Sunday, May 31, 2009

Since

moving into this house, one thing we have noticed is that, if you turn on more than one faucet at a time, water slows to a trickle. It still comes out, but you would be hard pressed to even wash your hands. The solution was simple, yet getting to the solution cost me 12 hours of my life and near $200 bucks.

To fully understand the situation, you have to first know that back when we had the home inspectors out to inspect the house, when we got to the well system, the home inspector pointed to a particular valve and said that "that valve controls water to your house". So since then, when I've needed to shut off water to the whole house I would close or open that valve...it worked just as he said.

After being at Betty's house, and running several faucets at once, we became envious of her water flow and pressure. We began to think that ours was lacking. So, like any good home owner, I decided "I can fix it".

So I bought a pressure guage to check our water pressure. Our static pressure was about 50psi. Perfect! Yet when you opened two faucets, the flow dropped to nothing. However, the pressure remained fairly high. I also noticed that no matter how low our water pressure got, our pump never turned on. After much googling and conversations with my dad, I decided to replace the pressure control switch and add a pressure guage at the at the switch so I wouldnt have to run outside to see what the pressure was. Idid this with no problem. The pump now turns on and off like it should. Pressure, according to my new guage, was good also. Still, when we turned on two faucets, very little flow.

I decided to check the air pressure in my bladder tank. Since the air pressure in the bladder tank should be 2 psi below the cut in pressure on the control switch. My new control swith is a 40psi-60psi switch, meaning the pump turns on when water pressure drops below 40 psi, and shuts the pump off when water pressure reaches 60 psi. My bladder air pressure was at 20psi.

So I decided to increase the pressure to 30 psi. While at Home Depot I bought a manula bycicle tire pump. My first mistake. Yes a pump like this could raise the pressure in a bycicle tire very easily, when trying to increase the pressure in a large cylinder like a bladder tank, it is virtually impossible. It is like trying to inflate a truck tire with a hand pump. Eventually I bought a nice air compressor to do it.

So, after all of this, the air pressure in my bladder tank was spot on at 38psi. And still not change in the water system. Everything checked out. Correct water pressure at the faucets, correct air pressure in the bladder tank, pump turning on and off as it should! I was getting depressed thinking it was a well/well pump problem which are very expensive to fix.

Then it all started to come together. After more reading, conversations with my dad, and remembering hydraulics class I began to think that it was a restriction somewhere in the system, though I didn't know where.

This is because restrictions cause pressure, and I never lost pressure, hence there had to be a restriction. While looking a the pictures of the piping I took to send to my dad, and talking to my dad, we realized that there was a second shut off valve!
I knew it was there! Stepped over it a hundred times today! It was only partially open. I opened it all the way and now I can ren every faucet in the house, the shower, and flush the toilet all at once with no loss of water pressure or flow!!!!

As they say, sometimes when your in the woods, you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Its been quite a week

Last Friday and Saturday we moved into the new house. I truely know why they are called money pits now!!! It has been a great week though. Nothing Vegas has to offer can compare to sitting out in our front yard and watching the sunset while sipping on a drink. Being that it is usually a few degrees coolere here in Pahrump it is even more enjoyable.

We have even had a few visitors like the one pictured below:
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We had a long nose snake get into the house. We also have a resident jack rabbit that does not seem to want to leave.

I have gotten used to getting up at 4:30AM for the drive to work while thinking of the evenings out in the yard.

The amount of work to be done is great for sure, but it is ours, so we enjoy it much more.

The trappings of a normal life are begining to surround us again. We have cable and SLOW internet. We have so much work to do though, that it will not matter how slow the internet is for a while. I can upload pictures, and google how to repair things...that should sufice for now.

Some random pictures:
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Fire place room

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Sunset

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Plumbing leak mitigation

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Front room.

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Hummingbird

Well its been a long day....17.5 hours to be exact....I'm off to bed....

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Friday, May 22, 2009

This is it.

The last post for what will likely be a few weeks. Today we are moving.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I can't hold off

any longer. I've tried not to post too many political post in this blog because it is not really a political blog. I'm sure many of my friends and family probably secretly suspect I voted for Obama.

While I will listen to suggestions about birth certificates, and such I usually dismiss them. At this point, it doesn't matter because you can't change it. It is President Obama...like it or not.
I was also hopfull when he was elected. That hope was misplaced, to my mind.

