Our New Toy

We’ve been having a pretty good year here at the Scalzi Compound, and we decided to go ahead and splurge on something that Krissy has wanted for a while now. And here it is: A big ol’ hot tub that seats six, and a big ol’ gazebo to cover it. And thus we have become Hot Tub People, who will now have to give ourselves over to the hot tub lifestyle, complete with hot tub friends and hot tub parties, and, I don’t know, possibly hot tub sous vide six course meals (note: probably not that last one).

I’ve not a huge hot tub person myself, but you know what, I’m not going to lie: it’s pretty nice to soak in this baby after a long day of, well, whatever it is I do these days. I suppose there are worse things than become Hot Tub People.

No, don’t just invite yourself over. Wait for the invite, people.

79 Comments on “Our New Toy”

  1. So now you’re a Mini Person and a Hot Tub Person? How many kinds of person are you allowed to be at one time? I remember you gave up being a Checkerboard Vans Person. Was that about the time you became a Mini Person? Do you have to give up being some other sort of person now that you’re a Hot Tub Person?

  2. Dave Branson:

    I’m still a checkerboard Vans person around the house. I just can’t wear them while traveling because I’m old and they hurt my feet. I CONTAIN MULTITUDES.

  3. Congrats on the new hot tub! If that’s a glass enclosure (instead of screen, which is sorta what it looks like to my tired eyes), you can even use it in the winter, which is rapidly approaching. Have fun! :-)

  4. Jennifer R. Ewing, even if it’s not a glass enclosure. When I was visiting my relatives in northern Michigan one summer 20-odd years ago* and we were using the outdoor hot tub, I asked whether they used it in winter. They laughed and laughed and said most of their friends asked whether they used it in summer. They still have a hot tub and still use it in winter, basking comfortably in the hot water while the snow falls around them.

    *They had moved there from California, where they were used to going for a tub, as it was called. Hot tubs really were a California thing back then. Nowadays, in the Eastern Seaboard area where I live, they aren’t so exotic, and it’s pretty easy to find free used hot tubs on Craigslist or Freecycle, as long as you’re willing to haul the thing yourself. Hot tubs haven’t been just for the rich and Californians for a long time now. I would have one myself, but my ancient plumbing and electrical system couldn’t handle it.

  5. Ha! I can see through this lighthearted badinage about hot tubs; what you really mean to do is to inflict apoplectic paroxysms on those fine upstanding dudes, reeling from the blows to their masculinity embodied in #PineapplePizzaGate, and pitifully wimpering about how unfair it is that you have joyfully embraced your Scalzine gender.

    It’s great fun; please keep doing it. I like the hot tub as well…

  6. I bought one last year, finally got the thing hooked up in March of this year, because 1) I didn’t have 200 amp service, and 2) didn’t have the money to GET 200 amp service. I used part of Uncle Sam’s tax refund to purchase said 200 amp service. My tub seats 5, although it’s listed as a 3 person tub, it has 5 stations with jets. So far, I’m the only one who’s used it, and it’ll probably stay that way, as there are no other people who have accepted the invitation. It’s out on my back deck, and I’ve found that it’s been really good for my arthritis, especially that in my lower back and in my legs.

  7. Congratulations! It looks wonderful. The red lights add a delightfully “I am Hades, see me soak!” ambiance. I’d be interested in hearing a review in a year on your experiences as a Hot Tub Person. I suspect I would like to be a Hot Tub Person (it’s mostly my bursitis and fibromyalgia telling me this), but I also suspect I might not enjoy the maintenance of said hot tub.

  8. I’d sulk, but frankly, after reading “Lock In”, if I’d had a hot tub and I’d known you wanted one, I’d have given you mine.

  9. We just got our hot tub this year too. Like you, it was something my wife always wanted and I was lukewarm (ha!) about. It’s nice to use from time to time, and I expect I’ll use it more once it gets ridiculously cold.

    Pic: http://i.imgur.com/kD54es5.jpg

  10. Having been stationed in Japan for 3+ years and learned to appreciate the hot bath (or the hot tub in one’s own home), I applaud.

    I recently bought my first home. While I ultimately bought my first choice, the second choice was driven largely by the room with its own hot tub. Rest of the house was too small, however.

    My new home has a very large finished basement, now floored with tile. I am very, VERY tempted to investigate tubbery down there once I can afford it (and have cleared out all the boxes from the move.)

