An eventful week

An eventful week

Thursday, January 21st, 2021

Yes, eventful. Of course there was a new president in the U.S. but there were also events at casa Joe and Laura.

So first things first: the inauguration. All things considered (like 25,000 national guard locking down the capital) it was a pretty good show. Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks and Jennifer Lopez providing the songs, the flags commemorating the 400,000 who have died from Covid in the U.S. due to extremely poor management of the epidemic on the national level and the huge national and international sigh of relief to have a sane person as president. I especially like J.Lo singing “This is land is your land”. It’s the only song that really provokes an emotional reaction for my country of origin and I think would be a good replacement for the current national anthem. I tried to stream the video via the New York Times but there must have been millions of others trying to do the same because it broke up so much that it was worthless. During the same period Laura streamed the whole thing from the La Stampa website without a hitch but of course didn’t understand a thing since there were no subtitles. That would be a good project for the Google guys to do real time subtitles in another language – a difficult technical task but those guys are pretty good at technology. Go for it Googlers.

Next was the caldaia (water heater). It ceased to work some time on Monday afternoon (January 18).

The caldaia in the kitchen

The lack of hot water was an annoyance but the water heater also provides heat for the house which made it much more urgent with winter temperatures. It showed an “error 3” on the display. I looked in the manual that I had downloaded months ago and it said to call for a repair person. So Laura called them and they came out the next afternoon and fixed it. Since we are renting the landlord will pay the bill – only 80 euros. It seems that there was some blockage in the exhaust pipe which required a fair amount of disassembly and reassembly and they also lubricated some moving parts in the process. One somewhat nice thing about the heat is that even in winter it doesn’t get too cold in the house. That’s probably because the building is over 500 years old and has thick walls. The thermostat is set at 20 C (68 F) during the day and at 16 C (61 F) at night but even in these days when the temperature is below freezing at night it almost never falls below 66 F (19 C) but when the heat comes on in the morning at 5 AM it takes about 5 hours to recover that one degree to reach the daytime temperature. So in any case now we’re back to normal

The other notable thing is that since we have two cats we also need a constant supply of kitty litter. Each sack of litter weighs about 15 pounds so it is really a chore to buy and transport it. So Laura ordered a bunch (10 sacks) from a major supermarket chain, Coop, for delivery to our door. She also ordered enough other stuff to bring the total above the level where we need to pay for delivery, I think that’s something like 75 euros. We have the litter stashed in unlikely places but it’s still a lot more convenient than a trek to the store. I think that we’ll be regular customers for home delivery from Coop.

And finally there is the greenhouse (“serra” in Italian) that Laura ordered. We have a very small one for herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme, etc) but it is really too small so Laura ordered another one. So yesterday afternoon I decided it would be a good project to assemble it. I thought an hour maximum since there are no tools required. It was made by a German company and so you’d think that since there Germans are so precise that the instructions would be clear – something like those from Ikea. Well, you can look at the photos below and judge for yourself.

There are a total of 154 total pieces not counting the shelves and the cover. This is the front of the instruction page.
Pretty clear, huh?

The Germans must assume that everyone is an engineer. Fortunately I am one and only made two or 3 errors none of which required too much time to correct. For the record it took just over 2 hours to assemble. Today I’ll put the cover on it.

And a new Baci quote that seems particularly apt for this period (and maybe every period),

Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.
Ogni tramonte porta la promessa di una nuova alba.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A penny for your thoughts – as in comments ;^)

2 Responses to “An eventful week”

  1. Diane McKallip Says:

    love the greenhouse plans…I would have given up!!!!

  2. Joe Says:

    Yeah, it really helped to be an engineer.

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