Saturday, July 18, 2009


I was a little disappointed that my boss never called me to meet up to borrow his torch and accompanying items for sweating copper pipe and fittings.
This is the second time in 2 days he forgot, in fact, he still hasn't called so I guess he put it totally out of his mind.

Well, he certainly isn't required to loan me his setup, it was offered by him. So - I just got back from Home Depot. They have a plain Jane thing in a kit that probably would work, but I would still need to buy some extra things for it even with the kit. I pondered whether spending money on such right now was a good idea - I decided to let it sit in my mind for a while and figure out what to do. No sense rushing into this, it's going to be awhile before I have the whole thing set up, and right now, I wouldn't go out there to do that fitting install in this kind of heat anyway. Sometimes - you wait and something good happens. Not always, but - that's my outlook on life in most circumstances where waiting can be happen without compromising anything.

Well, while I was there I decided to finish buying the necessary parts for the install - a stick of copper and a copper couple with no stop. They had thin copper - too thin for my tastes in 3/4 inch size, which is what I'm working with. The only stick they had of 3/4 thicker walled copper had been cut. They sell it in 10-foot sticks - about 2 feet had been cut off the only stick remaining.

So, the haggler that I am, I asked how much for the stick with 2 feet missing. The guy tells me 10%. I calculate that in my mind - per foot that would be MORE expensive than buying 10 feet at the regular price. I countered with that information, but his hands were tied, that's the best he can do. Well, they walked off as I was rather deep in thought about whether it would be prudent to continue on with this project considering I have a non-paying tenant of whose monies are necessary to fund this little deal and not get too far down in finances.

Well, I started eyeing all the copper there. This stick is the one I wanted - if I'm going to do it, I want to do it right. Thin walled copper just wouldn't set well with me - definitely considering the current setup out there is the thicker walled stuff. This copper I'm buying has to be able to hold a ball valve suspended in the middle of the copper. Well, these 2 employees are eying ME now, wondering what I'm up to as I pulled the stick back off the shelf, determined to get it a price the reflects how much it should cost per foot, not a flat 10% off that makes it cost more per foot.

We talked a couple more seconds, I asked if a manager could be called. I didn't ask in a belligerent or angry way, just a simple "hey, see if I can possibly get the price down to what it should be". Turns out the General Manager of the store just happened to be walking by. The employee explains to him what my "deal" is and the GM comes over. I give a simple, quick explanation of my reasoning. He looks at me for a couple of seconds and asks me how much I want to pay for it. I must have looked at him blankly, I just said probably 20% off would be fair. He repeated his question: How much do you WANT to pay for this stick of copper?
I hedged - and asked him how much he wanted for it. Third time, the GM asks me the same question, so I threw out $10 as my response. I didn't want to look stingy - at $10 it would be less per foot than the normal price, but it's a damaged stick of copper, that's what I would be willing to pay for it (normal price was $15.99). He says: "Okay, I can do that, but how about $5 for it and it's yours?".

Nice. I'll save my pennies any which way I can. The only other thing I bought was the copper coupler - I have everything I need to get the water supply for this venture going, I just need the equipment to be able to put it together.

Ken just asked me to spot him money for beer. I asked him if he had gone into my room taking beer. I wasn't going to do that, but him asking me for money after what happened a few weeks back and then finding out he's going into my room? That question apparently took him by surprise. The only thing I can say about it is that he always pays the loans back. At the same time, I think it prudent that he learn to live within his means.

Well, I have decided to go rough it outside and do some other small things that I would like to have completed out there. I'm also trying to determine exactly where to put the last 4 Sissoo trees I have in pots. I want to get them planted and get them rooted in the ground, along with the remaining ficus and the Chinese Elm. I ain't doing all of that today - but I can probably do at least a couple of the holes.

Well, I know it sounds crazy going out into that kind of heat - but I just can't stand being cooped up in a house all day long. I have spent my entire life as an outdoors person, old habits are hard to break, and in this case, a habit I don't WANT to break.

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...