Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why should you not use PVC on your hot water heater outlet?

There isn't a good response for this on the internet all in one place - so here it is. It is fine to use PVC on your cold water inlet to the hot water heater. But the hot water lines going OUT of the heater should be CPVC. This is why. PVC begins to leach vinyl chloride at temperatures nearing 140 degrees. After 140 degrees, the leaching speeds up and the pipe fails, sometimes due to unsupported pipes bending and separating in the high heat. Most hot water heaters are right around that temperature 120-140 degrees.

The vinyl chloride originally keeps the pipes soft and bendable, but also reacts with heat. This is how the pipe material is made, heated up and then formed in tubing machines.

The best PVC cutter I have - right here!
ratcheting - replaceable blade, great reviews!

It is a double-edged sword, as a pipe that holds up initially (does not soften too much) can still over time leach the plasticizer (vinyl chloride) into the water as it passes through the pipe at temps over 73 degrees. Once the plasticizer (the material softener) is gone from the pipe, it can become brittle and break when shocked, moved or even from increased PSI in the pipeline during a time of kick/on kick/off at the water heater.

Normal cold water temperature is 73 degrees Fahrenheit. The PSI rating on PVC pipe is the PSI the pipe could withstand at 73 degrees, and this is stamped along each length of pipe. As the temperature goes above 73 degrees the PSI the pipe withstands is 'de-factored' or reduced by a percentage per number of degrees raised. According to one of the charts I had read (from Harvel plastic company who posts their tech spec online) a pipe that could withstand 350 PSI at 73 degrees can only withstand 105 PSI at 130 degrees, and less and less as temp goes up. Hot water heaters are high PSI appliances. The 'pressure relief valve' on a hot water heater sets off between 120 and 150 PSI, depending on manufacturer. Do the math - a 350 PSI plastic PVC pipe can withstand less PSI at 130 degrees than the hot water heater's backup relief valve puts out under normal operating conditions. And over time, even a 600 PSI plastic PVC pipe will leach enough plasticizer to become brittle and break from internal pressure alone.

A broken hot water heater pipe can damage the whole house, or even cause explosive effects. It depends on so many factors. And that is hard to explain to customers who are more worried about just getting something done NOW and how much it will cost them to have hot water tonight. etc etc... Some of them don't even care they will have the same problem again within a few years.

The answer? They've had it for years now. CPVC pipe. It does not begin to leach plasticizer until 180 degrees, which water heaters are never supposed to attain much less maintain for a long period of time. It will not 'de-factor' it's PSI below 180 degrees.

I still have to tangle with customers daily who do not understand this and it is difficult to explain to them in a store environment. I had a lady last night whose father was dying of cancer and 'Daddy always used PVC on the hot water heater.' Uh huh. There are studies out there showing the leached material, over long term exposure, can cause increased chance of cancer, as well. Like all 'carcinogen' materials, that is hard to prove definitively. I did not try to inform the customer of this issue, as she was already upset and unreasonable.

One of my coworkers said it nicely to me this morning. 'You can't feel bad about it.. you can't warranty stupidity.' I know. But sometimes you just want to protect them from themselves and you know that you can't. And it gets frustrating.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Finished that purple gingham dress from a while back..... I don't expect it to last very long, as the edges of the fabric were trying to fray on the machine while I was sewing it. I didn't even put a zipper in it, just a hook and eye -- because I didn't want to take all that time on it. It should last a few wearings and maybe a washing or two. At least the hour or two I spent on it won't be considered a complete loss. UPDATE: It was a complete loss... *growl* oh well. That fabric wouldn't even lay down right when she wore it - it stuck out everywhere unexpectedly.

This in anticipation of maybe starting some new projects.

