Cox Cable Company raised my rate once too often. I don’t mind paying them for internet, but their TV charges were much too high. The only problem was, since the switch to digital, it was the only way I could receive TV at all on my analog thrift-shop portables.
My decision to save money required an investment: a new HD digital television. The $100 I spent on the 19-inch set would be more than paid for in two months of non-cable. It was a brilliant plan.
It was a brilliant picture, too, compared to what I had been watching before. I hooked it to an antenna I had made years ago, which consisted of an old pair of rabbit ears mounted on a 20-foot length of PVC pipe attached to the side of my house. Perfect reception.
I have fewer channels than I had with cable, but broadcast TV has more choices than it used to. PBS alone has excellent programming that I had been missing, and a on couple of channels I can travel back in time, watching shows from the past, some of them so many decades old I barely remember them. Car 54, Get Smart, Green Acres, Honey West, Burke’s Law, Lost in Space, Dobie Gillis; the list goes on.
I’ll miss MSNBC and CNN, I’m sure, though I can catch the good parts online. So far, though, I happy with broadcast, where the future meets the past.
–cosmic rat March 30, 2013
My sewer line stopped up. At stake were not just my own slow flushes, but the happiness of the tenant who rents my back house. My hand snake wouldn’t budge the sludge, so I called a plumber. His powered professional poop pulverizer pulled out a tangle of tampons and clipped the roots that snagged them. “Sewer mice”, he called them.
Those came from my tenant’s drain, and after paying my plumber, I made it a point to inform my tenant that tampons should never be flushed, period. She promised not to.
A few months later the problem recurred. I called the plumber back, and again he arrived with his drain-cleaner machinery and cleared the way. Again there were sewer mice, though not as many, but he told me that the other part of the problem, the roots that catch their little tails, should not have regrown that quickly. There must be a flaw in the line where a thirsty tree was re-inserting its tendrils. Digging up the pipe and fixing or replacing it would be expensive if he did the job, and more work than I wanted to do myself.
I asked him about root-killing chemicals. His suggestion was salt. Trees don’t like salt water, he told me, and would stay out of a salty pipe. Adding rock salt to my toilet tank would make every flush a saline solution. This inexpensive suggestion appealed to me. Since then I have kept a container of rock salt next to my toilet, and I add a cupful to the tank each time I flush.
So far, so good. If my plumber’s solution proves effective in the long run, I will indeed deem him a wise man…the salt of the earth.
==cosmicrat March 10, 2013