CFPM in Action

Here at the Compound, in the soggy land of endless wet, our water comes from a well.  And in between that well and my alimentary canal is a large capacity sediment filter with a nominal 25-micron rating.  And when they say nominal, they mean that’s a make-believe number your supposed to take with a grain of salt (which would also pass right through it).

This filter comes with a filter life rating of six months.  Now in as much as I’m an engineer who has a very intimate relationship with filters from reverse osmosis pore size that can restrict the passage of atom sized particles up to bag filters that stop more or less nothing, I feel qualified and even privileged to insert my own factor onto this rating.  And the factor I used turns out to be twelve.  It was about six years ago that I installed the last edition of this handy household protective device.

I know, I know, I’m a monster.  I’m endangering my plumbing, my heating system, the well pump and the very fabric of space-time in the general vicinity of the Compound.  Fine, guilty as charged.  But look at it from my point of view.  I’m terminally lazy and keeping track of all the stuff I’m supposed to care about is just too much.  My system of maintenance is called the catastrophic failure panic method or CFPM for short.  Under this nifty protocol I more or less let things run on their own until catastrophic failure or the fear thereof concentrates my attention on some terrifying effect, like flood, fire or downed power lines crackling and buzzing like a giant nest of angry hornets.

I won’t claim that this lifestyle choice doesn’t have some difficulties.  It’s definitely expensive in the long run.  But it goes hand in hand with my belief that I live a charmed existence.  Somehow, I’ve managed to sidestep the consequences of my negligence and laziness pretty much entirely.  Sure, I have to pay a lot of money to fix the things I neglect but not worrying about all the things I should be taking care of and concentrating on the things that interest me has meant that life is a wonderful adventure with just enough excitement (or fear) to keep it interesting.

Take this filter thing as an example.  I remember about three years ago Camera Girl said to me that the clear plastic filter housing looked really gross.  Now gross is her layman’s term for filled with silt and rust.  And she may have thought that I ignored her warning.  But she couldn’t have been more wrong.  Her words were recorded and analyzed by my subconscious and became a part of the enormous algorithm that is my brain’s response to the great big wide wonderful world that I imagine surrounds me.

And at precisely the right time I remembered that filter and so about a week ago I looked at that filter and was repulsed at how gross it looked and some other part of my brain measured the pressure drop that the water system was experiencing coming from the well to my faucet (well indirectly, actually I was noting the lower flow rates I’ve been seeing lately).  And my fear of catastrophically destroying the well pump triggered CFPM action and I bought the new filter and installed it today.

The system works!

You might think, “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”  Many laymen confuse the CFPM with complete imbecility.  But there’s nothing complete about it all.  After all I brush my teeth every day and that’s annoying so I definitely have my limits.  But this whole thing has made me think I should change my factor from twelve to two.  After all, an annual event would tie it into the celestial cycle and trigger my interest in all things occult.  Just as the Druids sacrificed captives at the Autumnal Equinox (okay maybe I made that up) so I could celebrate the changing of the filter as a sacrifice to the great gods of pressure drop; Moody, Fanning, Darcy and Reynolds.

Well, it’s been a taxing day.  I ‘m going to go relax before tackling the last episode of “The Terminal List.”  Camera Girl’s initial reservations about the show have evaporated due to her love of cinematic blood-thirsty violence.  But this brush with disaster has made me more thoughtful.  Maybe I should take a look at that gage on the propane tanks.  I’d hate to run out of fuel for the generator this winter.  Ahhh, there’s plenty of time.  I’ll just make a mental note.

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Ed Brault
Ed Brault
2 months ago

Perhaps you should schedule it to coincide with the Select Board meeting days. I’m sure First Selectman Cthulhu would appreciate the regular sacrifices. Perhaps you could start with Moody, Fanning, Darcy and Reynolds.

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