Dirty, wet and smelly

Those are three words to describe my Border Collie, Mocean, after we’ve been out for a sheep-herding lesson – particularly at this time of year, when rains are frequent and the ground is muddy. As it was on Wednesday…
 photo Mocean-PostHerd-20140430_zpsb47b62cc.jpg

“That’s a nice story – and a nice picture of your dog,” I imagine you’re thinking. “But what does that have to do with your model railway – which is, after all, the subject of this blog?”

Good question.

Sometimes, the same adjectives can have totally different connotations. Sometimes, “dirty, wet and smelly” can describe something positive – like my dog, who worked really hard and did a great job for me. And sometimes, it can describe something negative.

Like the main sewer in our home. Which clogged up this week.

And that has a lot to do with my layout, because the floor drain is right at the end of the Port Rowan peninsula. The sewer pipe runs from here to the front of the house – passing right under the peninsula, and below the west end of St. Williams.

There was no flooding – but the drain is slow. Very slow – to the point where we’re limiting the amount of waste water we’re generating so that the basement doesn’t flood.

I had the plumber in today to look at matters. Fortunately, there’s good news: The power snake got all the way out of the building and under the front garden before it ran into something it could not clear. So, the digging – which should start tomorrow – will all take place outside.

It’ll be expensive – all things that involve digging are. But the worst-case scenario was a bad blockage inside the house and a need to tear out the layout so that workers could pound their way thorough the cement floor and lay a new drain. So yes, this is actually good news. (Treating a plumbing disaster as “good news” – because at least the layout is safe – is just one more reason why model railway enthusiasts are a special breed.)

Barring any delays or surprises, we should soon return to normal: Where the only thing dirty, wet and smelly underfoot is a hard-run Border Collie.

11 thoughts on “Dirty, wet and smelly

  1. (Aren’t you glad I used a dog photo to illustrate this post? The alternative was… well… “Ew”.)

  2. Now you do realized both of the scenes you talked about could be modeled on the layout. The border collie herding sheep or laying down and watch the sheep that he has herded and a muddy area near the house with a plumbing company truck and a backhoe. Perhaps you could have them pulling a Lionel train layout out of the basement of the house with the distraught owner looking on. [Grin]

  3. I hope everything works out OK. And yes, I did like the picture of your dog.
    How do you pronounce his name? ( like motion?)
    Cheers, Gord

  4. Yikes, twice in a year. Different, I know, and good that digging up the basement floor isn’t required. We had to do that when we moved in, to remove roots from the drains. A twelve foot long root, have a photo of it laid out on the basement floor. That’s being a homeowner for ya!

    • Hi David:
      Yes – different. Last time, as you know, it was a flood brought on by massive rain and inadequate city infrastructure. This time, it’s a slow drain – likely caused by a tree root problem. We have no trees on our front yard, but there’s a large tree to either side of us and no doubt our yard is a tangle of roots below the surface.
      (That said, the two events may be connected. It’s possible that once the ground is opened up and the drain examined, we’ll find damage that might’ve been caused by last year’s flood. We’ll see.)
      The weather may not co-operate: If it rains tomorrow, the crew can’t dig. I’m hoping for drier than forecast…

  5. Started off 2010 with the need to remove all sewer pipes under the basement floor after we found a broken connection as well as insufficient slope in the pipe when originally laid (1969). It required removal of a wood sub floor, removal mould damaged insulation, studding and drywall and jackhammering out all of the pipes. Workers were able to remove everything but the layout. It was floating at one point, held by friction and some scenery to the end walls where it was located. All restored, only damage to the layout was loss of one set of van trucks, a damaged car and a DC transformer that went missing when it was supposed to have been packed by the moving crew but never returned. Whew. You have my sympathies. Total cost was around 12k. Half by insurance and half by us.

    • Thanks John – and to you!
      That commercial is a favourite – and it’s very close to a real trial, Mocean and I always lose the guys at the dancing girls portion of the course…
      šŸ˜‰

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