Category Archives: General

House Renovation Blues

The bad news: We discovered a water leak behind the refrigerator in the last couple days.

The worse news: We pulled the fridge out, and it’s not leaking from there.

The even-worse news. It’s leaking from the copper supply line inside the wall.

The even-worse news than that. The supply line runs down the wall to the fridge, through the attic, from up another wall from the cold-water supply below the kitchen sink. So I get to go up into the attic to cut and pull copper and new attached PVC line through two walls. In south Florida. In August.

[Friday-morning update]

Huzzah! It’s not inside the wall. We just saw the water leaking from the back of the fridge when the icemaker valve opened. I just changed the inlet valves a couple months ago; the joint must have come loose. It just went from a major PITA to a minor repair.

[Update a while later]

OK, as noted in comments, I disconnected the leaking tube from the icemaker line, cut it off square, and reinserted. No joy. It appears to be leaking from the side of the fitting itself, which is integral to the valve, which costs fifty bucks (and I just replaced it less than three months ago). Sigh…

Molly Macauley

This is terrible; I’m in shock. She was murdered last night, walking her dogs in her upscale Baltimore neighborhood.

I’ve known her for decades. I just saw her in March, at a NASA-sponsored workshop on space safety that she had put together at RFF. The report is due out any day.

In addition to being a wonderful woman, this is a huge loss to the space community; she was one of the few economists really focusing on the economics of space development. My condolences to her other friends, and family.

On The Beach

We needed to go to (south) Florida to take care of things and get the house ready to sell, because we don’t seem to be able to rely on anyone long distance. In my experience, if unsupervised people here don’t do things half ass, they do them quarter ass. As the old saying goes, a sunny place for shady people. I had to fix two toilets today that had needed it for months, among other things. And how many south Florida people does it take to change a light bulb? Apparently an infinite number, if they don’t actually own and live in the house.

Anyway, Patricia also was badly in need of a vacation, so I’m writing this after a relaxing home-made dinner of sockey salmon with pineapple salsa and chardonnay procured at (amazing that they finally exist here!) Trader Joe’s, overlooking the Atlantic and listening to a nice wind riffle through the palms. One of the disadvantages of the east shore, of course, is no sunset over the ocean, but it was still pleasant to watch day turn do dusk from our balcony. For those curious, here is where we are staying. Old Florida style, but modernized enough to be quite comfortable so far. We plan to sleep with windows open to the sound of the ocean, though in a couple months, that will be less advisable.

Off To DC

I got up at 3 AM to catch a 5 AM flight from LAX to DCA via ORD. Heading there for the FAA-AST Space Transportation Conference tomorrow. Earliest flight I’ve ever taken from there, I think. I had TSA pre-check, but the line wasn’t open yet, so I had to do the whole drill. The American terminal is pretty dead at 4 AM. Anyway, I’m in a flying chair somewhere over the plains with Internet. It almost feels like the 21st century.

Light Posting

…may continue until Monday night. We’re in Stinson Beach for the weekend for a mini-vacation.

[Sunday-evening update]

We have no television here, other than a big screen with a DVD player, but I’m not sure I’d watch the president’s latest attack on the American people even if I did.

In Seattle

I had a long trip to get here, starting at 2:30 AM Central (two-hour bus ride from Columbia MO to St. Louis, two-hour plane ride to Charlotte, five-hour plane ride to Seattle), but I’m at the Museum of Flight, where I’ll be giving a talk and book signing tomorrow, for any Seattlites who want to show up. It’s $20 admission to the Spacefest, but it’s an opportunity for a signed book if you don’t have one.

I’ve never been here this time of year. I was surprised at the fall colors.

Back In Missouri

We drove back to Columbia today from west of Ann Arbor, after visiting family and friends up there. Initially took back roads, not the freeway, as we were trying to catch the last of the fall colors. I took Route 12 from south of Manchester all the way to Coldwater, through the Irish Hills which, despite having been raised in southeast Michigan, I’d never done, so if I had a bucket list, I’d cross that one off. Lovely (but looking a little depressed in off-season), and Michigan International Speedway was impressive from a distance.

From there we headed south to Fort Wayne, went east on 24 across northern Indiana. The plan was to go to Peoria, then continue down to Hannibal, but we realized that we would run out of light (and butt stamina in the car) long before we ran out of road, so we bailed not long after getting into Illinois, and took 57 south to 72, then 55 south to 270, then 370, then 70 west to Columbia. Got in about 7:30. Always nicer to gain an hour from the time change than losing it (we got into Michigan about 10 PM when we drove up Friday).

Anyway, here until Friday when I fly to Seattle for a book signing at the Museum of Flight on Saturday. Hope locals can make it.