Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tempe Area Construction

Since I have had a lot of friends leave the Tempe Area I thought I would post some pictures and descriptions of the changes going on in Tempe right now. I have taken some photographs and added them to a custom google map:

There are numerous small condo/mixed use developments and about a dozen really large development projects underway in downtown Tempe at the moment. The East Valley Tribune has done a number of articles on the projects (Centerpoint Condos, Long Wongs, Onyx Tower, The Mill).

Other than EV Tribune articles I have come across a few good sources for information on Tempe developments. Even though its not authoritative, there is an excellent Tempe Development discussion thread on There is also a City of Tempe Construction Photo page and Development Report.

Some of the smaller developments are:

  • The Brownstones
  • The Vale
  • Merrion Square
  • Millstone
  • Tempe Lofts

The larger developments include:

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Joys of Plumbing

Today we had a nice surprise. I finally decided to try and check and see if I can repair our two sprinklers in our front lawn and as soon as I turned the sprinklers on then off once I heard a loud water hammer and then a loud spraying noise. Checking around the side of the house I saw that the union joint on the incoming pipe was spraying a lot of water.

It appears that when the previous owner had the sprinklers put in out front they replaced a length of the incoming pipe with PVC. This is a little sub-optimal for any house, but given that our inlet pressure is really high (like 130psi) its even worse. We have a pressure reducer before the pipes enter the house, but the union joint was before that and before the house shutoff as well. So we had to go to the street shutoff in the box in our yard.

So, I took a quick trip to Home Depot to pick up some PVC glue and curb key to shut off the water coming from the main. The only tricky part was deciding how far I can safely turn this valve. I expected a quarter turn or something, but looking more closely I realized the ring on the valve top was to lock off my water if I didn't pay my bill. So I dug deeper and found the corresponding ring that it would lock to, so I could tell what the fully off position would be. I ended up turning it about 270 degrees. The last thing I wanted to do was break that 40 year old valve too.

So, Cara, claiming considerable expertise in PVC gluing, glued the pipe back to the joint. This went smoothly after we realized that we wouldn't be able to really keep the joint dry because water continually welled up out of the pipe. So we stuffed it with a rag hoping to wick most of the water away from the drying glue. It has held so far.

Okinawa Trip

For anyone who didn't get to see my pictures from Okinawa you can checkout the Okinawa Map. Or just browse the pictures in Austin's Picasa Web Album.

Over Christmas we spent about two weeks in Okinawa visiting Cara's mother. We had a wonderful time. The weather was pretty good considering it was winter. It rained off and on, but never got very cold.