Friday, February 5, 2021

The wonder of Tommy Tutone Troubles

Tommy came into our lives in June. He was in a bad situation and Alex rescued him. She named him after her heartthrob actor Tom Hardy.

Alex liked this picture of Tom Hardy as Bane. She had a bunch of posters of the fellow. I never saw the attraction, but then I could never understand how she could possibly be attracted to me.

Tommy the dog is a Heinz-57 and appears to have some Lab, Border Collie, and trailer-trash pit bull in him. He's happy and energetic, very strong, and likes to chew on stuff and explore. Alex got a bit cross with me when I started calling him Tommy Tutone in honor of an 80's band I still admire. She wasn't a fan and wasn't inclined to become one. I don't understand that, either. I mean, c'mon, 867-5309?

Tommy managed to pull some of the skirting loose on my trailer house overnight and got underneath where he promptly rambunctioused the main water supply line. What a mess. It was 27 degrees outside and I didn't like the prospect of having to fix the pipe while crawling around in a freezing swamp under the house. I could envision myself as a misplaced tunnel rat from veet-jam, only different.

Firetrucking dog!

Of course it's not his fault he's a dog, or that he does dog stuff. The mess and its solution is my responsibility. And besides, he loves me the way dogs love their people. He never fails to put a smile on my face, even this morning.

I had to climb down through a manhole to get to the main water valve; fortunately I'm skinny enough to do that these days. Also I'm fortunate to have had the back injections recently which made all the crawling far less painful than it could be.

The water lines are old school pvc and the local hardware store doesn't stock it anymore. They are however small-town and extremely helpful, so it wasn't much of a chore to get parts that would make a fix that would work.

Sooooooooo, guess what? All I had to do was crawl under the house and into a freezing mud puddle, take off the old fittings, put on the new fittings, and hey-presto, Bob's your uncle. It was a pain in the ass but a fairly simple chore. The tight confines, cold, and mud sucked, but they also provided an incentive to work quickly and well. The hard, yucky part took only about 10 minutes. That was after a couple of exploratory mud crawls and the staging of tools. No shortage of mud and yuck!

Fixing (for certain values of fixing) the skirting was a relatively quick job too. Which is nice considering the temps are falling, the wind is picking up, and the weatherman is predicting snow.

As I was fixing the skirting I noticed that Tommy has been chewing on the internet coax. Out of the blue (it seems) the internet provider called and said they had noticed some "anomalies" between street and modem and would I like to schedule a repair?

Why yes, yes I would.

Sometimes I wonder why, but as usual, why is a question without a complete answer and a complete answer would do me no good anyway. I'm just happy to be so blessed and to be able to smile at the wonder that abounds in my life.

I was going to try to take pictures during the repair but it was too dirty and messy.

When I finished I was freezing, soaked, and absolutely coated with mud. I stripped off and threw my clothes into the washer. Looking at myself I was amazed at how much mud had gotten through my clothes. I looked like I'd been squirming around under a house trailer in a mud puddle!

The shower felt great. Running water, what a concept!

I only had to wash my muddy clothes twice.

I imagine it seems a very goofy thing but I got a lot of joy out of fixing that busted pipe. Alexzandra was very close as I worked, offering loving encouragement and gently teasing me for letting Tommy get the best of me. Yep, batshit crazy.


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. Cable folks called and said they "had noticed some "anomalies" between street and modem."

    "No, ma'am, not just any anomalies, that was my dog Tommy."

    Nothing like the satisfaction of successful completion of unscheduled repairs under adverse conditions. It was probably as cold as those scenes Sarge has been showing us for a couple of weeks, but at least no one was shooting at you.
    John Blackshoe

    1. Not being shot at is a good deal, and one that I routinely take for granted. For me this kind of thing is a good deal. It's a challenge and an opportunity to be a somewhat complete ape-lizard, using mind and body, knowledge and experience, and completing a task under marginally adverse conditions. I didn't have to be a simulated person and call a real person to do it for me. So yeah, satisfaction earned.

      As for Tommy, puppies need to chew while their teeth come in and he's a top one percent chewer. He wrecks chew toys and rawhide in minutes, then goes on to chew other stuff.

      Ah life, it's a gas when it's lived.

      Thanks John.

  2. Oh, GROAN.....Our little house back in Long Beach had a crawl space, and I spent more time than I cared to when I replaced all the old coax with new stuff, and ran Ethernet to every room.

    It's amazing what accumulates under a house when you're not looking. I was half expecting to find that place where missing socks go, or perhaps the 10mm Socket Graveyard, but alas, all I found were some old rusty tools, and a couple of mummified rodents.

    Glad you were able to get the job done. I don't care to be rolling around in ice water and mud at my age!

    1. That sounds like a miserable job! And as soon as people ran ethernet, wireless made it obsolete. Today's kids look at those RJ-45 outlets and scratch their heads...

      I was just slightly surprised that I didn't find any dead cats or rodents, but I wasn't looking that hard either.

      Rolling around in the icy mud isn't my favorite thing, but it is a good challenge and meeting challenges is good for me. I recoil from the rockin' chair, geritol, and medicare.

      Thanks drjim.

  3. Dogs give life a lift. I went too many ears without one. When my parents still had their small ranch, someone "gifted" my sister a standard poodle, a lifelong city dog. He watched our border collie work livestock and within weeks was working stock. He wasn't as good as the border collie but was useful.

    1. I agree completely. They give me a considerable boost every day. It's good to have Nona and Tommy in my life.

      Thanks Frank.