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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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gray new day

Feeling flat today, unmotivated to do much other than read a good P.D. James mystery I found a few days ago. Z's at daycare today, B's at her office studying, I have lots of work I could do both personal and professional, but am so zoned out that I can't really seem to do very much of anything. Maybe that's allowed, though: perhaps I'm just taking a few hours off to be with myself, unaccountable to anyone for any particular thing, which is ostensibly what the holidays are for, no?

We just spent a couple of days and nights at a perfect little cottage in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, to celebrate New Year's Eve, but returned last night to a house with an internal temperature of 8 degrees Celsius. It was frigid in here! I had arranged for a new order of furnace oil to be delivered in our absence, and while it was indeed delivered, it appears that we had sucked the tank dry prior to our departure which had created an airlock in the fuel line.

Kudos ultimately came to me after discussing the issue by phone with a technician who was as little inclined to come visit last night as I was to pay his overtime fees. He said that the airlock would need to be bled out of the line, but that he could not, for liability reasons, instruct me over the phone how to accomplish this. However, he said that if I had a good look at the oil pump I might figure it out, and further mentioned that I should make preparations to avoid a mess of spilled oil.

So with a flashlight and wrench in hand, I found what looked to be a bleeder valve, and holding a large empty pickle jar in front of it, cranked it open to full and hit the pump's reset switch. Sure enough, a foamy mixture of oil and air sprayed into the jar, and once it turned to a steady stream of oil, I cranked closed the valve. And lo, it worked! After doing the same thing to our oil-fired hot water heater, our house and water warmed to a respectable temp within an hour. I was extremely proud of myself for avoiding the service charge, and felt like a Handy Man About The House for the rest of the evening.

But despite my heroic home repairs last night, I still feel useless and drab today. I think I'll tidy up a bit, do the two major chores around here that need doing, and then go for a drive to run my errands. Maybe I'll feel better after that. Monday I return sadly to the grind of daily work again, and while I have some new ideas for efficiency and better time management for myself there this year, I still must admit to an almost utter lack of interest in outcomes at that job. After such a lengthy, wonderful experience working from home, I feel ill-suited for a daily commute in heavy traffic and the rigours of a management position.

Time to suck it up, methinks.