bunsen_h: (Tuxbert)
Trying to trace a fault in the stove which causes the right-hand warning light to be lit even when neither burner is on, traipsing up and down the basement steps to toggle the circuit breaker off and on in between rounds of disconnecting and reconnecting wires from contacts.  It is disconcerting to discover that one has missed a cycle of traipsing, and has been turning the power on, rather than off, before working on the device.

"Disconcerting" because I discovered it by eventually noticing that the breakers were matching the wrong set of neighbors -- the breakers for the former electric water heater, rather than the ones for the current clothes dryer -- at the wrong time.  Could have been worse.  I have felt 240VAC just once, and that was enough, thank you.
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
I've been trying to find a good location for the can crusher from Lee Valley, and have run up against one complication of my house.  Its interior walls are (for the most part) constructed from a material that's closer to sheet concrete than standard drywall, and the nails/screws attaching these sheets to the studs are deeply buried, and well masked.  Finding the studs is therefore a bit tricky.  The "percussion" method, tapping the wall to find where it sounds less hollow, doesn't work well.  Magnetism-based stud finders are also unreliable, since the vibration from sliding the tool across the wall messes up the indication of where the nail is lurking... the attraction between the magnet and the screws is weak.

Last night, I had an idea: a pair of rare-earth disk magnets with a thread caught between them.  I used a thread length of about 15 cm, held the free end to the wall, and let the magnets swing gently back and forth as a pendulum.  I moved the top end around slowly, to keep the pendulum swinging, and quickly found some hidden screws.  Because the weight of the magnets was being supported by the thread, and I was watching for changes in the pendulum's motion instead of trying to see if it was moving at all relative to some fixed point, I had a much more sensitive detector for the buried metal.  One's eye is very sensitive to changes in the motion of an object that's supposed to be moving smoothly on a fixed path.

On the down side, there aren't any wall studs behind any of the areas of the kitchen walls that might be convenient for the can crusher to be located.
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Stupid cat is stupid.

Take that as a starting point.  "Paris" is dim-witted, even by feline standards.

Here lies feline toilet-training stuff... )

Well, it's a workable temporary solution, at least.  Not the kind of April 1st creativity I usually go for.
bunsen_h: (Candle)
My plan was to run a load of laundry, then go to see [livejournal.com profile] mentisiterinvit in the hospital.  (I just learned that she's going for an MRI, and may not be back in ICU for a couple of hours.)  When I went down to the basement to move the laundry from the washer to the drier, I found the sink/tub full of water and water on the floor.  The tub drain is clogged.

To paraphrase an old saying: Time is what lets you have one damn thing after another instead of every damn thing at once.
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
I was at the hospital much too late last night, helping [livejournal.com profile] mentisiterinvit.  So I was still up at 1:20 this morning, about to get into bed, when I heard a thump and a "patter" from downstairs.  It pretty much had to be something that the cat had done.  After a few seconds, I decided to go down and see if it was something serious, because, you know, cats.  (Young children, too, but there are none in residence.)

It turned out that Oxana/Paris, our not-too-bright-even-by-feline-standards cat, had managed to knock the side tube off the gerbil cage.  (The tube is held in place just by friction; it snaps downwards, and there's no way for an animal inside the cage to dislodge it.)  The gerbil, even less bright than the cat, decided to make a break for freedom, and was being followed by the cat.  Luckily, the cat is more curious about the scurrying critter than malicious, and wasn't trying hard to catch it.  I managed to catch the gerbil without harm to either pet, as far as I can tell, and got it back into its cage.

I spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to secure the side tube, and eventually zip-tied it to the cage so it can't come off.  I don't think that either animal can dislodge it.

I really didn't need the excitement when I was trying to unwind before going to sleep.  I lay in bed composing a letter to the company that makes the cages, suggesting that they should add some kind of lock to the side tube to make sure that it can't be knocked off so easily.

I'm very tired.  I apologize for the title of this post, but I really couldn't resist.
bunsen_h: (Tuxbert)
Doofes.  Rhymes with "roofies" and "Goofy's".

We had the 8 a.m.-to-noon "morning window" with Sympatico.  This required me to set my alarm for 8 a.m., which is much earlier than I tend to wake up these days.  (Yeah, I know, whine whine.  Regardless, I'm sleep-deprived and on lots of medication.)  The Sympatico doofes arrived at 8:35, which was quite reasonable under the circumstances.

