Well, March 27, snow and now it’s April 10 and 88 degrees. I love it when it warms up but it takes about 2 weeks of it to adjust. Yesterday, before the powerful thunderstorm, Sofia and I decided that we needed to put a couple coats of primer on the back of her stumphouse. The reason for this and the reason that we’re not building it in place is because the back of said stumphouse is going to be about 3 inches from the fence and we wouldn’t be able to get a paintbrush in there, nevermind a hammer. So in a scene reminiscent of Tom Sawyer bilking Jim into whitewashing Aunt Polly’s fence (his punishment), the bug did her share of the painting (not her punishment as she’s been game to help)…

I went to a closing up at the monastery last night where my buddy Steven Cheek teaches. It was for a potter named David Bolton and the pieces were really beautiful… woodfired porcelain with underglaze designs created on one of those stencil cutter machines I’ve been longing to purchase. David was very nice and helped me get more confidence about which cutter might be best and, more importantly what material sticks best to the clay. Anyway, it was a fun night at the monastery (Mount St. Francis) with good food, wine and pots. Here’s some of David’s pieces (the first two are a good 15/16 inches tall)…

Last but not least, another true story of intrigue, deception and ultimately infidelity. I promised myself that after this kilnload which, by the way, I’m unloading today that I would replace two water line cutoff valves that basically tore off in my hand years back when I incorrectly installed our water heater. Of course, I didn’t know until a couple days back that I did it incorrectly as I simply installed it the same as the one I took out. Anyway, while moving stuff around to ready the area, I noticed this…

Corrosion = BAD! After seeing this, I decided to call a plumber for the first time in my life. My neighbor Jamie (Sofia calls him JamieWamie) gave me a coupon that said this certain plumber would give me a free estimate so I called him. He was on time (which blew me away) and he seemed upstanding. He spent some time there letting me know that I might be in for a steep bill if the corroded part ruined the waterheater itself. He diligently wrote up a detailed bill and tried to get me to sign off. I begged off telling him that I wasn’t quite ready to schedule an entire day because I had a deadline, etc. etc. Later that day as I was getting ready to fire, I went to H0me Dep0t to get a dryer vent tube because the one on my kiln had corroded through. While at the store and before I picked up the dryer vent tube, I thought I’d go talk to the plumbing aisle dude (who, by the way, wasn’t 18 years old) about fittings for doing the water heater replacement myself if it came to that. So I’m standing there, empty-handed, talking to plumber dude, who has the exact attachments one would need to replace a water heater in his hands, and the actual plumber who had been at my house a mere 2 hours earlier walks up behind me and says, “hey, how’s it going?, what are you doing here?” Now, as I have said before on this blog, I have catlike reflexes but absolutely not when confronted with awkward social situations. I felt exactly like my girlfriend had caught me flirting with another woman… at least exactly how I imagine that would feel as I don’t have a girlfriend and have never had that experience. I felt an almost un-ignorable need to say something like, “oh, hey, I’m just here for a vent for my kiln, I just wandered into the wrong aisle and you know, one thing led to another.” Of course I didn’t say that but by the time I actually came up with something to say, my plumber (not the store’s plumber dude) graciously affirmed that I was looking at exactly what I would need to do it myself. He went about his way soon after and I was relieved until, while standing in line with my kiln vent tube, he approached me again to let me off the hook and say that he didn’t blame me for attempting to do it myself (in other words, like as if I had a girlfriend who had caught me but now came up and said that she understood we weren’t really exclusively dating and that she didn’t blame me). He offered more words of advice and I felt a tinge of guilt all the way home although I didn’t actually buy the fittings (read: ask the other woman to go on a date). When I got home I immediately confessed the whole lurid affair to Mom and when she laughed, I finally felt at ease. Unfortunately, the plumbing mess still looms as another home maintenance nightmare. OK, off to the kiln.


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7 Responses to “Whitewashed…”

  1. Zygote Says:

    David’s work is stunning! I thumbed through all of his pictures on his website and I’m enjoying mulling over all the question marks that popped up.
    You really make the dream of home ownership look like something I’m thinking I should take a pass on.

  2. meredith@whynot Says:

    The pots are magnificent- the plumbing woes not so pretty my friend.
    I can not tell you the number of hot water heaters we have replaced- more then our share. The water here tends to eat out the insides.
    We always buy the warranty and replaced one 3 times before it was up.
    A whole house filter on the water helped.
    But I will tell you this- I would never two time our plumber in a twon this small- it is death.
    He will come here as soon as we call- other people we know get the – I can fit you in in about 3 months…..

  3. michele Says:

    You make me laugh out loud. Thank you. If I was rich, I would send you a plumber. That pipe looks really bad.

  4. Eugene Hon Says:

    Well said Linda I concur. I don’t have the patience for these kind of jobs and more than often I would not have the right tools required. I would then spent more money on the tools and then stuff up the job anyway, as I don’t have the patience – good luck is all I can say. The pipe looks bad – the colours amazing.

  5. Deb W Says:

    I agree,the colour is bad… But the reason I say that is, why do you still have iron pipe on your water heater? (Copper doesn’t rust or threaten to explode from exposure to water.) This looks like a bigger job than just a sim

  6. Deb W Says:

    I agree, the colour is bad… But the reason I say that is, why do you still have iron pipe on your water heater? Is this a result of having a conflict between two disparate metals, perhaps? Copper doesn’t rust or threaten to explode from exposure to water (but you’ve gotta admit the colour palette’s awesome; ) Sorry, but this looks like a bigger job than just a simple substitution. Time to bite the bullet before your basement looks like Noah’s Ark gone bad!

  7. Skuzy Says:

    Hey. If you end up needing a water heater some day, consider the tankless variety.


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