I switched my schedule around for tomorrow (Friday) to be the closing shift. I'm also starting to wonder if business will ever pick up and what I should be doing with my time again. Work is so slow.. and there are no commissions when the customers aren't there. I get paid salary as well, and it is decent for this area. I looked at a few other similar and higher jobs I could be qualified for - and they are not paying as well. *sigh* thoughts...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

7 am puzzle

It was 'nom factor five' Daddy said last night when I brought home strawberries. They were excellent and Esme ate five huge ones one right after another. After the second one we were sure she was stashing them somewhere for later - it was just too quick and we were washing them so not watching exactly. But I watched the last three get chomped in big bites. She was SO happy about them. They were really good, although I only had half as much as she did! The rest is sugared in the fridge.

She laid down in her bed about 11 pm and read for a little bit - then she got up and tried to play - wouldn't go back to her bed when asked, so Daddy picked her up and dumped her there and stared at her for a few minutes. She got the point - but was unhappy. She went to sleep after that!

At about 7 I started getting puzzle pieces put in my hands and was made to participate even though I was trying to sleep. 'Mama this is a puzzle, this is a bike. no bike? ok I drop bike. Mama hand hold this. Mama... wake up!' etc etc... She ate some cereal I had put in a container for her (exactly for that purpose) and drank her drink cup. Finally she pulled the 'my butt is wet' card and I got up and changed her, bathed her, clothed her, fed her etc... She was really a good girl, I was just hoping to sleep till eight! I am really glad she can tell us what she wants now instead of crying.

I have 10-7's all week until Sunday.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I saw a very cool (flat out amazing) video the other day of a young child playing with blocks, and it brought back a lot of memories.

I realized
1.) I don't have any pictures of us playing blocks from when she was that young
2.) We don't play with them much anymore because they are scattered between five or six different toyboxes!

So, I gathered them up as best I could. And we have both been having fun playing with the ones I could find! A lot have been lost to the dogs between then and now. MamaNOTE

random block pile

balancing a few random blocks

Love that expression, 'Mom I'm busy!' She didn't keep up with this pattern for very long as we ran out of green blocks but then she kept adding other smaller and smaller parts to one side until she decided to start stacking cubes again.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Esme's new swing

Mark built Esme a swing out in our front yard. It is attached to an oak tree limb. She was SO excited about it she had to fetch Grandma from her house (we were going there already when Daddy unveiled it) and bring her down for 'Grandma go WHEE!'. Esme had it all planned out... and luckily Grandma agreed even when she didn't know what she was agreeing to yet.

They had quite a bit of fun out there.

I gave her a bath and she played inside for a bit - and then she convinced Daddy to let her back outside to play with the whee swing and her shovel and pail. And wow did the dirt fly! She was covered, and would not come in. Daddy and the dogs watched for a little bit as I finished the two pairs of shorts I had intended to do. Then I took drink cups out to the porch and played with her a little bit more. She told me there were trees and a pink sky and dirt and shovel and dogs and trees have WHEES please? One track mind! Then we all had to take a walk to watch the 'blink blinks' (fireflies). And she played once again on the swing - and then inside to be hosed down, changed and talked into her room with a small bit of ice cream and another drink cup.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Animations of Esme drawing with a marker

This is a test. Attempting to show some of the Esme expressions and actions that video would capture - but putting up video is something I have yet to master!

These are animated gifs that will open in a new window, if you click the image.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My ravioli chair

Esme asked for ravioli downstairs today for lunch. It is funny, it sounds like she is saying 'bag of yoyo' when she means to say 'ravioli.' Then when I was getting it put on plates she runs up to her dining chair and says 'This is my RAVIOLI chair, HUG!! *overexaggerated hugging of chair*' That made me laugh too much **Smile**

We've also been playing with her wooden fruit/sandwich fixings kit and a small Littlefoot dinosaur toy. He is eating everything (except the burger) and hiding down in the bottom of the basket popping out and saying BOO..... funny but a little draining for me. The dinosaur asked for more ravioli! The dinosaur tried to eat ME and then Esme tried to eat ME. Daddy gave her another cookie and some juice.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

crayons and other things in a July week...

