Saturday, October 31, 2009

operator error

i got up thursday (my day off work) with a long list of to-dos.  i start the shower and after 5 minutes of running, there is still no steam.  i plunge my hand into the shower and pull it out cold.  i thought i'd give it 20-30 minutes for some hot water to kick in.  no go.  i call david:
"so, we don't have any hot water."
"yeah, i took a cold shower last night, but i thought it was because the washing machine and dishwasher were running at the same time."
"what do we do?"
"i don't know."
"is it the heater?"
"how do you fix a hot water heater?"
"i don't know."
"do you call HVAC?  a plumber?"
"i don't know."
"ok....i guess i'll take care of it."
i am frustrated that now, in addition to my list of stuff to get done that day, i have to also add hot water heater to the list.  i think, 'should we own a home if we don't know how to fix it?...this is ridiculous!'  david calls a few minutes later and suggests i look at the pilot light.  it's out.  i read the directions on how to re-light it:
step 1.  turn everything off and make sure the tank is full of water and the lines are flushed of gas.
i am already envisioning the house (and myself) exploding whilst i attempt to light the darn thing.  wait a minute--i have a dad who is a professional home inspector!  he can fix anything!...or at least be a witness via the phone in case everything goes south...
i call my dad and he first refers me to 4c.29 of his book (the section on water heaters).  i see a page with diagrams and plumbing parts i know nothing about.  he asks me if i have a sediment trap, like the one in the diagram.  i love how every single pipe looks exactly alike...
after we confirm all the parts are in place, he walks me through the steps to re-light the pilot, assuring me the whole way he will call utah's 911 line directly if he hears any sort of explosion.  i try to light the pilot at least 50 times and see no spark to speak of and no flame to speak of.  my dad tells me to call our builder.  i do, and the builder says he'll send the plumber right out.  
two hours later, david comes home for a lunch break and also tries to light the pilot without success. 
three hours after that (about 430pm), the plumber still hasn't shown up.  i call our builder back and get his voicemail right away.  "hi, builder, it's me again at _______...i know i told you before our pilot light was out on the heater, but i don't know if i was clear: we have zero hot water.  i am just wondering what the status is on your plumber coming by, and i'd like to know if we should plan on showering at the gym tomorrow, or if we can shower in our own home."  he calls me right back and says he's going out of town, but he gives me the plumber's name and number.  i call the plumber, and he says he'll be out in about an hour.  
when he shows up he lights the pilot in a matter of seconds...
i call my dad back and he says, "sounds like operator error to me!"
i took a hot bath that night.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

football and conversation

david came home the other day saying he knew why guys liked football.  it has nothing to do with pig skin or muscles or face painting.  it's conversation.  it's the communication in the break room, the topic during lunch, the weekend get-together.  it's how and what men communicate about.  according to david, women have gossip, shopping, tv shows, and their kids; men have football.  men use so few words in conversation, it's nice to fall back on football.  david doesn't watch football.  i have a husband who would rather watch saturday morning cartoons than a football game.  i am not a football widow.  while he's delivering boxes, he'll always run into guys asking him what he thought about the game, or the pass, or the so-an-so player.  he simply responds, "i don't keep up with football."  without fail, he says the response is always a look of panic (translation: "what do i talk about now?!"), and then silence with a blank stare (translation: "oh well, i guess the conversation is over.").  

my problem is although i am a woman, i don't fit into any of the "female conversation" categories listed above.  i am at an utter loss when it comes to small talk.  i am not in any circle to speak of, so nix the gossip; i shop when i need something, and hate it for recreation; the only tv i like is what david calls my "death shows" (csi, murder mysteries, medical mysteries, etc.)...can you imagine a dinner conversation in that topic?!...and we don't have any kids.  i am awful at small talk and very often feel very awkward in conversations, even if you're a long-time friend.  

maybe i should take up football.

