Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
  Its always exciting
For the last several years, I've saved a few days in the summer to head off into the far reaches of Arizona ( yes, there are places even more remote than Flagstaff, just ask my cell phone company ), and spend some time teaching welding at summer camp. Its been a organic process, we started off with whatever I could borrow and stuff into the back of my car, but after several years of doing it, I can make my way through the classes with a minimum of fuss and damage. It also helps that a number of the campers are repeat offenders, and thus have some prior experience with my laid back style of teaching.

But no matter how smoothly things are going at camp, it seems there's always some excitement going on back at home.

I get out to camp the first day, get everything setup, and am relaxing on the bunkhouse porch before bed, when my friend tells me he has a message on his cell phone from my ex-wife. ( My cell company doesn't have any service out there.)

So I call, and the water's out. Its not raining, and the underground equipment area isn't flooded, so its not the obvious thing. My dad's there, and he's trying to figure out if there's power, but I have three levels of sub-panels cross wired into everything, and none of the breakers are labeled, so he's struggling a bit, but my memory can only go so far. I tell him to turn everything on, and then go plug something in down in the crawl space plug.

Unfortunately the first two work lights he grabs are burnt out, but I would have expected that, but he wastes time going around in a circle a little, and finally grabs my big work like, which does work, and confirms that there is indeed power down in the basement.

This is good news in that the power shouldn't have gone out, but bad news in that the pump is now the suspect, and replacing the pump could be a challenge. Give how non-linearly things have gone so far, I decide to call for backup.

The nice thing about having friends, is that you can call on them in the most desperate of times, and they'll come over and help. My life is so hectic, that I don't have very many people call on me for help that much, but I do try and do my part. Mr. Hess is retired, and his kids are all grown, so its easier to get ahold of him. He says he'll come over and take a look.

Thankfully, the next report I get, after I give the cell phone a chance to recharge, is that the pressure switch is burnt out, and so they just have to get a new one of those and things should be back in business. For some reason, that takes three hours the next day, but I'm hoping that its because they sat down in the cave yakking most of the time, not because it was a major engineering effort. The water gets restored, and the crisis is over.

I wonder what's going to happen next year.

Life in the middle of nowhere, remote programming to try and support it, startups, children, and some tinkering when I get a chance.

January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / August 2008 / February 2009 / August 2009 / February 2010 / February 2011 / March 2011 / October 2011 / March 2012 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / December 2014 / February 2015 / March 2015 / July 2016 / September 2016 / December 2016 / April 2017 / June 2017 / July 2018 / November 2018 / January 2019 / February 2019 / April 2019 / December 2019 / March 2020 / April 2020 / May 2020 /

Paul Graham's Essays
You may not want to write in Lisp, but his advise on software, life and business is always worth listening to.
How to save the world
Dave Pollard working on changing the world .. one partially baked idea at a time.
Eric Snowdeal IV - born 15 weeks too soon, now living a normal baby life.
Land and Hold Short
The life of a pilot.

The best of?
Jan '04
The second best villain of all times.

Feb '04
Oops I dropped by satellite.
New Jets create excitement in the air.
The audience is not listening.

Mar '04
Neat chemicals you don't want to mess with.
The Lack of Practise Effect

Apr '04
Scramjets take to the air
Doing dangerous things in the fire.
The Real Way to get a job

May '04
Checking out cool tools (with the kids)
A master geek (Ink Tank flashback)
How to play with your kids

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