Let us recall: I did 42 miles on the bike yesterday. That was, in a sense, giving up on my original plan. Recall I’d planned to do 50 miles. But, when I crossed the artery off which our subdivision thrives I noted a deep, emotional pleasure of seeing the road sign. Taking that as a sign, I turned and headed in.
Because saying no to the last 10 miles with a heat index of 96, to me, is giving up.
But the better for it, I felt. Discretion and all that. Saddle sores can’t be nearly as fun as the alliteration they make. So I was OK with it, especially after rubbing a curative elixir in my quads. All of that was yesterday, after which I visited the helpful bike store which is full of helpful lads doing thoughtful things trying to keep their laughter about your predicament to a minimum.
This pain in my hand, for instance. And what about this? And how do I? Why, yes, 42 miles, thank you. Why do you snicker?
So today The Yankee and I set out for more of this delightful fun, where the heat index was a mellow 90 degress — hey, even the relative humidity has a take a day off every now and again — and we covered 29 miles.
Well, I covered 29 miles. I took a slightly longer route, intent on racing her home. But then every part of me gave out in the last few miles. Which doesn’t mean anything bad, really. Not to worry. I just coasted more than I should. And wondered how I could simultaneously cramp in 103 percent of my body.
She beat me soundly.
Here’s the cheering section.
Note their casually dismissive approach to encouragement. The distance between camera and subject isn’t expressive enough, but the fence line keeps them back and their lack of amazement by my cycling further restricts them.
At first I thought that it was a denuded poplar tree in the background. When I finally cropped the picture I realized it was the power pole. Cursed power poles. Yesterday, on one long stretch of highway I found no shade. All of the blessed, dark coolness was on the left-hand side of the road. It was long and my field of vision was clear. This blisteringly hot condition was continuing on for some time. And then, I realized, it was the power poles. They were all on my side of the highway. Everything else had been clear cut.
And I uttered perhaps the most petulant thing I’ve said in my adult life.
Oh, like these people need power.
Clearly my shade was more important.
Where I tell you about our search for dinner: Have I mentioned we broke one of the toilets in our house? I did. How about the various evil spirit curses placed upon our property?
When we first moved in we broke the thermostat. That cost $50.
Then I broke the shower head trying to fix a drip. That led to a larger problem which required plumbers, a drywall saw and an acetylene torch. It should have cost us about $1400, the plumber said, since it was a weekend. Fortunately the house warrant and the new shower head stuff cost us around $100.
And then we woke up one weekend to find the frozen contents of our refrigerator hanging out in liquid form on the floor. That cost us $50 (thanks home warranty) plus whatever we paid for ice and dry ice to preserve our perishables.
(We’d been in the house for two months by then.)
Then, in October, the dishwasher broke. Fifty more bucks. (And our second in-house electrocution.)
Then it broke again in December. We had it repaired during the holidays. Yep, $50 more.
This list does not include the bird feeder or the cable/Internet problems.
It does now include March’s necessary garage door button replacement.
It should also be noted that another air conditioner man had to come out and replace a contact on our external unit. Seems you can stop a Trane. And I have to pay $55 dollars to get back on board. This was, apparently, not noted in the blog. But believe me, it happened. I have the canceled check to prove it.
The current minor plumbing issues.
At this point we’re keeping a running total of the devious spirits.
So, to quickly recap (because, really, this story is about dinner): I replaced the flapper in the basin of each toilet tank. In doing so I managed to make one of them leak. I emptied it again and dried the tank, hoping a sealant would be an easy and quick fix. Tonight we visited Lowe’s to get silicon. I run across a man who works there who suggests the fix is probably in a filter, and corrosion related. So he dissuades me from picking up a sealant, encouraging me to bring in the damaged parts so we can find a suitable replacement. “Oh and plumbing repairs are seldom easy.”
Not that that was anything new to hear.
So we leave Lowe’s and look for dinner. We rattle off the options, prattle off the things that don’t sound good and turn to a food app. Thai! There’s Thai in Opelika. We turn the car around and drive across town. We find the right place, where we see a sign that translates to mean “We are no longer Thai.”
We settle on Logans. Which is right across the street from Lowe’s. When the waiter comes The Yankee orders. He turns to me. I’ll have the Thai. This is hysterical to everyone. They’re holding a ceremony to honor this joke next week.
Where I tell you about my repair work: After dinner I decided to investigate the water filter on our refrigerator. This is the first unit I’ve ever had with the water and ice dispenser in the door. There must be, I rationalize, a filter somewhere. Probably it needs replacement.
I do a little study. I find the Whirlpool site that tells me precisely where the filter is. The site insists I find the model number so that it can tell me what filter to order.
I find the model number of the refrigerator. I enter it into the Whirlpool website, which does not recognize it. I enter it again. I carefully inspect my data entry. Still the Whirlpool database suggests this is a secret box of government documents, or perhaps a crate of uranium, anything but a series of letters and numbers that correspond to a refrigerator. I examine each number on the filter. I enter them all into the Whirlpool site. None are recognized.
I’ll just order a new one by eye. Because this is a good technique for this house.
I decide, after failing to resolve my refrigerator issue, to take apart the toilet tank. One needs the feeder hoses, washers and connectors so the hardworking folks at Lowe’s can remind me: lefty loosey, righty tighty.
I remember that to put the flapper into this tank that I had to remove the feeder tube that pumps the refill water in the right place. This wiggled the floater canister, which controls how much water the tank holds. This is the area in which the leak has suddenly appeared. I take the entire thing apart and put it back together. I torque it as if I need to crank down the landing gear so we can safely put down and we’re only getting one chance at this. I say a little prayer, pre-select an oath to mutter just in case, and fill the tank.
This is the first thing I’ve fixed in this house that cost five bucks and stayed at that price.
But the brick which is in there, because water displacement saves the earth, started making noise. Seems the porous brick had dried out. The water seeping in and the air escaping sounds like a rainforest. After a few flushes the creatures in the brick were drowned and silenced.
I tinkered with the master bathroom’s toilet, too, because I did not like the flush rate. I adjusted the chain’s location on the handle, which improves the turning ratio (and now it can climb semi-steep hills). I realized, in glancing at the flapper package as I’m about to throw it away, that there is a part of that rubberized flapper I was supposed to cut away. I make the requisite snips.
Now that one is running again.