Sunday, December 31, 2006

Under the wire

I made a couple of resolutions for 2006. I wanted to end the year with fewer UFOs (unfinished objects) than at the start. I finished some projects like this Dragon Teeth scarf.

Here is a closeup that better shows the texture.

Other projects just weren't doing it for me. Rather than finish them, I simply unraveled them. Their potential will just have to reveal themselves to me another time. Yarnex and this lace scarf met the same fate.

2006 began with 4 UFOs at my house. One didn't get picked up at all. I finished Iris' modular poncho, a Golden Chai two-tone scarf, and a sweater that I started in 1997. It was an ill-conceived project; I finished it 10 months ago and haven't worn or photographed it yet.

WIPs (works in progress) include the Basalt Tank which will be picked up again in the Spring. Add the Icelandic circular yoke sweater, carry over the 2005 project and that leaves only 3 UFOs.

Big Sis left a comment gently suggesting that I am overthinking the circular yoke pattern. Look how cute her sweater, which she knitted by the seat of her pants, came out! I got fuddled up while charting color work and decreases, and then realized that the floats were going to be way too long for a beginning stranding project.

Did I get off my bum and begin knitting again? No, of course not. Knitting in the Old Way arrived in the mail. It was time to do more research! Reading another book is the best way to procrastinate.

My other resolution was to consume less healthcare than I did in 2005. I failed on that front. I won't even try to guess how much healthcare I will consume this year. I am going to set the bar lower. I just want to feel more like myself again and less like a patient.

Friday, December 29, 2006

It's all relative

This week has certainly been windy in our area. Mark and I were debating whether it was windier than "windsday" this past March?

First, I checked the jet stream and surface winds analyses at the California Regional Weather Server. Then I decided that was a misapplication of technology; I need only check the relative wind strengths at a few nearby weather stations.

From the pier in Santa Monica, a storm in January had stronger winds. In Manhattan Beach*, this week's peak speed of 28 mph was stronger than March's 25 mph. Redondo Beach sat on the fence--both storms had similar wind gust speeds of 30 mph.

Then I realized that I had fallen into another technology trap. Those wind gauges doesn't tell me the relative wind strengths at my house.

Because I don't have a wind gauge, I will have to use my eyes. Look at this tree across the street. It remained upright through the March 2006 storm only to list to the south this week after the storm. That's how the old meteorologists did it. They walked around with their eyes open and looked at the trees.

Read the entire Windsday series.

* There's a rumor in meteorology circles that the MB weather station is not installed at the regulation height, biasing their wind measurements relative to properly installed stations.  I have no first hand information about that.

Polar Bears and Existentialism

Polar bears are in the news (and Coca Cola advertisements) lately. How can something so cute be so politically polarizing?

I have been worried about them for years, ever since I read an article about the declining body fat of female polar bears. Like humans, they can't ovulate if their body fat crosses a threshold. When that happens, the species cannot reproduce and becomes essentially walking ghosts. If we continue on our current course, it is likely that polar bears will cross this threshold in a few years, not decades.

Read this CBC News background article about polar bears and scientists who track their declining health. It was written in 1999 and the problem has only worsened since then.

I find the thought of a future without polar bears deeply troubling, even though I am unlikely to ever see one firsthand in the wild. I don't want to see the earth become a habitat solely for humans and the things that humans eat. Who can put a price on seeing the look on a child's face when they learn about a new and wondrous animal? That does not appear on a balance sheet anywhere. However, a world without polar bears would make me feel poorer.

What does this have to do with existentialism?

Extinction always recalls to my mind, Graham Swift's short story, "Hoffmeier's Antelope". The unnamed storyteller's uncle, a zoo keeper, had been trying unsuccessfully for years to breed the last known pair of Hoffmeier's antelopes in the world. If the pair die without reproducing, the species will become extinct.

In an act of desperation, the uncle disappears with the pair of antelopes so that their fate will be unknown. As long as no one knows for sure if the remaining Hoffmeier's antelopes are alive or dead, they cannot be declared extinct.

Graham Swift's short story collection, Learning to Swim, has been republished in paperback and I highly recommend it.

Read critiques about time and existentialism and Hoffmeier's Antelope.

That's all folks.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

MPAA Ratings Decoded

Iris walked into the computer room while Mark was viewing the Grindhouse trailer. She said, "I think that is for a R-rated movie."

