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September 29 - House Call

I got a call from Kevin about a week ago. He had been vacuuming the floor in his fancy new bedroom (something he'd done many times before) when suddenly some of the power went out. Some bedroom outlets and the furnace suddenly not working. With me being the only neighborhood spark chaser still makin' house-calls and not leaving bills behind, I collected my gear and headed over.

The basement lights were also out so I worked by flashlight. I fought back the spiders as I worked my way through the dark, musty basement to the ancient fuse box tucked away in a corner. (Their eyes glow red in the dark. Who knew?).

I removed the panel cover, quickly deciphered the wiring, clipped my clamp ammeter around the appropriate wire, reset the breaker, then watched and listened.

I learned the furnace blower pulls 6 amps steady state, and that Kevin's shop vac draws just over 8, putting the circuit load at 14.2 amps. Not quite enough. There had to be something else. I waited.

Watching and Waiting
Eventually a crusty condensate pump sitting next to the furnace turned on. I didn't even know there was one of those in his house because it was under a large pile of… things. That pump draws 1 amp steady state so 15.2. I whispered to the spiders, “One Mississippi, two Mississippi…” about five seconds and the breaker tripped.

Rewiring that branch isn't an option so Kevin will be more selective about where he plugs in stuff.

Exciting times? You make the call.

2022/09/29 13:23 · john · 0 Comments

September 29 - Long Time No Type

Yea, its been TWELVE days since I last posted an article.

I built the ramp for Charlie and brought it over. He was apprehensive, it'll take time. Old dog, new tricks and all.

I found a USB keyboard at a resale store for $.95 and brought it home. Scrubbed it until it sparkles. It's now my daily driver, replacing a PS2 keyboard.

I helped Ron move about a one-ton window air conditioner from the rotted wooden bathroom window and onto the bathroom floor. Contractors are replacing the window. That window unit will probably still be sitting in the middle of that tiny bathroom floor a year from now.

Mom's birthday is today. She's a spry eighty years old! I've offered to take her to the Quad Cities Botanical Garden. Maybe we can convince Kimberly to go with.

I'm test driving a different web browser named Pale Moon. Don't believe what you read on the web, it's one of the few remaining web browsers that's not owned by big tech and uses none of their code yet manages to work just fine in today's world wide web. So far there's been only one web site that doesn't work exactly like it should.

Web search is next. There are very few alternatives to Google which owns, oh, somewhere around 96% of web searches. Stepping away from that ain't gonna be easy.

Don't get the wrong idea. I think all the personal data scraping and tracking is mui bogus but I'm not about to go all Kaczynski or downshift or suchlike. I simply prefer not to participate unless it can't be helped.

Lemme see here… what else. Oh. Kim and I went on a trike ride that was just swell.

Me. On trike.

2022/09/29 09:55 · john · 0 Comments

September 17 - Two Days Ago

Two days ago I found myself backing the van into Kevin's back yard, prepping to load up for another trip to the landfill.

By the time I was ready to roll, the van was heavier by a dozen green lawn-and-leaf bags full of his dad's clothes, one nasty window air conditioner (a major pain to dig out of the bedroom window), three large totes of detritus, and two decomposing cardboard boxes full of I don't wanna know what.

Oh. And from the back yard I pulled 15 full size asphalt shingles, a bunch of bent up aluminium roof flashing and about 20 busted up strips of that holey plastic stuff you put over the gutters to keep the leaves out. Annnnd… a dozen or so dying or dead mops and rusty gardening implements like shovels and hoes and stuff.

I was lighter by about a quart after sweating through the loadup as the air was dead calm and heu-mid!

That should be it for his bedroom 'cept for the furniture. Next Friday, weather permitting, I'm scheduled to take him across the river into Rock Island to pick up a box spring, mattress, bed frame, headboard, dresser, and mirror. I'll tow the trailer and bring plenty of tie-straps and tools. It should be an interesting day.

Oh. There's one more thing I just remembered… There's a bright red upright roll-around mechanic's tool box that needs rolled out of that bedroom and into the shed in his back yard. That's after I/Ron/we pull Ron's riding mower out of Kevin's shed in order to make enough room for the tool box. Then I'll be through with the room.

Wait. I just remembered. I said I'd build a ramp up to the bed so Charlie, Kevin's aging corgi, can get up onto the bed. Then I'll be through with the room.

2022/09/17 09:24 · john · 0 Comments

September 17 - Now That's a Sunflower


Lydia shown for scale.

2022/09/17 08:57 · john · 0 Comments

September 17 - Mavis and Lydia

Mavis and Lydia walking past the wildflower patch.

Mavis and Lydia

2022/09/17 08:54 · john · 0 Comments

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