Pool Refill Day(s)

Gerardo is running on mañana time this morning. He was supposed to surface at 7 a.m.; it’s after 8. Hope he hasn’t had trouble with his truck or trailer. More likely, the trouble is getting the cousins (his employees) out of the rack and on the road. 😀 WhatEVER, this was not the best of all possible days for him to announce he’s coming to clean up the front-and-back 40: two hoses have been running all night to refill the pool, and will be all day. So his men will have to stumble around hoses stretched from the west side and the south side into the pool, and signs reading “por favor, no aqague el agua“: very likely a cryptic message, since it was disgorged by Google’s translator.

I have to leave in an hour or so. Since I likely won’t be here to direct the show, I decided to pull up the mound of dead Mexican primrose in the backyard. Exactly why this particular bed of plants decided to die just now escapes me. They’re sort of semi-perennial. They do die back….but not usually at this time of year. The whole hill of the things had melted down into a pile of hay.

At any rate, now I won’t have to argue with him — or physically be here — to be sure he doesn’t eradicate the other flowering plants and the bulbs that recently came up in that spot.

As I was pulling up dead plants, a thought occurred to me: Y’know…it’s hard to believe i’ve been here long enough that the pool actually needed to be replastered!

It’s kinda amazing that I’m here at all, after Tony the Romanian Landlord — known in FaM precincts as “the Perp” — terrorized my lawyers and a judge to such an extreme that they urged me to sell this house — like…three weeks after I’d purchased it in cash from the sale of my old house — and flee, brushing my tracks with palm fronds.

Even if I could have afforded to do that — I decidedly could not have — I’m not that easily scared. Truly, it was a matter of make my day, White Dude! If he’d come around while I was here, he wouldn’t have lived to tell the tale. And when his poor deluded son-in-law did try to come in the side gate, surprising a large German shepherd…well… Let me put it this way: a workman came by and told me there was a guy sitting in the driveway two houses down rocking himself and weeping.

Yes. Well. Sorry about that.

Later — years later — I learned that the people who sold me this house moved because they were afraid of Tony. Other neighbors nearby remained but have said they were afraid of him, too.  They think he’s some kind of Eastern European mafioso.

LOL! That glorifies the man a bit much. If you were a mafioso, a) you would not be sweeping the airport floors as your day job and b) you would not work anywhere near as hard as Tony works at his rental empire. You have to hand that to him: he’s one helluva hard-working man.

Tony was an air traffic controller in the Old Country. His English wasn’t good enough to get him a similar job here, so he ended up working as a janitor. At the airport. That notwithstanding, he engineered, by dint of some elaborate story-telling to various mortgage lenders, the purchase of half-a-dozen houses in our neighborhood, plus at least a couple more in the more downscale area north of Gangbanger’s Way, all of which he turned into rentals. He bought these before the run-up in real estate prices and then, apparently advised by a savvy investor, sold them at the very height of the Bubble. So he made a nice chunk of dough at the expense of the neighbors, whose property values (as you can imagine) were not helped by having every third house turned into a rental shack.

At any rate, as a result of a quarrel over the maintenance of these properties, Tony vandalized my pool to the tune of about 12 grand. The insurance covered the entire cost of replastering and repairing the pool equipment…so…thankyouverymuch, I got a brand-new plaster job and Tony got a threat of deportation from two of the biggest bruiser cops you’ve ever seen in your life. I don’t know what they really said to him (they claimed they calmly pointed out to him that if they chose to arrest him he would be enjoying early retirement back in Romania), but whatever it was, they put the fear of God into him. And Anna put the fear of Dog into his demented son-in-law, who since has moved out.

The plain white plaster I chose — because that was what the insurance would cover and because I’d been told PebbleTec is hard on your feet and your pool cleaner — was warranteed for 10 years. That was 15 years ago.

So the stuff has lasted a good long time!

This new stuff, a kinder gentler version of PebbleTec called “PebbleSheen,” supposedly lasts upwards of 20 years. By then I’ll either be dead and gone or moved to the old-folkerie, so barring any new squabbles with the local bully, it should be good for the rest of the time I’m in this house. If my son inherits the place, it should last him several years, too.

Water has been running into the pool from both the side and the back faucets since yesterday and it’s not half full. I’ll need to turn one of the spigots off and the other one down while I’m running around the city today (once you start, you can’t stop the water, lest you mark the new plaster with a permanent water line). So it probably will be tomorrow morning before the pool is filled back up to the tile border.

Though I surely would prefer not to have to spend 10 grand on the plastering job plus God Only Knows how much on the water to refill the thing, nevertheless I’m feeling pretty pleased with it. The blue stony stuff is going to look really nice. Plus the guys revamped the plumbing system so that Harvey the Hayward Pool Cleaner can be plugged into a pipe on the north wall, rather than having to be stuck into the strainer inlet. This means the strainer basket will be in place at all times, allowing the flowing water to direct floating debris into it, meaning I don’t have to take the filter basket apart every couple of days to clean it out. And rather little blown debris sinks to the bottom when Harvey isn’t occupying the strainer-basket inlet. It’ll be a lot easier to take care of — mostly just a matter of keeping the chemicals balanced, which is ludicrously easy.

Cassie is feeling well enough to bark(!!), probably signalling the arrival, in the distance, of Gerardo’s truck. And so, away!

4 thoughts on “Pool Refill Day(s)”

  1. Congrats on the job being complete. Have you ever looked into whether it’s cheaper to have a load of water trucked in? Here in Michigan that’s quite a bit cheaper than paying municipal water rates, but then again, owners here have to empty and re-fill them annually, so maybe there’s not a market there since your pools stay filled up year around?

    • Gosh, I don’t know if that’s even possible. Here, if you need to use a lot of water and you draw it down during the winter, before about March, you get it at the current rate and you DON’T run up the following year’s monthly tab. Starting about in March, the more water you use during the winter, the more the City gouges you per unit of water used during the summer. So that’s one of two reasons you want to replaster a pool in the winter. The other is that regular white plaster shouldn’t be applied in the heat — it dries out too fast.

  2. This is the first time I’ve seen the backstory on Tony the Romanian Landlord. Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! Were you the only one to stand up to him, so he vandalized your pool? SMH

    • There were a dozen of us, actually. He identified me as the ringleader, though. Hilariously enough, in retrospect. Can you imagine? It’s a cultural thing, as they say… 😉

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