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Oct. 5th, 2005

Yesterday I got home from work to discover that my water heater's safety T&P valve was dribbling water at a nasty enough rate for me to be concerned. Being who I am, I had installed isolation valves on the water heater when I installed it, so I was able to close it off from the rest of the house and drain enough of it to get the T&P valve out.
It was pretty badly corroded, and full of scale. I thought I might be able to clean it by soaking it in Vinegar for a while, but I wanted to see if the hardware store had a new one, so off I went.
And lo, they did have a new safety valve. And verily did I coat the threads with pipe dope and wrench the valve back into place, and with great aplomb did I re-open the isolation valves.
Total cost: about 12 bucks. Total time, a little over an hour from top to bottom. I am still a bit concerned about the water heater, as it's coming up on its ten-year anniversary. I've been pretty good about draining sludge and keeping it clean, but I was gone for over a year and I did notice some spanging when it heats water. It might be time to replace it soon.

(And my passenger-side front tire has a radial welt in it. It's time to replace the front tires before I get a blowout while driving, and I should really have the brakes looked at. It's back to stuff breaking down again.)

After the water heater incident, I zipped up to Tony & Kristi's to do some shooting. And oy, did it start raining. This of course concerned me because we were supposed to be shooting some outdoor stuff, and at least lighting from outdoors in a couple of scenes.

Then I saw the lightning. Huge column of light from sky to ground that blinded me briefly, and I realized that there was no way I was gonna be playing with electricity in that Zeus-inspired night.

By the time I got there, T&K were already figuring other plans on what to shoot. We decided on a bunch of short "getting ready" scenes, and decided to use Tony's Smith-Victor floodlights because they were small and light, and we had very little space to work with.

The Smith-Victors are hot. Hot enough to melt gels and char wooden clothespins. And working with a couple of really hot lights in an enclosed space when there is high humidity... well, the word sweat comes to mind. I had enough presence of mind to wear shorts, but between the rain and the sweat, I was pretty much drenched all night.

And eventually, we finished and sat down for a glass of wine.

Something that has come from this shoot for me is that I really would like to have a set of smaller fresnels like the Strand Bambino 500 or the Arri 300. I think I could get by nicely with just two in addition to the rest of the lights I already have. There are just some times when having a smaller, lighter fresnel would come in real handy.

Tonight there is rain.

Tomorrow I have to head back to Casa de Bruno to cover the shots that we weren't able to get last night because of the rain, and we shoot again on Friday.

But tonight there is rain.

And I hope to be in the best place I can be.

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