Friday, February 2, 2018

Sleepless in Little Rhody

(Source)
Bladder: "Uh, dude, we need to, ya know, go."

Your Humble Scribe: "Nah, I'm good. I got this. It's 0400, I can wait until the alarm goes off at 0600."

Bladder: "Dude."

YHS: "Um..."

Bladder: "Dude, I'm serious."

YHS: "C'mon, gimme another hour. I promise, we can go at 0500."

Bladder: "Ah, nothing like a babbling brook, a clear mountain stream flowing to the sea..."

YHS: "Seriously? You can't wait another hour?"

Bladder: "Niagara Falls..."

YHS: "..."

Bladder: "The tide coming in..."

YHS: "..."

Bladder: "I think it's going to rain..."

YHS: "Alright, alright. Damn, okay, it's 0430, I can go and then sleep another 90 minutes."

Bladder: "Ahhhhhhhhhhh..."

YHS: [Turning on the taps to wash my hands...] "Uh, what the Hell? Why is their only a trickle coming out? What the..."

Bladder: "I'm good. Back to bed?"

YHS: "Why is my water pressure at 10%. Damn." [Other Anglo-Saxon epithets mixed with a side of yawning.]

So yeah, got up, got dressed and ran a self-check of the entire house. No obvious leaks upstairs, in the downstairs bath, so I went below to the engineering spaces (what some folks might call a basement), no leaks there.

Went out on deck (outside, I have a deck but not that kind of deck). Nothing untoward to be seen. No gushing water from anywhere on the grounds of Chez Sarge, all appears "ship shape," if you'll allow the continuance of my nautical metaphors.

Hhmm, I would wager that there is a broken main, somewhere. Back to CIC* to get online and check the status of the local water authority. Nothing there, oh, look, an emergency reporting line. I think this might qualify. So I call.

Get a very nice lady who tells me that I am the first to report a possible water outage. She gets my number and promises to send a crew out to check out my neighborhood.

At that point I decide to go ahead and attempt to shave and shower, figuring that with the low water pressure those activities might take a while. My phone rings, it's a different nice lady from the water authority.

"Hi, Chris. Yes, we're sending a crew out, seems that the police called just before you to report a new river on the street next to yours. We're on it, thanks for calling!"

Okay, she didn't call it a "new river," she called it a "significant flow of water," which I would think would be similar to a river, save the impermanence of the latter.

Anyhoo.

Went downstairs to perform the morning ablutions as the water pressure was slightly better on the main deck. (A fellow engineer at work asked, "Why would you think that? Oh. Yeah. Gravity. Never mind.")

By the time I got done shaving, I noted that my water pressure was back to normal. Well done lads, thinks I. Poor folks on the next street over, not so lucky, my pressure was restored by shutting off their water supply. Word on the street (an obvious pun) was that they were without water until noon-ish.

On the up side? Temperatures well above freezing, so that new river didn't turn into a glacier.

On the down side? I didn't get squat for sleep Wednesday night. Thank the Lord I've got today (tomorrow as I type this) off.

I shall sleep the sleep of the just.

Bladder: "Uh, dude..."

YHS: "Seriously?"

Bladder: "Wasn't me who decided that two pints of Guinness for dinner would be nice..."

YHS: "Alright, alright..."

Ah, the life of an old fart. Good times.

For certain values of "good times." Like, I'm still breathing and Depends aren't on my shopping list.

Yet.




* CIC = Combat Information Center, the nerve center of an Arleigh Burke Class destroyer.

42 comments:

  1. Good for a chuckle. At least you have a Water Authority to call. My Water Authority is staring me in the mirror as I shave, and the well head is 1800' away from the house. A lot can go wrong in 1800' especially in winter.

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    1. 1800' would have been quite a slog at 0430 on a cold winter's morn.

      The joys of country living I suppose, you take the good and the bad. Mostly good I'm guessing.

