May 9th, 2007

*phone hate*


I was heading out to lunch when my cellphone buzzed, saying I'd gotten a message. The message had been left 20 minutes previously, but I'm mostly in radio-silence inside my office cuz the concrete walls are too thick.

I extracted their number from the voicemail, but that was annoying because I can't type in numbers while I'm listening to the message; and I'd lost my pen. Unfamiliar area-code meant I couldn't remember the last digits properly. By this point I wasn't too happy with phones.

Just now I got a call from a number that started with "50-" which I'm assuming was melted_snowball. But I only got 10 seconds of (blank) air before the call was disconnected and my phone unceremoniously died from no juice. Boo. (Hope he can call me back, at my work #, or I could try and call him. Hey, I'll do that.)

I could port my cellphone number to vonage and have that ring me at work, cell, and home. Except I don't have a direct-dial number at work. Which means I'd need a soft-phone, or an expensive VoIP phone, and I don't even know if vonage's home service supports that.

Brine!


Cleaning out a water-softener brine tank. If you don't own a house somewhere with hard water, you'll probably never have to worry about it. But I was looking in the tank (to see if it needed more salt) and realized there was some kind of gunk on the inside walls. And it hadn't been cleaned in six years at least. Hm.

So, yeah, the water in the brine tank doesn't circulate up into the rest of your house, it just flushes out the calcium and magnesium that collect on the polystyrene beads in the resin tank (which turn hard water into soft water). It's a nice closed system, it cleans itself (using the brine) every two weeks. But if there's crap in the brine tank, I'm thinking it's kind of gross.

The Book of Fixing Household Stuff said it should be cleaned regularly, but it didn't say how- and there were some fiddly pieces in the tank I didn't want to break. Googling pointed me at this advice on LJ, and I followed her lead, using a scrubber sponge and dish soap. And a LOT of rinsing, which is about as annoying as rinsing out a garbage can. But less icky.

The only icky part was at the beginning, when I discovered that (I think) the previous2 owners had added a nifty little riser into the brine tank, to separate the salt from the brine goo at the bottom. Lifting up this riser revealed... grey goo, mostly salt, and I decided the rest was minerals. For no real reason other than it would be too icky otherwise.

But everything washed off with no real problems, and I just ran the softener through a regeneration cycle and it didn't start making horrible noises or give any indication I broke it.

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Daniel Allen
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