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Month: June 2022

People Forget

It is easy for people to place blame on the President of the United States because it gives them a singular person to blame for what they perceive as failings in the status quo. Let me repeat that, perceived failings in the status quo. Yes we are experiencing inflation, gas prices are driven up by oil companies and organizations such as OPEC, speculation by rich investors and unscrupulous businesses. It is also the same with blaming the President for a shortage in baby formula. The President of the United States does not get up every morning and set gas prices and production numbers, he is not the purchasing manager for baby formula companies, nor is he the quality control supervisor who failed and caused a large recall on various baby formulas.

People forget that we have a capitalist economy, prices are not regulated by the government but controlled by the businesses who buy and sell goods, by labor markets that at times do drive up the costs by demanding living wages above the threshold of the minimum wage. For many industries employee pay rates have been stagnant or anemic for the last 30-40 years as the prices for the goods that they produce have risen. We have finally reached a critical moment where workers are not taking low paying jobs, not going back to the same low paying jobs they lost during the pandemic, they have suffered and reached a breaking point where they want living wages.

Yes right now the supply chain is in a mess, gas prices are up, cost of goods are going up, and businesses are reaping windfall profits in many industries. Other companies went under during the pandemic, over a million United States citizens lives have been lost the last 2-2 1/2 years, over 85 million reported cases of Covid in the United States. So yes we have many problems to overcome as the supply chain transitions back to levels pre Covid. And yes the transition is going to be painful, a worldwide contraction of business does not just right itself overnight. So, if you need someone to blame go ahead, use the President as your scape goat if that is what makes you feel better. If going down the road of hate and anger is what helps you make it through the day, no words I or anyone else can write or say will change that. As for me and my household we are putting our faith and trust in God, not looking for anyone to blame but praying for those who are broken and bitter, praying for those who are struggling financially, and praying for businesses to do the right thing.

I must have been on vacation

Saturday morning after returning from doing some shopping I just happened to look down at my water meter cover while walking by it. I was surprised to see that it was soaking wet, so I opened my garage and grabbed my water key and proceeded to open up the water meter box. I was greeted with a waterfall running from the yard into the box. I quickly turned off the water at the meter and called the water company. I went ahead and grabbed my 2 shovels as I waited on the technician to arrive as I expected him to say it is on my side of the meter which means the water company is not responsible for private property which begins at the customer side of the meter.

Sure enough the technician arrived after 15 minutes from my placing the call, was very surprised at the timely response. And as I suspected the issue was on my side and he offered his condolences but could do nothing for me since the leak stopped once I had turned off the water line coming into the meter. So the fun began and I started digging, as quickly as it had stopped running when turned off I suspected I would not have to go too far to find the leak. After digging a small 3′ by 1′ by 1′ trench I turned the water back on to see if I was getting close and got my first cold shower of the day as water sprayed up about 5 feet in the air.

Now the hard part began, digging by hand with a little garden shovel to expose the water line and the pressure control valve assembly. It was such a mess that I had to dig at the clay with my bare hands to clear around the line and below the pressure regulator. It became apparent as I uncovered the pressure regulator that the output side connector to the house main line was the culprit as it was literally only connected by a thin strip of what remained of the pipe. I would have taken pictures of the damage but I was soaked and covered in mud with no way to wash my hands which were covered in mud.

So, I got ready to take out the old parts, however I needed pipe wrenches to disconnect from the water meter side. Thus began the first shopping trip for tools, off to Harbor Freight for pipe wrenches and bought two of the last four they had in stock. Get back and fight with the pipes coming in to the regulator, took a bit but was able to loosen up the right nut connecting to the pipe coming from the meter. Then I had to decide where to cut the PVC mainline since I would need enough space to add a union, once I made the cut what little piece of metal left on the output side broke the rest of the way.

Then began the back and forth to hardware store to get the pressure regulator fixed and reconnected to the house water supply. Took 2 more trips to get everything connected properly. In the middle of trying to get everything connected it started raining and I got completely soaked from head to toe.

Plumbing part all complete

Left it overnight to dry as much as possible to determine if there were any leaks coming from the regulator or the PVC connections. Finished it up on Sunday with a new meter box instead of the small round box I uncovered while digging.

new box installed and old pieces ready for trash

So ends another vacation saga, would like to just have a normal vacation one day in which nothing goes wrong or breaks.

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