Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

WAKING UP WET - THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DAMP PARTS OF OWNING A WATERBED


Oh No, Not Again!

Did you know that waterbeds were developed in the 1800's? Me either. They were either used for invalids or others with medical needs. Mark Twain even mentioned one. In the 1950's, they were also mentioned in books by Robert Heinlen in Beyond This Horizon (1942), Double Star (1956), and Stranger in a Strange Land (1961). In 1980 Heinlein recalled in Expanded Universe: "I designed the waterbed during years as a bed patient in the middle thirties; a pump to control water level, side supports to permit one to float rather than simply lying on a not very soft water filled mattress. Thermostatic control of temperature, safety interfaces to avoid all possibility of electric shock, waterproof box to make a leak no more important than a leaky hot water bottle rather than a domestic disaster, calculation of floor loads (important!), internal rubber mattress and lighting, reading, and eating arrangements - an attempt to design the perfect hospital bed by one who had spent too damn much time in hospital beds."

Heinlein made no attempt to build his invention.





The 'modern' waterbed was developed in 1968 and were all the rage in the US during the 70's. I remember the first time I tried to sleep in one - it was like trying to balance on a water balloon. Ugh. But of course they've been improved - mostly by putting a foam mattress inside of them so they don't 'wobble'. I know, I know, then what's the point? I usually do have one. 

I must admit I'm addicted to being able to climb into an extra comfortable bed that doesn't hurt my joints PLUS it is always warm. One of the many memories of my childhood I'd like to burn in a huge fire is shivering in my bed every night for about half an hour until it was warm enough where I could sleep.

But waterbeds do blow up. Or get punctured by kitty claws and need patches just like a bicycle tire. Or the heater quits. Or you forget to use the special chemicals and your bed smells like a swamp. Just little things. Our current bed was one of the firmer ones and extra tough so I was kind of surprised when our new-ish mattress split at the seam (small enough not to explode, large enough to make a mess). Then we got out the receipt: We purchased our 'new' mattress in 2003. Ah.



It is 'suggested' that you replace your bed every ten years so I guess we were due. But the nearest waterbed dealer was... not near. But, unlike in 2003, we have internet and they have a website. Their kindness to a repeat customer meant I could just explain all the items we needed (a firmer bed this time and extra tough) and they shipped them right to us, bless their hearts. It came within two days. To take everything apart and put the new stuff together meant waiting for the weekend.

The hubby is working on the new stuff as we speak.....

AAAAAAAUGH!!! PANIC MODE!!!

When putting together a new waterbed, even if you've done it many times over the years, GET EVERYTHING. If you have a patch kit from last time, get another one. If you have a fill/refill kit, get another one. If you have chemicals, get more...



The hubby has the nice, new bed ready to fill and goes to attach the adaptor for the hose to the kitchen sink... he doesn't have one. He had one a short time ago, used it to clean our large fish tank, but not now. Blame is placed on one of the kids (cats). Surely they must have gotten hold of it somehow and batted it to kingdom come, never to be seen again...

I'm flipping through internet pages as fast as I can go. I don't want to go where we purchased the bed just for a freaking adaptor. I find hardware store after hardware store (we're not in the middle of nowhere, it just seems like it sometimes) trying to find the right adaptor. It has to be a female thread and the small size. Sounds simple, no?

No. It takes four places before we hit paydirt - he has a short trip to make and hopefully will come back in a better mood but sheesh, what a panic! Not being able to get the bed back together... I need to lay down but of course there's nowhere to do that and I don't think the hubby would like finding me sleeping when he's working so hard.




I'll never need this but hey, it's there...
I help where I can, but with limited abilities to lift or do any heavy work means I am not much help. And I'll need to find myself a spot on the floor when the inevitable need for being flat for a nap comes - which is going to be soon. I'm past due but until I'm not needed at all, I gotta stay awake somehow.

We had discussed just putting a regular mattress and box spring into the bed frame but... those things can be the cost of a small car. Okay, a slight exaggeration but geez they're expensive! So a new waterbed it is and hopefully we'll stay dry for another ten years at least...