Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Now reading the Elder Edda. Seems appropriate as we're watching Doom Snow approach from the west.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Frozen Pipe

In January 2014, we had a night or two at 16°F and had a pipe pull away from a fitting, but not actually freeze. This year we had a night or two around 10° . The weather started warming this morning and behold, in early afternoon there was the sound of  running water. The copper water line near the back porch faucet had suffered a small split, but the ice that had caused it also plugged it, until the ice melted.
I figured the plumbing profession would already have its hands full with people who needed them more urgently, so I slithered under the house and found the break was about where I expected. I went to the hardware store, got silicone tape and a pipe clamp and an insulation tube, crawled back under, and wrapped and wrapped and wrapped the leak, and then put more tape on. The first fews yards of tape didn't entirely seal it but got it down to a slow drip, and it's possible the rest of the tape may have staunched that as well. I'll need to have it "really fixed" at some point but in the meantime, we could turn our water back on with less than $10 materials and about an hour's worth of work.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ice and Snow

11°F this morning and the Lynnhaven is River is frozen from shore to shore. On the ground, the top layer of snow has melted and refrozen into a 3" thick layer of ice. Once you break out a few blocks of ice and pitch them aside, you find powder snow underneath.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Charleston SC

We had decided to take a mid-winter mini-vacation, somewhere warmer than Virginia Beach, but a bit less expensive than Costa Rica. Diana picked Charleston SC. Given that the Lynnhaven River was frozen the morning that we left, we were glad to go.

Outline, which I'll fill in later

  • drive to Charleston
  • Vendue hotel
  • Tour the istoric district
  • Manigault House, with the most unexpected thing of today. At the top of the main spiral stair, there's a big 4ft wide door which looks as if it ought to lead to the master bedroom or the drawing room, but there's only a little broom closet, 18" deep. But if you squeeze into the closet and look up and right, that's a hidden stairway to the children's room on the third floor.
  • Charleston Museum
  • King Street boutique district (I suspect "boutique" comes from a combination of "buy" and the "EEK" you emit when you see the price) and the Market, which was mostly empty by the time we got there--after 5pm. 
  • Jazz at the High Cotton restaurant
  • Went to Fort Sumter, which turns out to have been pretty much completely destroyed by the Union siege during the Civil War, and again during the Martian invasion of 1891. 
  • Watched dolphins from the fantail on the ferry ride back. 
  • Walked 438 miles around the historic district of Charleston. 
  • Had barbecue at Stckyfingers. 
  • Waited patiently for 14 hours 47 minutes as Diana shopped at The Trunk, which I would describe as a "secondhand shop" except I suspect it's called something else when a used dress still costs $640 and a scarf $198--neither item came home with us despite being "on sale, 5% off" as the clerk helpfully pointed out.
  • Took another stroll through the Market.
  • Went to SNOB (Slightly North Of Broad) where Diana had flounder with fennel and gold rice and I had lemon chess pie with diamond dust.
  • Set part of the hotel wall on fire but the flickering light makes it hard to sleep so I'll probably douse it shortly.
  • Drive around the south end of Old Town and see churches--First Scots Presbyterian, St Michaels and others. We'd have done more but it was 25° not counting wind chill--too cold to spend much time walking around
  • Patriot's Point, with Yorktown and the Medal of Honor Museum
  • Drive home, up Rt41 to Rt501 and 38
  • Snow at the Virginia border

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Year of the Sheep

Gwen points out that it's Chinese New Year, and we are entering the Year of the Sheep.
Menacing "baa".

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Supply and Demand

"Politicians build their careers on voters’ ignorance about supply and demand curves."

--Glenn Reynolds