It was five years ago yesterday that I wrote my first post on View from the Mountain. It was entitled My Welcome to Windows.
A few months earlier, I had exited Apple so it seemed logical to buy a Windows machine to see how the rest of the world lived. I had some other reasons, and Linux was one of them.
Since that post I have written thousands of posts. Now I even get paid to write some posts. So in a sense I have traveled a long with my blogs.
I feel that I have managed to keep View from the Mountain and my other blogs above board.
I have never hidden my opinions or what might be driving my opinions. I have stuck to the facts as I see them. It has been a very rewarding journey, and fortunately I continue to learn something new every day.
Today I think I stumbled up a very humbling fact. My wife and I are homeowners. That brings with it lots of privileges, but it is also a huge learning curve. We have actually been homeowners for 38 years, but each home has been so different that the lessons we have learned have rarely been transferable to the next home.
There are some exceptions. After all those years we are beginning to learn about hot water heaters and their dangers. A home we own in Cornelius, NC recently had a cracked hot water tank. By the time it was noticed, the water had seeped under the kitchen floors and ended up ruining the floors and the cabinets. So the insurance folks have stepped in and are helping us getting it back to normal.
After that incident my wife, Glenda, started worrying about our Roanoke based hot water heater which just happened to be twenty years old. Most hot water tank warranties today are for six years. When she was changing the kitty litter box last night, she checked it and found it fine.
Just by chance, we were delayed in going shopping for the balance of Thanksgiving dinner this afternoon. She decided to go look in the basement and look for suitable toys for our soon to be visiting granddaughter. While she was there, she checked the hot water heater again and found water on the floor.
I immediately came down, shut the gas off, turned the water off, and got a hose and started draining the tank. Then I began mopping up the water with towels as Glenda called a plumber. The room with tank had a drain in it, unfortunately the floor took the water away from the drain towards the wall of the next room. It was something we had not checked 20 years ago when we bought the house as new construction.
We were extraordinarily fortunate this afternoon. The plumbers arrived within twenty minutes of being called at 2:30 PM. By 5:30 PM Glenda was writing them a check for our newly installed hot water heater. I had an aluminum pan put under this one, and a drain pipe from the pan to the room drain.
In 38 years of home owning, I have had one other hot water tank go. It was when we were living on the farm in the late 70s. I took it out and replaced it myself.
Just as I have mastered this information about tank hot water heaters, I am fully aware that many new homes are being built with tankless hot water heaters. I actually asked the plumbers about replacing my tank with one. It turned out that the gas line to my tank was not nearly big enough so the installation would have taken a while, been more expensive, but more importantly, we have guests arriving tomorrow which sometimes is the story of my life.
So now I know everything that I should know about hot water heater tanks just as they are becoming obsolete.
As I ponder this I wonder how much stuff I have learned only to find out that by the time I have mastered it, it no longer matters to or sometimes to anyone?
I know that I figured out vegetable gardening just about the time we moved to the suburbs where we could not have a vegetable garden.
That would have been at the same time I had become an expert at making hay since for a decade I baled about 600 tons a year. In the city there is no need for the ability to feel a handful of hay and know that it is ready to bale.
Then there was the world of computers. At the peak of my ability to give presentations to convince high level CIOs that they needed Apple computers in their enterprise mix, I was no longer selling Apple computers. Now I will admit that I was more than pretty good at doing that for much of my twenty years at Apple. Still I really had it down pat by the end when I had been declared as surplus.
I could trot out other examples, but there is question that comes to mind. It might be the heart of the matter. Is there something inherent in knowing all that I need to know about a subject that predisposes me to no longer needing that information.
Did I become someone who had to move to the city because I had learned all that I could take about making hay? Was there something in my presentations that signaled Apple that I needed to go. Had growing all our vegetables for so many years made me secretly want to be in the city.
More importantly, is there something about my knowing everything about hot water heater installations that means we will sell this home and move to something with tankless hot water heaters?
I guess that could also signal a turnaround in the real estate market which would mean that I would not worry very much about hot water heaters.
There is one thing that is certain, this is the first post of my sixth year of blogging. I plan to keep pondering the deep and the not so deep.