Monday, July 25 2011
The weather didn't predict much more than isolated showers, but it ended up raining nearly all day today, coming down very heavy at times. It was enough to fill both my 55 gallon rain barrels from essentially empty, including the one that collects from the woodshed roof (which is only about 84 square feet).
Among other formerly-tolerable household decorative flourishes that Gretchen can no longer tolerate are the fish-themed tiles in our "Fish Bathroom" (the bathroom for the larger basement guest room). At first she thought all the tiles should go, but by yesterday she'd agreed to only remove the tiles having depictions of crabs. To get grout and replacement tiles, she'd ended up going to Lowes. And while there, something had made her check out their ceiling fan selection. So, to make a long story short, I now have three ceiling fans to replace. Ceiling fan jobs always ends up being a bigger than you think they will be, so I wasn't particularly happy with the huge unscheduled workload being dumped on me.
Then there was the added headache of the replacement fans being more electronically complicated than the old units. All of them came with radio remote controls, meaning they had radio receivers and simple electronic brains up near their motors. This was going to cause trouble with the living room fan, which was already under intelligent control. It has been switched by a mercury thermostat so that it would turn off when the room fell below a certain temperature, allowing it to both function in the heat of summer and to also blow down heat rising from the woodstove in winter. But then I realized that if the electronic brain for the fan was smart enough to remember and resume whatever state it was in when it last had power, then it would work correctly in series with my mercury thermostat (a sort of 19th Century "brain"). To test if this was the case, I put together enough of the fan to function, suspended it from a step ladder, connected it to a power cord, and fired it up. Whenever I reconnected the power, it always resumed whatever state it had been in. Great, this was going to work!
I was less excited about the many doorknob replacement Gretchen has assigned me. She's gone and bought replacements that, while somewhat nicer than the ones they're replacing, are not nice enough to justify the work of replacing them. But I'm an obedient husband and today I replaced the perfectly-good boiler room doorknob with a new one she'd bought.
This evening, the dogs, Gretchen, Sarah the Korean (she was still here), and I all drove down to Ray and Nancy's place for this week's episode of the Bachelorette. Ray had cooked a delicious polenta-based meal and Gretchen brought some of our garden-fresh kale. And, of course, there was plenty of wine because that's how the Bachelorette must be watched. Today's episode (an especially dull series of "overnight dates" punctuated by some producer-facilitated stalkerly behavior from a recently-booted contestant) was briefly interrupted by Barack Obama appealing to the American people to help him keep our country from defaulting on its debts due to extremist Republican nihilism (unfortunately my words, not his). He's tried to give in to all their demands, but Republicans won't be happy until he declares he was born in Kenya, gulps down a bucket of diarrhea, poisons the liberals on the Supreme Court, and resigns from office.
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