Power Upgrade #23: Highs and Lows

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Blog entry by Nate Meadows posted 12-17-2013 05:24 PM 1455 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 22: The House Lines Part 23 of Power Upgrade series Part 24: Inspection Day! »

Our roof has been leaking for the last few seasons at the spot were the old fireplace pipe comes out, despite several attempts to fix it. There was a spot of good weather so thought I would brave the heights and climb up there and use the new spray seal stuff to see if that would help. (I hate heights now that I get vertigo attacks.)

Anyway, I am including this in the series because of the cool pictures I go of the trenches, piles, shovels, dogs and view!

This is the view looking Northwest across the valley.

This is the view looking North at US395 that runs in front of our house.

The Dogs! (they have to stay in their kennel when I am up here because they will run off and try to get to the dead deer that are on the side of the highway! They require vigilant watch!)

The two other wells. The close one is the Ag Well and the far one is the “New House Well.”

The trench to the barn. And alas, my phone died so no more pictures of trenches from up here.

The leak fixed? We will see!

On to work…sort of!

Again, hear is proof that the crafty Mrs’ are invading my spaces. I have to admit, I am intrigued by them. I find them very beautiful, in a strange way.

She was very much alive, just cold. She was so cold she tolerated me picking her up and poking her. I though about holding in my bare hand, just to say I had done so, but prudence told me to think better of that. :) Actually I was reminded of as of a story that I was told when I was a boy scout.

A young Indian Brave was sent out from his tribe to prove his worth. He was to climb the highest peak that shadowed there village. Upon his arrival to the top he found a freezing rattle snake, who begged him to carry him back down to the warmth of the base of the mountain. The Brave took pity on the snake and placed him in his shirt and carried him back down the mountain. When he reached the warm flat land at the bottom, he placed the rattle snake on the ground, but before he could with draw his hand, the snake bit him. The Brave jerked back in surprise, asking why the snake had done such a thing. The snake simply replied, “You knew what I was before you picked me up!” and then slithered off. The Indian Brave never made it home!

They used that story to teach us about drugs and alcohol but it definitely applied here:).

Anyway, I have a few lose ends to tie up before I am ready for inspection. The first was to safely terminate the Flag Pole run. We are not ready to put lights in or anything so I just wanted to bring it to the surface and cap it.

It is low enough that a lawn mower will not hit it but high enough I can find it when I want it.

Next was to finish the circuit to the laundry line. I had to drill a hole in the bottom of the pole, cut a slot in the hole so the nut would fit. Then I had to get the locking ring on! I tried first with my fingers, but the nut just kept flipping up. Then I made a jig out of cloth hook wire, but that was not working, then when I dropped the nut down the pipe, despite my safety file:), and I was just as I was about to get anger and throw something. I just was like, “Ok Father, I need an Idea!” and Bam! I went and got my bent screwdrivers. They worked like a charm. I got the locking ring on and was later able to caulk around the hole.

Because of the concrete footing I had to do a double sweep!

I then cut out the opening for the switch and fed the wire.

This is going to be the type of cover plate but I have yet to figure out how I am going to adapt it yet! There are several possibilities floating in my head!

And it would not be a good work day if I did not hurt myself. While it was freezing outside, and I was forcing the cold uncooperative wire through the sweeps, all of the sudden it decided to yield and I slammed my hand down into the sweep. It is a Schedule 40 sweep with a beveled end. And it cut right through my thumb, and nail. I of course being a good medic, seeing I needed a stitch or two, ignored it, grabbed a roll of electrical tape and kept working! I had lots to do. It was my lovely wife who was bringing me coffee who saw it dripping that made me come inside and clean it. OW!

I will leave it there for now. Thank you for reading!

So much more to follow….


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

13 comments so far

View lew's profile


12061 posts in 3755 days

#1 posted 12-17-2013 05:39 PM

Nate, you can keep the spiders!!

I can completely sympathize with your concern about heights.

Glad to hear that Theresa is up and around. I imagine she enjoys being able to help you and not be in the hospital.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Handtooler's profile


1554 posts in 2131 days

#2 posted 12-17-2013 06:17 PM

Your endevours are so very interesting! Your recorded events of this enduring saga are perfect. I certainly hope you’ve archived them including the writen record for future rememberances of this long year’s undertaking. And, yes leave the spiders alone. Then in the warmer weather also leave the scorpions alone to and no bare feet outside. Thanks again!

