Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Car Repair and... Tapeworms? ~~ May 27, 2010


As things tend to continually fall apart, we have been watching our little mini-van begin to struggle. Just like me, it's beginning to get old, tired, and things are going wrong. I try to get it serviced when the time comes, but sometimes we are a bit late.

A year ago, the hatch quit staying up. Gotta love the loading and unloading of groceries in the rain while one hand holds the door up, the foot hold the cart from running away, the other hand loads the bags, while rain runs down your arm.

The tires we continually have trouble with, and one has had a slow leak for well over a year. The A/C quit working two years ago, and with my window not working, that leaves us with one window to let airflow in during summer - (Gasp). And the remaining window is just now beginning to not work. THIS is going to be a challenge!

But it starts every time!!! YAY!

So when the tire was not holding air even for a couple of days, we took it for a hopeful repair, which worked! Can I hear another "YAY!"

We also splurged 60 bucks and felt it was worth fixing the hatch door to make our lives so much easier. Michael took charge of replacing the lift supports.

And he did a great job!

We moved on to working on the pool. We finished up getting the sand just right and began filling it, making sure to keep the liner as wrinkle-free as possible.

The best way to do this is to spread your liner out evenly and clip the edges up on the pool walls with heavy duty tool-shop clips. These work great. Put one about every two feet.

Then pull the liner tight, evenly all the way around, taking all the slack out of the liner, then actually pulling almost all of it off the ground except for the center. Leave about 6 feet touching the ground. Begin filling with water. As the water fills and begins moving out, it will pull the liner down, and you can let out the clips little by little as you walk around and around. Each time you loosen the clamp, the liner will slide down just a bit and there will be no wrinkles in the pool.

Conversely, you can use a wet/dry vac to suck air out from between the liner and the wall, avoiding the tedious walking and releasing of clips, but my vac is too small and this is how I'm familiar with doing it. Once your water actually reaches the wall, the liner will be done pulling down and you can affix the top coping and rails to finish the walls.

Michael got in, when the water was about knee high, to work the inside of the pool as we installed the top rail. He said there was something swimming at his feet, that looked like a snake.

I took one look at that and stopped in my tracks. All I could think was tapeworm, and WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

It went into a jar of water and I took a trip to the Great Storehouse of Modern Knowledge - Google Search.

Learn something new every day!

Remember all those stories you heard about horse hairs turning into worms in water troughs? Yeah, I didn't believe them either, but this is where those stories came from. These are Nematomorpha, otherwise known as hairworms.

They are ingested by insects, grow, then drive the insect to water where the parasite exits the body, killing it's host, looks for a girlfriend at the local pool, gets married and has little ones all over again.

How romantic!

Really cool, interesting and icky pictures!

And YouTube has some nifty videos too, if you have a young person who enjoys watching recreations of the scenes in "Alien" where a parasite exits the body of a victim.

Ours was about a foot long.

It's dead.




  1. And!!! Is there anything your son is not good at!!! Way to go Michael!

  2. please tell me they don't choose humans for hosts....ever!

  3. Icebear,

    Yup. REAL dead.


  4. SM,

    I hope not! Yikes!



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