Update to “Shock”

ET (“Evil” twin) used “leukemia” as a generic term for a blood/bone marrow cancer. Leukemia is (I guess) a bone marrow cancer causing abnormal production of white blood cells. ET’s bone marrow is producing abnormal red blood cells. Since the repeated tests are not showing a worsening of the problem, her doctor is going to wait 3 months before doing more tests.

So, the waiting continues. Waiting is better than the test results getting worse.


My wife and I are looking to get a small mortgage for the home we are purchasing. Part of the process is to explain information about old addresses and other information that has been obtained by the mortgage company.

For the addresses, they want to know if we rent or own, and if the home is my primary or 2nd residence. One address lists our post office box. I’ve not lived at/in the post office box. I would think the folks at the mortgage company would be able to figure out that a post office box is neither a primary, nor a 2nd, residence.

The mortgage company is also asking me to provide a death certificate or a divorce decree regarding either of my two marriages. That one surprised me as I’ve only been married once (been married over 30 years). The two names listed in this section are my wife’s name and my twin’s name.


ET has her first meeting with a hematologist/oncologist on April 13. We are both anxiously awaiting the results of that consultation. I’m not sure if she or I is more anxious.

I’m busy with getting the house packed up for the (hopefully it happens) move and that keeps my mind off of it, but, at the same time, having to do all this divides my attention.

Switching topics.

The freezer is now empty, and I just turned it off. The “computer room” no longer has the background hum from the freezer. The computer is convection cooled so it has no fan and I’m amazed at how quiet things have become. Also, since the freezer door is propped open, there is a cold draft coming across the floor.

The garage is nearly empty. I need to put together the hard top for 1964 Jeep and the soft top on the 1950 Jeep. Once that is done, they will be stored at a friend’s home. The 1957 Jeep truck will remain here until the last possible moment as it is the vehicle that is hauling everything to the self-storage units.

I stopped writing this post to work on the garage while the freezer sat, and I’m glad I came back in here because I noticed the freezer was starting to drip water onto the floor. The freezer had no frost inside the freezer compartment, so I’m guessing the water is coming from frost that built up within the door. Fortunately, it was a small puddle, and the floor is tile, so the cleanup was a simple 30 second effort.

The freezer is now in the garage where it can drip without causing a problem and I will remember this so the next time I unplug the freezer…I will be ready.

30,000 Pounds of Oranges

Well, not really 30,000 pounds, although it sure does feel like it.

So far, I have removed 642 pounds of oranges from my orange tree.  This is everything I can reach using a 4 foot, 6 foot and 8 foot step ladders AND a fruit picker on a 20 foot pole.  I’m going to guess there are still 200 pounds of unreachable oranges on the tree.

If you haven’t seen an fruit picker before, here is a picture of one from the Ace Hardware site.    fruitpicker


Unless I have no choice, I would rather pay a tiny bit more and buy from a local store (Ace Hardware in this case) instead of having to wait a few days for it (whatever “it” might be) to be shipped to me.

Also, it’s nice to be greeted (by name) by a human when I walk into a store instead of being greeted by OMM 0000 when I log into a website.

Back to the juicing operation.

I’ve asked ET (evil twin) if she would like some juice but I haven’t heard back from her yet.   She “hates” oranges, but she likes orange juice (strange “girl”).  Hopefully she has room in her freezer for a few 1/2 gallon jars of juice.


By the way, the title is a reference to the Harry Chapin song, 30,000 Pounds of Bananas.    The song is somewhat whimsical.  Not whimsical is the real life incident that inspired this song.  On 18 March, 1965, Gene Sesky was driving a truck carrying 30,000 pounds of bananas to a warehouse in Scranton, Pa.  While descending a short hill, the truck’s brakes failed.  Sixteen people were injured and Mr Sesky was killed.

The newspaper story.


Plumbing repairs aren’t my favorite thing.  One thing leads to another, to another, to another and so on and so on and..well you get the idea.

It all started when ET (evil twin) called and asked if I could check out her toilet.  Sounds bad, doesn’t it? 🙂

She gave me a pretty good description of the problem., “The water almost turns off and every 5 or 10 minutes, it comes on full for a few seconds before almost turning off.”

From her description, I knew both the fill and flush valves were having problems.   So, I go there and figure out what I needed; a Mansfield flush valve and a standard fill valve.  I made sure the flush valve did not have any rough spots, so I decided we’d need just the big rubber washer for the flush valve.

Off we went to the hardware store and we got the parts.

I install the parts.  The new fill valve leaks and the flush valve continues to leak.  The fill valve is defective and we need an entire flush valve.

We go back to the hardware store and they give me a new fill valve.  I also get an entire flush valve assembly, the bolts that hold the tank to the bowl and the foam gasket to keep the water from leaking while the toilet is flushing.

Back to her house.

Take the tank off of the toilet, replace the flush valve and put the tank back into place.  Replace fill valve. Turn on the water supply.

No leaks from the tank and both valves seal correctly.  Nice.

Wait.  A drip from the valve on the wall.  Tighten the valve packing. No luck.

Turn off the water to the house and remove the valve.  I get my ferrule puller to get that brass ferrule ring off that no one ever replaces, but should…..and the toilet is in the way.   I look more closely at the ferrule.  It’s *very* corroded and I doubt it will seal again.  Remove the toilet.  Remove the ferrule.  Look at the pipe stub.  It’s OK.  Finally, something is going my way.

Go back to the hardware store and get a new valve and wax ring.

Install the new valve, install the toilet, hook everything back up.

No leaks.

A simple thing that started off as a 15 minute job took from 10:30am to noon to complete.

After I finished, for the next hour or so, we talked and kept going into the bathroom to flush the toilet and look for leaks.

No leaks.  Job done.

When my wife got home I told her I’d spent a few hours over at ET’s house.  I skipped the fixing the toilet part and went right to the, “We talked for quite awhile while repeatedly flushing the toilet.”  I got a weird look.

When I explained what I’d done, she looked relieved.


Not Much Happening

Since I’ve been retired, I’ve been slowly (no sense hurrying this) cleaning up the house.  I’m about 3/4 done with a *VERY* thorough cleaning.   Most of the problem is dust.  I’ll get the dust cleaned up in an area and, two days later, it needs to be dusted again.  I’m hoping it’s a case of cleaning new areas of the house is stirring up the dust and allowing it to settle on the already cleaned areas….but I doubt I’ll be so lucky.

Over the summer, I cooked a turkey and I froze the bones.  This week I simmered the bones to make more turkey broth and I just finished pressure canning it.  I have 14  twelve ounce jars cooling on the kitchen counter.  So far 12 of the 14 lids have “plinked”.  I’m hoping the other 2 will soon do the same.

For what it’s worth, I think I fixed my problem of liquid leaving the jars as I process them…I think I had the screw bands too tight.  I did not tighten them so much this time and the broth level in the jars is right where it should be.

I also made some sourdough bread.  Our daughter was home when I took the loaves from the oven and she took one back to her apartment.    She and her roommates are hoping I will let them know when I’m again making bread. 🙂

Lights….ET (“Evil” Twin) called and asked if I could fix the ceiling lights in her kitchen, She said that every time she turned on the lights, the circuit breaker would trip.

The heat from the light bulb was high enough to destroy the insulation on the wires within the ceiling light fixture.   It was actually fortunate that the failure resulted in a short circuit that tripped the circuit breaker.  Had this not happened, the dangerous overheating problem likely would have remained “lurking”.   And, no, she did not put too large of a light bulb in the fixture.  She was using 60 watt ones. The fixture’s sticker said any light bulbs less than 150 watts was OK to use.