Mark asked why she thought that.

Iris said that it was because the girls had guns. In the PG movies, only the boys have guns. Sometimes the boys die and the girls have to pick up the guns. That would be PG-13.

I asked her what makes a movie G-rated. She replied, "No one has guns."

She has that one nailed. Read more about Iris and movies in MPAA rating and parental complacency.

That's all folks.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

"Saying Yes to Mess"? Not so fast

Mark couldn't resist emailing me Saying Yes to Mess.
Exhibiting the charm that made me fall for him in the first place, he wrote:
You probably saw this article,and were hoping I didn't see it. Well, I did and it's quite interesting.
Notice that the messies in the article protest that their messes are healthy and normal. They claim that the others are the ones with problems? Hmm. I would take this article a bit more seriously if we didn't have so many hammers buried somewhere under our junk stuff.

This household does have a problem. We are just coming up for air after 8 nights of Hanukkah and Iris has presents strewn everywhere. So she doesn't feel left out, Santa visits her every year. Then we face celebrate, 15 days of Lunar New Year in February.

One of Iris' WASP friends was upset that her family was Christian. Why does Iris get 8+15 days of presents and she only gets one?

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Santa Chronicles 2006

The Santa Chronicles continues. Click here to read the beginning of the Santa Chronicles. Click here to read Santa Chronicles II.

She had been agitating for a specific Bratz Rock Angels doll. I dislike Bratz even more than Barbie. (In fact, I have softened considerably to Barbie since watching the 'Barbie Princess and the Pauper' movie in which Barbie saves her kingdom from financial ruin with her geological prowess.) I told her to save up for the Bratz Rock Angel in question. At the time, that seemed to be the thing she most wanted so I dispatched Mark to the store after bedtime to secretly buy it for her.

Iris wrote to Santa what she most wished for in the whole world. She didn't want to tell anyone what she wished lest that spoil her chances of receiving it. Then she finally let on to her dad what she asked for. She wanted not one, but two dolls! One doll was the one we had already bought and hidden away, but she also wanted the My Scene Lindsay Lohan doll.

Oma searched the stores and came up empty. The internet failed us. Besides, even if we could find it online, it would not arrive in time. I tried to talk her out of it. I asked, how could Santa bring you the Lindsay Lohan doll when we haven't seen it in any stores? She said that Santa has ways. Besides, the elves can make anything that kids really want.

While waiting in a doctor's office this afternoon, I conversed with a sixth grade girl. She told me that the doll could be found at Toys R Us. I asked if she meant My Scene dolls in general or the Lindsay Lohan doll in particular. She thought a minute and said she was sure she saw the Lindsy Lohan doll. I called Mark right away by cell phone and he braved the crush at Toys R Us. Alas, the rumor was not true.

A friend told me about how she lined up at 6am in order to buy her daughter a Cabbage Patch doll in the 1980's. I marveled at her motherly dedication and decided that I would never do that.

This year, Iris will have to learn about the fallibility of Santa Claus. But perhaps we shall send Mark to the Mattel store at opening tomorrow...

We already had one miracle today. Mark asked me to try to buy more Hanukkah candles today as we did not have enough for tonight. I turned the box upside down and found exactly 9 candles!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dragon Teeth

I am still knitting, but not on anything that requires concentration. I stopped by Artfibers twice during my week in San Francisco. The first time, I showed great restraint and only bought this scarf kit. The colors leapt out at me because they reminded me of peacock feathers.

I have been obsessed with peacock feather imagery ever since the Waist Down exhibit. The colors of the yarns don't show up very well in this scan, but they contain many of the rich shades seen in peacock feathers. I think I will finish the edges of this scarf with fluffy black fur yarn.

Speaking of peacock feathers, I finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams during the trip. I have admired BK's work since listening to Prodigal Summer last summer (while I was laid up in bed with an infection, uveitis and laryngitis). She renders characters from a wide variety of backgrounds with such sympathy and understanding. Some look at a bunch of people and see differences. Others see commonality. Barbara Kingsolver is certainly the latter type.

Later in the week, I returned and bought another scarf kit and yarn for two more sweaters. While swatching in the yarn tasting bar that late afternoon, I met Thomasina, who was also in town for AGU. Check out her guide to geeky knitting. She recalled reading my essay in Cheaper than Therapy. She didn't say if she liked it, but someone actually read me.

