Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Book Says

Hangouts chat dings.

Zaphod: May I disconnect breaker 1.8 for about 5 minutes? will it cause any disruption?
Fenchurch: I'm on a conference call.  Can it wait 20 minutes?
Zaphod: Yup. Let me know
Fenchurch: Thank you.  Yes.
Zaphod: I've got some measuring I'm doing at the moment - drawing the third floor.  Figured while I was up here I would put in the GFCI for the deicing cable.
Fenchurch: Ok.
Zaphod: So no rush.

Time passes.

Fenchurch: Everyone is still shouting.  So..... more than 20 minutes.
Zaphod: haha.  No worries, I realized I had never updated the third floor so I'm up here drawing it in
Fenchurch: Ok!  I'm getting up for lunch.
Zaphod: Ok.  I'll be quick anyway.  Just an outlet change.

In real life, on the third floor.

Fenchurch: Whatcha doin'?
Zaphod, looking at two black insulated wires: I don't know which one of these is hot and which is neutral.
Fenchurch: Aren't the wires supposed to be marked so you can tell?
Zaphod: These are knob and tube.  Maybe in a perfect world.  Can you tell any difference?
Fenchurch, enthusiastically: I'm sure there's a way to tell.  I'm pretty sure I read about it in that book.  Hang on let me get it.

In the kitchen, while Fenchurch waits for the microwave.

Fenchurch, reading from Wiring a House, 5th Edition: The oldest wiring that you might see in a house is knob and tube.  The wiring is still legal to use.  The copper wires have a rubber coating and a single-cloth braid -- black for the hot wire and white for the neutral or return (most wire is so old and dirty that both colors look the same).


Zaphod: I can figure it out.
Fenchurch: Please don't damage yourself or anything expensive.

Microwave dings.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Queen of Spades - Part 1

Work has been quiet here at the Highlands for a few weeks. The unfortunate events of respiratory illnesses followed by stomach viruses, and now we are in the midst of a a series of snow storms. 

We received a few inches over the weekend, and the local stores were full of anticipation with sales of milk, eggs, bread, water, and various adult beverages to survive the nor'easter due to arrive on Monday. For those not so familiar with the term nor'easter, it is a major snow storm, somewhat akin to a hurricane. It often follows a similar track though the storms rotation is counter clockwise so the wind comes from the northeast, hence the name. This pattern pulls moisture off the Atlantic Ocean and dumps that moisture in the form of snow, lots of snow, not unlike the lake effect snow seen around the Great Lakes. This is why most Mainers have either a plow or a snowblower. 

Monday's storm was forecast to leave about two feet of snow, and snow it did.  All night, all day, and the winds were blowing. School cancelled. I sent Benji-mouse and Frankie out to burn off some steam Benji-mouse was about waist deep in snow, and they lasted a little more than half an hour before coming in for some mulled cider. 

Fenchurch had been faithfully taking Butterface out to use the facilities and it was clear that greyhounds, especially the drama queen of greyhounds, do not like wading shoulder deep through snow. Given Zaphod's sore back and a snowblower temporarily out of commission, Fenchurch shoveled a path around the side door to Butterface's designated "facility" spot. Looking outside I determined that I should take a shift after she came in and I got the kids settled. Still windy and getting colder, I ventured out. 

Trillian:     Do you have cash?
Fenchurch:     Yes, I do have cash.
Trillian:     I am wondering if the neighbor with the snowblower would take a bribe to get the worst of the snow.
Fenchurch:    I've got $50.

A pause in the conversation.

Trillian:     That was a bust. 
Fenchurch:     Was he rude or just no luck? 
Trillian:    I couldn't get past the bank. I waved him down, but he never came over. The snow is easily two Butterface's deep at the end of the driveway. (pauses) We are officially snowed in. 
Fenchurch:    Shovel into the street and let the plow take it away.
Trillian:        What would Jesus do?
Fenchurch:     Walk on it ... he would totally shovel into the street. 
Trillian:     No, wait that was Moses who parted the waters. 

Hmm .... where can I find a Moses?    

Posted by Trillian