Caught this little smile today as I was being invited to draw on the easel again. She really loves those crayons... mostly for tossing everywhere! But we do draw some, too - and she identifies the colors with me. Mostly I write or draw stuff and she draws circles or 'o's or 'c's and 'g's. Sometimes she draws snails. Daddy draws good snails and she has figured out how to copy them :)

This is one of the new sundresses I made the other night. I have another one half done to send in the mail. I need to kick myself. This is my 'weekend' and I have spent more time than I should playing Sims with Esme bouncing around at my knee with toys, puzzles, cards and crayons. I can pay more attention to her here at the desk doing whatever on the computer - in between things et al... but only a half-attention or less when I'm at the sewing machine... so I don't get as much done as I used to over there!

She is napping right NOW after a visit to Grandpa and Grandma's and a full plate of fish and carrots while watching Muppet Show. I should get over there to my worktable so I feel like I've accomplished something.

There is also something about the expression in this picture from the other day - so I am including it, even though the background is cluttered and it is out of focus etc etc... I just love that little pinched grin. She had just put the 'lady' dolly out of her little people into the baby bed and started the music.

Some funny things this week - lining up letters in vertical and horizontal lines on the fridge and magnet board, telling Mama to slide a credit card at the store right there it is in your purse put it right here in this machine etc... I was using cash, so she was disappointed.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fishy face growing up

She really is growing up, it is visible!
Arms and legs and hair... all longer.

Compare that with two months ago (early May) in the same dress...

The straps on the dress haven't changed - but where they fall on her have. It fits her 'ok' then, but fits now like it should. The dress should continue becoming more of a shirt until she outgrows it. The shorts used to fall below the knee, as well - and both of the pairs in the pictures were made at the same time with the same pattern.

Nova puppy has gotten bigger too, naturally ;) But I don't have a recent picture of the two of them together. That would really show it!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What use is a photographic memory?

I have an extremely good memory, almost photographic. Even more so than pictures - it is a full sensory 3D environment capturing motion, space and sound from a specific moment in time and the course of actions taken in that space. These 'virtual reality' replays are attached to the places they took place. I pass them every day wherever I am - little submovies available to play 'on demand'. I can almost see the pictures replay in the air of someone walking through the room, doing an action etc... like the 'ghost trails' shown in some movies. I can't say how other people experience memory, but from what I've heard this is not the usual form.

This memory system works for much more than my personal experiences. It is a benefit in the work I do. I can lay out in my memory and on paper every single item in the department at my store. If someone wants to find something, they just ask and I can lead them to it even from a phone on the other side of the store. I can map out the entire store from memory to general areas and categories of items within those departments (but not to the individual peg unless I'm there often.)

And that's not all. I can still do that for the other two stores I have worked at in the past - as they were when I left them... and to the peg in the departments I was stationed in. But, what use is that outside of a store? It can be very difficult at times to have this form of memory because the real world changes quickly, and the images are always 'last state'... it can lead to a false sense of knowing exactly where things are, and then having to track them down because they have been moved. Sometimes I have to sort through several images of the same place to find the current one... which can be irritating.

They call me a computer when it comes to ordering items NOT already in the store. I can quickly pinpoint pictures of products customers want to see in our order books down to the page. The biggest problem with this is that I can see the picture and the relative information but not the numbers I need to order the item. Numbers are not part of my memory system. They are gone nearly as soon as I hear them - unless I write them down and look at them, then recall that visual image of looking at the numbers soon after. The numbers fade away to blank spaces... but the image remains.

The larger the map the more information is due to be lost. However, I can map out cities and buildings where I've been - not to scale but all of the features and textures as they looked the last time I was there. I can still visit all of the museums I have been to in my head. Sometimes I do, in my dreams. When I remember it feels like I am standing and walking again in that place at that time, seeing the same things I saw then. Again, what use is that outside of drawing or giving directions to a newcomer? And for drawing I can never draw exactly what is in my head - it never comes out the same, so there is no great talent there to make realistic reproductions.

