Thursday, November 22, 2012

Home ownership joys.

First of all,  within about two seconds you’ll come to the realisation that there’s sweet bugger all going on here today.   So try not to fall asleep.


Well,  there was this little guy that I saw this morning.  He,  or maybe she,  refused to turn around,  and was more interested in waiting for someone to come out and take the end of that leash.   Personally,  I didn’t think it was that cold out,  but some folks like to dress up their dogs I suppose.






Just a little snippet I collected last week some time. 


House demolished because of wrong delivery address.



House demolished because of wrong delivery address

A home near Victoria had to be demolished after an oil company got its addresses mixed up and delivered a load of furnace oil to the wrong house.

Terry Phillips had recently bought the house on Adelaide Ave. in Saanich, just north of Victoria.

He was in the midst of renovating it when the oil company arrived and started pumping oil into the underground tank. But unfortunately the tank at his house was no longer in service.

"I had disconnected the oil tank and was getting 200 amp service in for electric heat," said Phillips.

"They got the wrong address. They filled up the tank. It went into the ground."

More than 300 litres of fuel spilled into the ground, contaminating the yard and under the house.

David Rogers, with B.C. Hazmat Management, the company doing the cleanup, said it was impossible to save the house because of the extent of the spill.

"Quite often we can dig under the house and support it with concrete. Because of the way it is, and the underground oil tank here, we could not support the house and save it."

The cost of the cleanup and rebuilding of the home is being covered by the oil company's insurance.




I’m guessing that’s a stock photo,  since they just said there WASN’T a tank.  (rolling my eyes here)


This is something I had heard about,  and I’m sure it’s not a very common occurrence,  but rumours of this kind of thing were circulating long before there was anything like the internet.  The thing is,  when we bought our house,  we had oil heat,  so there was always that thought that crossed my mind that something could “let go”,  and we’d end up with oil in the basement.  Scary thought.

This issue wasn’t necessarily the exact reason why I wanted to no longer have oil heat in our house,  and I’m sure we could have bought a more “efficient” oil fired boiler,  but then we would have still had the tank in our basement,  along with a certain amount of stink,  and that nagging doubt.    No matter what you do,  there’s always going to be something leaking somewhere.   And just as soon as the old boiler and tank were out,  I went to work and knocked the pipes out of the wall and patched the holes.  There was no bloody way anyone with an oil truck was going to come along and start pumping in oil.  Whether they had the right address or not.   Sometimes it’s best to not tempt fate.

Besides,  when we did have oil heat,  the bloody oil truck was coming every two weeks in the winter time!   I would just about crap my drawers every time he showed up!   Each fill up was several hundred dollars.  Several!

Even with a gas hot water boiler,  gas-fired dryer,  gas hot water heater and five burner gas range,  we’ve never EVER had a gas bill that came anywhere near what our oil bills used to be.   Not so far anyway, and we made the switch in ‘94.  I suppose it could always change. 


Let me just stop right here and say that,  whatever it is you choose to live in,  even if it’s a cardboard box out on the street,  at some point in time it’s going to need some work done to it.  It’s all a matter of whether you need to swap out the tranny,  put on a new roof, or find some fresh cardboard.   Last time I checked (like two seconds ago) rebuilding an Allison 1000 could run you anywhere from four to five thousand bucks.  Depending.


Anyhoodle,  I’m sure you really care about that,  but while I’m at it,  let me tell you one other little story.

A couple Friday’s ago (or maybe it was three?),  quite out of the blue,  I got a phone call from Daughter Number One.   Now see,  DNO rarely calls since she works in Toronto,  and the time difference is such that we really only communicate with her either by email or on the weekends by phone.   So I thought it was a bit odd that she phoned. 

Hopefully nothing bad.  

When she started to ask about my wet-vac I began to have my suspicions.   There was some talk about making sure to remove the filter (otherwise it gets really stinky,  and that has happened)  along with the whereabouts of the “wand”.  See,  I don’t use my shop vac as a wet vac,  so heaven knows where that wand is.  Possibly in the shed.  Plus she wondered whom I would call when it came to a plumber.  Well, it seems that I’m the only plumber that I’ll let into my house,  so that didn’t help. 

Anyway,  long story only ever so slightly shorter,  there was indeed a plumber involved,  along with their  insurance company, as there had been a leak.  Eek.  The good news was that her cousin was at the house at the time and heard the water running.  Apparently some sort of fitting had “let go”.   The even better news was,  all occupants of said dwelling had only recently given themselves a little impromptu seminar on just where one might find the water shut off.   These are good things to know.


Even though parts of the living room ceiling needed to be replaced,  it could actually have been worse.   I think the emotional damage to the cousin was on par with the water.  I’ve “been there and done that” when it comes to water leaks,  and it’s very easy to get yourself worked into a lather, trust me.  Oh the stories I could tell!


Naturally,  being the empathetic Dad (*snort*!),  one of the first things I said was,  “Welcome to the joys of home ownership!”   Poor kid.   But hey,  sh*t happens,  and it’s best to realise right off the bat that,  no matter how careful you might be, (with smoke and CO detectors and all those goodies)  any time you walk out the front door and lock it behind you,  may be the very last time you see your precious house in that condition.   Extinguishing any open flames and unplugging the iron helps too of course.

Do you know where your water shut off is??


Keep it between the ditches,  and thanks for stopping in.



Oh,  and by the way,  there will be a verdict later today on the “Ice Lady”.   Come on back,  ya’ll.




  1. Put that Ice Lady away forever!! And I have quit eating Ice Cream at the corner parlor, ... well for a little while anyway..

    Here in Arizona our water shut off is on the outside of the house about two feet above the ground... Looks so strange out there in the plain sight of everyone... But it never freezes here so that changes everything...

  2. We had oil at a house in Virginia. It cost us a fortune and I was so glad he decided not to sell it to us an we had to look elsewhere. Then in Montana our hot water tank decided to die and it's bladder went everywhere. I agree with Rod - Ice Lady away forever.

  3. Didn't you just have water leak with another kid in Canada, a while back?


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.