolis and will lead to the “law and order” Democrat, former policeman Eric Adams, being selected based on his promise not to disband the NYPD.

And that may be true.  But I’m hoping for a different outcome.  I’m hoping a dark horse wins.  I’m talking about Paperboy Love Prince.  Born David Porter Jr., this non-binary candidate prefers the pronouns God/Goddess, Paperboy Prince, and they/them.

According to his Wikipedia page “they dress as “royalty” to draw attention to how politicians can hold power for longer than kings or queens.   In an interview with fashion magazine Prince explained how freedom in fashion encourages freedom in thinking and welcoming of diversity.  They often wear a Game Boy Advance SP or Game Boy Color around their neck.  Prince hosts a community center called the Love Gallery on Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn.  In addition to being a place for community meetings, the Love Gallery is also a vintage clothing store, a food distribution center, and their political campaign headquarters.”

Currently Paperboy is running a little behind.  With about 2% of the vote in he has 0.4% of the vote.  That’s 958 votes out of a current 240,000.  But I sense a stirring in the force.  I know that this is the non-binary goddess New York is waiting for.  I think under a Paperboy Love Prince administration New York will get the treatment it truly deserves.  True Bill de Blasio went a long way in fundamentally transforming New York from an old-fashioned stodgy city with high paying jobs and neighborhoods that included somewhat functional schools and subways into a vibrant paradise where every moment is an adrenaline rush and you live life to the fullest as if every moment could be your last.  And that’s because, of course, it very possibly could be your last.

But that was just the beginning.  With Paperboy we will see a level of dysfunction heretofore undreamed of.  You can only imagine how this Paperboy Love Prince (PLP) will appoint incredible humanoids to head up his departments.  Undoubtedly the Police Commissioner will not have a law and order bent (or pants probably).  And the Education Commissioner will not be focused on test scores or any of that jazz.  It will be about finding the maximum number of transgender candidates hiding out in the third grade.

I assume PLP won’t have time to maintain a sanitation department or try to keep the buses and subways running.  You can’t do everything you know.  But he will probably add new innovative departments like the Commissioner of Twitter and TikTok or something cool like that.

Of course, I don’t expect PLP’s administration to go the whole four years of “their” term.  I’d say eighteen months should be long enough for black plague and cannibalism to resolve things.  But it will be a time to remember.  And by the end it will produce a cityscape familiar to anyone who’s seen “Escape From New York.”

So come on Big Apple, give Paperboy his shot.  He’s ready and he’s sure to finish off any doubts about the future.

Update: Well, Paperboy Love Prince got 0.4% of the vote (~3,400 votes).  The MAN says Paperboy lost but hold on!  If all the voters who voted for someone else happened to put Paperboy as their second choice then this thing can turn around.  Don’t give up.  Paperboy can still win!

23JUN2021 – Quote of the Day

A prison taint was on everything there. The imprisoned air, the imprisoned light, the imprisoned damps, the imprisoned men, were all deteriorated by confinement. As the captive men were faded and haggard, so the iron was rusty, the stone was slimy, the wood was rotten, the air was faint, the light was dim. Like a well, like a vault, like a tomb, the prison had no knowledge of the brightness outside; and would have kept its polluted atmosphere intact, in one of the spice islands of the Indian Ocean.

Charles Dickens

22JUN2021 – Best Headline of the Week Goes to The Babylon Bee

How can you beat, “Female Weightlifter Suffers Tragic Testicle Injury Just Weeks Before Tokyo Olympics“.?

Recently Babylon Bee was able to force the NY Times to retract a statement saying that the Babylon Bee was a purveyor of misinformation instead of a satire site.  If only the Republican Party had half the backbone these guys have.

These guys deserve our support.  They are a unique resource.  And I envy their talent.

My favorite line of the article is the last, “Sometimes your testicles get in the way, Hubbard said. That’s just something we gals have to deal with.