Firstly, where is the "change?"
I fully supported both wars. In 2008, the country decided it wanted a "change". I accepted it and though...."Ok, lets see where your way gets us...."

Well, on foreign policy, the country got "Bush Lite"
Obamas campaign promises were to:
Close Gitmo.....We will see if it actually closes. Never charged or convicted of a crime you say? Fine, release them, but does it have to be in the USA???

Extraordinary rendition....well, to their credit the Obama administration will only allow ordinary renditions. No longer would the U.S. allow the torturous practice of extra-ordinary renditions.

No more torture. Yet President Obama has left open the window for "Harsh interrogation methods upon his approval.

End the Iraq war. Does anyone really still believe this?? He is not ending it any sooner than Bush would have. And he will still leave troops in Iraq.

His whole foreign policy is nothing but Bush lite.

More to follow....

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1990

seems so far away. So far back in time, yet it feels like yesterday. One day in particular stands out as a day that changed me forever. 19 years ago(and a few days by now),Karen and I got married. I am a better person for it, and by far got the better of the deal!

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Pahrump

is vastly different that Las Vegas. What it lack in glitz and glamor, it more than makes up for in other ways. The people there are way more friendly. The night sky offers an amazing view of the stars that you will never get in Vegas. Karen and I stood outside the other night and just took in the stars. It is akin to being in northern michigan, or any rural town in the USA I suppose. It also offers a small town atmosphere. It reminds me, to some extent, of what living in Carleton was like.

At around 30,000 people though, it is MUCH larger than Carleton which came in at about 2,500 people in 2000. When I first moved to Carleton it had only one lonely blinking Red light.

At 25,000 people, Brownstown was the closest in size to Pahrump among the places I have lived. Brownstown is a suburb. A suburb of Detroit to be exact. As such it is full of cookie cutter houses, condos, and apartments. Oh yeah, and trailer parks.
It is typical suburbia in every way. Although it may sound like I didn't like Brownstown, that could not be further from the truth.

Brownstown is my HOME, and always will be. I lived there for over 30 years. Most of my memories are from there. Of course I still refer to myself as being from Detroit for several reasons. There are many people in Michigan who have never heard of Brownstown for one. Plus, people are less likely to mess with you when you tell them you are from Detroit!....lol You call THAT a gun?????.....lol

Anyhow, Pahrump is a larger town that has still managed to retain its small town feeling. The lady at the party store informed us that bags of Ice from her store are available on the "honor system". 24/7 you can come and get ice even if the store is closed! Just leave the money for it, or stop by and pay for it later!!!! They even deliver it for FREE! You can't even get that in Carleton!!!

The big events in town are the rodes held down at the local park near the school. And being that it is only one hour from Death Valley, I will never lack for things to do! Once I finish the house that is, sometime around 2032 I expect.

If all else fails, the whore houses are only 20 miles away.

The buffets out here, as I said before, are pretty good. You do not get the selection you do in Vegas, but for $10 can you really complain? Well you could. After eating at the Sahara for $6, I felt ripped off!!

The buffets in Pahrump are best described as plain, yet with GOOD food. They even serve Hot Dogs! There was an old timer in the buffet that day. He knew the waitresses, the cooks, the bus boys. Seemingly everyone...but us! He was complaining to the manager about the onions that were cut up for the hot dogs. They were close in size to a VW bug. That is way too big. He and the manager were going back and forth about the size. Apparently the manager had never eaten onions on a hot dog.

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It

is getting very busy here. We are spending every free moment trying to get our new house into "move in" condition. We quickly realized that, although the house is adobe style,you need A/C or at least a swamp cooler. We had neither. So Saturday we called the A/C guy. He came out and found a hole in the low pressure side of the system. An hour later and $350, it was fixed.I think it was the best $350 I've spent in a long while.

The water heater has also been fixed. The upper heating element was burnt up as seen here:
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I replaced both of them since I was already there. $20 for both!

Old dining room light fixture:
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New dinning room fixture:
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Here is Pooh, Tigger and Carly hanging out at the house. This is just before Tigger stepped on one of those Foxtail seeds AGAIN! I pulled this one out and it was imbedded over an inch into his paw!!! Our yard is full them, so they are no longer allowed free roam of the yard. This one, even though I pulled it, still cost $260 at the vets!

Here is Carly chilling, or more accurately, roasting at the new house:
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The house only need a few more things to be "livable". We plan on moving this weekend.

