Thursday, October 09, 2014

Patience is so freakin' excited

So, getting the new circuit breaker box turned out to be less about maintaining the status quo and more about majorly unfucking our electricity, which was so, so fucked and we didn't even know it.  I really had no idea what replacing a breaker box entailed, but at one point I surreptitiously peeked out the kitchen window and saw the electrician grappling with a cable the size of a python.



But at the end, when the electrician proudly showed me our new breaker box, I was quite pleased.  And then he showed me all the ways that our electricity had been fucked.  The connection between the big cable from outside and the box itself was so corroded they had difficulty getting them apart.  The breakers themselves were totally rusted.  Apparently, it's a miracle we had any power at all.  He showed me how someone had stuffed a rag into gaps in the brick foundation behind the connection to keep the water out.  A RAG.  Now I'm pretty sure our breaker box's problems weren't caused by the brief drenching it got when the kitchen pipe burst, but from water seeping in from outside through the rag for the past thirty or so years. I'm not sure how old the box was or if our house even had electricity when it was built originally and who knows when it was wired and then rewired?  We didn't have a ground wire either, but the electricians added one.  The power company still needs to come and inspect it, but we don't need to be at home for that.

I worked from  home, which was lovely, only I had to clock out while the power was out, which was even lovelier.  So I did some general unfucking around the house (i.e. cleaning) and read The Brothers Karamazov until my eyes were bugging out of my head.  And then, to crown what was already a stellar day, our NEW DOORMATS arrived. 



When Phoebe was still a little puppy, she had quite a few accidents on the doormat.  Is that disgusting?  What were we supposed to do, buy a new doormat every time Phoebe peed on it?  So the old doormat was pretty gross and Phoebe is now fully housebroken, so I ordered new doormats, for both inside and outside the front door.  These are no ordinary doormats, these are LL Bean's famed "waterhog" doormats, which allegedly suck every drop of mud and wet from the paws and feet of all who enter.  They were expensive but I think they are going to be LIFE CHANGING DOORMATS. 



11 comments:

  1. When we bought this house, the breaker box that came with the house had the old fuses you screwed in. And it had been rigged over the years so that one could plug in an air conditioner. They guys replacing it were amazing the house hadn't burned down. The insurance company - which was the only one that would write a policy for said box - insisted we replace it within the first few years of living here. While they were at it, I had them
    split the kitchen into more than one circuit so that you could use the toaster and/or coffee maker while the light was on. LIFE CHANGING.
    Those doormats sound magical.

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    1. Oy! Electricity is scary. I've always lived in old houses that had quirks about what you could and could not run at the same time. I love old houses, but it would be nice to be able to just use whatever appliance you want regardless of what else is on.

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  2. I'm looking forward to hearing more about those life changing doormats after your family has had a chance to put them through their paces.

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    1. It is supposed to rain this weekend, so they will be put to the test.

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  3. Those doormats are pretty amazing. I own two and could use a few more. They don't quite suck every bit of mud and water from dirty paws, but they do get pretty close. They're also super easy to clean. I just lay them in the driveway a few times a year and hose them down. Ta da! Like new! Enjoy!

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  4. Life changing doormats? Please photograph them. Also, you really crack me up.

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    1. I was going to photograph them for this post, but then I was like, "Am I actually taking a picture of my DOORMATS?" But I will in my next non-book post.

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  5. I can *feel* the excitement in this post! (And that gif.)

    Your breaker experience reminds me of our recent cable experience. Our cable (which we only use for internet access) was going offline for no apparent reason every afternoon. When the cable guy came out, he removed multiple unused splitters from the basement, replaced the (apparently) ancient modem, and then did something outside with the wires. He told us the speed we had was about 50 million times slower than the slowest speed they now offer, and we should see some improvement. Things move fast now!

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    1. It's funny to think of modems in terms of being "ancient!"

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  6. Wow, that was close! That could have been dangerous if the water caused too much damage than it already did. Having that upgraded at the right time might have saved you guys. Using a rag, or even your life-changing doormats, won't be enough in solving that problem. Anyway, at least your house is now in a better condition than before. I hope you guys passed the inspection. Good luck!

    Bryan Hubbard @ Douthit Electrical

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