I wish I knew some other use for this skill... put it to use in a constructive way.

In the meantime, I try to avoid watching horror movies. What I see stays with me, and I only want to put in the things I don't mind remembering.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This is the dollhouse we found at the flea market for two dollars. She does really like it. Even better, it has a phone, potty, bathtub and bed she recognizes. They make noise, but Daddy found the 'off' switch on the bottom. Now, Esme thinks it is 'broke!' She has had her kitten in the house, and told me that cows and frogs should not go in the house. She was initially interested in the cow using the 'potty' in the house but now she says NO NO NO MOO flush. But the little people can use the potty. Ha.

little things

Esme's hair and legs and arms are all getting longer...She has been going through some sort of epic spurt the last month. Her hair in the back is to the middle of her back even with a little bit of curl in it. She has leaped forward in the potty training progress - and drank from an open cup all by herself. Both of those she refused to do just a few months ago. When she sits on the little potty chair I can tell her legs have gotten a LOT longer than when we first got it, her knees bend up now. And the pants I made a few months ago with fabric from Grandma used to be below her anklebones. Now they are just above them.

She has been repeating a lot more of what we say and coming up with some ideas all by herself.. And, even though her pronunciation is still limited - I can identify more words. She is also coming up with odd connections etc... She has been trying to write letters, identifying 'words' by first letter IE: Anything starts with a 'j' is a jelly/jellybean and anything with a 'b' is a ball etc.. I've heard more counting as well, as she stacks blocks. She is singing along with the Muppets and repeating words on the Electric Cmpany. She is also saying sorry and thank you again in social situations in town - and even 'thank you Daddy/Mumum' when we give her something. I love that I finally have my own name 'Mum-mum' and am no longer 'Daddy.' I think I've even heard her say her own name a few times this month.

Another little thing I wanted to remember was that she was going through my fabric the other day and found a small piece of alphabet fabric. She came to me and said OFF SHIRT and then wanted me to make the small piece of fabric into a shirt for her. She understands part of it! She was so disappointed when I told her it wasn't big enough, and it takes a long time to make a shirt!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Esmes favorite book ever

I know I'm going to need this info. I just don't know when the book will be in such condition I can no longer reassemble and tape it back together. It is her favorite book - and there is always something else to find in it. It is also HUGE and heavy. There are so many stories with simple words and good pictures and characters. If I recall right it was fifty cents at a yard sale way back before she could even pick it up!

But the name is so hard to get right!
The ISBN numbers are
# ISBN-10: 0307165515
# ISBN-13: 978-0307165510
The name is Best Read-it-Yourself Book Ever
Author is Richard Scarry

I'm not asking anyone to get this book - we have one! I have posted the ISBN on the blog before but somehow can't find it to search for it, so making another post all of itself with a tag.

They are super cheap (three to five dollars), but I'd rather let this one live out it's last days and only replace it once I can't fix it anymore. So far duct tape and clear packing tape have saved it several times.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Wooden toys in the mail - thank you!

These wooden fruit and sandwich items were waiting at the post office today. We finally had a day off where I could go pick it up. Esme does really love it! Thank you Elizabeth :) There was also a set of wooden toy cars with little people that came when Grandpa Harvey was here. Esme has gotten great enjoyment out of all of it. She is serving us orange and kiwi with hamburger buns and pickles now at our desks. It's got me thinking about making a similar type fish to 'cut' like she saw Mama do with the catfish.

I have two kanji fabric sundresses, like the blue one in these pictures nearly ready to assemble. There is also a three-headed dragon pattern I've finally got the pieces designed for, need to cut one out and see how it stitches up. That was a challenge from Mark (5 headed... but gotta start small ha) I stayed up quite late last night and then got up in the middle of the night to post things...knowing there wouldn't be a lot of free time today unless Esme took a nap. Mark is downstairs making fried chicken pieces to freeze and I have to be back to work tomorrow at ten am.