For now I will name our house "the money pit", and from now on HD does NOT stand for Home Depot, but Hundreds of Dollars!!!!!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Finally....

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We got our keys!
Today was a busy day!

First off was repairing the water system....or trying to! Its still not 100% yet, but its closer.
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This valve was leaking water through it and into an un used water heater. The water heater, in turn, was discharging water out of the top seen here:
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I still havent been able to figure out the purpose of this water heater. For now I will bypass it. I replaced the leaky valve, but it was not the only one that was supplying the water heater, not was it the only one leaking water to the heater. I have the parts now to finish it, and will do it on Sat.

The first toilet repair went very well.
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Preparing to go in!

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Upon removing the toilet, I found paper towels lodged in it.One new wax seal later and it is functioning again.

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The move has begun!!!

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Here is Pooh relaxing. Carley really seems to like it there. She loves hanging outside and exploring.

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My water conservation efforts!!!

We spent about $500 today on STUFF.

Well its been a long day, so I'm off to bed now!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The time

is drawing near to when this blog will not be updated for a while. Once the move is made from Las Vegas to Pahrump, I'm not sure how long we will be without internet service. I am also considering creating a new blog for this new adventure. I'm un decided at this point.

I also need a name for this property. Elvis had Graceland, President Bush had the Western White House. Granted I am neither of those people, and our property looks neither like Graceland or the Western White House, nut it is ours and we can name it if we want...lol

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Friday

we get the keys. We think! It is exciting and frightening at the same time! We have basically determined that this move is better un planned than planned due to the fact that we didn't know when we would get the keys. In addition there is a large amount of work that needs to be done before we can actually live there. Well it could be a large amount of work, or a small amount of work, depending on how things go. Two main issues prevent us from living there at the moment.

1. The water system needs repair. It is a minor repair, and inline with my experience. I'm not concerned at all about this repair. I know what needs to be done, I have done it before and expect no issues with it.(Famous last words!)

2. Both toilets drain slow....very slow. This can be a bit more tricky. I am hopeful that snaking the drains/toilets will fix the problem, but there is always the chance that it will not fix it. We are on a septic system, which is new to me. This repair worries me the most because it, to me, is an un known quantity and I'm not sure I can fix it on my own.

The rest of the repairs, and there are many, are minor in nature and not required to move in. Some of the grading around the foundation needs filling in, some of the eves need repair, most of the out buildings need new roofs, some broken tiles. The garage door needs some work. Although numerous in count, they can each be accomplished in a weekend.

One thing we are going to try and do is use swamp coolers, otherwise known as evaporative coolers. Think of a humidifier on steroids. They are especially well suited to the dry, hot weather found in southern Nevada. They are much, much cheaper to run than air conditioners. There is one built into the family room and we also plan on adding either a window or portable one somewhere in the house. Our hope is to not rely on our non functioning air conditioner.

Some other (short term) things I want to do are to:
1. Mark the electrical system.
There are two main boxes in the house. One seems to cover the addition, while the other covers the original construction. Very few of the breakers are marked. This is an easy task, albeit time consuming.

2. Understand the water system better. There are several automated watering systems there that may or may not be functioning. In addition there is a cistern or storage tank tied into the well system that I do not understand as of yet.

3. I do not know where my septic tank and field is located. I need to know this.

Longer term I want to:
1. Supply electrical to the garage, and possibly even water.
Aside from that I would only need a swamp cooler, satellite TV, a computer with internet, and a fridge in my garage. To prevent me from actually working in the garage, I plan to put down some kind of expensive flooring that I wouldn't dare to get dirty!

2. I wouldn't mind growing a 5'X10' patch of grass just to lay in once in a while! Then again, I would have to cut it, so maybe not!

3. Our prime Nevada dirt is full of weeds. I'm not sure what to do about it at this point. Spraying a pesticide on them sounds good, until you factor in that I will eventually be drinking whatever I put in the ground. Bleach, salt or vinegar are also said to work to some extent and are much more natural. I could also just pull them. I may end up doing that, one small area at a time.

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Earlier

this month 28 y/o Las Vegas Police Officer James Manor was killed in a traffic accident while responding to a 911 call for help from a teenage girl who said her father was beating and punching her.







The driver of the other car, Calvin Darling, apparently turned left in front of the officer. The Darling was arrested on one count of DUI and one count of Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.





The accident scene was horrendous.





James Manor, a life long resident of Las Vegas, and a married father of a young son, had been on the force for nearly two years.