  11. The red lights…umm was that on purpose? To me, they seem to subliminally send the message that you’re a Sith Lord. If that was planned, NICE :)

  12. Eh. Our house came with a hot tub, and we used it for less than a year. Now it sits empty, and I’m thinking of turning it into a tilapia farm. It used too much power, the chemicals required peeled our skin off, and the bath fulfilled the same pain-mitigation function better. But we’re not hip, so ymmv.

  13. With the red lights and the controls, I thought at first it was a spaceship that landed in your gazebo.

  14. A hot tub is going to require some thought about your policy on mixed nudity, which may be especially tricky with a young lady in the house.

    You also need to find a reputable hot tub repairperson, and put the maintenance and repair of it as much in his or her hands as you can manage. A weekly cleaning visit is worth every penny.

  15. But you don’t even know me – if I wait for you to invite me over, I’ll be waiting forev… Oh. Right.

    Nice hot tub. :)

  16. Do Gamma Rabbits know how to keep their heads above the water in a hot tub, especially while being chased by MRAs?

  17. I remember back in the early 80’s there were professional hot tub parlors that kept and maintained their own tubs and rented them out. Cheaper and less work than buying and maintaining your own. There were occasional problems with tubs not being properly cleaned after previous uses, though, so they were a passing fad.

    We had a tub of our own for a number of years. Cheaper and easier to maintain than a swimming pool, but still a considerable initial investment, plus the cost of chemicals (not that bad), repairs (replaced the pump once, occasional piping leaks), but the big continuing cost was that it really jacked-up our electric bill to keep it heated. Used it fairly frequently for several years, but eventually decided to mothball it, then got rid of it a few years after that.

    I remember one night when my wife and I were using the hot tub au natural that a police helicopter hovered overhead with a spotlight for several minutes. We waved.

  18. When the red light’s flashin’ don’t bother splashin’!

    So, a coffee shop’s not an ideal place to write, but what about a hot tub? Surely okay for the odd Whatever post?

  19. brucearthurs, dunno where you live, but there are two hot tub rent-by-the-hour places within 20 miles of me. Heck, there were at least a couple that I knew about in the Boston area at least as recently as a few years ago, both IIRC relatively recent start-ups. If it was a passing fad, I guess it came back around when nobody was watching.

    The spouse and I treat ourselves about once a year in late winter, just to be absolutely, thoroughly, completely warm for a little while. The clientele seems to be an age range from college students through middle-age farts like us to people significantly older.

    Personally, I prefer a good old wood-fired sauna, but places that rent those by the hour seem to be much harder to find, at least near me. (A home wood-fired sauna is on our list, but it’s a long list.)

  20. I learned the Proper Hot Tubbing Method in Asia.
    First, a shower to remove surface dirt.
    Then, soak for a long while in a very hot tub to open the pores and loosen the subsurface dirt.
    Apply washcloth, loofah, whatever to remove said dirt.
    Rinse in shower.

  21. I like the contrast of the high-tech red-lit hot tub against the very pastoral appearance of the Scalzi Compound (now with working Gazebo!). Enjoy being a Hot Tub Person.

    (Personally, I think all homes should have at least a whirlpool tub, if not a swimming location and hot tub… but I also lived for a time in California. Nothing beats a brisk swim and/or a long soak after a day of being a drone, or a hard workout, or getting stuck in traffic, or an annoying flight delay, or… well, whatever. The world needs more people immersed in water.)

  22. There is such a thing as TMI… My second thought is that for the sake of your neighbors I hope you have shades. Not something id want to see right after dinner.

    If naked pictures of scalzi show up on the internet please dont link to it. Ill never be able to get the images out of my head.

    Then again this is better than another twitter fight.

  23. Possible sign for the new hot tub – works better for swimming pools but what the heck: This is my ool, It’s a small ool but a good one. Please respect my ool and leave the P out of it.

  24. My parents have a hot tub in your general area of Ohio, too. You bought and installed at the most perfect time of the year. Hot tubs are awesome in the fall/winter/spring when it’s chilly outside. Enjoy!

  25. Dear John,

    Hmmm, pineapple pizza… a hot tub… it all sounds SUSPICIOUSLY Californian.

    You don’t like mayonnaise on burgers, do you? Please tell me you don’t. Me widdle heart would be broke.


    Dear JDF,

    Nice pix, and the business of the tether on the cell phone is very clever– if you drop it into the bubbles, you can fish it out without turning off the jets. Handy.

    pax / Ctein

  26. I can’t help but think about the story you told everyone at the San Francisco signing about this.

    Makes me giggle.

    But that looks nice and the view is nice as well!

  27. Rochrist:

    We did in fact consider an infinity pool but then decided it would be a little much.


