Clearwater Plumbers- January/ February 2020

ClearWater Plumbers

January/February 2020

I Brake for Good Deals

We knew we needed to single-handedly load a 12-foot satellite dish (this was my main prize, by the way) a 600-pound pipe, and the other nick knacks onto this truck without hurting ourselves or looking like we ever thought this was out of our comfort level. You know, a normal day at the office for me and my 13-pound sidekick of a dog. Miraculously, I got the jumbo dish and pole loaded, and then we took a trip down the road to get the cart and the cabinet at the masonic lodge. All I could think was, “My god, how am I going to get back to Fort Worth with a giant satellite dish before dark when the trailer lights are not working? If this thing catches the wind just right, it may end up in the Gulf of Mexico, or worse, snap my wooden braces in rush hour traffic on I-35, causing a huge pileup, and I’ll be the laughing stock of the metro news with my satellite dish.” I loaded it, halfway strapped her down for show, and was wished well by the city man who helped me source my treasures. He was a really nice guy and did help once he realized I might be able to pull it off. He probably felt sorry for me, and he said his parents were in the party tent rental business. I told him I was off to Fort Worth. Adios, amigo! I drove down the street out of sight, then pulled over to think. I looked at my load, looked at the time, and looked at Google (“scrap yard Waco” found the nearest scrap yard). If you have ever driven through a scrap yard with a funky load on a trailer, it is a show. The workers there aren’t very personable with their magnets and scratchers, doing metallurgy 101 to grade the loads passing through. Then, there are the customers. Even “normal” people are characters at a scrap yard. Finally, there are the men that make a living pushing a shopping cart that gets fuller as the day gets longer, field testing and loading random metal while walking the streets all day. They cash it in at the end of the day for a wheel rim and some copper wire to get $6.27 for their long day pushing a rickety shopping cart across train tracks, gravel, and grass.

So, I have an interesting hobby. I like to watch a handful of government-type auction sites. I have a keen eye for good deals, but sometimes I do scratch my head and say, “Jeff, what the heck are you thinking?” For instance, in the picture above, I got a smoking deal on a 12-foot aluminum satellite dish that mounted to a 6-inch by 24- foot steel post, a vintage copy machine stand from the ‘70s, and a heavy-duty flat rolling cart. I got all this for the low, low, low price of $27. I am a 90-to-nothing guy who is always busy, even if I’m not busy. Well, I almost missed my deadline to pick this stuff up and had a flight the next morning to Atlanta. So, I loaded up a 20-foot trailer, our excavator, and some chains and hit the road, headed southbound with my trusty “wife’s dog,” Trixie. We got to downtown Waco around 3:30 in the afternoon on Sept. 10 with this heavy and awkward stuff that was piled between two Waco skyscrapers (well for Waco anyway, so maybe 4–5 stories) and the gate as wide as a normal backyard gate. The city guy who met me there looked at me like I was a nut job initially, but then a clever nut. I knew Trixie and I had our reputation on the line. This guy who would never see us again was going to think we were capable winners, or losers, who drove from Fort Worth and could not load $27 worth of heavy and awkward DE-commissioned metal.

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The Benefits of Gas Fireplaces

the morning, I make sure nice music is on, their lunches are ready, and there is a cozy fire radiating in the background, inviting us to sit and warm our backs. I intentionally try to have my family wake up in a gracious, warm home before they hit the streets of a sometimes cold and hard real world. If you have a wood-burning fireplace you don’t use enough or think you might be interested in an elegantly appointed gas stove to transform your sterile basement/bonus room into comfy and plush living area, we can help.

Cozy … it’s the feeling of a movie night ending and nobody wanting to move or a snoozing puppy snuggled up with their human hero dreaming of long walks and yummy treats. Adding the ambiance of a toasty gas fireplace is an excellent choice to bring the family together and warm central rooms, which allows you to turn the heat down on your thermostat. Yes, your “cozier than the neighbor’s” living room can even save you money. By the way, my wife took this picture of Trixie and me in deep slumber around midnight in our living room. We switched from a wood to gas fireplace two years ago. Our professional and clean Texas-licensed plumbers drilled the brick and piped a 25-foot gas line with no problem; it was just a normal day at the office, another diligent day’s work.

Have questions? Send us a picture or give us a holler. We are here for you.

Warm wishes from our family to yours,

Jeff, Amy, Izzy, Annie, Mari, Trixie, Paka, Luna, Buckshot, Cali, and Gingie

We absolutely love the magnetic attraction of the living room on cold, dreary days. When my wife and three daughters get up for school in


ClearWater Plumbers | 817-296-0670 |

Meet Nick Who’s Your Plumber Nick has been an apprentice in the plumbing field for four years. He was

inspired by a mentor who encouraged him to pursue plumbing, and he has expanded his skill set by earning his drain cleaner and residential utilities installer endorsements. He is a skilled apprentice with a high level of knowledge in the field.