Monday, October 12, 2009

H1N1 vacation: day 1

my symptoms (heavy chest, cough, low grade fever) started last wednesday.  thursday is my day off from the pediatric office, and when i woke up, i was fairly certain i had the flu (although never did it cross my mind i had THE flu).  in addition to coughing and a fever, i was now achy, slightly dizzy, had a headache, sore throat, etc.  i slept for about 14 hours, and then called my office manager to ask for friday off, as well, thinking i could use the rest of the weekend to feel better and start work again on monday.  per office protocol, she had me come down to the office for a rapid influenza test.  we have obviously had lots of kids coming in with the same symptoms, and a co-worker of mine and i started with the symptoms on the same day...suspicious, no?  the rapid flu test was negative, but they still wanted me to go to the hospital for an H1N1 PCR test.  this test basically magnifies your dna (taken from a nasal secretion specimen) and looks for any interferences or manipulations, which a virus would do.

because of our insurance, we have to go to a certain hospital to stay in the network, so although my office is right next to utah valley hospital, i drove up to north orem to go to the timpanogos hospital.  after registering, sitting there with a mask on, feeling like an infected amoeba, i finally get back to the outpatient lab and the techs tell me they don't do this lab on an outpatient basis, only on inpatients.  so i have to go all the way back down to provo, re-register, wait some more, etc. etc.  my office manager also wanted me to start tamiflu, regardless of the results.  if the test ended up being negative, i would go back to work on monday.  if it were positive, office policy stipulates the employee taking 7 working days off.  results came in on friday: positive for H1N1.  another office policy: get all family members who have had contact to also begin tamiflu, as a prophylactic measure.  so david is also taking tamiflu.  we've been really lucky; the number one side effect is nausea and vomiting.  we haven't had any of that.  

we were going to have our housewarming on saturday, which obviously got postponed.  the weekend mainly consisted of a lot of sleeping, coughing, and sleeping some more.  with the tamiflu, it really isn't that bad--it feels like a cold on steroids.  my biggest symptom is fatigue, and then the residual coughing (which will linger for another 2 weeks or so), other than that, i seem to be fine.  so i get this whole week off, and i am feeling perfectly fine this morning, after 12 hours of sleep.  today, vacation day 1, i will do some ironing that desperately needs to be done, and put away two baskets of laundry we did over the weekend.  that'll probably be it for energy, and the rest of the day will be reading or movie-watching.  i've go another 4 days of this--any movie suggestions?      

Saturday, October 3, 2009

some of the goings on

we've been in our house for 5 or 6 weeks now, and every week we've had projects to complete.  last week it was turning a cherry-red stained computer table/hutch into this:

a couple weeks before that it was fixing these:
we ordered the blinds from a company based in colorado, but the shipment actually came from new jersey.  we don't think these blinds were manufactured very well--9 out of the 11 we ordered had fallen apart in shipping.  david was getting so frustrated trying to install them!  he called the guy and we were going to mail them back, but that would mean another 4 weeks minimum without privacy, so david decided to figure out how they work and rebuild them.  i'm glad someone in this family has a mechanical mind!  so in a few short hours, david rebuilt our blinds and finished installing them!  

next project:  using my brand-spanking new sewing machine (thanks mom!!) to cover these--so gross (they came with the couch/love seat set)
with this:
seriously the easiest pattern ever!  ikea had an "envelope pillow" pattern--all you do is overlap the sides and sew!  and it uses probably 1/2 yard (the pattern calls for 20"in width by 60" in length).
and turning 12 yards of fabric
into drapes!  we spent a whole saturday two weeks ago driving all over utah county and salt lake trying to find curtains we liked, and couldn't find anything.  we even went to joann's to look at their drape fabric when they were having a 50% off sale, thinking i would just sew some up really quick.  we found 3 patterns we liked, but they'd have to special order it, and the total came to over $350, even with the sale!  no thanks!  we ended up at ikea and found this fabric we loved ($7.99/yard), and a ready-made set of drapes, as well.  we left very satisfied. 

we also drilled holes into our cabinets to instal knobs and  pulls.  so much nicer!
oh, and last but not least, i got these installed, too.  i snapped this from the torture seat while i was waiting for the orthodontist to come back...i really am smiling here.  they'll be gone in 12-18 months.  until then, i am eating apple sauce and mashed potatoes, and feel like i am talking with rocks in my mouth...or on my teeth...