    As someone born and raised in California, I resemble that remark. Although usually not mayo on burgers.

  28. And now you get to learn hot-tub chemistry. Yay!

    Beware, a lot of the information you get from the pool/tub store is quite often wrong.

    I highly recommend getting a good test kit. The strips are not very accurate. The Taylor kit is pretty good: http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-K-2106-FAS-DPD-Bromine-Complete/dp/B0002IXIIQ/

    The booklet that comes with that kit does a great job of explaining the chemistry involved.

    This page http://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=30249 is a good resource for bromine chemistry if that’s the way you’re going. There’s a chlorine guide somewhere on that same site.

    Lastly, don’t buy “Alkalinity” from the pool store. It’s just baking soda, which you can buy in bulk for a fraction of the price.

  29. I liked the Eye of Sauron comment above. My first thought was that it looked like it was a hot tub for Cylons (from the original series: You will be annihilated!)

    Also, while I only tolerate pineapple on my pizza, I LOVE mayo on my burgers AND on my hot dogs when I can get it. :D

  30. The house we finally bought had a hot tub. I won’t say that was the deciding factor in choosing this house, but……

  31. Hot springs in the winter are _the best_. (Hi again from Cascadia, where we have hot springs because we have volcanoes.) I’m pretty sure hot tubs would be too. I can’t go to my favourite natural hot spring anymore because a property owner of the land between the road and the spring sold the land, and the new owner was all NOPE GTFO MY LAND. And it was a sad, sad day for snow hot spring fans everywhere.

    Anyway, yeah, all that. ^_^

  32. I shall now check my phone every five minutes for my invitation. I am prepared to wait. If I starve before the invite comes, I shall blame you. From beyond the grave.

  33. Dear John,

    Well, *I* knew about that California thing, but I didn’t realize you were out to your neighbors.

    Brave man.

    pax / Ctein

  34. Since it’s in a Gazebo, does that mean it’s not attached to the compound proper?

    You know you’ve made it when you have outbuildings… what next, servant’s quarters?

    Assuming this is a second building on your land, I hope you announce your plans to visit it – “If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the Hot Tub Gazebo”, and then ride to said HTG on a golfcart. Congrats on a banner year and a new high-water mark of relaxation.

  35. It’s the gazebo what’s expensive, IMO, and not the tub. We’ve had a tub for 20 years, but it stands out in the open. It’s not working right now b/c we didn’t fill it b/c drought. Bromine is the way to go. Our bromine tablets reside in a rubber duckie (actually plastic) who wears shades. Luckily the husband is an electrician and so was able to wrangle the 220 all by himself.

    Ours seats 8, so it’s bigger than John’s, but we only have white lights, so it doesn’t look all eldritch.

  36. John,

    We had an actual redwood hot tub for about 10 years, and it used a copper/silver ion generator to kill bacteria etc… We had to put permangnate in regularly to burn off organic debris, not as harmful on the hardware as chlorine. So that made the chemistry less onerous. I feel sure you can get those for your tub.

    One issue was that our well water has a pH of 8.2, so I used muriatic acid to get closer to 7/neutral. Sadly, the redwood was second growth (only way I would have bought it was from a tree farm) and it didn’t last forever as old growth would, so it died when water began seeping from the bottom of the boards, despite all I could do with penetrating epoxy sealer.

    Also, for those of you considering installing a hot tub in the basement rumpus room: DON’T, because the humidity will cause serious structural damage to the wood studs in your house, and it will FALL Down!

    We had a many-thousand BTU dehumidifier which cost twice the hot-tub, and it still didn’t reall do the job we needed done. I have a back deck, with a roof under the floor and a concrete pad under – I’m planning to put a gazebo down there with a hot-tub ASAP. With a gas heater to help keep the electric bill down. Probably too late for this season, but next spring. That hot tub was the only thing that got me to work some days.

    Put your water sports in a building not connected to your house, and build that building from material that isn’t damaged by being saturated with water. Glass, aluminum, stone, brick, etc. If you have to have wood, use cedar, cyprus, or locust which aren’t affected by water so much.

  37. John, Thanks for the invite man! Although it seems to have gotten swallowed by an over zealous spam filter… or you for got to send it. LOL

    Anyway, nice tub. Reminds me of a vacation cabin in the Smokey mountains looking out over as now covered valley. Good times.

    It won’t take you long to become a hedonist with that thing around.

  38. We did the same thing a month or so ago for similar reasons. Hot-tub-people wet pruney fist bump! Sorry, I’m terrible at being a hot tub person. I’ll go let myself out.

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