Inspired by The New York Times


• • •

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder

1 3/4 cups milk

• • •

Unsalted butter or canola oil, to grease skillet

Colder weather can bring warm fires and cozy socks, but it can also bring high plumbing bills if you aren’t ahead of the freezing temperatures. Winterizing your home is the best way to keep those high bills at bay. Start with your water flow. Make sure your roof, gutters, and downspouts are clear of water. You want to minimize the areas where water can freeze and expand, which can result in leaks. Next, you want to make sure your outside water supply is shut off. Freezing water that expands in your pipes will result in bursting pipes. Make sure the water lines are turned off to your outdoor faucets. Then, insulate hose bibs. Start by draining the hose bib and insulate with covers. Hose bibs left to the elements can end in them bursting. Don’t let bursting pipes ruin your winter. Take these precautionary steps and enjoy your evening by the fire. Winterize Your Home Nick also has a unique and impressive skill outside of plumbing. He is an artist, and he illustrated the cartoon, “Adventures of Otterman,” in this edition of our newsletter. He started drawing in the first grade and has been featured in an art gallery in Fort Worth. The piece that was featured in the gallery was a surrealist-style portrait. While he enjoys using a pen and sketching in black and white, his talent crosses beyond surrealist portraits and into landscapes, as well. Keep a look out for the continuing stories of Otterman from our in-house ClearWater artist!

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar, optional

DIRECTIONS: 1. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-low.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (including sugar if you like a sweeter pancake). In a separate bowl, beat eggs into milk. Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ones. Mix only until flour is moistened. Clumps are fine. 3. Add some butter or oil to the skillet. If the butter foams or oil shimmers, the temperature is correct. Pour in a pancake of any size, cooking until bubbles form, about 2–4 minutes.

4. Flip and cook other side for 2–4 minutes. Serve warm.

Did you know we have a quarterly raffle for the people who refer ClearWater? Every time you refer What Would You Do With an Extra $500?

us, your name gets added into the raffle. Each quarter, we draw a name, and the winner takes home $500 in cash! We will continue to add your name with every referral, so keep on referring us and give yourself the best odds. Pictured is our latest quarterly winner, Dan. He was very grateful for the extra $500 right before the holidays! What would you do with an extra $500?


ClearWater Plumbers | 817-296-0670 |

6954 Boat Club Rd. Fort Worth, TX 76179 817-296-0670


ClearWater Plumbers

1 2 3

I Brake for Good Deals

Cozy for the Winter

Who’s Your Plumber

Winterize Your Home

Simple Pancakes From Scratch


I Brake for Good Deals

I Brake for Good Deals

...continued from Cover

truck on the eBay platform, but the condition was not even close to the description, and there were no pictures of the bad. So, this auto shop/car lot owner and his Massachusetts version of “Deliverance” shop guys kept looking at my duffel bag like drooling dogs watching a man eating a steak. The owner and I negotiated back and forth about why the deal was valid or not valid. I finally figured out that these boys had been watching too many movies. They were thinking that my duffle bag was full of cash. I finally asked them, “You guys know that this bag is not full of 6,000 $1 bills, right?” I winked at them and said it was my clothes because I was planning to drive back to Texas. They looked at me, then looked at each other, and started laughing. Then, they went back to working on random vehicles in various stages of disarray. I don’t know if they were laughing at the fact that I had planned on driving the rust bucket to Texas or that I busted them on my 6,000 $1 bill theory, but it was nice to break the tension.

Then, of course, there are dumb guys that like hunting for “good deals” before realizing they have a plane to catch while driving a truck and trailer on a dirt parking lot covered with sharp metal shards everywhere. All of this was to turn a $27 purchase into $120 of scrap, in Waco. I did get a nice structural steel post, a big, heavy-duty cart, and a sweet vintage Pitney Bowes copy cart. But, it probably was not my best deal. The guys with the shopping carts :) had lower overhead, but I beat them hands down in the crazy/ mental contest that day. I have done worse though. About five years ago, I flew to a snowy Massachusetts to pick up a low mileage, all aluminum Hackney plumbing box van I “won” on eBay for $6,000. I sacrificed comfort for cheap fare and connected in three airports on the way. Well, when I got there, I found out that the transmission was possessed by the devil, the box hinges were sagging, and every square inch of the frame was flaking apart in big rusty scabs from all the road salt. There was no life left in that truck. All I had was a green duffel bag with some clothes and toiletries because I had planned on driving my smoking deal of a plumbing truck back to Texas and sleeping in the back on the way through the Smokey Mountains. I technically committed to buying this

I bet I spent $650 and a day of my life to go look at a rusty van in Massachusetts, and I really don’t like to fly. What a deal, Jeff!

– Jeff


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