Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Still Pounding on Death’s Door…

What is the MATTER with the people on the other side of this thing? I keep knocking and banging, and they won’t let me in! O Death, where’s thy sting?

If you asked me to make a guess, I’d tell you my temperature is somewhere between 99 and 100. Since “cold fish” is a literal description in my case, that’s pretty high for me. It has been pushing 101, which is damn near fatal, IMHO…but just this moment, it’s right at normal, around 98.2 to 98.4. That notwithstanding, what I want most just now — and have been wanting most, all morning long — is to go back to bed.

Trying to decide whether it’s worth the hassle to drive to the store through the Saturday traffic and put up with the Saturday mobs to buy the dogs a roll of fancy dog food, or whether ’tis better to suffer the slings and arrows of making up another batch of chow for their majesties. Think the latter is the better choice.

Just before coming down with this thing, I made a large batch of pork doggy chow for them. Because I cooked up an entire package of bulk pork loin, I ended up with more cooked meat than I could easily convert to dog food by mixing with the remaining ingredients. Luckily, instead of freezing the leftover meat in chunks, I figured as long as the food processor was still dirty, I might as well grind it up right then and there.

Sooo….a fair-sized package of ground, cooked pork popped out of the freezer this morning. All that remains, once it’s defrosted, is to zap some frozen veggies and a sweet potato in the microwave, pulverize those, and MIX. That should make at least three or four days’ worth. Long enough, anyway, to tide the pooches over until Monday, when the shopping masses will be back in the salt mines.

Meanwhile, spring has sproinged!

It is SO spectacularly gorgeous that it’s impossible not to do at least some puttering with the greenery. As it develops, about the only greenery I was up for working with happened to grow on the pool walls: spent some time scraping moss and thinking “i. need. a. pool. dude.”

But as a practical matter, a pool dude is a waste of money, unless he lives at your house.

What really needs to happen is that…yes…I need to spring for the six grand to get the damn pool replastered and a new pump installed.

I’ve been putting it off. But really am thinking WTH: the market is running amok. One month’s proceeds would pay for it and probably pay the taxes, too. This year’s federal tax refund will cover the 2017 car payments. That means enough may be left at the end of my 2016/17 “fiscal year” (in September) to pay for a pool renovation & upgrade. Truth to tell, I could probably justify pulling enough out of savings now for the purpose.

A new pump would (theoretically) save a little on the power bills. And a PebbleTec surface would last as long as I’m likely to remain in the house (…but…at this age, an ordinary cheesey plaster surface would probably last that long…). PebbleTec supposedly is easier to care for (though I doubt it: nothing could be easier than the plaster the pool has had for the past 12 or 14 years).

Plaster, however, is a known quantity for me: mine has lasted twice as long as the typical lifetime for plaster, despite considerable shameless neglect. I really can’t complain, and it is enormously cheaper than PebbleTec, to say nothing of the superior (and superiorly profitable…) PebbleSheen. PebbleTec gets a lot of consumer complaints about staining, bleaching, and roughness, and apparently requires a LOT of daily maintenance, especially in the first year. You can get plaster in colors now, too, which allows one to create a “natural” pond effect…but it, too, has its problems, serious enough that many pool pro’s inveigh against it.

Plain white plaster probably would leave enough in the budget to cover the cost of replacing the tile around the coping. It was old and scratched when I moved in, but pool tilework is so pricey I just left it when the insurance paid to repair the Perp’s depradations. And really, that pool equipment does need to be updated.

For what PebbleTec or (especially) PebbleSheen would cost, I might even be able to replace the filter as well as the pump. In that case, they could install a cartridge filter, which — sez a pool guy — is simple enough for even an Old Bat to clean out. Well…we’ll believe that when we see it…but not having to hail the pool repair guy in here three or four times a year to clean that thing out would, on its own, save some $300 to $400 a year. And, supposedly, you don’t have to backwash a cartridge filter. That’s a PITA I’d be happy to say good-bye to.

A sand filter could be an option, too. It’s probably the cheapest for maintenance, because all you have to do to clean it out is backwash. Backwashing, yes, is a PITA…but it’s sure cheaper than ponying up a hundred bucks to have a guy come take a DE filter apart and scrub it out, a clear and present Unpleasant Job. I think of sand filters as old-fashioned…but maybe not paying through the wazoo to maintain your pool is what’s old-fashioned.

Ex-DH and I had a sand filter on the tony house we owned off North Central. Talk about shamelessly neglecting the pool! Holy mackerel…. And yet…we never had cloudy water, we never had discoloration, we never had black algae, we never had green water, and I don’t even recall seeing mustard algae on the plaster. It was ludicrously easy to backwash, and we would use the water to irrigate the citrus. Hm. Something to revisit…

Image (Death’s Door): DepositPhotos, © Isaac74

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Author: funny

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  1. I always assumed that a darker pool plaster colour would be better in that it would help heat the pool?

    • It might make it a degree or two warmer during the shoulder season…but it could also make the water uncomfortably warm during the summer. The water reaches bathtub temperatures in June and July…which is when you most want to cool off!