Category Archives: weather

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.

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Seek the Peak Re-Cap

So, I made it up and down the mountain without falling down once, which is actually quite an accomplishment for me.

The week began with some beer:
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A sampler from Moat Mountain, lovely place to eat and lovely place to stay about 20 miles away from Mt. Washington and nice comfy beds.

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Larry came along for the ride and the weather reminded him of traveling on the ocean with all the fog and rain.

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The last of the snow from the winter…it wasn’t as impressive as last year since it was all gloomy when we went by in the morning. If we had come down the same trail (which we should have) the pictures would have been much better.

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We made it up here in fairly record time for me. 4 miles in just about 4 hours…with the extra weather and some issues with breathing and a large group of people standing in the middle of the trail, so annoying.

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A quick picture after we hit the summit going down Lion’s Head.

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You can see how different the weather can be in just a few hours. It was lovely on the way down from the summit.

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Remember, kiddies! Be Ice Smart! And remember to scream and wave your hands in the air while running away from large ice boulders.

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I love $3 pint glasses!

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But orgasmic, organic berries are even better!

Mountain Week, Summit Photos

Four times up and cloudy skies each time. I actually had some clear skies once while almost to the top, but they went away fairly quickly.  Mount Washington spends about 90% of its year in some sort of cover: fog, clouds, snow, sleet, rain. It looks like this time will be no different with showers predicted for the morning of our hike.

My creationHopefully by the time this summer is over, I will have two more summit pictures to show. One will be a true summit (in my mind) because I’ll walk up myself. The other one will be aided by a car ride (really a truck ride) up the Auto Road. As my birthday present to myself, I have booked myself a weekend at the Mount Washington Observatory. Not only do I get to be geeky and learn about weather, I get to sleep overnight on the summit. How cool is that? I would rather the clear skies for that because I am definitely bringing both my cameras (just got the new one) to try and take pictures of the stars! 🙂

Smokey the Bear

Yesterday I was wasting some time before meeting friends for dinner and I walked over to the park at the corner of New Chardon and Cambridge Street to read my new book, Mop Men (which is excellent so far).

As I was wandering over to a bench, I see: a dog off leash, about 4 people sitting and smoking, and a pile of mulch, also smoking. Soooo not good.

What bothered me more was that there was a woman sitting right next to the pile of smoking mulch and she wasn’t doing anything. No worry, no action…just smoking her cigarette and ignoring everything.

So, I walked up quickly and poured half my bottle of water onto the area and then started stomping on it. And the woman is looking at me like I’m the crazy one! I finally got it put out after about a minute or so and sat down to read my book.

She asked me about it after I sat down and seemed incredibly surprised that mulch catches on fire quickly…idiot.

Now, mulch can catch on fire if someone leaves a not put out cigarette in it or a match, but I think this one started spontaneously as the high heat, wind, and intense sun combined to make conditions favorable. This article is interesting, there have been multiple fires already this year in Illinois. Hopefully, I will not have to play fireman again this year.

Mulch Fire Remains
Mulch Fire Remains

The Weather

Most of my job involves me talking to visitors from around the world, trying to help them understand Boston and getting around. The other day, we had about 300 people come in and I swear, most of them complained about the weather.

Now, this was Tuesday…so it was in the 40s and a bit windy, but nothing horrible. The sun was shining, no rain or snow. And it just started to get on my nerves.

So, the boy comes to pick me up from work and we go over to Kinkos to photocopy some papers, bitching about work while there and then start the walk back. Just before we got into Government Center, I exclaimed “Its just weather, people! Suck it up!!”

And I guess I said it louder than I meant…because two guys (who looked like construction workers) busted out laughing.

At least I was able to amuse someone that day.

Oh, and I saw a woman with mittens, a scarf, and winter hat on yesterday. When it was 60. So glad today is my Saturday.

Mount Washington

Here it is, in the negative temperatures in Boston and all I can think about is the next time I get to climb Mount Washington. Its become a bit of an obsession for me. I’ve been up 4 times, twice on a charity hike for a women’s shelter here in Boston (each one 20 miles long), once on a 20 mile hike with my boyfriend, and the last time with my boy again hiking to raise funds for the Observatory.

It took me 4 tries, 2 of them sleeping over at Lakes of the Clouds Hut, to see anything from the summit. And it was totally worth it.

We’ve already planned at least one trip back up to the summit together this year, probably for Seek the Peak (The charity hike for the Observatory), and the boy is going sledding down Tuckerman’s Ravine again this April for the Inferno. But, National Geographic just put out a beautiful 12 photo spread about the Obs and has a huge article on it in the Feb. issue about the mountain and the Obs. Cannot wait to pick up a copy and drool over the photos. My favorite is below…the landscape there in the summer is so weird at times, in the winter its even more stunning.

Mount Washington At Night
Mount Washington At Night

2 hours

This morning, I was smart and called the snow line for work before getting too awake and discovered there was an hour delay. Love it!

Went back to bed for an hour and got up, ate two bowls of cereal, put my layers on (love my gore tex pants!), and trekked into work. Found out there were two people who showed up early, which is good because our automatic door opened up at 9 AM.

Spent about 2 hours at the front desk talking to a lot of people from Austrailia, and then got the news at 11:55 that we were shutting down. Got home about a half hour ago and am in my pjs waiting for the Patriots game to begin.

I wish all days could be like this…go in an hour late, work for 2 hours, and get paid for 8! Love it!!

snow storm 08

Possibly the last storm of the year has finally arrived here in Eastie a few hours later than the weather people predicted. Its been going strong for about 2 hours and with the setting sun, the sky has turned a lovely shade of purple with large swaths of white streaming by.

I have been productive today already! Ihave a few presents that need to be made, mainly a blanket for my nephew’s puppy doll and onesies for my new niece who will arrive in May. Soon, the tree will go on and I might nip out to the back porch to sip some of my cider once the wind dies down a bit. The storm is supposed to have a wicked tail, though, that is going to hit coastal areas fairly hard. They really mean Gloucester and Ipswich, but its entirely possible that it might here too.
I’ve also gathered the stable food stuffs from the pantry that we aren’t going to eat. Salad dressing, green beans, corn, tomato sauce…all are not being eaten by us and can make someone’s Christmas a bit better. Now I just have to figure out when I can donate it before the holidays (There is a food pantry down the street at a Church).

snow

If the weathermen are to be believed, I will have about 0-12 inches of snow outside my window by Saturday morning. This will be our first significant storm here in Eastie, might be putting the car up on the non-emergency road tonight so we don’t have to worry about it.

However, I have:

  1. milk
  2. bacon
  3. eggs
  4. beer
  5. hard cider
  6. christmas presents to make
  7. 3 new books from the library
  8. 2 emergency radios
  9. gore-tex pants from work
  10. fixings for cookie making

I think we’ll be ok. It helps that we only have a very small area of shoveling that must be done, also. Hopefully, the boy will be let out of school and we can have a snow day together! That would be so awesome.