So I'm posting. It's been an odd day, anyway.
I got myself moving around 4:00pm yesterday, and started the process of getting up to the Dome. I just had to do some stops first - McDonald's for sustenance (of a sort), my bank for some quarters (I was wearing my last pair of clean jeans with a positively religious pair of underwear), TAP Plastics for a foam piece to prevent future keycap removal from my keyboard (and a cheap business card holder while I was at it. I need to be more aggressive with those), Guitar Center to check on sound blocking supplies (nope), and a hardware store to pick up valve stem packing for my parents.
The odd thing is that I made it to their place by about 5:30pm. I can shop fast when I need to.
The even odder thing is that parts of Black road were wet as I drove up there. Rain in August is really not all that much of a Bay Area thing.
Back at the valve stem packing - my parents' water supply system involves a whole host of different gate valves, and in this case, one of them was leaking. It was coming out around the valve stem, and they had the fairly reasonable idea that putting in some packing would solve the problem.
It was an old valve, so a lot of corrosion was involved. Therefore the task involved a certain amount of swearing, some tapping with a hammer, and, as almost always happens when I have anything to do with plumbing, the top of the gate valve shearing off in my hands.
I sooooo hate plumbing.
This was actually one of my general nightmares. All my life, my dad has kept a full workshop, and has built a large amount of cabinetry. I know a fair amount about building things. I just don't tend to, because every time I'd fuck up, I'd get berated for hours on end.
As far as my dad is concerned, one simply doesn't make mistakes. Meanwhile, I have always had poor hand-eye coordination, and more arm strength than reasonable.
What saved the evening from becoming a total mindfuck is that, when he looked at the sheared parts, he noticed that there was a lot of corrosion around the contact area - apparently, the valve had actually been leaking because it was broken. I was saved by someone else's fuckup.
Of course, the downside was that the body of the valve was rusted solid onto a couple of 2" nipples that were rusted solid into other pieces - removing the thing without destroying something else proved to be impossible.
They tried calling various 24-hour plumbing numbers, with my dad trying to pull the "87 year old man about to die of thirst" card, only to be told by every single one that they didn't have any slots open until the morning.
Apparently it was a good day for bad plumbing.
Of course, the first one of those didn't call back to tell us the news until about 2 hours later, as we periodically checked to see if a van was coming up the road. That proved worthwhile, though in a completely different direction - it meant I was out on the deck directly at sunset, and got to see a complete double rainbow.
In the end, I was tasked to run a hose up from their main water tank to the deck, so there was an available water source, and filled several containers from that, including a bucket for each of the toilets.
Then we had dinner, talked for a couple of hours, and I came home, with the occasional set of fat droplets hitting the windshield. Weird.
I haven't been the most productive since then. Mostly I've just been seething about this afternoon. But I've got clean laundry, which is a good thing, and I've worked on the template for the tip jar (speaking of projects that fill me with a certain amount of dread). Now if only I could manage a few hours of sleep...