It has since been determined that the 911 call was a hoax. The female teenager who placed the call was emotionally disturbed and was never assaulted by her father, or anyone else that night.

The DUI charges against Calvin Darling have apparently been dropped, or are in question, because his BAC was well below the legal limit at the time of the accident. He reportedly did fail a field sobriety test that involves tracking eye movements.

There is also questions surrounding whether or not Officer Manor was using his lights and sirens. LVMPD insists he was, while Calvin Darling and some other witness's dispute that. LVMPD says that they can PROVE he was.

Reportedly, the young female, when informed of the death of James Manor responding to her 911 call by her mother, replied with "I'm hungry!"

All the way around a sad and tragic event! While Calvin Darling does bear some responsibility of Officer Manors death, much more blame should fall on the young female who made the bogus 911 call.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Day, more STUFF

to Pahrump. On Saturday we went to Pahrump. We dropped off a load, of mostly recently purchased, items at the storage place in Pahrump. One thing I've learned about moving is that, no matter how much stuff you have when you move out, you always seem to come up short on STUFF on the other end. Hence you MUST buy more STUFF. Even if you have boxes and boxes of STUFF in the garage as a back up, its no longer enough. Its like being the kid in the cell phone commercials that doesn't want to use the old roll over minuets on his phone because well....they're...old minuets! The STUFF packed in boxes in the garage is now "OLD STUFF" and cannot be used towards your "STUFF Balance". Hence you come up short.

The only exception is back when I moved to Lincoln Park. That would have been back in 198.... never mind, I can't remember how long ago it was. When I lived mover there with my roommate Jerry Koss, our dogs ate all of our stuff, not the least being...our kitchen table, carpet, mattress, light bulbs. He ate the walls, the floor, and chewed a hole in something on the water heater. Granted we were careless in leaving those items laying around where the dogs could get at them. I don't blame the dogs though, I blame me and my roommate. We were too young to have a dog, let alone two. We could barely take care of ourselves.

Anyhow, when the dogs ran out of STUFF to eat, leaving me with no STUFF, I moved to a house full of STUFF! My parents house!!! Since I'm not out of STUFF, I can't go back there yet!


Oh yea. The pictures.
This is my garage...
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Oh, I already showed you that 300 times?...sorry!

The front yard:
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Front court yard.

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

I need a

pick up truck and a cowboy hat! You cannot live and Pahrump without a cowboy hat! You cannot have a cowboy hat without a pick up truck! What would people think???

Some day I will have both!!!

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Har to believe

but this is likely our last weekend in this house.We completed what turned out to be 3/4 of our closing on Friday, with the rest to follow on Monday with the title company. By Tues or Wed we should have the keys. I never realized how frustrating buying a house could be. That said I think we still had it easy compared to some people.

Today while visiting the Home Depot there was a guy shopping with a pistol strapped to his side. You gotta love it!!! Well you may not HAVE to love it, but I certainly do!!!!

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Trip

video

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A fairly

un eventful trip. Thankfully.
I left Michigan around 11AM on Saturday. I had three companions along for the ride. Since I did not want them staring at me the whole trip, I had them put in the back and covered up....they didn't seem to mind too much as they never complained once.
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Somewhere in Oklahoma.

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This is THE dirtiest bathroom in all of the USA!!! It is in Oklahoma.

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Texas....Finally!

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I really liked Texas! Very beautiful state.

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Supposedly the largest cross in the western hemisphere.


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An old railcar in New Mexico or Arizona, not sure which.

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Bus stop in New Mexico or Arizona. By this time things were beginning to blur as to where or when they were.

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This is from Winslow Arizona.

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The best thing I saw on my GPS!!!
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Monday, May 4, 2009

Finally

home safe. Well it wasn't safe for my butt! 14 1/2 hours in the car from Amarillo Texas to Las Vegas Nevada.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

It was great

to getback and see everyone. Well I didn't get to see everyone I wanted to, but I only had 48 hours, minus sleeping time.
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Thursday night we ate Kwans Chinese. There is no good Chinese food in Vegas, as far as we are concerned, so I couldn't wait to have Chicken Curry from Kwans!

On Friday I got to visit with Betty, Tom, Nancy and Irene. we went to Texas Road House. That is another restaurant that is not available in Vegas.
I had my usual:)

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After driving over 700 or so miles today I am now sitting in a motel room in Armarillo Texas. Never been to Texas before but it it beautiful for sure. More to follow....

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