Sunday, January 24, 2016

Last Post Today, I Swear!!

Mushed over this, so I could get the snow shovel so I could dig out a path to the freezer.

Part of the new path...

...and the rest of the new path.

Snow drift along the fence.

Finally, the antidotes to it all:

Gin and orange juice, and...

The Morning After...

...and the night before (9-ish):

The A/C drift has grown

Broadway looking west.

Across the street
 This morning, about 8:45 (don't ask...)

From my room #1

From my room #2

The drift at the porch door #1

Porch door #2
The walkway to Freedom!
Of course, the snow shovel is on the patio.  I'll be needing one just to get to it. #RookieMove

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snow Days...

Here, in pictures, the snow:

Work, Friday at about 4 PM.

Drift on the A/C

Backyard, snow drifting over the wall and stairs.

Snow up to the bottom of the front storm door, about 4 inches deep.

North-west on Broadway.

North, across the street.

West, across the neighbor's front porch.


One of my bedroom windows.  Snow *inside* the storm window.

Subway from my room.

North-west from my room.
Notes: 1) Sorry about my finger in the pix. Trying to work around a bandaged index finger to trip shutter. (Pro safety tip - don't grab masonry bit fresh from drilling masonry!)

2) Apparently no sandwiches or pizza tonight.

3) It ain't the snowfall, it's the drifts that are gonna be fun to deal with.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Heating Saga

Absent the previous post, I haven't been doing much here.  I got slammed with work over the Holidays, and just needed to have a mental vacation.  Plus the New Year has plumbed depths of evil and insanity heretofore pretty well unknown.  (I'm looking at *you* Moslems and *you* Barack Obama.)  So my writing energy (such as it is) has been focused on the other blog.

So.  Sometime last November, I ordered the four radiators, thinking that I'd have heat for Christmas.  If' you've read the previous post, you might infer that I in fact have no heat.  You would be correct in your inference.  Thus, the saga.

Dee, the nice lady at Runtal agreed to break up the payment into four easily digestible chunks.  This due to the fact that we are using a debit card, with a $1,000.00 daily limit.  The payments were going thru OK,  OK, that is, until I got an e-mail from Dee saying that the last payment kept getting declined.

There was about twice as much money in the account than was needed, so it wasn't a funds problem.  I called the bank in Texas, and the nice lady there looked into the problem for me.  It turns out there was a "zip code mismatch" on the transaction.  Runtal had used the delivery address here in PA as the billing address, which should have been Deb's address in Texas.  I called Dee and left a message with the pertinent information, and she called me back in about five minutes to tell me the transaction went through.  Yay!  The really interesting part about this (to me, anyway) was that she had used the PA address on all of the previous payments, and the bank had (obviously) taken them.  Finally, then, the order was sent to customer service for fulfillment and shipping.

All of that took place the week before Christmas, so I wasn't expecting anything right away.  I *was* hoping for heat by New Year's, but no.  I got  call a week ang a half ago from the shipper, to set a delivery appointment.  We agreed on the 4th, and they would leave them on the front porch in my absence.  I got a call on the 4th asking to reschedule to the 5th, which was fine.  The 5th came and went, no radiators.

When I called the next day, the conversation on the shipper's side was mostly about why they couldn't deliver to me.  I used my loud indoor voice with the agent, and they finally  agreed to get the shipment to me that day.  Which they did.

Here is the e-mail thread I had with Runtal about the whole fubar:
Hi, Wanda,

Thanks for getting back to me.  I understand the issues involved, it was just an experience about "Why they couldn't deliver", rather than "How can we?"  And, they did get the equipment delivered Wednesday afternoon.  They put it on a bobcat instead of a semi, and the driver and I were able to get off the truck and into my yard.

I plan on starting installation tomorrow!

Thanks again,
On 1/8/2016 2:13 PM, Wanda wrote:
Hello Lee,

I am sorry for all of the issues with the trucking company.  Unfortunately our experiences with each of the trucking companies varies from region to region.   Most of the trucking companies are accustomed delivering to commercial location, where there is a staff to unload the trucks.   The drivers only expect to pull up and open the back door of the trailer.    UPS is much more customer friendly, but will only take packages up to a certain size.   Our larger units due make for a difficult residential deliveries.  I do appreciate your comments and will speak to the sales staff to insure certain shipping details need to be pass on at the time of the sale to the customer.

Hopefully your units have been delivered and all is well.
Runtal North America, Inc.
187 Neck Road
Ward Hill, MA 01835
P. 800-526-2621; F. 978-372-7140

Begin forwarded message:
From: Lee Webber
Date: January 6, 2016 at 9:28:34 AM EST
To: Diana
Subject: Re: Runtal Order
Hi, Dee,

I'm sitting here, on hold with the delivery folks, who just can't seem to get my radiators delivered.  They were originally scheduled for Monday, but they called to re-schedule for yesterday.  And they weren't delivered. Because of 'parking problems'.  Now they tell me that I have to be home because the driver can't carry them by himself.  Which would mean that I wouldn't have heat until next week.  It's currently in the teens here.  I've solved their parking problem for them, and I'm not looking at re-arranging my schedule to accommodate.

