Thin veneer of confidence with complications of HFS.

That’s me.  I have TVC.  Thin veneer of confidence.  I have HFS, too.  Hollow fragile smugness.  It’s why I drink.

They say that, “If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing right!”.  I’ve even said such nonsense myself, now and again.  Usually when talking to younger people.  Amongst my contemporaries, however, no such pretense is ever uttered.  We incompetent old guys know better.  The rule of thumb we operate by is, “Get ‘er done.  Just get ‘er done!”

My ‘most capable’ neighbour has a much more realistic approach.  “Everything breaks, Dave.  Just haywire it together using baling wire and duct tape and plan on doin’ it again next year.  Now, let’s get er done and get back to havin’ fun!” 

He’s a professional mechanic.  But I think most doctors operate on the same principle……

When we were building the house, we had a lot to do and little (read: none) experience with which to do it.  Plus we had little time.  So, we read books, asked for advice and got used to doing everything twice….OK…maybe more than twice…plus we did the first and subsequent tries as quickly as possible.  Had to.  Two fools can take forever building a house from scratch if they try to do everything right.  They’ll die of exposure.

Another term that came into play during those days, “It’s good enough for the girls we go out with.”  (Sal couldn’t use that term effectively but once she did and it was hysterical – maybe you had to be there?).  Or, sometimes, “Never mind, no one will ever see it.  It will be covered up by the whatchamacallit.”

All this is by way of introducing why the blog has been silent as of late.  I have been trying to make some ‘old’ established systems that I DID NOT install properly but which worked well for the past fifteen years (thus the TVC and HFS) but which unexpectedly quit on me over the last few days.

‘Bloody incompetent workers!’

My funicular (a total cobble) crapped out on me leaving 1000 pounds on the lower deck which Sal and I had to slog up the stairs.  Degree of difficulty: I carried a new genset up those stairs!

And, to add grime and sweat to an already grimy and sweaty situation, the water system went down.  No shower.  No running water. The pump went on the fritz.


So, the last few days have been machine focused. I have been giving my water pump my full attention and yesterday I got it working.  ‘Bout the third or fourth attempt.  HFS shattered.  But now it’s a beautiful thing.  Showers – one of the great modern inventions that are rarely fully appreciated until you don’t have them.  You can add flush toilets to that list.

Now to the impossible: the funicular.  The funicular has a Siemens motor controller (a little grey boxed computer) that does some magic but it’s written in German – what madness!.  It also has twenty or more wires coming and going from various switches, buttons and such.  I haven’t a clue as to how it works.  Not a friggin’ clue. 

But I have mastered whining and complaining and sharing my dilemmas.  I cried out into the wilderness (literally).  Lo and behold, Scott.  Seems Scott knows motor controllers.  Who knew?  So, we may have a solution in good ol’ Scott.  We definitely have a dinner guest in good ol’ Scott.  Dear Scott. Miss him more than I knew.  Hope he comes soon.



16 thoughts on “Thin veneer of confidence with complications of HFS.

  1. Oh man, been there. Live there. Totally emmpathetic!!
    We have a saying while building this last year. Make it look intentional 😉



    • Hi! ….to one of my peeps… duct tape? Got baling wire? Got epoxy putty? Got an extra chicken in the freezer? Don’t forget extra beer and wine…..jus’ sayin’….There are those who can, those who teach and those who can cook….


  2. Ah, the joys of electrical diagrams and electrical controls.
    Annoying enough without the German Manual thrown in.

    Is it completely kaput or it only runs one way?


    • It was only running one way…down. Powered down but that is only good for so far…the bottom. So our local electrical whiz came by (great dinner and dessert plus wine, women (Sal) and I offered to sing but was politely rebuffed). We went outside to look things over. I explained all the parts and how they worked. And, at the end of my orientation spiel, I pressed the up button to demonstrate the futility of it all. Lo and behold! The cart came up! Well, that’s a fine kettle so we scratched our heads and tried some buttons and subsequently broke something else. Ooops. That’s a sign to stop doing what we were doing.
      “Never mind that. That I can fix. I suggest we chalk this one up to gremlins and commence with the wine drinking. Sal will join us. You sure you don’t want a song?”
      Seriously? It worked AFTER I carried 1000 pounds up fifty stairs! Gremlins. Has to be.


      • Hmmm.
        Weird. If it worked up AND down. I’m thinking the actual switch. Loose connection, rust, ( especially if you were gone for a month or so and weren’t using it) what type of Seimens controller is it/
        Model number? Date of manufacture etc.? I have a friend here that works for a very large electrical company. Buys lots of Seimens controllers.
        Might be able to source out an english manual for you.


  3. Exposed to sea air? Perhaps some electrical contacts need polishing. Intermittent problems are difficult to track down. But lack of continuity is possible.


  4. Our friend John is in the do it right category and everything thing he does lasts and lasts and lasts. Skookum! Wayne is of the “good enough” category, as we used to say “Good enough for government work.” That might be better than “It’s good enough for the girls we go out with.” for Sal. We are coming up on a deadline to tear down our outhouse, stairs on shore and shed, speaking of government work. All float cabins on the lake were built before regulation so just about everyone has legacy shore structures. Now we have to remove everything by September 1. It’s going to be a very busy summer. We’ve started cleaning up, but the heavy work is still to come. – Margy


    • Don’t you love government? The same guys who make your life miserable allow clear-cutting, strip mining, river destruction and the like. YOUR little outhouse is bad. Damming the river is good. Let us pump oil…..
      It is hard to listen to the nonsense. And it is almost all ‘just a cash-grab’. The words they use are just more lies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My advice is not good advice. Don’t take it. You’d be a fool. But, here it is anyway: comply with direct orders, be quiet, look good. Put on an obedient face. Six months from now go build it again only camouflage it. Bureaucrats don’t walk around. They don’t hike to find outhouses. They just process paper. Go along, get along and do what is right. An outhouse is more right than a corporate made SunMar not-fully composting crap container. And don’t quote me. Oh, and go plant a garden if you want. Why not? They just use the land to destroy the forest. Your garden will at least feed the wildlife. The government doesn’t own the planet. They just THINK they do.


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