That's all folks.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Now where are my presents?

We don't normally use candles or the fireplace at chez badmom. It struck me that we don't have many opportunities to watch smoke rising. Yes, it is polluting. But it is mesmerizing.

She is still wearing her TKD uniform because she received her orange belt today.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Standing in Line in Perspective

A friend emailed that, rather than more women attending AGU this year, there might have been fewer restroom stalls instead. She pointed out that the restrooms in Moscone Center have movable partitions to adjust the relative size of the men's and women's rooms.

I did wonder about the paltry size of the women's rooms and why there was no line on the men's side. There were so many more men than women, and how could they manage with only 3 stalls? Duh.

This revelation sent me on a walk down memory lane.

I recall a night at the Julia Morgan theatre in Berkeley. As the lights came on for intermission, I ran to the women's room. A long line had already formed and I spent the entire 20 minute intermission in line. Finally, when there were only 2 others in front of me in line, the house manager came through to clear the lobby.

He told the women still standing in line that we must return to our seats immediately or he would lock the door. There would be no late seating. Several women walked glumly back to the theatre.

I was boiling mad. I spent the entire intermission painfully waiting in line while Mark was able to breeze in and out of the men's room, buy a coffee and consume it leisurely while strolling around the lobby, looking at pictures of prior productions. I was not going to be denied.

I told the house manager that I did not dilly dally. I dilligently ran to the line as fast as I could. It was their fault that they did not provide women with enough stalls. Furthermore, I paid the same for a ticket as the men to see the play. If he did not hold the second act until all the women in line were able to use the facilities, then he would have to comp us seats for another night. (I was emboldened because I had worked with the house manager the prior summer where we spent many backstage hours together.)

He relented and led several women, including myself, to the backstage restroom and started the second act after all the women waiting in line were back in their seats.

I also thought about the status of women in science.

I have visited many science buildings that were built without women's restrooms except near the administrative offices. In some of those buildings, the signs were simply changed from men to women on alternate floors. In the tower where I did the bulk of my graduate research, the single stall restrooms went unisex by simply removing the men sign.

Late one night, I did sneak into the men's room in the laboratory wing. It was so huge relative to the two-stall women's room down the hall, you could play hockey in it. (Late at night, grad students sometimes played street hockey in the hallways to help stay awake and to alleviate the tedium of babysitting marathon experiments.)

And then I thought about the whole unfairness of the restroom business.

Much has been written about how women need more time in the stalls than men. But most writers ignore that women need to use the facilities more often than men. We simply have smaller bladders. The uterus takes up about the same amount of space as a typical female bladder. This is not even counting pregnancy! Men carry much of their gonads externally which frees up lots of bladder room.

So here we are, doing the human race a favor by bearing the young, and we are thanked by banishment to long lines to relieve ourselves. Grrr.

Every time someone (usually a man) brings up that women live longer than men, I quip, "Yes, but it doesn't really count because we spend it all waiting in line to use the restroom."

Read the earlier post, Standing in Line, to find out what brought this rant on.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Whitewash This!

I swung by the Union of Concerned Scientists booth today and learned about the destruction of the EPA libraries. Hauling away a library in the dead of night is truly the modus operandi of despots.

Al Gore also gave a pep talk about how scientists had a responsibility to reach out to the public. I guess that I am a pessimist. I think that scientists would like to reach out, but hardly anyone is listening. Judging by search engine statistics, the public is more interested in Britney Spears' divorce than in this nation's loss of topsoil or ancient aquifers.

After the meeting, we had dinner with my dad. We walked from our Union Square area hotel to Chinatown. On the way there, my dad pointed out the Stockton Street tunnel and told me how he lived in Chinatown for two months before starting graduate school. He walked to work at Macy's every day via that tunnel.

On the way back, my dad pointed to the Maiden Lane marker on the sidewalk and asked if I knew the history of the street. I had never made the connection before he grabbed my arm urgently and pointed down. Instantly, I realized that Maiden Lane must have been an euphemism for the street of cribs.

