Grey Valves and Faucet Woes . . .

I got up about 10 this morning to find Jan already up and feeling well. It’s good to have her back to normal.

So the first thing was to get the coffee started, check the email, and talk about the day’s plans.

As it turned out, we had none. Isn’t retirement grand!!

Around 11, Nancy Bertling, a former coworker of Jan’s called to say hi and ask for some suggestions for a laptop for her father. We’ve known Nancy for a long time and it was good to hear from her. Hopefully she’ll keep in touch more often.

About 1 pm Jan fixed a lunch of cheese toast and chips, and of course, Miss Terry’s great homemade bread made it perfect.

After lunch I replaced the foam air filter in the rear A/C after cleaning the one in the front yesterday. But the rear one was starting to shred so I just replaced it instead of trying to clean it.

It’s amazing how much better the A/C’s work without all the Yuma and Tucson dust clogging them.

About 2 pm I decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and install the new grey tank valve that I got at Camping World before we left Tucson.

Unlike the black tank valve I installed a week or so ago, the 4 bolts came off with no problems. This of course, warned me that I would more trouble with someelse later. And I was right.

Removing the old valve and seals was no problem, but one soon appeared. The instructions tell you install the seals on the ends of the pipe and then slide the valve into place. And this worked fine on the larger, thicker black tank valve.

But the grey tank valve is thinner, and no matter how I tried I could not slide the valve body between the pipes without pushing the seals off.

So my next idea was to apply silicone grease to the valve seal area and to the seals, and then stick the seals to the valve and slide it in place. But the first time I did it with the valve open, and when I closed the valve to test it, I could tell a seal had come loose and was in the way.

So the second time I closed the valve first and tried it again. This was much better, but after tightening things down, I had a small leak around the valve handle. So back apart it came.

And the third time was the charm. One of the seals had shifted slightly and was pinched, so I slathered on more silicone grease to hold it in place better, and that worked great. No leaks.

About 4 pm Nick called to see if I could come over and help Miss Terry. While I was working on my valve, Nick had said that Terry was installing the new faucet she got had Camping World last week when we were all there.

She had the new one installed. It was the hooking up that was the problem. And it was easy to see why it was a problem.

There was really no room to reach the fittings underneath the countertop. As it was, the only was to take the drawers out and work through the openings. But this didn’t help a lot. You could only get one hand in at a time, and if you had your hand in, then you couldn’t see the fittings, and if you could see the fittings, you couldn’t get your hand in.

And because you couldn’t get you hand in and see what you were doing, it was just about impossible to get the back fitting on correctly.

After looking it over and working on it awhile, I decided the best way was to just replace the fitting with a new PEX one and try it then.

Since it was almost 5 we decided to stop at Home Depot on our way to eat supper at Hog Wild BBQ. But alas, Hog Wild was not to be.

Our friends, Bob Parker and Donna Huffer, were already there and called to say there had been a shooting nearby and the police had the road passing by Hog Wild closed, but they thought we could come in from the other direction.

As it turned out, they had the road closed at both ends and we just couldn’t get there from here. They were letting people out of the area, but not in. So Terry called Bob and Donna and told them to meet us at the Sizzler steakhouse outside the cordoned-off area.

It’s been a long time since we’ve eaten at a Sizzler, but it turned out to be pretty good. I think everyone was happy with what they had. I know my 16 oz. Ribeye was very good, not quite Texas Roadhouse good, but good, nevertheless. And the salad bar, although extra, was excellent.

Oh, yeah, the shooting turned out be a Suicide by Cop.

Then it was back to the faucet problem, and I do mean PROBLEM. We finally got the new fitting on the PEX pipe and started trying to screw it to the connector on the faucet itself. And this is where everything went to hell. There was no way to really get a wrench on the faucet fitting, and in tightening the PEX fitting, it twisted the copper line on the faucet into a knot. Total Bummer!

We did manage to get it tightened enough so they could use their water a little bit without making a big mess, but it’s back to Home Depot bright early tomorrow morning for a new faucet and some PEX pipe and fittings. I think I know how to do it a different way that should work.

I hope!

(Nick and Terry don’t really NEED running water, do they?)

Looking at this faucet, it’s easy to see that it was all pre-installed in the cabinet and mounted in place. It certainly wasn’t hooked the way we have to do it to replace it.

More tomorrow from the battle front.

And here’s a repost of our trip to Warner Bros. Studio in Las Angeles last April.


Thought for the Day:

"A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila."


Warner Bros. and Baja Fresh Mexican Grill . . . 

Posted on April 15, 2010

We left for Hollywood and our Warner Bros.Studio Tour about 9 am, about 3 hours before our tour was to start. And I’m glad we did.

I figured it would take us about an hour and 15 minutes to get there and that would give us plenty of time to walk around and then eat lunch before our 12:00 noon tour.

But we hit a lot of traffic after we left the freeway, so it took us almost two hours to get there, get parked, and get checked in. That left us an hour to find a place to eat.

One of the problems with the traffic turned out to be the fact that Hollywood Blvd. was shut down on the block in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. At first we thought they were filming a movie due to all the production trucks It turned out to be a promotion for the upcoming Long Beach Grand Prix.


Looking around we decided to try Baja Fresh Mexican Grill right across the street. We’d seen the restaurants around but never tried one, so this seemed like a good chance. According to their ads, everything is fresh. They don’t even have a can opener.

Lunch was very good. Jan had a two taco plate and I had a bowl of chicken tortilla soup and a pork nacho burrito.

Walking back across the street to Grauman’s we looked over the footprints in the courtyard. Here’s one for Roy Rogers and Trigger.


We were supposed to leave on our tour at noon, but didn’t get picked up until about 12:30. The bus drove us over to the Warner Bros. studio to actually begin our tour.

The first thing we saw was the iconic Warner Bros. water tower.


It’s no longer a real water tower. It’s really just a sign now.

The first part of the tour took us thru some of the many backlot sets.

Backlot 3

And here is a backlot used in the TV show ER.

It shows the EL train trestle and the ambulance entrance to the hospital.

Backlot 2

Unfortunately, for much of the really neat stuff we were not allowed to take pictures.

We visited the set of one our favorite shows, “Two and a Half Men”, which is on hiatus. It was interesting to see how different the sets look when you’re setting in the audience instead of watching on TV.

Next we watched an outdoor shot being filmed for a new TV show called “Pretty Little Liars” This is a pilot show developed from a series of young adult books.

Then we visited a car museum showing cars from movies and TV shows filmed at Warner Bros.

Here the Sunbeam Tiger used in the recent “Get Smart” movie

Get Smart

Here’s one version of the Batmobile.

Batmobile 1

And here’s another.

Batmobile 2

And here’s a scene showing the car from “Harry Potter”.

Harry Potter

Next we saw the General Lee from the “Dukes of Hazzard” TV show. During the show’s run, they went through 257 of these.

General Lee

In the General Lee pic above, notice the green screen in the upper right. They used this to show us how they can insert something into a scene that’s not really there.

They photographed us in front of the screen and then put a movie scene in with us.


The last thing we saw was the complete “Central Perk” coffee house set from “Friends”, using all the original furniture and props.


We really enjoyed this behind-the-scenes type of tour. We had done one of the special effects tours at Disney World last year that showed all the stunts and tricks, so it was nice to see something different.

By 4 pm we were on our way home. Heading out this late I was worried about going-home traffic, but it wasn’t too bad. We were home by 5:30 and in from the night.

More tomorrow…