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  2. Yep, normal ops at our age. We also had a water problem yesterday. When we finally got home from the hospital yesterday evening, I opened the front door and heard a loud hissing noise. The hot water line under the vanity in our main bathroom had split at some point during the two days we were at the hospital! I spent a good part of the night running my big shop vac and am now waiting for my insurance company to open so I can file a claim and get 'the man' out here to give us an estimate on the damages.

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    1. Heckuva welcome home from the hospital card, Russ. Hope everything gets better soon!

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    2. Russ - nothing like have that happen while you're away from the manse. Hopefully you've got good insurance.

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    3. Oh yeah, I echo Juvat's sentiments. I followed your travails via koobecaF. Hope all goes well and you're all better soonest!

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    4. We do have good insurance. Other than the deductible they will be covering everything, except having the plumber repair the line. Normally I would fix this myself but I have this Lady who's threatening to put me back in the hospital if I do anymore than I have already! ;-)

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    5. Juvat - "and this too shall pass!"

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  3. Yet...

    That's the disturbing part for an even older fart.

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    1. As I am discovering with each passing year.

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  4. I have the same discussion with my B sometimes several times a night. That cold snap was tough on the water systems, we had a similar event a few weeks back, guys had to do the repair at night in 5 degree weather. I hope they got at least time and a half!

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    1. 5 degrees? That's no fun at all! Yes, time and half at least.

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  5. When I lived out in the country the well would act up on a regular basis (until the well House was built) every time the temp dropped below freezing.
    Used up a lot of matches back then.

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    1. I never thought of that, the reason for having a well house that is. Where it can drop below freezing, that's a "must have" I would think.

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    2. With a temperature activated Heat lamp inside. DAMHIK

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  6. Since I rarely get back to sleep after "Uh, dude, we need to, ya know, go,"...evening drinking is definitely a trade off. That second beer if past 8 PM means I will definitely be up by 4, if not much earlier. If I stay up until midnight, I might set it free, but then I'm just trading sleep from the beginning to the end. As for pipes bursting? Regular occurrence here in SD as all the pipes put in back in the 20's-40's are all slowly getting replaced, mostly after a sinkhole starts.

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    1. Yup, I count myself to be lucky if I get six hours uninterrupted sleep.

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  7. Getting old is no fun. My bladder rules my life.

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  8. Yes, getting up to answer ' nature's call ' in the middle of the night is one of the joys of getting older. Happy to read that the water line break was not in your house.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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    Replies
    1. "...getting up to answer ' nature's call ' in the middle of the night is one of the joys of getting older"

      Well...it does mean you are STILL getting older! That's got to count for something.

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    2. Still on the right side of the grass, as it were.

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  9. Congratulations on climbing the bladder of success!

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  10. I wonder if that was caused by a frozen pipe breaking? As for getting up all though the night, welcome to my world.

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    1. Might have been a pipe which was ready to break after all the cold weather we've had. That day was relatively mild. But freeze and refreeze tends to shift things in the ground. You're probably right on that.

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  11. So, my lizard brain interfaces with my bladder brain to insert messages into my dream brain.

    It goes like this.

    So, here I am, in my dreams, charging Suleiman's forces on my trusty steed, and the pounding of the charge makes me start to pee (in my dream.) Or, I am flying (usually an F-80 or F-84G) and the turbulence makes me start to go pee (in my dreams.) Or, I am on a nice center console fishing boat in rough seas and a rain storm and I start to go pee (in my dream.) Or, well, you get the point.

    So, eventually during the dream peeing, I wake up and have to do the 'Check of Shame' to make sure I actually didn't pee for real. Fortunately, bladder brain has, so far, had excellent control of the urinary sphincters and I have yet to actually pee myelf.

    Of course, once I am awake, I must extricate myself from the bed without disturbing Mrs. Andrew or Miss Rottweiler, and then waddle down the hallway to the bathroom with my bladder feeling like it is a basketball hanging between my legs...

