Sunday, July 17, 2011


So far, I'm feeling like I need to celebrate the small victories, because there are so many non-victories from which I need distraction.  
For example, I hired housecleaners when I moved in; their first (and only) visit ended in me spending $400 for a half-done job.  I spent 2 hours on the phone with the manager of the company, who ignored my concerns, but did explain to me that:

  •  There are tracking microchips in our coins;
  •  Americans are being spied on by the government, and;
  •  "Everything is NOT hunk-dory."  
She may have been literally crazy.
However--the guy from this company who cleaned the carpets--man, he was amazing!  The sellers left the carpets in an absolutely vomitous state, and this was much reduced by the carpet cleaner that the crazy lady sent.  Less vomitous carpets=small victory!

In this vein, I am celebrating another small victory.  The Gas Man came to light the pilot light for the hot water heater-- and, well, I was very excited.  No more cold showers!  Through my haze of hot shower excitement, I did hear him tell me that 2 things needed to be done to fix the hot water heater in order for me to really use it safely, not burn the house down, not find boiled animals in my hot water heater, etc.:
1.  The wood of the roof is touching the water heater vent, and so part of the wood needs to be cut away so that it's not a fire hazard.  You know, what with that steaming hot vent next to that roof wood while I take showers.  And--
2.  The heater vent needed a cap.  It was just an open pipe sticking up in the air, waiting for rain to fall in, or birds to get in there, or mice to run in and get boiled, leaving me to take my showers in rainy birdy boiled rat juices.

Point #2 broke me out of my 'hot showers again!' reverie.  So, I went to Home Depot.  I stalked one of the employees, followed him, chanting in my head:
ask me if I need help
ask me if I need help
ask me if I need help

He turned around and said: 
--Miss, can I help you find anything?
Yes!  Do you, um, have, like the things that you'd put on top of a pipe sticking out of your roof, like that is connected to the hot water heater, like I think it's a cap?  That it's called a cap or a vent?
--A vent cap?
I think so, yes!
--Sure, follow me.  Do you know what size you need?
Um!  Size.  When you say size, you mean, like...
--Is it a 40-gallon hot water heater?
Yes!  Yes, I believe that.  I believe that it is that, yes.
--OK, well, here are the vent caps: 3", 4", 5", and 6".
OK!  Great!  Thank you so much!

I bought one of each size.  Note to self: before marching on Home Depot and stalking employees, measure things.

To address Gas Man's point #1, I tried to saw the wood away from the vent.  That was extremely unsuccessful.  Somewhat defeated, I moved on to trying the glass slipper vent shoes on the Cinderella hot water heater vent', feet.

First I tried the 5" cap.  It fit nicely on top!

The Torch of Hot Water Heater Liberty

But then, I thought-- should the cap go on the inside of the pipe?  What would that be like?

Turns out, it'd be like this, with a 4" vent cap.

aren't you the cutest little vent cap ever?  yes you are!

I decided to leave it like this.  To me, it makes more sense that it would go on the inside.  And what makes sense to me is really all I have to go on at this point.  At least, until I go back to Home Depot and stalk the employees again.

Mission vent cap: accomplished.  Small victories!

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