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We have the power!

Mostly because we have the generator.

Uncle B got it going today – it’s dual fuel gas/propane. I’m hoping it won’t be necessary. It’s been a mild November which gives me (probably false) hope we won’t have any extended blackouts.

But I’ve explained before our septic system is driven by a computer dependant on house current, so no power, no shit. We aren’t taking any chances.

Changing the subject entirely, I had to deal with a workman today who was limping badly. Poor guy is only in his fifties and is severely arthritic in both ankles.

Or was – he had the left ankle fused a few years ago. He said it stopped the pain and freed him up, but he invited me to admire his legs in shorts – his left calf muscle vanished! It was a stick!

No ankle movement, no leg day. And now his hip is going.

Oh, and our gammon was delicious. Have a good weekend!


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: November 25, 2022, 10:12 pm

Do you have a small Uninterrupted Power System (UPS) unit? They’re not that expensive and they are very very nice for handling that interval between the line power going out and the generator kicking in. They also do a good job of buffering the surge when the line power comes back on.

We had one when we lived in Panama and it was totally worth having.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: November 25, 2022, 10:50 pm

First, I am glad you have an alternate electricity source, as I suspect it is gonna be cold, dark, and hungry out in a couple of months [there and here]. I assume that it will, beyond sanitary purposes, keep refrigerator/freezer going and maybe some lights. May I recommend that if it does get cold and dark out, that you reinvent blackout curtains; as being the only dwelling with visible lights for miles may tend to draw an unwanted crowd of people, some of which may not be friendly. What we call civilization is a thin veneer and getting thinner.

Now, I have lived in some of the less populated parts of the high country of Colorado. Once we lived in a cabin that was originally part of a Wells-Fargo stagecoach stop near the top of a pass in the 1880’s. There, in order to legally occupy it I had to dig and build an outhouse, which was definitely not computerized. We did definitely have electricity in the cabin though, and to the well pump.

Another time, we lived in a house on a ranch at about 10k feet. House had electricity and so did the well pump. And we had both wood stove and propane heat. We had a septic tank and field with no electricity involved. Waste went into the tank and fermented over time. When it filled to a certain level, the pipes took the fermented liquid all through the septic field and it spread and fertilized. I admit to bafflement as to what a computer could do involved with something as basic as a septic tank that would be an improvement over gravity.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Armybrat
Time: November 25, 2022, 11:13 pm

We have a whole house generator…23kw, runs on natural gas. Runs the whole house…a/c, pool, everything. Best money I’ve spent in a long time.

And as to your workman, he needs a new hip because his ankle is fused. The ankle is actually a multi-plane joint, not a hinge joint. The joints above require some of that rotation at the ankle as a component of their movement. When you block that movement it creates stress and abnormal movements at the joints above. Hence the need for new knees and or hips following ankle surgeries.

/I’ve been a PT for 37 years

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: November 26, 2022, 1:26 pm

I think Jackery is having a sale on Amazon. 2 solar panels and a Solar generator charge unit with $500 knocked off a $1600 unit. Sorely tempting.
Cyber Monday sale.

Comment from BJM
Time: November 26, 2022, 4:57 pm

@Subotai…the improvement is the insertion of a bureaucrat.

@Some Veg yup, money well spent…we have a UPS on every computer station and one on the switches and modems…mainly for surge protection, as you say, it takes 5 sec or so for the generator to kick in…and steady current is always dicey in the country.

@Armybrat…exactly, a friend had his ankle fused, then his knee and finally his hip…said the knee replacement was the most problematic but is finally mostly pain-free.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 27, 2022, 6:29 pm

Subotai Bahadur: Newly installed traditional septic tanks were banned where we live a few decades ago as they claim the output is polluting. What we have is, more or less, a miniaturised municipal sewage treatment plant, whereby aerated water is sprayed via a rotary arm over a grid which sits over a large tank. The large tank contains ‘solids’ (sorry about that, readers of a gentle disposition) which have to be disposed of every few years, meanwhile the action of natural bacteria breaks down the harmful stuff (allegedly) so that every now and then allegedly ‘clean’ water can be pumped out into a nearby drainage ditch.

When we moved in and the system was installed (and if it hadn’t have been the house would have been unsaleable) a local farmer said to me: ‘They say the water they pump out is clean enough to drink. He paused, ‘Mind you, I’d want a lot of whisky in mine before I’d drink it’.

This may have been an EU diktat which, as usual, we enforced strictly and everywhere from France southwards ignored (I’ve had this confirmed by builders who’ve worked there) but even though the UK has left the EU (or so the liars in Parliament pretend), rules like this have not only remained, they have been expanded on made more stringent.

I have no idea whether the system really works but we do know that old sceptic systems are leaky and smelly. How? Because our neighbour has one.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: November 27, 2022, 8:04 pm

Uncle B – Same thing they pushed on us in East Texas where I don’t even have go get a building inspection. The septic guy suggested I could get by on an old system, we have 15 acres, but it would probably need to get replaced when the county figured that out.
We don’t have a whirly thing, we have 5 partitions in a big tank, the solids, as you say, going into the first one and then I guess it filters out through the other 4 and when it gets enough liquid it “sprinkles” the woods down below the house. Also it needs to be periodically vacuumed, depending on how vigorously it’s being filled, obviously.
Roughly, this, https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Psy10E7nIUs/hqdefault.jpg

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: November 27, 2022, 9:00 pm

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 27, 2022, 6:29 pm

Ah, the joys of bureaucracy. Part of the difference, other than the top down tendencies of European culture, may be that y’all have a lot more people per square mile than we do. A proper septic field is no small thing. Another thing may be the nature of the soil. Here in Colorado, basically if you are big enough to be an incorporated town one of the first things done is build a modern sewer system everyone hooks into [with sewer district specific taxes] or the town arranges to hook into a larger nearby system. If you are outside city/town limits when you build your house, you build a system like I described. Never heard of the “whirly thing” for a home unit, although we have large ones for city systems. And yeah, assuming heavy use, sometimes the owner has to hire someone to pump out the tank and take it to a sewer plant. They earn their pay.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: November 28, 2022, 2:46 am

@Subotai Bahadur:

…the owner has to hire someone to pump out the tank and take it to a sewer plant. They earn their pay.

Yes, they certainly do.

For various reasons, one of which being my age (73), I’ve had dealings with a dozen or so septic service workers over the decades. I say “workers” because two of them were women. Every one of them had a remarkably positive outlook on life, an earthy (but not excessively so) sense of humor, and a work ethic you could hang up on the wall and point to as a goal to aspire to.

Perhaps there’s something about dealing with actual ████ that makes dealing with bureaucratic ████ and with ████ty people easier to abide.

As for that sense of humor plus work ethic, one of our local company’s trucks are emblazoned with their slogan: DOODY CALLS.

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