not quite as bad as Waiting for Godot
Saturday, November 9 2019
After Saturday morning coffee, I turned my attention to the electrification of the recently-installed heat pumps. The easiest of these would be the new heat-pump-powered hot water heater in the walk-in closet adjacent to the boiler room. My first task was to make some room in the circuit breaker box for the kind of dual breakers needed for 240 volt circuits. To do this, I abandoned the circuit to the dishwasher (which somehow became shorted during last kitchen renovation) as well as one to a supposed "attic fan" which I don't think actually exists. Then I could shuffled a few circuits around to make two places for 240 volt circuit breakers. I worked slowly and carefully, as one is never far from death when working inside a live circuit breaker box. (The only way to make it not live would be to turn off the power at the nearest utility pole.) When I eventually turned on the water heater, I was greeted by a LCD touch screen, which allowed me to do some basic configuration. Most of the rest of the configuration is supposed to be done via an app downloaded to a phone, though I couldn't really get the app to do anything other than tell the water heater what WiFi network to join. It's a little strange to be in a world where water heaters communicate on WiFi networks, but it's exactly the sort of world I want to live in.
An interesting side effect of the hot water heater pumping heat out of its immediate environment to heat water in its tank is that the walk-in closet became very cold, much like a walk-in refrigerator. Gretchen didn't really understand how that was a good thing, since most of what we want these units to be doing is providing warmth inside our house. Such behavior would make more sense in the summer, though of course in the summer we'll mostly be heating water with solar energy.
After I was done with the electrical work I'd be doing today, I took a shower in the upstairs bathroom. As the new hot water heater was not completely finished heating its tank of water, I used a mix of water heated by that system and the 60-amp just-in-time resistive hot water heater.
For date night, the plan was to attend a community theatre event on the Rondout featuring the works of some playwrights Gretchen knows. I didn't expect to enjoy that part of the evening much, but at least we'd be starting out with vegan junkfood at Tubby's, the newish (and dimly-lit) hipster bar on the corner of Cornell and Broadway. There we got the onion veggie dogs and an order of chili, and it ended up being exactly the meal I wanted (particularly when combined with not one but two Juice Bomb IPAs).
The theatre thing was at that upstairs performance space we'd been two for a couple other events. The guy collecting money at the door was our uphill neighbors, the son of "the Greenhouses." (His mother died a year or so ago, but his father is 98 and still very much alive.) Tonight's theatre consisted of nine different short plays, each performed by small casts who held the scripts in their hands. (I don't know the terminology for this style of performance.) Try though I did, I found these short plays impossible to enjoy. I couldn't pay close enough attention to any of the dialog to understand what was going on. Instead, all I kept doing was thinking of the better uses I could be making of the time I was there. The experience wasn't quite as bad as that time I suffered through a local theatre performance of Waiting for Godot, but it was nearly that bad. People around me kept laughing at things that didn't seem funny or being surprised by twists that I didn't notice. What the hell was wrong with me?
For her part, though, Gretchen had a great time, and the even provided her an opportunity (before, after, and during intermission) to chat and hob-nob with a number of people she really likes as I sulked in the corner with my smartphone. I tried to simulate the behavior of a charming husband as much as I could in the situations where this was called for, but I don't think I was fooling anyone.
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