house is heated and cooled through air vents. You know what I
meanÖ head to the basement, look up, and check out those rectangular-squared-boxy-silver
week, I walked into the bathroom looking for a tissue. Couldnít
find any, wanted to blow my nose, so I went to grab a bit of toilet
paper. And between the way I pulled on the roll, and the angle
of my arm movement, and the heat coming out of the ventÖ wellÖ
I ended up with a few extra feet of toilet paper unspooling across
are times when my house amazes me.
sureÖ toilet paper cascading through the air across the bathroom
is hardly amazing. That image doesnít assist in where Iím hoping
to bring us. Instead, consider why it was cascading.
hard a pull was a start.
arm angle that likely assisted in somehow lifting it higher while
also coupling with the pull to get the roll spinning.
quick second pull intended to tear off just a bit of the roll,
which instead only increased the roll spin.
central air system has a floor-based vents, the heat just so happened
to have kicked on at that time, and the flow of air came up under
the moving paper and gave it an additional kick.
bit of thisÖ a bit of thatÖ and Iím rerolling.
have one of those mounted above the stove microwave units, with
a venting fan and light built right in. It has a weird display
and control design that can overwhelm and frustrate, along with
no visible dedicated popcorn button, but once we got used to it
the thing has been pretty nice.
a year ago, it began acting up.
like to tell you exactly what was happening, but I canít. Words
actually fail it. The display would start showing crazy symbols
and freeze up.
of the time you could unplug it, count to ten, and it would reset
and work when plugged back in. Sometimes it wouldnít. And yet,
leave it unplugged overnight and the next day it fell right back
tried to look it up on the internet, and wasnít finding anything
reassuring. The manufacturer had a long history of units with
displays that, and this is apparently the best technical description
for it, fried. And when I say long history, I mean a beyond belief
run of comments and reviews that firmly established the most reliably
consistent feature of their microwaves was the frying of the display.
The second most consistent feature was the inability to repair
it at a reasonable cost. The very model we had earned horrible
reviews and was pulled from production after about a year.
few resets in, we decided to err on the side of caution. It looked
like we not only needed to replace the microwave, but with no
way (or desire) to install the same model we quite possibly were
going to end up with something that might need some fancy work
done to install it. So I brought out an older microwave we still
had, and we began using that until I could get an additional set
of hands to assist with the replacement effort.
thing time. Given a moment to catch your breath, to think, to
consider, time will allow you to run through ideas you might never
have acted upon with more quickly enacted solutions.
day I was standing in the kitchen, working on the stove, and I
happened to glance at and ponder the outlet being used for the
microwave. It was an older receptacle. Located on a wall far enough
from the sink that it wasnít a GFCI outlet.
Weíve had some dilemmas with other outlets in this house. Could
this one be faulty? Could that be the problem with the microwave?
display was showing all the signs people described and complained
about online. It was a model famous for breaking down. It was
from a manufacturer famous for producing microwaves that broke
couldnít hurt to replace the outlet. Itís a kitchen outlet, so
upgrading to a GFCI piece would be a good idea.
because of course, the microwave has worked perfectly ever since
I installed the brand new GFCI outlet and plugged it back in.
ducts and electrical outlets. Just small pieces in the overall
puzzle that is a house.
once described what itís like to own a boat by saying itís more
like owning a hole in the water that you throw money in. From
people I have known with boats, that is frighteningly accurate.
And a house is vaguely similar. The main way I would differentiate
the concept is that with a house you tend to tinker with things
a bit more, stretching out the timing of some repairs as you learn
to live with inconveniences, since in most cases the house isnít
going to sink as a result. (In most cases.)
you drill a hole into a tiled wall, youíve basically committed.
It wouldnít be easy for me to move the toilet paper holder since
someone else made that decision to drill a hole long before I
moved in. Not as easy as changing an electrical outlet. And I
donít know that I would move it even if it were easy. That doesnít
stop me from tinkering in other places.
spring I need to swap out two exterior floodlights. The ones in
place now were there when we bought the house. They have timers
and motion sensors.
also suck. They turn on with the flick of a switch, and then turn
off just as soon as you begin to do anything that involves needing
tried resetting the timers.
tried adjusting the positioning of the motion sensors.
looked up details on the internet. Iíve searched home improvement
stores. Iíve tried to gather any information available on the
same model, similar models, different models, and anything that
might give me a clue about what I need to do to change the settings
to anything even remotely close to functional.
the end, Iím nearing the day when a pair that simply go on and
stay on will be installed.
side note to this tale is my needs while using the grill during
winter months. That was the over-the-edge provider. Gets dark
early around here in January. Iím very tired of turning on the
light, walking to the grill to lift the lid, stepping toward the
house to trigger the light back on, going back to the grill to
flip one burger, stepping back toward the house to trigger the
light, then back to flip another burger, thenÖ yes, itís exhausting
and frustrating. I just need a light that stays on. I donít think
thatís asking too much.)
isnít the only item on my list. Iíve got a few things to do. Some
of them Iíll attack this week. A few will wait for warmer weather.
Some are just there in case I get around to them. Others will
never be done.
then there are those things that remain hiddenÖ unknown for nowÖ
waiting to be discovered, assigned a priority, and added to the
list. I can hardly wait.