Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day on Binary Day

Thinking of all the veterans out there today.  If only the origins of this day of remembrance really had meant the war to end all wars.  But alas, we humans never learn.

Today is a lovely binary day of all ones (if you ignore the implied 20 at the beginning of the year notation - 11/11/11).  Yesterday was another binary day - 11/10/11.  Love those numbers.  Binary notation - turning all numbers into ones and zeros is the basis for computers since that is all that they can do with the electrons flowing thru them - on or off.  Ah the power of math.

I've been working hard but not on my van the last couple of months.  I am re-doing my partially bricked driveway which means I reset all the bricks (cleaning them off and adding sand as needed to the base, setting the edging, and this time, cut and fit the edge bricks to make a solid surface as I go.  I got the whole parking pad behind my garage done and am now going down the hill to the street.  It feels really good to get this done finally but I don't dare hope that I will be finished before winter stops me entirely.  The job is time consuming and does require exercise but I can do it in pieces and never need lift or do more than I can safely handle.

I am draining all the water from my van today.  We've had a few frosty days already but there is a little insulation on the tanks in my van and the water lines are all flexible plastic so there is some leeway in freezing temps.  In addition, the latent heat of water when it changes phase to solid from liquid also gives some extra leeway.  But Fall is marching on and the days are getting shorter.  So today is a good day to drain the van.  I had already emptied the waste tanks but there was some fresh water.

Draining the fresh water tank is easy -  just unscrew the drain plug and let it drop out.  Next is the hot water heater.  I turned on the water pump and the kitchen hot water faucet until it stopped running water.  That leaves the water lines and some in the bottom of the heater to drain.

To get the rest of the water out of my Suburban water heater, I unscrew the anode rod at the base of the heater (1-1/16" socket wrench with extension) using a flexible cutting board as a chute and let it drain.  Then hook up the wand to my wet/dry vacuum to suck out the rest.

To get the water out of the lines, I hook up the air compressor to my water hose, make sure my valve is open, set the max air pressure to 50 pounds, turn on the compressor and when it has 50 pounds of pressure, open the kitchen faucet hot and cold valves and blow until there is no water coming out, repeat for the bath sink, the toilet, then the outside shower (lowest point in the water system).

I'm stymied by not being able to get the anode rod to budge despite the teflon tape I put on it last year when I replaced it.  Tomorrow, I will get out my compression wrench powered by the air compressor to see if I can get it to budge.

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