Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

The only blog that you really want to read…or ignore.

Tag Archives: water

Water Woes…leaks, broken appliances, and more!

image1Welcome to the last week of 2017!  In the last two weeks of 2017, I was quite pleased with myself.  We purchased a new fridge (awesome deal because it was a scratch and dent model) and a new dishwasher (Christmas present to myself and my wife).  Sure, my kitchen will be the same old kitchen but two of the appliances are shiny and new.

Then I opened the letter from the water department.  It nicely stated that we might have a water leak because our water usage was higher than normal.  My first thought was excessive use of the shower by my two teenagers but that was quickly dismissed by shutting off the house water main in the house.  The water meter was still moving.  Ah…a nice slow leak between the meter and my house.

Not to worry…I have a step-cousin in the water line repair business.  He has a big house and his kids are in private school so I’m sure this will be a cheap fix.  He also likes to take fancy vacations….

Then my son tells me that the water main value in the garage is leaking.  This is the same water main value I had turned off to determine the other water leak.  Sure enough, it was leaking.  After three trips to the local McLendon’s Hardware store and three hours, we had replaced the broken gate value with a nice new ball value.  (That’s fancy man talk there).  I thought for sure my soldering job would cause a spray of water all over but I’m pleased to report that it didn’t leak at all.  Considering I haven’t repaired a copper pipe in about ten years, I did pretty good job.  $32 in parts, three hours of my time, but I missed my Aunt’s Christmas party (that was disappointing).

The next water related item: my sister and Mom managed to jam up their garbage disposal.  So I had to pack up my tools and head over to their place.  Luckily, it was merely a jam and the disposal didn’t have to be replace.  Yeah! One “win” against the Water Woe Wars!

Along with the new fridge, I mentioned I got a new dishwasher.  I paid for the removal of the old one and installation of the new one.  No problem there except that it was installed on Tuesday December 26, I didn’t use it until Thursday December 28….and it ran for half a cycle.

I tried to cancel the cycle, I tired to drain it, I tried to resume the wash cycle, I even flipped my breaker on and off and tried to do a new wash cycle.  Yet, my new Maytag dishwasher won’t do anything now.  Not to worry, it is a Maytag and under warranty.  I had the delightful pleasure of sitting on hold for 20 minutes and then the system hung up on me!  Awesome.  So I did an online chat support and now have a repair tech coming out on Tuesday, January 2.

Back to the outside water leak.  The water leak detection crew finally made it out on Thursday to find the leak.  Now, I have my cousin’s crew out here digging up my yard.  I’ll let you know what they discover.

And the last two items of water problems…leaky bathroom sink faucet and a broken bathroom sink faucet.  My son’s bathroom sink faucet started to leak.  Now, it might be a washer but the cold water handle is also a bit broken so I’m just going to repair the whole faucet.  And of course, my bathroom faucet has been broken for about three years.  The hot water side is messed up so I’m just replacing it as well.  What the hell, right?

In the meantime, enjoy your final weekend of 2017.

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Pilot Ridge Hike – 30 miles in 3 Days

This coming weekend I’m headed out on a 3 Day/30 mile Boy Scout backpacking trip outside of Darrington, WA. We will be hiking the Pilot Ridge Hike picked by one of my senior scouts (who runs cross country and is in great shape). So you can imagine, I’m a little concerned about the least fit members of our backpacking trip. I’ve nicknamed it Anthony’s Death March in his honor.

The weather conditions this coming weekend will be sun and showers on Friday, with mostly clear skies on Saturday and Sunday.   I’m not too worried about the weather. I’m more worried about the actual hiking and backpacking. The elevation gain and loss on this hike is quite a bit. The bonus of sleeping outside two nights on the hard ground is also a big draw. Hmm, nice hard ground instead of my soft bed. Gee, I can’t wait.

I’m not too worried about the backpacking part except for my backpack will be much larger than my day pack. You have to carry everything you need for three days. At least it is summer time here so I can carry less of my backup gear. I still carry all of the Ten Essentials…plus #11 Toilet Paper and #12 Duct Tape.

http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/basics/ten-essentials

I don’t have a problem hiking. In fact, I did some high elevation hiking in Colorado in July. But backpacking is a lot different than car camping. You don’t have a nice established campsite with easy access to water and flush toilets. Camping in the backcountry is you, out there in the wilderness, making sure you have enough food and water for your entire stay. You have to be prepared. You need a decent shelter, food, water, a water filter/pump, and a handy dandy Hello Kitty LED flashlight.

When I was younger, I loved to do backpacking and camping. I still enjoy being outside hiking; the backpacking part isn’t as appealing as it once was. I’m older and sleeping on the ground just isn’t that enjoyable.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to doing a backpacking trip with my son. We have gone camping a lot as a family and on numerous Boy Scout camping trips. This will be a fun final trip before he gets his Eagle Scout rank.

Do you have any fun day hikes or backpacking trips planned?

 

What's for dinner?

What’s for dinner?

Let’s Talk About YOU! (Because obviously talking about me isn’t working….)

With the weather turning to gray overcast skies, even the die hard optimist can get a bit depressed with the rainy weather. Everything around you can be depressing; the wet roads, the bad traffic, the gray skies, the rain, the gray skies, the rain, the cold 40-50 degree weather. Did I mention the gray skies and rain?

