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Necessity’s a Mother…part 2

Quick recap: took Carolyn to the airport, spent first day with plants and Joan, second day, went to Aquatic Dreams to get the RODI filter checked. Got home and began running water, with the idea of doing the water change before Carolyn got home, so it would be one less thing on her mind. Maybe do a little tank cleaning while I had the water level down.

Couple of little details I forgot to mention. I took the pump Carolyn said didn’t work, which I thought I had fixed earlier this summer, to AD to see if it really was dead…naturally, it worked just fine when he powered it up. Don’t ask me, but I don’t look gift horses, etc. And it’s worked fine since…which becomes significant. The other thing, and the one that probably prompted my notion to do the water change before Carolyn came back, was the presence of an adorable, plump tail-spot blenny at the store. Now, this is one of our favorite fishies, and we lost our previous one…we think to the murderous pistol shrimp. We hadn’t been able to get a replacement for over a year, so I didn’t want to let this one get away.


So…Necessity: get the tank healthy for new little fish so I could surprise Carolyn when she got home and make her feel better. Solution: water change.   Mix 20 gallons of salt water, turn off the pump, bail out 20 gallons, and bail in the new. Easy, yes? (Famous last words….)

I mixed the salt into my first bucket of water…and it was kind of milky. Say what? I didn’t remember that being the case when Carolyn mixed it. Hmmmm…okay. Call Carolyn and spoil at least part of the surprise. She says, just mix it longer. Okay. I put it on to mix and go run some errands. Come back, still milky. Hmmm…maybe I didn’t get those two new filters rinsed well enough.  Fortunately, I’m running the RODI water into the five gallon buckets and not the big 30 gallon one. I try another bucket of water…and this time, rather than the woosy little pump Carolyn said to use, I used that one she said was dead.

Tee hee…That did it. Carolyn later clarified that the little pump could take all night to mix a single bucket. Hah! My super-pump did it in five minutes. (Of course, when Carolyn came back and I showed her this wonder, she sort of blanched when I plopped that pump into the bucket. I think she had visions of it blasting water all over the basement!)

So, all day, I’m running and mixing water in between cleaning the tank and other generic household tasks. Then mid-afternoon, I’m bailing. OSGirl was coming over that evening to help me do in the Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza I’d gotten at Costco the day before, so I wanted to get that water change done so I could relax, had a C&L or two and enjoy the evening.

Water change went fine. Sharon and I had a lovely dinner and chat beside the pond, then came inside to talk some more, have some blueberries and solve the problems of the universe. About 9pm Sharon decided she’d better get home. I was walking her out, when I heard the most horrible noise coming from the basement.

The pump. Our very expensive, pump that sends the water up from the basement to the tank in the living room. The pump without which the tank will spontaneously combust. The pump that needs to be ordered. The pump that is attached very firmly to the side of the sump.

Sharon and I went downstairs and stared silently for several heartstopping moments while the pump continued to grind and squeel. Water was moving, but for how long?

What is it? Sharon asks.

Hell if I know. I answer.

What are you going to do? Sharon asks.

Hell if I know. I answer.

Sorry. Sharon says. Wish I could help, but I really don’t know anything about it. Gotta get home. Bye.

And I was alone, staring at my squeeling, dying, very expensive pump attached to an acrylic tank filled with several hundred pounds of water.

How in bloody hell was I going to explain this to Carolyn?

Ja ne!

Ja ne!

15 comments to Necessity’s a Mother…part 2

  • kokipy

    Cruel, cruel!!! Only knowing that all is well now enables me to survive this.

  • Jane

    Tee hee…I should have continued on,but it was getting long and that was just such a perfect cliff-hanger! I couldn’t resist.

  • Pence

    And as our heroine rushes to the all night pump emergency first aid station, she is kidnapped by a gang of villainous pistol shrimp,and strapped down over the razor coral reef. Fade out as we see the giant wave (full of ravenous sharks)…………………….

    Thats the end of reel three boys and girls. Bring your nickels next week.

    • Jane


      Giggled myself teary-eyed. The truth wasn’t quite that exciting.

      Will continue the sage when I finish resurrecting my new computer. I tell you, don’t know what I’m doing to machines these days! Something got seriously stuck in its craw and none of my restore points could even install, let alone fix it! It’s got Norton on, but ever since I let it upgrade to Explorer 8, it’s been a bit wonky, and it’s just gotten worse over the past few days. Slower than molasses in January now.

      Unfortunately, I let it do all its updating before making a backup, so I’m taking it back to original configuration and starting all over again.

      Sigh….Life’s never dull.

