Monday, December 31, 2012

17-year-old student suspended from school for her poem about the Sandy Hook Shooter.


Some authorities have decided that the pen of a student is deadlier than any firearm.  Read the story, and the student’s poem, HERE

How in all the midnight darkness of the valley on the west side of Sam Hill did those school-officials manage to perceive that poem as any kind of a threat?  How can they justify suspending the student?  Good Lord, people!  Please get a secure grip on your political correctness and then form a blue-ribbon committee to decide on a safe place where you can STICK IT!

I truly hope that the student’s mother sues that school district for double the amount of a King’s ransom and wins enough to put her daughter through a great college. 


Sunday, December 30, 2012

More waste of our tax dollars



There is no HOPE and there is no CHANGE.  Taxpayers are drowning in a septic field of unemployment and underemployment while it is business as usual for our sELECTED Officials.

Chicago Politics runs our nation.  “Ubi Est Mea?” Where’s Mine?”


Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Mayan Apocalypse took out one of our basement sump pumps.



(My daughter said this image reminded her of me.)

There was no damage or flooding to the basement; a foul industrial type of smell was the only clue that something was wrong; the house cats told me where the odor was coming from by shoving their noses under the basement door for a sniff.  I shut off all of the basement lights and, via flashlight, was able to trace the source of the haze in the air to the sump pit, which was full of oily, boiling water.  I found that the pump motor had kept running when the impeller failed, grossly overheating and blowing the oil out of the housing.

Eschatology aside, eventually all sump pumps will fail.  The 13-years 14-years that this one lasted is mildly exceptional. We have two sump pits in our basement.  The pump that failed on “Mayan Doomsday” was in the pit that serves the footing tile and window-well drains; as it should, it discharges to the yard, down hill, well away from the house (please don’t connect the discharge from this type of pit to the sanitary sewer; doing so overloads the sewage collection system and the treatment plant).  The other pit is sized for a domestic sewage pump in case we want to put a bathroom in the basement, but currently it only serves light-duty for the floor drains and AC condensate drain; as it should, it discharges to the sanitary sewer and its pump also is 13-years-old 14-years-old and likely to fail soon.  This pit does not serve a “heavy weather” function; I intend to find the time and energy to replace its pump at my leisure rather than waiting for it to fail, but there is always a chance that I will not get to it until motivated by a problem.

Had we been going through a period of heavy wet weather, this project would have been an emergency.  Our recent cold, dry weather made it favorable for me to take my time; things always seemed to jump ahead of it on the priority list but, fortunately, I was able to do it in increments.  Yesterday night I completed the job. 

The nastiest part of the job was using my 16-gallon wet / dry shop-vac to empty the pit; beneath the water, there was a (measured) 7-inch accumulation of sludge, much like the malodorous ooze you would find in a swamp bottom.  Putting a new pump into a dirty pit will shorten its life (if it does not cause it to fail immediately).  Other system components were also due for replacement; there is no sense in trusting a new pump to 13-year-old 14-year-old float controls and a 13-year-old 14-year-old check-valve. 

If money had not been an obstacle, I would have opted to install two pumps in this pit, one being a battery-powered backup.  However, I run a strict “pay as you go” budget and our holiday spending, along with a couple of years of sizable cash outlays to help out desperately needy friends and family, made an enhanced system unaffordable for now (CLICK HERE to read all of our sump pump adventures).


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Daniela, we will forever miss you.


The angel from next-door is gone.  Her smile gave light to our world and our world failed her miserably.  Watching her grow-up was one of the most blessed facets of my life.  Losing her is one of my darkest moments.

Her first leukemia diagnosis was at age 13 and the treatment lasted until she was age 15.  In early July of this year, at age 17, the leukemia returned with uncompromising vigor.  After courageously enduring 5-months of torturous hospitalization, which included removing both of her legs in a futile attempt to control rampant infection, she died on November 28.  Her funeral was on December 4. 

In spite of their complete spiritual faith and having a good income and health insurance, her family is emotionally and financially devastated.   In between bouts of the leukemia, Daniela’s father filed for bankruptcy in order to save their home.  Today, there may be little chance for him to save it again.  There are no food stamps available for this family and no government mortgage refinance, only the limited help from family and friends.  The bill collectors and the legal system did not wait for Daniela’s last breath to begin gnawing at the remains of her family.  

I will not be asking for Internet donations for Daniela’s family, but I do solicit your good thoughts and / or prayers.   Please give to those around you who are in need, whatever you can afford and whenever you can. 

The humble blogger at this obscure blog site is on hiatus until his enhanced seasonal melancholy clears.  Should I not return before then, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.