I searched for "Maiden Lane"+"San Francisco"+crib and discovered that the street had been renamed from Morton Street to Maiden Lane in an effort to clean up the image of the city. At Berkeley, I read a textbook for an Asian American history class. The pictures of the women in the cribs were heartbreaking. Click here for a brief history of the Chinese American "crib girls" and a picture (courtesy of the Oakland Museum of California History).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Standing in Line

I am at the American Geophysical Union, AGU, Fall Meeting in SF this week. I guess it is a sign of progress that there are lines in the women's room. I don't recall having to wait in line in previous years.

It turns out that there wasn't a sudden influx of women at AGU. Moscone center staff had decided to allocate only 3 stalls to the women's side of the restrooms. See the follow-up post, standing in line in perspective.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tofu and Toto

Yeah, I have not made any progress on the yoke sweater so I am going to blog about food again.

We returned to Yuzu last night for omakase. Perhaps they should call it omigod. It was a fantastic eight course meal. After course 5 or 6, they actually asked us if we were getting full. If not, they could make us a sashimi platter before the finale.

Last time, we looked jealously at the diners who had called ahead to order omakase. This time, we began with a seared albacore salad and continued with cold water ahi sashimi with avocados. The huge seared scallop wrapped in toasted nori was a disappointment only because we both compared it to the seared scallop appetizer at the sadly defunct Lavande in Santa Monica.

The tofu in broth with prawns made up for the scallop. A ceramic charcoal grill arrived with 4 cubes of Kobe beef and strips of japanese eggplant, all simmering in an orange sauce (mango? squash? we couldn't tell), perched atop a magnolia leaf imported from Japan. Let's enjoy this meal and not think about the climate altering effect of flying all these ingredients from Japan.

I watched Mark pop a cube in his mouth, close his eyes and chew with a look of sublime bliss on his face. This is quite a contrast to the time in grad school that I watched two young men eat a 128 oz steak each at the Traildust because, if they could finish it and hold it down, their meal would be free. Oh, why didn't I look away? The sight still haunts me. I will take the four perfectly enjoyed cubes over the massive quantity any day.

We thought the grilled dish would be the highlight of the meal until the iron bowl of sizzling rice came out. The waitress motioned us to lean back and then poured a dungeness crab broth (with many bits of crab) over the egg and rice confection. Although it was my favorite dish of the night, I was too full to eat more than a fraction of it. We decided to go back and order that dish another night.

We sadly reminisced about the shuttered Umenohana (Tofu Kaiseki) restaurant. We normally avoid Beverly Hills, but when we read Irene Virbila's rave review, we made reservations there for our next splurge meal. (The review was pulled from the LA Times website when the restaurent closed but it is still mentioned in this article about new Asian food in LA.) Scroll down the first Umenohana link to see the wooden chest that they use to serve several of the courses. Open the drawers for a surprise treat in each one--an eastern Advent calendar.

Scroll further down to see the interior shots. Umenohana was the most beautiful restaurant I had ever seen. It was like an art gallery. I took a circuitous route to the restroom just so I could admire all the artwork.

The restroom at Umenohana was memorable because it was my first encounter with a Toto washlet. I had thought my sister was a bit over the top when she blogged about her Toto lost. But once I experienced it, I could understand her enthusiasm.

Anyway, we are determined to support Yuzu so that it doesn't go the way of Lavande and Umenohana. Hmm, doesn't umenohana mean plum blossom?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The past, deliciously present

Reading The East Is West: The Best Chinese Restaurants in Southern California started me daydreaming of meals gone by.
There are probably more Chinese in Los Angeles than in any metropolitan area outside of China. (The same very likely could be said of Mexicans, Iranians, Koreans, Japanese and more, which is what makes Los Angeles the best international eating city in the world.)
You will get no argument here.

Last week, I failed what should have been a routine lab test, which sent me on a whole 'nother merry go round of lab tests. Mark could tell I needed cheering up. He booked dinner for two at Yuzu, a newish washoku restaurant (traditional Japanese simple food with exquisitely fresh and high quality ingredients). It is in the mixed-use complex kitty corner from American Honda Motor Co. HQ and down the road from Toyota USA HQ in Torrance.

As soon as I stepped in, I was transported out of my everyday existence. The interior is every bit as hip, cool and sexy as mentioned in reviews by Counter Intelligence and Daily Gluttony. It had an abundance of dark polished wood, like a wooden Ryokan in my imagination, but it also had ultra modern and sleek details. The look is organic modern. It is light years away from the decor of medical waiting rooms and my workplace.