    Since we're talking about peeing, one time I was doing medieval combat in a 6 hour long resurrection battle (die, you go to the start, resurrect and come back in.) Of course, it was the middle of the summer, it was blazing hot in (campground near Tampa) in the middle of an oak swamp, and so here I was, 2 hours into it, thirsty, needing to pee, not dead yet and I get jumped by 5 enemies. I took the death just so I could go behind the trees and contribute to the overall humidity level. Must have been one of the most satisfying wizzes I ever wizzed. (Or is this TMI?)

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  12. Water company has been working the past 4 months replacing all the mains and service lines in our neighborhood, with likely 4 more to go and then a total repaving. The original installations used incorrect fasteners, so we've experienced everything from weeping streets to geysers over the years before they finally admitted it was piping and not "natural springs". Interesting what you find buried and unmarked, as you do a little Sidewalk Supervising as they trench and lay the new pipe. Makes for a nice break when working from home.

    The getting up nearly-every-frigging-day-before-I-plan-to just because Mr B can't hold it like he used to gets old. I suppose I am getting older too, but hate to admit it. That's the stuff that happens at Dad and Granddad old, not my age!

    /
    L.J.

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  13. Cold snaps just ain't human, to borrow an old Popeye cartoon title. We just bought a house last summer and this is the "shake-down" winter. During the really ugly cold snap in early January I heard what I thought was the shower running, except that it was in the laundry room. No shower there, but the washer drainpipe was doing a credible imitation of a municipal square fountain in July. Turned off the washer and once it drained the fountain stopped; mopped it all up but decided that the washer was done for a while. I instinctively suspected something was frozen.

    The next day the damn thing started on it's own, complete with fountain and bucket ballet. Unplugged the possessed appliance once it was done. Turned out standing water in the drainpipe (actually a flexible plastic tube) did freeze and the ice had to be cleared out. The tube was rerouted and we haven't had that problem since, but we are now back in single digits....

    As for "The Old Man and The Bladder", that's become a recurring conversation in recent years and as for the "trickle"? Well, "You took all my wealth and ruined my health and now you won't pee, you old fool...!"

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    1. Good story Jenk. I've had the fountain in the laundry room. In Germany, might make a good post.

      Freezing temperatures and plumbing aren't a good mix.

      It has been an awfully cold winter this year.

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    2. I'm already on my second tank of kerosene. What gets me is that we keep the house relatively warm yet even a small patch of ice was able to form and create this problem. Those of us in northern parts all know about leaving a trickle of water running and some heat on when we go away in the winter, but we went nowhere and the house was warm enough for the kids to run around half-dressed (teenagers--go figure). I'm ready for spring no matter what some dazed Punxatawney rodent squeaks....

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  14. The first two years I was stationed in the UK we had US style wx--freezing <32 winters w. a foot of snow and 90+ summers. (with all the Brits dropping like flies in the summer as summer-weight clothing as we know it was pure unobtainium in the UK in those days in the early 70s). I was assigned a WW II Quonset hut as a one-man on-base BOQ near the flt-line [there was a small colony of us there when I was first assigned to the 91st TFS on the RAF Bentwaters side] with an unheated sloped-roof shed attached to the back housing the john. Talk about brisk early am "adventures!!"

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    1. No lingering over the newspaper there while sitting on the throne I'm betting!

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  15. Stay away from the salt and salty food, and find some way to put your feet up for about an hour or so every afternoon or early evening so the heart can pump up the fluid that has followed gravity down to your toes and then lost the map of how to get back up to the kidneys. I promise you will sleep better, without lots of communication from the bladder.

    Problem in my house is if you get up to go, the cat thinks it's wake up time and demands attention. Loudly. In the hall, outside the bathroom which is a tiled room...the echo is quite dramatic at times.

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    1. I shall give that a shot, couldn't hurt.

      Ah yes, the cats, when I get up they think it's breakfast time.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)