Friday, September 1, 2017

Day 2808

Maybe the zombie apocalypse has already started. First North Korea threatens to nuke us. Then, Mother Nature actually does nuke us with a Godzilla hurricane, Now, things are starting to get real at home.

I was getting ready to go to bed last night when I heard an ominous cracking sound, followed by what sounded like a rush of water. The supply line to the toilet had burst and high pressure water was spewing everywhere. I tried in vain to close a shut off valve, but it had rusted and was frozen. By the time I found the key to the water main and went outside to shut off the water to the house, the bathroom, hallway, and part of the bedroom were completely flooded.

To make matters worse Janet had to have a colonoscopy today and was right in the middle of colonoscopy prep when the pipe ruptured. If you've ever had a colonoscopy, you'll know that the night before is not the best time to be without running water or working toilets. I was able to use water being collected by the dehumidifier to flush the toilet a few times and then we resorted to using the bottled water we had around the house.

It's amazing we didn't get electrocuted. Several plug strips that were sitting on the floor got covered with water and shorted out. After I got the water shut off, I unplugged everything with gloves on. If I didn't have the wet/dry vacuum nearby, I'd probably still be mopping up water. About 2 AM, things were reasonably dry again and I went to bed.

I called my plumber as soon as their office opened this morning and was told that they were completely booked up until next Tuesday. This was not good. I took Janet to the hospital for her procedure and then went looking for a plumbing supply store, hoping to not use up too much gas in the process. I eventually found exactly what I needed and was convinced that I could make the repairs myself. I'm not very comfortable sweating copper pipe, so I found supplies that I could use without a torch. Surprisingly, my repairs worked perfectly. I saved at least $150 by not having a plumber come out, not that I could find one anyway.

By the time I got the pipe fixed and restored water to the house, it was time to pick up Janet. Since the morning had been relatively successful, I decided to spend the afternoon looking for gas. I know I told you yesterday that I was going to just wait, but it drives me nuts not to be prepared. When I looked at the Gas Finder website this morning, there were even fewer stations that still had gas than there were yesterday. When I drove to the hospital and back I didn't see a single station that still had gas.

There was only one station within a fifteen mile radius that still claimed to have gas today, so I drove there and got in line. There were sixteen pumps at this station and only two of them were still working. The only thing left was regular gas, so I reluctantly filled my tank with regular. I've never done that before, but I didn't want to run out of gas on a long holiday weekend. On my way home I saw my first gasoline tanker. There were a long line of cars following this tanker and when the tanker eventually pulled in at a Chevron station, all the cars followed. This is madness. There really wasn't a gas shortage in the first place, but we have created one. The tanker trucks usually just top up the tanks at the stations once a week. Now all the tanks in the city are completely empty. It might take a while to get back to normal.

It was an odd day, but I'm happy. We've got running water again and I've got a full tank of gas. What more could you ask for?

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