The clientele was just as described in the other reviews. The tables were all full of Japanese businessmen in dark suits. The wide bar in the center of the restaurant was inhabited by hip young Japanese professionals with multi-hued hair in colors that do not exist in nature. For most of the night, Mark and I were the only ones in the restaurant who didn't speak Japanese. (In fact, Mark was the only non-Asian person.)

Yeah, but what about the food?

Mark wanted to order omikase, chef's choice. The hostess explained that, unfortunately, the large parties had all booked way in advance and requested omikase, taxing the chef to the limit. He simply could not accomodate any more omikase clients that night.

Then a young man with slightly better english came over and tried to explain the menu us. He suggested that we order one small plate from each of the categories in the menu. We did and the food came out in roughly the order they appeared in the menu. (The menu order is carefully designed specifically to balance the flavors.)


We started with the tofu salad which was just creamy fresh tofu topped with scallions. We were told (with gestures) NOT to put soy sauce on it. That would be sacrilege. Order it and you will know what I mean.

We ordered a few other dishes recommended by Linda Burum in Counter Intelligence, honey-marinated Berkshire pork loin and soba with crossbred duck. We also ordered the fried oysters dusted in panko recommended by the Daily Gluttony (click the link below to see the picture of the dish). As she would put it, those oysters were phat.

We capped the night with sesame ice cream, a very nonpedestrian dessert with a very bland description. Not only was the ice cream superbly flavored with sesame throughout, but the most amazing black sesame seed sauce had been drizzled across the top. As you would expect, the presentation of every dish was every bit as deliciously beautiful as the flavors.

Just writing about it, I decided to call to reserve omikase for tomorrow night.

The East Is West: The Best Chinese Restaurants in Southern California
Daily Gluttony

Counter Intelligence: The past, deliciously present
Check the weather station at American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Torrance, CA

I didn't have a camera with me last week. But the food at Yuzu reminded me of a meal my cousin treated me to at the revolving restaurant in Sapporo. It, too, features many small courses of fantastic ingredients, beautifully presented. I will post those pictures instead. The meal at Yuzu was much, much more reasonably priced than the meal in Sapporo-not even factoring in airfare.

That's the "american cousin" and 6 of her cousins in Sapporo. That's all folks.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Icelandic Yoke Progress

The work continues, but there is not much more to show. I spread out EZ's Knitter's Almanac, MR's Sweater Design in Plain English, Fall 2003 Interweave Knits with a Norah Gaughan yoke sweater pattern, and Best of Lopi (edited by Norah Gaughan and published in 2003 in a coup of marketing synergy).

I also got out graph paper, colored pencils and wrapped yarn around a large needle to audition colors. Iris misplaced every single calculator in the house so the calculations were done with pencil and paper.

The leaf design violated one of EZ's rules of stranded color knitting. It had more than two colors in a given row. So I abandoned that design and am going to make a geometric pattern. But which geometric pattern and how will I stagger the decreases?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Alarm Clock

We felt an earthquake at 6:19. It was one quick, clean motion. Mark said that meant we were close to the quake epicenter. We are not seismologists so that was a WAG. We did report the quake here. Fill out the web form if you felt it, too.

The quake just showed up on the shake map. We were really close to the epicenter. See?

My first thought was, did Iris fall out of her bed? She was ok, but it woke her up.

That's all folks.

Rest of post

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Inconspicuous consumption

My sister wrote about how embarrassed she was by her conspicuous consumption at SOAR (Spin Off Annual Retreat). See an artistic subset of her loot here. It didn't look like that big of a haul to me. She said that it filled up her entire (compact) station wagon.

See, if she drove a minivan like me, she could have brought home more!

Take a look at her fair isle project. Beautiful, isn't it?

My kid can beat up your honor student.

Maribeth at the Smart Bohemian wrote a hilarious post:
French women know that less is more, so they always remove one fashion accessory before they leave the house.

For example, if a French woman were driving a Honda Odyssey sporting a cartoon family decal and several Elementary School Student of the Month bumper stickers, she would see no need for a vanity license plate reading "SCCRMOM."
I am more likely to sport a bumper sticker that says, "My kid can beat up your honor student." You see the proof.

The dialogue is not terribly clear. He told her to kick THROUGH the board. She tells him she is not sure if she can remember how to do it as it has been a long time since they last practiced with a board. He tells her to just try. Then she pulverizes the board into three pieces with her jumping scissors kick.

