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Went into the full bath Monday night, stepped on the mat in front of the toilet and SQUISHED! — yeah. You’re thinking the same thing I was thinking:  Oh, Ghod, not again. I immediately shifted into triage mode.  No water on the floor and I couldn’t see it seeping from anywhere, but the bathmat was thoroughly soaked and squishy wet.  Grabbed the mop bucket and put the bathmat into it, moved the mat from in front of the sink to in front of the toilet, and headed for the other bathroom.  No wet mats.  Left a phone message on the maintenance “non-emergency” number.

Bright and early Tuesday morning — even before I was up! — here come the short, round, older Hispanic and taller skinny young Anglo maintenance guys.  They search and poke and prod — and tighten down the toilet, which rocked — but could find no source.  They did discover that when you pressed down on the floor in a certain place, water squirted up from between the slats of laminate.  Then Larry the head maintenance guy shows up.  Nobody can find a leak except that when you push in that one spot, water squishes up.  They think maybe it’s left over water from the time the pipe broke at the end of April that has pooled beneath the floor and found a place to come up into the bathmat.  They set a fan on it.  So now I have soggy bathmats, because overnight water soaked half the mat I put down the night before, a bare floor and a fan in my full bath.  Ever try to take a shower with a fan blowing straight on the shower curtain?  Grumble, grumble.  Bummer.

Now that I’m awake, I go boot up the computer and see that I’ve got an email from Amazon with a gift card.  Turns out they’ve settled the antitrust suit with Apple and because I bought ebooks from Amazon, they sent me a gift card to the tune of $48.67 (£32.67, €42.80) as my share of the settlement!  So I bought the last two October Daye  books and the novelette by Seanan McGuire (the last one and the novelette are preorders); the newest book in D. B. Jackson’s Thieftaker Chronicles; a SciFi classic, City by Clifford Simak; and book #2 of Jaime Lee Moyer’s Delia Ryan trilogy. —  I essentially got five books and a novelette for free, which unbummered the day very nicely, thank you.  I had $8 and some change left, but there wasn’t anything I wanted that was less than $13.

2016_06_23-01So Tuesday night after knitting group, I go in to the full bath and press on the spot to see if water still oozes out, and yep, it still does.  Then I notice a slightly darker place on the little “litter catcher” mat in front of the cat box which is in the hall closet.  I flip the mat over and there’s a wet spot on the underside.  I mutter a few words of Anglo-Saxon origin, go pelting into the half bath, flip back the toilet mat, and there’s another damp spot.  These are the same three areas where water leaked before when the pipe in the wall behind the toilet got a hole in it.

2016_06_23-03I leave a message for the maintenance people on the non-emergency line, and start pulling up the bathmats in the other bathroom, moving out the little night stand, and taking the picture* off the wall that covers up the access panel (see above).  Then I go move the poop box and the fat(cat)boy’s food into the office, take out the box it sits on and the vacuum cleaner, and everything else in that closet (at right) and haul that into the living room.

Wednesday morning, I get up and wait for the maintenance guys to come.  About 10 o’clock, I decide to call the office and ask if they got my message.  No, they didn’t.  I told the manager what the message was, and within about 10 minutes, here they come.  I have left the little mat that goes in front of the toilet in the half bath in place so they can see where the wet place is, and I show them the mat from in front of the poop box, and remind them that these were the same three areas that had water when the pipe in the wall got a hole in it.  Off goes skinny Anglo to get the rotary saw.  So, now I’ve got two men in my half bath watching a third one sawing through the patch in the dry wall where the pipe broke last time, and Larry the head maintenance guy discovers the clamp is loose.  He tightens the clamp and they move the fan from the full bath to the half bath. I suggested that they get an access panel and put it where the hole in the wall is, which they think is a great idea.  They’re going to see if they can order one that small.  Even if they can’t, I think they should still put one in, even if they have to make a pretty large hole to do it.

Just as a side note, these apartments were built in 1970, when they were using metal pipes instead of CPVC like they do now, and our water here is hard as a rock, and tends to corrode the metal pipes, which is what caused the pipe to leak in the first place.  In order to truly fix the pipes, they would have to replace them.  In order to do that, they would have to jackhammer a hole down through the concrete foundation and run new pipes not just from my apartment to the water main but from the apartment upstairs, too — not something you want to have to do while there are people living in the apartments, especially the downstairs one, especially since neither of the bathrooms in either apartment would be usable for the duration.

Now, the plug in the half bath (there’s only one) is controlled by the light switch, which means when you turn the light off, it turns the plug off, too.  This gives me the choice of  turning the light (and the fan) off when it’s time to go to bed, or leave the light (and the fan) on and trying to sleep with light bleeding around the bathroom door, or option #3, running an extension cord from a plug in my bedroom under the bathroom door so the fan can continue to run even with the bathroom light off.  I go with option #3

2016_06_23-02So, this morning, after I put all my bath mats back in the washer (I must have the cleanest bath mats in the complex), I got out some of my Lily’s Sugar and Cream cotton yarn, like I was using to make baby bibs, and decided to make a Cobblestone Pie headscarf out of some of it.  I’ve got three balls of hot pink and three balls of purple and white variegated, which ought to be enough to make a headscarf out of each color.

I have some long straight size US10 (6.0 mm) metal knitting needles, but the ends of the needles tend to hit against the arms of the chair when I knit with them, which is annoying.  I’ve got some size US10 metal circular knitting needles but only in the 16-inch and 36-inch lengths.  Alas, the scarf ends up being 21 inches wide, which makes the 16-inch length too short.  I went with the 36-inch circular needles, but they’re at least 20 years old (I had had them for at least 10 years and probably longer when I moved 2016_06_23-04to the duplex in 2001).  The plastic connecting bit is stiff and sproingy from being curled up inside the package, it’s way too much needle for the project, and the sproingy bit keeps getting in the way, which is annoying.

Circular knitting needles aren’t that expensive, and yesterday was payday, so I went on Amazon to order a 24-inch long set of US10’s, which I don’t have.  I found a pair for $10 (£6.71, €8.79) and I could get Amazon Prime shipping on them. When I went to check out, they ended up costing me $1.83 — I thought I could only use the gift card for ebooks.  Apparently, I could have used it on anything, but what I most likely would have bought with it was books.  Ah, well.

About the middle of July, I’ll have to start rereading the October Daye books, as the latest one comes out in September, and the novella comes out August 2.


*This is a poster I got while I was stationed in (West) Berlin in the 1970’s.  It’s the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti, which is in the museum there.