Last year, I told the story of my Father's Day "present." I titled that post Pool Harbor, because my present was the wife and kids surprising me with the information that she had bought an above-ground swimming pool. Yahoo. Pools are a lot of work, if you have never owned one or are lucky enough to be able to afford someone to take care of it for you. Oh, once you get the chemistry right, it's not really hard work. But it is constant. The pool always needs something. Pools are a lot like cats.
So today, it is a bright, sunny and really warm day here, so the wife and I went on what constitutes a date for us these days. We went shopping for some things we needed, including pool supplies. We trundled off with three main missions: Pool stuff, tree food stuff and the one thing I needed: a nipple wrench. Now, don't get your hopes up or fear for my wife (trust me, she can take care of herself). Despite the interesting name, these nipple wrenches aren't something you buy at that place with the three giant Xs you can read from the interstate. No, a nipple wrench is something used to remove the thing you place a percussion cap on on a black powder pistol or rifle. The nipple. For some reason, when they were selling me the accessories for the howitzer, they missed that one.
Logistically, the sporting goods shop was first on the list. So we went in search of the nipple wrench. Which was fairly easy to find since they put all the black powder accessories in one place. There, that was easy. Hey, we need targets, too. And look over here….. Well, $100 later, we escaped that store. I'm not buying anymore nipple wrenches. They are apparently bad for your wallet.
Off then to the pool store. We had intended to get enough chemicals to get the pool opened up and maybe for a month or two. But the young man who practically tackled us when we walked in the door informed us that they were having a sale and it was a good time to buy the chemicals for the entire season. Aren't bargains great? So we ended up with more than we'd planned in the back of the Subaru. My wife, who was driving, said she could feel the difference in the way the car handled. Damn that nipple wrench.
So, off in search of tree stuff. We wanted to make sure the Red Sunset maples get off to a good start. We thought the local stores would have all that, so we went back to our town. This, it turns out, was a mistake. Apparently, the local store, despite an enormous annual seasonal greenhouse and plants and outdoor stuff piled all over the parking lot, doesn't much like trees. There were no tree fertilizer spikes, no Mir-Acid (for some pines), no nothing. Well, as Meatloaf so angst-fully observed, two out of three ain't bad.
Back home, I locked my nipple wrench away before it could make me spend again and changed. My wife and I then proceeded to start readying the pool. Set up the pump, fill the filter housing with the new sand from the pool store. Go to assemble. Send the wife to town to try to find nuts to replace the ones she stored in a safe place last fall. Because that safe place is so safe it will never be found and the filter can't be assembled without those two nuts. (Or with the two working on it, apparently). Meanwhile continue getting all the other myriad things together and assembled. Hoses, clamps, fittings. Um, which hose goes where?
Find manual. Find hose connection diagram. Hoses, clamps, fittings. Then find helpful markings on filter housing that tells you what goes where. Learn new and interesting word combination. Wife returns with nuts. Nipple wrench still safely locked away; she only bought nuts. Put everything together Remove covers over intake and outlet into pool. Find out pool is over filled with spring precipitation when geyser makes appearance. Learn another new and interesting word combination. Get pump started and try to reduce geyser more quickly even though it is doing its level best to take care of the problem by itself. Begin unfastening rest of pool cover.
Check hose connections. Find leaks, Tighten fittings. Check hose connections. Find leaks. Tighten fittings again. Check hose connections. Discover you know words you never even knew you knew. Tighten fittings. Decide you need plumbing supplies you can't get at this time of day on a Sunday. Give up. We haven't even started fooling with chemicals.
I told you. They hate me.
UPDATE: Well, thank you, Memeorandum for picking this up as a featured post.