      • Jcrow9

        Jane, you might try FireFox vice IE8 (or stick with IE7). And another thing, I’ve discovered that the ‘whole-system backup’ option which Windows Backup offers has a sekrit twist to it–you must have a Vista bootup CD (or DVD) to use that recovery option (which shoulda’ been predictable, given that the recovery process reformats the HD–got to have the Operating System resident #somewhere#!). Found out the hard way last week after a self-inflicted ruh-roh moment.
        So the nerdy gearhead enjuhneer needs to hear The Rest of the Story… about the little pump that couldn’t. C’mon, give!

        • Jane

          I tried Firefox a while ago and decided against. Can’t remember why. But I’ve gone back to it and am refusing to let Windows update put 8 on my machine. Is there a way to just tell it NONONONONO. Forget it! ?

          The HP has a nice feature for restoring to factory. Does it right from Windows from a partition on the HD. I’m still trying to figure out how to get my backup software (Acronis) to just give me an image that I could then stream onto my HD. It wants a dedicated new HD to copy to, as far as I can figure. I’ve just started working on the problem, but I can’t believe they can’t just image the disk to a folder on my TB drive or something like.

  • OrionSlaveGirl

    Jane does not exaggerate about the gruesome death rattles coming from the pump. We heard them all the way upstairs, and knew they had started sometime during the previous hour, after I was last in the “pump room”.

    Jane’s account depicts me as someone cruel, cold, and heartless. But, do not forget Our Heroine Jane is very skilled in a number of Dark Arts. I had full confidence that she would exorcise the problem (if indeed, it COULD be exorcised). And when Jane employs the Dark Arts, Carolyn and I are of like mind: it is best to simply get out of her way.*

    *Truth be told, I thought the pump’s motor had burned out and was now toast — and that absolutely nothing could be done until morning, when the fish store re-opened.

  • kokipy

    Knowing OSG I knew things had to be REALLY REALLY DIRE for her to just walk away……

  • OrionSlaveGirl

    I simply knew there was NOTHING I could do! Or, anyone else for that matter!

  • Glyn

    IE8 is awesome… if you never use it. I like Opera. Most of the features we all know and love in IE were stolen… borrowed *ahem* from Opera.

    Of course, Opera has its own problems. Hope your system’s back up soon!

  • Jcrow9

    Jane sez: “…am refusing to let Windows update put 8 on my machine. Is there a way to just tell it NONONONONO.”
    You mis-estimate Bill and the Windoze gang. I have never found a way to shut ’em up about a piece of their own software. :sick:
    It may be that Acronis is oriented toward writing this to DVD, which has its attractions (other than the disk-swapping required). I’d suggest a pen drive, but these devices are not as ‘hard’ as I would prefer for such an important job. Norton Ghost seems to do a pretty fair job of this, and interleaves with N360 pretty well; I am not a fan of how it can drag down system performance, but you have a fair ripsnorter of a comp and I’d expect it to work for you pretty well. Among other things, Ghost will let you create a boot disk which has YOUR system’s drivers on it, from which you can run the Recovery Console and thence load the system image to re-create your com As Was prior to whatever meltdown (or even onto a new HD if you somehow let the smoke out of the old one). Nice thing about that as compared to using the System Recovery disks you’ve already created is that you end up with a comp with all your software loaded and ready to go, versus needing to reinstall anything which did not arrive with the computer, fresh outta the box… I was unable to do this with my work computer because Ghost is not part of our common operating environment.
    I suppose I could load Ghost just long enough to make the boot disk, then remove Ghost… as long as I didn’t get caught! :ninja:

    • Jane

      I figured. Sigh. At least it got me to remember to shut off the auto-update this time.

      I’m sure Acronis will do the same thing. I just didn’t have the braincells to delve into it. In this case, I have to admit I really liked having that backup partition right on the same machine. Made the “cleanup” super easy. Maybe I could just backup my “ready to go to work” version over the top of that. I made my backup disks….Hmmmm….

  • Jcrow9

    Suggest you avoid any modification of the recovery partition–it is a self-contained entity consisting of loader and compressed system files. Hose that in any way and you’re limited to the recovery DVDs you made–you HAVE made them, right?–which would, if used in full-install mode, recreate the recovery partition in all its glory, true enough.
    The recovery partiton has a ‘Repair’ mode that can fix a lot of stuff wihtout requiring a full wipe-and-reinstall-of-everything, too. Useful!

    • Jane

      Good advice. That is a lovely feature. A fine thing to do with all this crazy extra memory. And, yes, I did make the backup recovery disks. I even know where they are! 😀 I’m glad to hear they recover the recovery partition, too.


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