Thank you again Elizabeth :) It really was too much, but I'll find a way to make it up. How about a six-to-seven-foot long fabric snake? made one before Esme loves hers and often makes it 'attack' Daddy while he is napping. The one she has isn't the one in the pictures - it is a bit longer and has an open mouth with two fangs and no rattlebox in the tail. It wouldn't take much at all to whip one up. Stuffing it is really the hard part :)

Esme with shape puzzles and drink from a cup

I don't know how - but out of the blue tonight Esme drank from a cup without a top on it. She was asking for the rest of her cereal milk 'in a cup' and instinct said not to put a top on it, see what she said. She picked it up like she had been doing so for years - and drank out of it, without spilling the majority down her face and actually draining the cup little by little until it was 'empty!' I am in shock with this kid! For how many months-to-a-year did I try to give her lessons, only ending up with us both in frustration? I just 'gave up' on the idea a good while ago, thinking - it will come someday, but I'm not going to mess with it. I wonder if Grandma has been trying to give her lessons? If not, I'm not sure where she finally clicked on it. She was drinking complete with 'mouth-wipe, AHHHHHHH' gestures and sound effects after each swig, like some kid from a commercial (and we don't have broadcast television coming in the house at all)....

Here are a few pictures I snapped before work this morning.
This is her part of the room where there are books, balloons (one of her favorite things) and then assorted storage. I really need to replace those plastic drawers as they are leaning to one side (make note for self for later)

She was playing with her two shape peg puzzles from the flea market and two sets of shape cards (what is left of them) that I made with construction paper and tape. It was cute as she kept matching up the puzzle alike shapes and the card alike shapes but was refusing that 3D triangle puzzle pieces and 2D card 'triangle' shapes were alike at all.

Me: See? Three triangles!
Esme: 'No.. no triangle (put puzzle piece carefully back with wooden pieces) . triangle, triangle, TWO triangle! (give me cards that match and expression like 'you should know this Mom!')

The ruffled blue pinnie top still fits, and she loves it. She asks for it often.
I have Friday off this week - not sure what we'll do yet! I bought an umbrella for $2.00 on clearance that is a HUGE wooden frame parasol. It was broken in two places and I fixed it using duct tape and K'nex sticks. Esme thinks it is great and we had to go walking with it as soon as I fixed it. We woke Grandpa and Grandma up though (sorry) and we'll have to be better about not going for walks in that direction so late in the evening! Because .. if we go in that direction at all (instead of to the lake) we always end up at their doorstep.. there just isn't any avoiding it unless I can tell her for certain they are 'not home' (no car)! She knows better now that if she sees car, they are there. *hmmm*

We've also been letting her sit in our lap while we play a very old version (2002) of the Sims game. She is fascinated. She picks out little actions like brushing teeth, washing hands, cooking, going upstairs/downstairs, using the potty (big deal for her as we are in PT), drawing on the easel, playing with a horse out of the toy box, set off 'booms' (fireworks)... I don't have to tell her what they are doing she tells me. And she then wants us to tell them what to do next. Eat girl, EAT (points at food and table). He used the potty - WASH HANDS, good job. I had that told to me the other day! She loves it when they swim in the pool, and overall the simple fact that there is a mommy, daddy and a little girl she can identify (in Mom's house at least ;)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

When you wake up from a nap...

and see this, you know you have not only a kid in the house, but a big kid as well.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Kitties get pie!

A drawing made by me (mostly) but directed by Esme.
It went like this:
draw a choochoo (I did - but it doesn't look right.. I suck at drawing choochoos without a picture to reference!)
draw a kitty!
red kitty.
red kitty - baby kitties? two baby kitties?
baby kitties are cute meow meow baby kitties!
kitties need water dish.. no wait their mama gets them water
kitties need cake! pie! kitties need PIE!
kitties got pie.. now they are happy kitties.