More stuff about water

New Image
The shiny, new pump above, and the old faded one below.

old

A FEW DAYS ago, I wrote about where water comes from, and the annual cleaning of the underground cistern, a chore we handle ourselves, the two of us. Coincidentally, during that same week, the nearby pump that delivers water from the cistern to the tank on the roof made funny noises for the second time in recent weeks, so I decided to replace it. It was 17 years old, installed during the Hacienda construction.

It is not a pump you want to fail. Without it, there’s no water anywhere in the house.

I don’t know the useful life of such a pump, but 17 years seems a long time, and the pump looked quite ratty, as you can see from the photo. The new pump is big and beautiful.

Like Muhammad Ali.

Coincidentally again, and also water-related, the Honda got a new water pump last week, another precautionary measure. That pump too was the original, and the car has 210,000 kilometers. As I write this, the Honda sits in the shop having its A-C radiator replaced. The A-C decided to commit suicide during our hottest month of the year.

Yes, the Honda has a streak of malevolence.

But enough about the Honda. Let’s return to the house. The tank on the roof sports some sort of electronic gizmo — with mercury inside, I think. It dangles inside like a snake — that senses when water falls below half full. At that point, it signals the pump below, the one that was replaced, to ignite and send water from the cistern up to the roof.

Following this?

Just after the pump started acting goofy, the electronic gizmo up top failed its mission, and the roof tank’s water level fell considerably below half. I knew this because I went to the roof, put a ladder against the tank, popped the top, looked in, saw the situation, and gave the electronic snake a shake. It turned on the pump below, and water started to come up.

But obviously, there was a problem. So today, Jorge the Plumber came with the new pump, plus a new electronic snake for the roof tank. Jorge is also an electrician.

So now I have a new pump down below and a new electronic snake up top. With luck, this pump will top the 17 years of the previous one, and the snake will last as long as possible. And the Honda’s A-C will keep me cool for a long time to come, especially in May.

The entire cost — the labor and materials — ran the peso equivalent of $160 U.S. The cost of the work on the Honda has yet to be determined.

Let’s go have a coffee now. I’m bushed.

Where water comes from

cistern
My child bride, sporting her Kung Flu mask, does the mopping.

THE MONTH OF MAY means the cistern must be swept and mopped. It’s the underground tank where the municipal water arrives daily and waits to be pumped to the roof tank from where it is distributed to the faucets inside the house via gravity.

We do this every year. Many people never do it, but we don’t live like that. This became doubly important a couple of years ago when we stopped using bottled drinking water and installed a filtration system under the kitchen sink. It has a separate faucet, and that’s our drinking water now, straight from this cistern.

The water that fills the cistern comes from an underground spring.

The tank, which is concrete, was built about 12 years ago, replacing a “modern” plastic job that was installed when the Hacienda was constructed in 2002-03. The plastic one collapsed in time because it was installed incorrectly, the only error the builder committed because he was “old school” and had no experience with plastic cisterns.

And by pure lousy luck, the day he installed it, we were in San Miguel de Allende. Had I been here, I would have noticed and corrected the bum installation. It was the only time we were out of town during the entire nine-month construction.

But all’s well that ends well, especially when it’s an actual well. This big baby — 9,000 liters — has never given us any problems.

You may be wondering, if the cistern is empty, where is our water coming from? There’s a separate, above-ground tank about half this size, just beyond the photo. We switch to it when the cistern is empty which only happens in May.

We have five tanks in all, but the cistern is the largest.

To empty the cistern, I shut the valve on the pipe from the street, and it takes about two weeks to empty. After the cleaning, the valve from the street is opened again, and it takes three or four days to refill. It’s quite low tech. Old school.

How far we’ve fallen

covid

THE MORE THIS Kung Flu hysteria drags on, the nuttier it shows itself to be.

But the lunacy has roots far from China.

Western Civilization started coming unraveled a few decades back. It began with the Hippie phenomenon in the 1960s, but it really kicked into gear with the birth of political correctness in the 1980s and its ensuing growth rate which looks a lot like pancreatic cancer’s.

I blame Karl Marx. And ignorance.

It’s difficult to see light between PC and leftism because they are so closely connected. It’s like trying to see light between Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen. Or between Michael Moore and a double-patty cheeseburger with curly fries.

Those of us of advanced age are fortunate. We’re probably going to check out before the entire shebang falls on our heads. And the Visigoths storm the gates. That is my hope.

The bone corner

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SITTING IN THE living room on the scarlet sofa thinking about life.

Looking across the room at the bone corner.

No gainful employment, no money concerns, no health worries, just creaky, that’s all. My own bones. It could be worse, far worse. Sunday morning, and I already did some gardening, trimming the bothersome bougainvilleas, cut a few branches from the neighbors’ fruit trees that are hanging over to my side. Lousy, surly neighbors.

We’re doing more stuff away from home these days, weary of this Kung Flu hullabaloo. Tomorrow I’m taking the Honda to the garage for an overdue servicing, plus replacing the water pump and the AC Freon. This afternoon we’ll be lunching at a restaurant downtown that’s been closed for weeks but now is open weekends, just weekends. Gonna eat Sloppy Joes and French fries. I love anything you can dip in ketchup.

I crave raw oysters dumped into a cup of ketchup and horseradish. Problem is that there are no raw oysters on the mountaintop, and I wouldn’t eat them anyway, not anymore. Too much pollution. Plus, you need Dixie Beer with raw oysters to do it right.

Sitting on a stool in the dim, air-conditioned bar at Schwegmann’s supermarket on Airline Highway in Metairie, Louisiana, while the summer sun buckles the street tar outside would be the ideal setting, but those days are gone. For me, at least.

Made some rounds around downtown yesterday afternoon, hunting biscuits. Went to my usual place on the big plaza. No biscuits. Drove to another pastry shop, a newish one near the Downtown Casita. No biscuits. Drove back near the plaza to yet another pastry shop on Romero Street, and bingo! Biscuits. I bought six. Whole wheat.

Biscuits are the Staff of First Breakfast at the Hacienda. Costco sells biscuits too, but they are ponderous with butter, and I don’t like that.

Sloppy Joes, French fries, raw oysters and biscuits. Three out of four ain’t bad.