She breaks boards with her roundhouse kick, too. The combination of such sweetness and lethality is irresistable.

Anton said it was her birthday. It was her birthday party day, but not her actual 6th birthday. Because all but one of the attendees of the party needed to attend the belt test, we took a break and went over to the park.

Family Day at the Getty Villa

Today was one of those absolutely gorgeous fall days in which Malibu looks like the Mediterranean. Look at that blue sky with nary a cloud or drop of fog! How very unusual, except under Santa Ana wind conditions. How very unusual to have Santa Ana winds in Malibu without a wildfire! There was a sinkhole that had closed down a portion of Pacific Coast Highway, but that is the price of paradise.

We scored 5 tickets and one parking pass for the Family Festival at the Getty Villa. We met up with another family on Pacific Coast Highway with the aid of cell phones and headed up to the villa's new parking garage.

Iris and B listened to Tunisian and Italian folk music and storytelling. Iris and I made two mosaics each. We also spent some time looking at Tunisian mosaics. Later, while strolling in the inner courtyard, I noticed the motifs on the Tunisian drums.

There is a sense of urgency about seeing the permanent collections at the Getty. You never know when they will be claimed by and repatriated to other nations. The mosaics were lent by Tunisia and the commentary tried to be sensitive to that issue. Taking the mosaics out of the elements preserves them, but also take them out of the context that they were meant to be seen and enjoyed.

For instance, fish spill out of a tipped basket. They should look like they have spillt across a floor. Instead, they look like they are swimming up a wall.

That reminds me of a comment by an art critic about when quilts made the big leap from the bed to the wall. I didn't understand that comment until today. I am young enough to have taken it for granted that some quilts belonged in museums and that they would, of course, hang vertically. (The hugely influential Whitney exhibit of Amish quilts in 1971 proved that.) I hadn't realized what a difference a change in perspective from horizontal to vertical can make.

We had a lovely afternoon. The evening was just as beautiful. This is the view leaving the villa just before sunset. Note the green sod roof on the new parking structure.

The sunset from the corner of PCH and Sunset Boulevard. Note the child's balloon that flew into the picture frame. A jet forms a contrail just to the right. You know that the air aloft is cold (because a contrail is visible) and dry (from how quickly the contrail dissipates).

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Time to bring in the specialists

Part of growing older and wiser is knowing when to call in the professionals. I came home yesterday at 2:39 after the usual round of medical appointments and errands that make up my "day off".

There was a trickle of water moving across the garage floor. It was coming from the drip pan of the hot water heater. I called Mark right away and left voicemail telling him about the water and that he needed to call the plumber right away. I proceeded to bring in the shopping and hang up the laundry that was still in the washer when I left that morning.

Mark called back to say he was coming right home to investigate. Turn off the water main on the side of the house and wait for him. I did not think this was a problem that he could fix. I had discovered cracked water heaters before and the inevitable response from landlords were that they were coming over to investigate. I did a little investigation of my own and decided my first instinct was right.

It was then 3 pm on a Friday afternoon. Something had to be done quickly if I wanted to have hot water this weekend.

I walked 2 blocks to the plumbing supply store. The owner was out but J, a senior plumber was there. I told him about the puddle, the slow trickle coming out the bottom of the water heater, and that the top of the tank and top fittings were all dry. I told him it was most likely a cracked water heater because it was at least a decade old. He said that it could be the water heater or the fittings.

J looked across the store at a junior plumber, C, and asked if he was done for the day. C said it was ok, grabbed several different kinds of fittings, and walked out the back door. (C and J had both been to our house on other plumbing matters in the past year.) J wrote out a work order and told me to walk home. C would probably be waiting for me there. I beat C back to my house by a minute. Mark had already arrived home and was inspecting the water heater. C took off the water heater jacket and, voila, we saw the crack in the side of the water heater.

C called his partner to go pick us up a 50 gallon hot water heater. He asked us for a garden house and proceeded to flush and drain the old water heater. We went inside . C's partner delivered the new tank. The two of them lifted out the old tank and put the new one in. C's partner hauled our old heater away while C finished fitting it and cleaned up that corner of our garage floor. Luckily, the mops and brooms are stored in that corner.

By 6pm, we had a new heater, hot water and C had a nice big check.