Saturday, February 25, 2012


At 10:20 pm last night, there were two men in my kitchen, digging through my garbage, declaring "There's got to be a three-way in here somewhere."

The two men were Ken and our electrician friend, Jon.  They were looking for a three-way switch that was thrown in the trash because we had planned to replace it with a timer switch.  Jon ran into problems that I didn't understand, something to do with "travellers". It was determined that we didn't have the right wiring and the fancy timer was not an option.  Hence, we had to backtrack and reinstall the original three-way.

The evening was otherwise successful.  We had two very important repairs done.  1) We now have a functioning overhead light fixture in our kitchen for the first time in over a year.  The mood lighting (two standing lamps) was fun for a while, but honestly a romantic atmosphere wasn't helpful with chopping cabbage or scrubbing dishes.

2) Our old, slightly demented thermostat was replaced.  It would occasionally forget its programming, or simply not turn the furnace on when asked.  It was always a risk to press any of its buttons, because you never knew what input was going to cause it to go on the fritz.  Last week I had put the temperature down because I knew we were going to be out of the house all day.  When we came home I tried to put it back up.  The numbers on the display panel increased, but the unit was not actually triggering the furnace.

I tried pushing every button on the panel, which usually works, eventually, but this time it was stubbornly unresponsive.  The daffy old thing had left me no choice.  I wound up and punched it.

The furnace powered up immediately.

As you can see, the relationship had taken a dark turn.  I don't want violence in my home, especially towards helpless, elderly appliances.  It was time for a new thermostat.

We had a couple of light switches replaced.  One was audibly shorting every time we touched it.  It would go "GZZZZT!" and we would shake our heads and say "that doesn't sound good".

It's great being friends with an electrician.  We met Jon in his professional capacity. He's only a few years younger than us, and we get along well.  When you have to have workers in your home, it can feel invasive and uncomfortable.  Ken and I enjoy having Jon over.  At dinnertime we all sat down and ate together.

He didn't quite finish everything on our to-do list, so he'll be back next week.  He's going to have dinner with us again, and bring his laptop so that we can see photos of his three-year-old daughter.  I'm looking forward to it.


wigsf3 said...

Ken and Jon looking for a three-way. Yowzah!

Granny Annie said...

Okay, I can either comment on the "three-way" in your kitchen or the armadillos in the picture. Think I'll go with the armadillos. Did you know it is said they carry leprosy? I think that kind of road crossing actually occurs in Texas.

We too recently had a bout with electrical problems that are finally resolved. I find it "shocking" to deal with electricity.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Hope you guys found that three way eventually... And for the record punching electrical things generally does fix a number of strange problems.

Jameil said...

My sister and I used to love visiting family in Mississippi for the armadillo sitings! I'm adding befriend an electrician to my life to-do list!!

DarcKnyt said...

Okay, sorry, but WIGSF's joke cracked me up. I mean, that cracked me up. Why I didn't see that one myself is a sign I'm growing up I guess.

It is nice indeed to have a friend in the trades, who will share his skill and time with you. You're right -- it's nice to know the person doing the work, so that's a boon.

Huzzah for no more violence toward elderly appliances. But, then, let's have a little respect from said appliances, shall we? :)

DarcsFalcon said...

Sometimes, things just need a good swift punch to put them right! ;) LOL That was cute, Spark, and I'm glad you were able to make some improvements to the electrical side of things. That's never a fund one to deal with!

And I'm also glad it was the thermostat and not the furnace. We had one die on us once. Not. Fun. *shiver*

Sparkling Red said...

wigsf: What can I say. My life is HOTT.

Granny Annie: Leprosy? As if armadillos weren't odd enough already.

Ron: Sometimes violence IS the answer.

Jameil: I don't believe that I have never seen an armadillo, unless there was one at the zoo. Certainly I've never seen one wandering free. That would be something!

DarcKnyt: Respect has to be a two-way street.

DarcsFalcon: I did have a heating breakdown once, in the apartment where I lived before this condo. Ken and I took photos of each other huddled over the stove like hobos over a campfire trying to get warm.

Jenski said...

Hope the "GZZZT" was the light switch and is fixed! Yay for home repairs!

Lynn said...

Armadillos cause leprosy???? Yikes - I knew I they should be avoided. :)

That's a great friend to have - an electrician.

LL Cool Joe said...

Damn I missed this post!

The three-way got me too! :D How cool to be that pally with your electrician. ;) He got dinner too!