Plan B for Drinking Water: Inferior

We went on our regular Monday morning water run, only to find a sign on the food store door saying the water machine was out of order. Bother! That meant Plan B…

…the vending machine outside the convenience store. 35 cents a gallon, exact change only please. Bother.

I also had to haul the trailer’s wheels to the only repair shop open outside the little town nearest where I live. There was some negotiation: The proprietor gets stiffed a lot and is barely able to stay in business, and wasn’t thrilled about carrying the cost of the tires for a whole week. Fortunately I had enough cash reserve to pay up front, at which point he became much friendlier.

A quick inspection of the hubs between rain showers this morning shows it would be super dumb not to pack the bearings while I’m waiting.

I think there’s a tub of wheel bearing grease in Landlady’s barn: If not, I can bum some from Neighbor D. That makes me happy, since I really didn’t want to buy a whole tub of grease for two sets of roller bearings and then never use it again.

The weather has been terrible. I don’t recall ever needing to haul out the longjohns in early October but it’s raining and cold and apparently going to stay that way all day long. I have one outdoor chore on the cabin I can get done between showers, but mostly it looks as though this will be another of those days for sitting around indoors. The weather only went crappy yesterday but I think I already have seasonal affective disorder. It’s that ambiguous time of year when the heating infrastructure is still shut down but sometimes you kind of wish it weren’t. As soon as the sky clears I’m going to give the stovepipe a good scrub and get the woodstove ready for business, just so I can take the morning chill off the cabin when I need to.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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16 Responses to Plan B for Drinking Water: Inferior

  1. Mark Matis says:

    Ya know, if you had a window air conditioner, you could turn it around so the condenser was on the INSIDE and the evaporator was on the outside…

  2. Kentucky says:

    OMG, is that an honest-to-gee-whiz PAY ‘PHONE??????

  3. Joel says:

    Far from modern civilization. 🙂

  4. Erik says:

    Fairly new to the site, so forgive me if you have already answered this.

    For the water, do you have any rain water collection? I am building a collection system (once my other projects get out of the way) at some point, though not as my primary water source.

    Why no well, too deep?

    Thanks for the posts, good reading.

  5. Joel says:

    Hi, Erik,

    I do have a deep well, about 250 feet with a low-volume solar powered pump and a 2500 gallon tank. I have plenty of water for everything but drinking. The well water isn’t actively toxic but it is hard as hell with TDS readings ten to a hundred times what anybody with an alternative would choose to drink.

    I drank it, like an idiot, until the Great Kidney Stone Incident of 2013. Now I haul my drinking water from town. 🙂

  6. Mike says:

    Joel, why couldn’t you just distill your hard water using the heat from the wood stove in the cold months and over an outdoor fire in the warm months?

  7. terrapod says:

    Hey Joel, my “normal” route from Michigan to Chandler takes me through Holbrook, Snowflake, Payson then Chandler. I happen to know the “plan B” town but it is so far off the beaten path that I rarely go there.
    The still idea is good, summer you can make a solar still with sheet plastic and some scrap plywood, winter it can be on the stove. Only downside is that distilled water tastes blah even if it is much healthier than the well water. Using it for coffee or with Tang will probably hide the blandness.
    Let me think through the solar still concept, I think a simple 4 x 8 box lined with plastic and with plastic cover and some cut PVC pipe to act as collectors and pipe the distillate to a container could produce a gallon or more a day.

  8. Ben says:

    Earth to Joel. Is everything okay?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ditto to Ben…worried here.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Joel made a comment at Claire’s today, so I guess his fingers still work.

  11. Joel says:

    Let not your hearts be troubled. I’m here and sitting on content, but things on the site have been unstable and I haven’t gotten confirmation that they’re done and I’m not supposed to post while they’re transferring data. That makes sense. Unfortunately I won’t ever get confirmation until I can get my email account working again. The transfer means I have to switch account settings before I can get mail and I don’t recall ever successfully doing that. Certainly I haven’t so far.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you anon and thank you Joel for checking in. And may I be so bold as to ask Ian to put an email link on his website. Currently the only contact that I saw was postal address,

  13. Mark Matis says:

    Ah, what could be better than some slow time for a man and his dog!

  14. Joel says:

    This isn’t getting better. Now I can’t log in as admin on my smartphone.

    Later this morning I will have to do something that seems rather odd to me: call an IT service on a telephone since it’s the last avenue of communication left me.

  15. Mark Matis says:

    Best of luck! Hopefully you’ll get one that actually speaks English…

    And of course you know the first one you get has to read from their script, and has no authority to actually DO anything, if the problem isn’t on YOUR end.

  16. Cookie says:

    Have you tried turning it off and then back on? If that doesn’t work unplug it for 30 seconds and plug it back in……………..I’ll hold………………..That didn’t work? Let me transfer you to………..

    And so it goes

To the stake with the heretic!