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It isn’t always bad here in the Pacific Northwest but you would think it is because of all the lousy weather we are currently having. We had great weather up until the middle of October. Now, it is the normal Seattle weather. I tend to be very busy at work (since I am a school photographer) during this time of year. I don’t notice how bad it is until I have a little breathing room. And with Daylight Savings Time ending, you really notice that it isn’t nice here anymore. It isn’t as bad as Alaska but you do notice that it gets really dark around 4 pm everyday. We haven’t even seen the worst of it yet. The shortest day of the year: December 21 Winter Solstice.

That means from now until December 21, the days will get shorter and the people of Seattle will die a little more each day.

I don’t really care. To me, it is just another day in a series of depressing days where I live my life. Oh, before you get all concerned about my well being, just know that this blog post is about you, not me. I can weather any storm my way. I just jump on YouTube and get all pumped up by listening to some Tony Robbins or Les Brown. I like the crappy weather because it forces me to look at what I’m doing in my business and life.

Now, some people can’t handle all the rain and gray skies around Seattle. They complain, they mope around, yet here they still are…wet and whining in the Emerald City called Seattle.

For me, the rain and gray skies bring my busy work season. I know during this time of the year, I’ll be making the bulk of my income as a school photographer. I know that I’ll be busy working 60-80 hours a week. I know I’ll be getting up at 5 am, putting in a 12-15 hour day. On top of my work day I will also need to be a dad, a Scoutmaster, an aikido student and teacher, and a blogger. I will be attempting to balance my work life with my personal life during the months of the fall school photography season.

My darling wife is also more than willing to point out that I pretty much have summers off (work free) as a trade off for my busy, crazy fall. However, during this hectic fall season, I also think I should be creating an online business of some sort to balance out my income. I imagine it would be extremely nice to have a summer schedule during the rest of the eight months of the year. Don’t you think it would be nice to have a few extra thousand or tens of thousands of dollars to live on and invest in my retirement? People who say money isn’t important must not be too concerned about the future (or even the present). Money can’t buy happiness? But it sure makes life a lot more enjoyable!

What makes you survive the fall season? Do you feel you live in a better area and therefore can make fun of schmucks like me?

As always your sarcastic and non-sarcastic comments are welcome! At least hit that like button!

Everyone Wants to Be Special or at least feel Special

Let’s get something straight….everyone wants to feel special. They might say that they don’t want to be special, they don’t want to be noticed but, in reality they do. Regardless, everyone wants to be special whether they admit it or not.

If you write a blog, you know this to be true. Sure, you can say you write your blog for yourself, but secretly you hope it becomes hugely popular and you have an extremely large following of devoted followers.

You can say you are an introvert and therefore don’t want to be noticed. This isn’t true. You might be very outgoing when you need to be, yet hate to be around people. You can write an extremely funny blog yet never be able to hold a conversation at a party with new people.

However, on the flip side, if you are comfortable with the people at the party, you are the life of the party.

Everyone says extroverts are the outgoing ones and you want to be around them. However, they dominate the conversation because they need to be always “on”. I think extroverts are a overwhelming. Extroverts love to hear themselves talk. Introverts have the power to turn “on” (or “off”) the “outgoing” side. Introverts have the ability to sit back and not say anything. They can melt into the background, hide in the crowd, and just observe.

I, like everyone else that blogs, hopes my blog takes off and becomes hugely successful. It would be ideal to sit back and construct witty blog posts everyday that lead to more and more followers.

So click on the “like” button and share with your Facebook friends my blog….

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Excuse Me, Is it Time for Spring Break?

Up here in the Pacific Northwest, we love our vacations and breaks from work and life. We don’t get lots of sunshine (we get about 200 days of clouds and rain a year) so we like to leave town for long weekends and spring breaks. In fact, earlier this year my daughter and I took advantage of our school district’s Mid-Winter Break (President’s Day week) and did a California Roller Coaster trip. So you bet I’m excited about Spring Break because we aren’t going anywhere!

What? No sunshine for Kevin? Yes, sadly that is correct. Since I’m a school photographer, Spring Break is a mixed bag of work and a few days off. All the school districts in the Seattle area like to take different weeks off for spring break. This is a major pain in the butt because I have to work during my kids spring break. This year I have a few days off so I’m hoping we can do a couple of fun adventures in Seattle. Maybe go out swimming at Tahoma Pool or even over to the Federal Way Community Center and partake in their swimming pool and lazy river. I wouldn’t mind even staying in a hotel for an evening and enjoying the hotel swimming pool and getting a pizza for dinner!

So tomorrow starts the Spring Break week for our family. My wife and I are headed out of town to the Eastern side of Washington State in the hopes to find a little sunshine and relaxation. I’ll make sure to give a full report of my trip to Winthorp, Washington and let you know how things are there. We get back on Monday. My son gets a little longer vacation with his friend’s family to the Oregon Coast.

The Oregon Coast is an excellent vacation but it never seems to be sunny (even in August). Honestly, we once had better weather in December than we did in August on the Oregon Coast. Nevertheless, the Oregon Coast is a beautiful vacation spot for scenic views and gorgeous beaches. Just plan to enjoy your hotel’s indoor pool if you want warm weather.

Thanks for reading. As always, leave those comments and snide remarks below!

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