Years back our kitchen sink backed up. Despite the chemicals that we poured or treatments that we treated, it remained a problem. So we finally snaked it out with a fifty foot long piece of telephone anchor wire we had laying around. Yeah, we’re into doing that: making do, and doing what we need to do with what we have on hand. And we’re VERY good at it.
I decided to build in some system redundancy after, while going through the drain pipe system I found out two things:
One, as is proper and per code (a wonder given this old thing – built by a bunch of shoddy constructors during a crappy day) – it has a “dark water” (or sewer – from the toilet) system and it has a ‘grey water’ (meaning not from the toilet, e.g. your showers and sink pipes). The reason is that you don’t want your sewage (human wastes! Yuck!) backing up into your sinks and tubs. Sanitary reasons, you understand.
The other thing we found out was that the house had no outside cleanout for the grey water system – and the sewer cleanout was pointed the wrong way (meaning it was pointed downstream, not up where you can run something up INTO the house, not away from it). There were cleanouts at the stub ends of the pipes under the house where they were inconvenient to get at. You had to crawl around with all the snakes and spiders – and a repair man would cost extra if I had to get one to do it.
I wanted a system that was easy to unplug, unstop, and repair. One I could take care of myself. (We are highly independant in that way – own a shop that’s bigger than my house, and are scavenger packrats, recycling everything that comes our way.) That also ties into our “redundancy”, in that we own duplicates of a lot of things – and things to ‘get the job done’ when another one won’t work . . .
Getting back to that kitchen sink thing again: I decided to design ‘my’ system to have some redundancy – and then counter-redundancy to boot. For one thing: I hate working on plumbing (or electrical, for that matter). Not only that, but give my yard some benefit.
You see, when we got here this house was on a septic tank. Immediately we were faced with an unexpected fee: hooking the house up to the public sewer, which runs just a few dozen yards away. It was $750. But the thing is: whether through accident or design, this ‘yard’ depends somewhat on a septic system (or at least the lower back quarter does). The ground out where the ’tile field’ is gets dry during the summer (because it drains so quickly) – and during the summer you can see the “stripes” where the underground gravel runs stretching away in broad brown bands of dead and dying grass across my yard for nearly two hundred feet.
This has always been a problem during the summer, and I don’t water my grass. (hrrumph! throat clearing here. A minor correction. I mean “weeds”.)
So I took this system (which had been routed to direct ALL outgoing water “downstream” to the city sewer septic system) – and split it. The sewage (human waste) goes into the city’s septic sewer system. The grey water goes into the old septic tank – which then (if it starts filling up), goes to the yard – meaning I am benefiting my local environment (adding sand filtered water to my local ground water table) – and alleviating that aggravating problem I’ve been having (for over 20 years) with stripes and bands in my yard.
The second thing to do (Hold up! Yup – we’re not done yet!) – was set up the system so that if it DID have a problem again (outside the house) WE would not have a problem as well.
To do that we designed a system (calling it “pipes and ladders”) so that IF the city sewer system backs up the sewage will go to the septic tank (like it did in the old days). And IF the grey water ‘backs up’ – it goes to the city sewer system (which shouldn’t be backed up – chances of two systems failing at the same time is a statistically “exponential” number, not a matter of sum and divide). And if BOTH the ‘outside’ systems fail – well then, it goes ‘to ground’ (meaning outside of my house and not in) – where I can pipe it to the creek while I work on some repairs. . .
It all works through gravity and things (meaning fluid pressures), requires no valves or floats, and works naturally (meaning nothing has to go into it to get the kind of results I want.) It’s ‘natural’ system of waterfalls and pipes … hidden, taking place ‘out of mind’s eye’. Even if something goes wrong, we won’t know until it becomes a major matter (meaning all systems have gotten clogged – otherwise one system would dump into another . . .) . .
and it struck us: WE are a bit like us (never minding the sewage imagery; LOL, seeing clumps of it floating through my mind . . . the ancient past).
We’re a “redundant” being – when one ‘failed’ at something another one tried – if ‘that one’ failed – there’s another one again. And now (just realized) – we can see where we’ve been using this system of ‘redundancy’ and ‘replacement’ all along – from our early childhood – (and tada! another realization – HE – our “missing one” – had to do this ‘over and over again’ when he and we were overseas – which is why he so ‘different’ and so missing …. and perhaps HE is responsible in some ways for our ‘beginning to switch’ sort of thing …. we’ll see.)
But it makes sense as a child to survive: if this ain’t gettin’ it maybe that does . . . and if that don’t work . . . try something else . . . another way of BEING when they seem to hate you for who you are. Try another personality; another approach . . . until you ‘become’ the one you’ve tried the most . . . or which seems to have succeeded the most . . . until THAT one gets beaten down … (very sad, this thing; sorta thinking … two of ‘us’ are affected by that sort of thing: Mikie, and The Missing One.)
A definite advantage which comes from Being DID: having a redundancy of systems. “Someone” to fall back on when “you” have had enough. The problem (of course) is that it takes “all” to “run” the system . . . and if there’s someone missing (or hurt inside) – then that becomes a problem …
Kinda makes sense in my mind.
and can you say “lambda lambda lambda*”-
being sure to say it three times,
and then quine* again.