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View patron's profile


13604 posts in 3340 days

#3 posted 12-17-2013 06:56 PM

just a thought here nate

perhaps you might get in touch with
los angeles san francisco sacramento
portland seattle reno
(and salt lake city just to be sure)

when you go to ‘power up’
(theses cities might want to shut down
in honor of your work here
so they don’t black out
when you hit the main breaker)
have theresa make you another cup
when the countdown gets close

glad she is up and around some

so did you get the leak fixed
or is it to cold to tell yet

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3303 days

#4 posted 12-17-2013 10:24 PM

THERE IS ONE THING I DONT LIKE…and its 8 legs give me a fright, and some can hurt when they give you there bite, so this one thing i shall do, is stay away from spiders and leave them to you.i hope you got the leak fixed, and im sure you are hopeful as well, since you dont like climbing ladders….it will be a miracle when the day comes that your all done with this electrical nightmare…i guess what will come next is that you will sell the place, give the new owners a map od all your trenches, show them where all the dead spiders are…lol…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 2206 days

#5 posted 12-17-2013 11:31 PM

Lew, Thank you! It is good to have her home. She is still weak but she is doing so much better!

Handtooler, Ah, scorpions! I have only come across one while in the trenches. He was right at the bottom as I was trying to crawl in under the house! Thankfully I saw him. I grabbed him with my pliers and moved him to show my boys. Every time I am under the house, I think about him and think it is just a matter of time before I get zapped by one.

David, Ha Very Funny! As for the leak. It has been so cold and there as been no moisture so I do not know? I hope so.

Grizz, I have no intention of selling! (though I have learned better not to say never) This is our home!

Thanks Guys for reading!


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2689 days

#6 posted 12-18-2013 02:01 AM

Nate, Things look to be progressing! The cold weather will at least slow the spiders and scorpions down!

Carry on and keep us posted.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3303 days

#7 posted 12-18-2013 02:09 AM

yea nate, i know and knew it was HOME, just like this is to me, i built everything that is here, and dont plan on leaving until its in my already made grizzman box, to much blood sweat and tears are in this our home, just like what you have into yours, i hope the leak is no longer and that you and your great family have a great and wonderful christmas…i just had a thought, when it comes time to invest in your children going to college, just dig up all that copper , lol..once in awhile i have good ideas…lol…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2675 days

#8 posted 12-18-2013 02:50 AM

I read with amusement when you were having difficulty with the nut in the flagpole. We always go to the source of all power last when we should go first. Thanks for telling us that part of your adventure. Best of luck on this project. Glue that finger shut and it will be okay.

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2538 days

#9 posted 12-18-2013 04:25 AM

What a great view. Looks like things are coming along!

-- I never finish anyth

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2933 days

#10 posted 12-18-2013 05:29 AM

I got the shiver seeing you holding that spider… I usually leave the alone.

superglue to the rescue, no? probably not. get those stiches.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 2206 days

#11 posted 12-18-2013 02:12 PM

gfadvm, They are slowing way down. At least now I am not walking into their giant webs. I hate that part!

Grizz, Brother, I new what you meant! I never take offense at what you say. You have one of the kindest hearts here on LJs. You are always encouraging people, making people smile. Your a good man! You might have touched a nerve and I might have reflexed, ‘cause like you said, “blood, sweat and tears.” No joke about the copper. I am thankful we where able to go with aluminum for the large wire. We wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise.

Grandpa, You speak words of wisdom! I am sure He is up there shaking His head just saying, “Just ask me!” Thanks for your courage to share your faith!

Philip, thank you so very much! Have a Merry Christmas!

Ian, Sorry for the scare:). Alas or maybe not:) I did not get stitches! I kept it wrapped up but kept working with it. Eventually dirt got in there and it got infected and the whole piece fell off. It is just know coming back. I was not a responsible patient!

Thanks everyone!

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2689 days

#12 posted 12-19-2013 01:08 AM

Nate, Don’t know if this works or not but people swear hedgeapples keep spiders away. Not sure if you have any hedgeapple trees (Bois de Arc) near you but would be worth a try.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 2206 days

#13 posted 12-19-2013 08:52 AM

gfadvm, Thanks for the tip. I will look into the hedge apple tree!


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

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