Update: the lady at the shipper says that there is no lift gate on the truck, which is why the driver needs help. This company is more excuses than performance.  They will get them out to me today (they say), as long as I am willing to help. 

You might want to reconsider using them in the future. Worse. Than. Useless.

Happy New Year.  I'm looking forward to warm.

Lee Webber

P.S. Please feel free to pass this along to the shipper, as I don't have their e-mail.  lw
So, if you have read the previous post, you are completely up-to-date on the heating situation here in Red Lion.

More, later!

Silly me...

...drywall screws don't work w/ brick!!

Had I been thinking, I would have connected the dots that go from "The outside facing walls in my room are lath and plaster directly (almost) on top of the brick.", to "Odds are, that also is true downstairs!!"

Had I been thinking.  Ha!

So, no heaters on walls today.  The good news is that I returned about $25.00 of stuff today, which means that I should be able to afford the fasteners and starter bit that I'll need.

"What do we want?"


"When will we have it?"

"Real soon!"


(Copy of an email to my fan club...)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Speaking of Radiators... (Updated!)

Update: 1,380 ponds of scrap cast iron.

...they are outside.  In pieces.

It turns out that they are put together using individual sections.  Two pieces of pipe are used to connect one section to the next.  Four threaded rods run the length of a radiator, and by tightening nuts on the ends of rods, the sections are pressed together. Years of hot water causes them to rust in to one, massive, impossible to move assembly.

Turns out that, once you have removed the rods, the sections are relatively easy to bust apart.  If you own a splitting maul.  Which I do.  You don't try to cut the sections apart, rather you use the wedge to pop the sections apart.

Here's what I started with:

You can see the hex heads of two of the four rods right under the break.

Multiply by four, and you get:

Bedroom radiator and the Chosen Destructor

Pile the first...

...and pile the second.
My neighbor is going to load them up and take them to salvage.  I asked him to let me know how much all of it weighs.  I'm guessing close to a half ton.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Da House...

As Jack Benny used to say, "Well..."

I got the two downstairs radiators detached and their feed and return pipes capped.  This, I thought, would at least let me run the furnace and heat my bedroom.

Both God and the house said "Ha!"

I turned on the heat, and went upstairs to check things out.  There was a nice thin stream of water squirting out of the interior of the radiator.  And, whilst the system was pressurized,  rain began falling from the decorative(?) beam between the living and dining areas.

Let there be rain!
My suspicion is that it is the result of a pipe that burst between the ceiling and the floor upstairs.  I hope that it is one of the pipes to the closet heater, because those are relatively short sections, and I *think* I should be able to detach them at a joint near the living room ceiling.  If it is one of the pipes to/from the bedroom, oy!  They are straight, single piece pipes from the basement to the radiator, as far as I can see.

So.  Command decision is that *all* radiators are in some way dead.  Four new radiator panels and four valve sets are on order from Runtal in over in Massachusetts.  I've ordered two twelve foot UH2 panels, one for the bedroom and one for the closet.  Five foot and eleven foot UH4 panels are on order for the living and dining rooms.

Oh, and of course, there is wall repair needed where the old radiators stood as well, which really means that he downstairs needs painting.  Since heat is the priority, I plan on patching and painting the walls where the old radiators were first, then moving on to painting the entire living/dining area.  Deb had a color scheme in mind,  If I recall correctly, it was green for the living room, blue for the dining room, and red for the kitchen.  (My recollection is based on the colors of the kitchen and dining room chairs.)

The wall under the front window. NOT the worst of the two!
Someone put a 'cap' on the baseboard, because it is bowed away from the wall.
Close up of the cap.

The dining room wall, the worst of the two. This is after the first coat of fill.  Once it is completely dry, it gets sanded, a second, thin coat, final sanding, and paint.
This is the part of the floor over the dry rotted joist.  There is about an inch of gap between the bottom of the baseboard and the floor.  That is brick you see in the gap.  There was a majorly kludged patch covering it.  I think I have more shoring to do...
 In other news, I finished up weatherproofing the kitchen door.  This, of course, required some patching and painting, too, but the job is done.  Yes, the door and frame need painting, but I need to focus my attention on the walls before the radiators get here.

The improved product.
New threshold plate and coat of paint.

New weather stripping!
Next pay day, I plan on getting someone out to put in a new pane of glass in the hole covered by the cardboard.

In the mean time, the bedroom is comfy, thanks to an early Christmas present from Deb - an electric, infra-red heater!

The new heater.  It is a faux fire place, with the infra-red heater in the box underneath.  That's Suzu warming her tail.
Suzu enjoying the new 'place' by the 'fire'.
I created the place by using my old bedspread under two fleece throws I picked up for $3.00 each at WalMart.  The dogs seem to like it, and I've even noticed Baxter making use of it.

For my next trick, more outlets in the bedroom!

Oh,  an update on the last electrical post... the short in the wiring over the back bedroom migrated.  I came home to find my wireless out, because I had plugged it into the old circuit, which failed when the short migrated.  So all of those lights and outlets are dead again.

I love this place!!