Monthly Archives: March 2010

The rain just keeps on

We are waterlogged here in Boston. Please send sunshine, butterflies, and giant sponges.

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Product Review: Utilitech 1/6 HP Utility Pump

This past weekend, I had the unfortunate pleasure of using a utility pump to get water out of my basement.  It was a good pump, but did not come with any instructions or trouble shooting so I was mostly wandering around blindly while inches of water came in through my basement. I thought it might help some people if I wrote about how to use it.

  • The shorter the hose the better. I originally had 100 feet of hose attached to the pump, but that was way too long. I bought it that long so that I could run the hose out of the basement to the front, but my father pointed out that I could get a shorter hose and put it through the drain for the washing machine. Since the power cord was 10 feet long, I bought the shortest hose I could get (15 feet)/
  • Sometimes the pump would not spin. This was because of silt that had gotten into the mechanism.  By drilling the screws out and wiping each part down, I was able to get most of the silt out. Always make sure that the pump is turned off when you do that and try it out before you put the screws back in.
  • Sometimes that even doesn’t work. The only way I figured out how to make the pump start working was to turn it out, put it on the floor, and then unscrew the hose until it started taking in water. Then you have to move very fast, angle the pump on its side and screw the hose back on. This way, it will start taking water up and through the hose.
  • Make sure to give it time to cool down. It has a little engine and it is doing a lot of work, so put it in a cool place.
  • Clean it completely after you are done with it.

Hopefully I won’t have to use this again anytime soon. However, we need to get a few contractors out to fix things in the house and yard.

I bought my pump at Lowes. It was located in the back behind the fridge/sink/toilet display against the back wall.

Vandals

I cannot stand people who vandalize buildings, especially National Monuments or other places of importance.  It happened once at the Bunker Hill Monument where people believed that the monument was dedicated to the British who died there.

Unfortunately, it happened again to National Park property the other day. As we drove around the base of the Dorchester Heights Monument you could see the vandalism that occurred.
My creation

Water, water everywhere

and you seriously would not want to drink any of this.

Pumping 3 inches of rain water out of your basement is not a good way to spend your time. Now imagine thinking you broke your utility pump in between attempts to pump it out.

So not fun.

Seriously need to get this basement a bit more watertight. I want a door like this:

Think that would qualify as an energy star approved door? It would at least keep the giant squid out!

The Libraries of Boston

Today, Mayor Menino stated that the  “days of the old encyclopedia are long gone.”

Oh, are they, Tom?

Did you know that libraries offer so much more than dusty old encyclopedias these days? Where do you think people get those electronic databases and the skills on how to search them? Where do you think the poor people of your neighborhoods of Boston go to use computers to access electronic data and to fill out important forms? Where do you think homeless people go to spend some time warming up and looking at the newspapers and magazines during the day?

If you think libraries are so passe, then why do you think they created a new library in Mattapan that looks great? If libraries aren’t part of the social structure, then why is usage up?

And if you close libraries and community centers, where are the kids going to go during the day in the summer? How much more crime are we going to experience in the next few months because these important community gathering places are no longer open and the safety and security that go along with them is gone?

How about this, Tom…Instead of you closing libraries and putting dozens, if not more, of librarians out of work (and onto unemployment) how about you stop taking a paycheck from the city of Boston? How about a few of the higher paid people take a lower paycheck or none, and allow these hard working people to keep their jobs?

Summer Plans

I enjoy planning trips very far in advance…gives me something to look forward to.

At the moment, we are going to Ireland in the spring sometime and then, its onto our regular mountain climbing days. The mountains we plan to summit this year are:

  1. Tom
  2. Field
  3. Willey
  4. Hale
  5. Waumbek
  6. Whiteface
  7. Mossilauke

Also in the works are trips to the Cape, a trip to Boston Light, Saint Gaudens and Marsh Billings, the paper house in Ipswich. Who knows what else. I have 2 days off next week so I might just go somehwere then so I can get some of this travel bug out of me!