dirty black irish

A couple of weeks ago I went down to the shop and found that the floor was covered with water.  It was pouring down rain outside, so it wasn’t such a surprise.  But as I looked around to see which of the various leaks was the culprit, it became pretty clear that the water was coming from inside somewhere.   One of the building’s two hot water heaters had sprung a leak.  luckily, the two heaters were plumbed in series, so isolating the broken one and draining it to stop the leak wasn’t going to leave the house without hot water.  Just a little less of it.  The heater that had popped was the smaller and clearly the newer of the two.  The bigger one looked to be in much worse shape, but seemed to be mostly holding itself together.

It was a friday afternoon when I managed to get some plumbers to come by and give me their opinion.

“Yup.  Dead.  And that other one is about to go.”

“Oh excellent..  Let’s replace them both with single monster..  Make me up an estimate.”

On Saturday morning I decided that I’d start doing a little lead work.  After moving big machines around so that I could get to the bloody thing, I disconnected it and began to pull it out.  As I did so, the other sprung a leak.


Without giving all the details, I’ll just say that this somehow precipitated several weeks of distractions and changes, including but not limited to:  pulling the two broken hot water heaters out of the basement, and bringing in a new 400 lb, 100 gallon beast, re-arranging the shop around the new found floor space, building a heavy steel lathe table, going out to Long Island to hang out and learn a little about lathes with my friend Jamie Swan, welding a motorcycle exhaust (?), resurrecting the xtracycle to make a trip to the bx to refill a few argon tanks (friday afternoon before the holiday weekend: when you always run out of gas), and finally on saturday spending 4 or 5 hours on a roof in the sun and 80% humidity with a welding helmet on building a 15 foot steel trellis so that my mom can espalier some pear trees (after which, I took the picture above).

Today I’ll go down to the shop, clean it up, and try to remember what it was that I was working on two weeks ago when I discovered the leak.

OH.  And there was a doctor’s appointment in there somewhere.

“How are you feeling?”


“Great!  So I’ll see you in three months.”

“Hey doc..  Not to ask questions that you can’t answer, but..  what do you think?  What are my chances of recurring?”

“Well, you haven’t had any chemo in what? a year?..  85% of colon cancer recurrences happen in the first 2 years..  Probably about 50% in the first year.  So your odds are improving.”

I’ll be having my first colonoscopy through the stoma on friday.

I’ll have another PETCT towards the end of June.

I’ll keep you posted.

9 Replies to “dirty black irish”

  1. Had to look up espalier. Just sayin’. Why do your “whoops where’d the time go” weeks always sound so freaking productive?? I’ll be sending big, big love and healthy thoughts your way on Friday:)

  2. GD that is a lot of stuff. Well, best of luck with all the shitty things, and put some 14 shade glass in that helmet for the transit of Venus across the sun next week!

  3. Aw, Ezra, fingers crossed as always that you sail through the tests.

    As for the boilers- yikes. At least your materials are water-resistant…? trying to see the bright side (would suck to have a studio full of paper or similar).

  4. Aren’t home repairs satisfying, really, after the frustration and agony of cleaning up a flood has subsided. I learned how to change the oil in my car last weekend. So easy but so satisfying. I never would have attempted it if it hadn’t been for my dad and the pit he built into the carport when he built the house in the 70s.

    Congrats on the news from your doc too. That’s awesome. I’m high fiving you from over here.

  5. Good on you, Ezra. It’s good to hear that you’re so busy and productive and . . . just doing well. Continued good wishes!

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