Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Joys of home ownership, part 3,885...

Joys of home ownership, part 3,885...  A few weeks ago I discovered that the former owner of our new home in Paradise had built a small outbuilding directly over top of a gas main.  This is a big no-no, as if anything ever went wrong, leaking gas could seep up through the ground and into the building, resulting in a major KABOOM!.  The local gas company (Questar) discovered this when they came out to help me figure out how to run the gas line to my new barn. 

So we've been doing all the paperwork required for them to move the gas line out from under that building.  Naturally this is at our expense.  Most of this involved getting rid of their old easement and creating a new one.  We got that done last week, and today a crew of four guys showed up, with a tiny little backhoe, a larger loader/backhoe, and two trucks full of tools.  They're working right now, digging trenches very carefully around the various gas, water, septic, and electrical lines buried on our property.  The place where they're working is sort of a nexus for all of these, as it's right near the service entrance.  Of course :)

I was curious how they'd shut off the gas so they could cut the main, which is a 2" polyethylene pipe.  Turns out that's trivial: they have a clamping device that squeezes it off tight, like you might pinch a hose to shut off the flow.  The polyethylene pipe is heat-welded – a very simple electric heating device heats both the male pipe end and the female fitting to the melting point, then it's shoved onto the pipe.  That's it!  The molten polyethylene retains enough heat to weld the two together.

Trenching, very carefully
Heating a part before joining
Trenching the easy part

Barn: more heating tubing and some other details...

Barn: more heating tubing and some other details...  There's more work to installing that heating tubing than I had imagined, and the plumbers didn't quite finish yesterday.  It turns out that each heating tube has a limit on how long it can be.  Each of the zones needs multiple heating tubes, between 6 and 10 for each zone (they're different sizes).  To make this work, they run a supply line from the boiler to a distribution manifold that connects to the supply end of each heating tube.  Then the return ends of each heating tube are connected to a collection manifold, which then empties through a return line (where a pump pushes the water through the boiler and back out the supply line).  This morning they'll be finishing up the installation of supply lines, manifolds, and return lines.  This afternoon, when they're done, they'll pressurize the whole system to test it, and an inspector will sign off on it.  We hope!  Then they'll be ready for the concrete tomorrow morning.

Looks like a swimming pool!
A whole mess of tubing
Tubing with foam clip
Completely covered in tubing
One zone's connections
Septic lines cut into the foam
Completed manifold and boiler connection
One of the zone manifolds

Fighting back against medical billing errors...

Fighting back against medical billing errors...  This doctor's story describes the motivation for these errors (which are always in the hospital's favor!) and the difficulties in correcting them.  His bottom line: either get a dual degree in medicine or law, or don't get hurt or sick such that you need a hospital.  If you can't do one of those, you're screwed...

Obama's response to ISIS beheadings...

Obama's response to ISIS beheadings...  Several readers have written to ask why I haven't commented on Obama's reactions to the beheadings of two American journalists by ISIS. 

I just don't have anything to add to the many comments I've made earlier about Obama's incoherent or non-existent foreign policy strategy (either in general, or specific to the Middle East).  He's amply proven himself to be some combination of ignorant, incapable of exercising leadership, timorous, beholden to the progressive narrative, and just plain not too bright.  John Kerry, of all people, has been far more impressive on all the preceding counts.

This is one of those periods when November 2016 seems so very far away...


UVB-76...  This is weird!