Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Dog Ate My Post

Last night I got home from work and it was raining. Hard. I was looking forward to climbing into my bed early with a nice book. I had decided to give myself a break from reading about surveys and fieldwalking and pottery sherd distribution on colluvial slopes. So I picked up the "Lord of the Rings", which I reread every few years. I was still marveling at Tolkien's masterful use of language, beginning in the introduction, when the lights went out. This is nothing new. We have a lot of power failures in winter, especially when it rains. The kids checked the neighborhood lights and it became clear this was a problem localized to our house.

The boy went downstairs and started flipping breakers. Nothing seemed to work. On further inspection it became clear that there was a serious problem with the GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter - the blue breaker that always seems to be the first to go). There was no way to get the circuits in the house to all turn on. The best we could do was turning on the lights in the kids rooms.

Last night 9pm was also the first program in the TV series that we are rumored to be appearing in. We knew we would not be in the first show, but still received quite a number of phone calls to synchronize the family around taping or watching the show. Clearly we could do none of this, as the TV was not getting any juice. Along with the rest of the house. Between calls we scrambled madly for candles and flashlights. It was all rather a lot of fun. Blackwifeo slept through all this.

I arose at 3am to the annoying beeping of the alarm telling us that its battery backup was failing. I tried all the circuits again and still no luck. I managed to recharge the battery enough to have it stop beeping and went back to sleep. The angry alarm awoke us all again at 6am. It seems there is no way to turn the dammed thing off (a safety feature I guess). We got the kids off to school with a minimum of threatening and scrambled eggs. Bwo called the electrician at 7am. She woke him. All this time I tried every combination of breakers and could never get more than three circuits to work and never three useful ones at that.

Arie the electrician arrived just after 8. He took one look at the circuit board, flipped all the breakers - and we heard the beeping and whirring of appliances turning on all over the house. Just like that. I then identified how the squints at work must feel when they bring me some miserable, dead piece of hardware only to have it work in my office. Arie went around the house and checked the outside sockets. He claims that there must be a short to ground somewhere - this was causing all the circuits to trip. This does not really make sense to me, but then I'm not an electrician. He sealed all these sockets with silicone sealer took his money and went off.

And that's my excuse for why I did not post yesterday, and I'm sticking to it.

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