Bell, booklet, and candles )

I'm not holding my breath on this; I think it's likely that I'll have to complain to Sympatico and have either them or Rogers back.

If all he'd left screwed up was the disconnected phone jack in the bedroom, I'd have taken care of it myself instead of dealing with the hassle of getting him back.  But there are several phone jacks not working upstairs, and that's stuff that is much easier to trace with the equipment that he's got and I don't have.

At least we do have internet back, and the phone jacks we use most often are working.

Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools?
bunsen_h: (Tuxbert)
For the past week, the house has been without internet service, and largely without phone service.

It started when we tried to have the phone service switched from Bell to Rogers, leaving behind the internet service.  I don't want to switch the internet stuff yet because I have my personal webspace hosted by Sympatico (Rogers doesn't offer that at all), and the E-mail address that I've used for a long time for more important purposes is also on Sympatico.  I need to get a domain that will be independent of the service provider, and transition to that.  But Rogers has some phone service features that we want, which are significantly less expensive than we'd have to pay than with Bell.  We were assured that the switch-over, retaining my old phone number, would be simple.  No trouble.

Rogers Rogers Rog-AAAarrghhh... )

There is sometimes the question: Which is worse, Bell or Rogers?  And I think that the only good answer is "Whichever of the two you had to deal with most recently."
bunsen_h: (Default)
I was finally settling down to sleep after another insomniac night, then roused... something was wrong.  I noticed an odd burned-electrical smell, and wandered around trying to figure out where it was coming from — more intense upstairs than down, but not localized.  The computer seemed okay; the furnace seemed cool.  A few minutes later, a loud humming started, and I tracked it down to the furnace just before it stopped.  Then I realized that the furnace fan, which usually runs continuously, wasn't running.  I'm guessing that the fan motor has burned out, or something like that.

<*sigh*>  I called the furnace service people's 24-hour number and left a message.  I'm waiting to hear back.  At least it's a mild night.

ETA @ 3:35: Got a call back; the guy says that they'll "try to be there in a couple of hours".  Not the 24-hour emergency service that I hoped for from the maintenance agreement, but we'll see...

ETA @ 5:00: Furnace guy is here.  Replacing a capacitor...

ETA @ 5:15: It's not the capacitor.  The blower wheel seems to be seized up.

ETA @ 5:55: The problem was that the motor had burned out.  No reason in particular, just because it was old.  There's a lot of that going around.  All fixed, time to go back to bed.

I have...

Jul. 5th, 2010 10:30 am
bunsen_h: (Default)
I have an appointment tomorrow morning for a full-spinal MRI.  It's somewhat earlier in the morning than I'd like, but I'll take it.  Apparently there's some benefit to calling the booking office first thing on a Monday morning after they've been closed for four days for a one-day civic holiday.  (I asked the guy doing the booking if the hospital provided earplugs or other hearing protection, and he said "of course!"  When I told him that a friend of mine had had an MRI a few months ago and had not been provided with hearing protection, he was astonished.  I think I'll bring along a pair of earplugs anyway, just in case.)

I have a dishwasher full of water, and a call in to the guy who fixed my refrigerator a few months ago to see if he fixes old Maytag dishwashers.  If you have any recommendations for people to repair old Maytag dishwashers, please let me know.

I have a new bathing suit.  Unlike my old bathing suit, it isn't wearing through, and hasn't faded to a pale aquamarine which matches the colour of the sides and bottom of a swimming pool.  It should, therefore, not produce the (I am told) disconcerting impression that I have simply turned myself invisible from waist to mid-thigh.

I have had too little good sleep, and am feeling it in many ways.
bunsen_h: (Default)
Can anyone recommend a good refrigerator-repair company that serves Nepean? My fridge seems to be having problems.


Jul. 2nd, 2007 07:36 pm
bunsen_h: (Default)
I'm home again from Conterpoint. I had a good time at the convention: fun music, time spent with friends who I don't get to see often enough. Not only did I manage to get a song done for the contest (theme: "True Love"), but it placed third. The song is set in the Girl Genius universe.

I've spent too much of my time since my return working on plumbing -- specifically my leaking toilets. God save me from blithering idiots who do home-handyman stuff without knowing what they're doing or having a decent level of "how-stuff-works" aptitude. If you raise the level of a bathroom floor by half an inch of tile, you need to either also raise the level of the toilet's flange plate (set in the floor) by half an inch, or extend the toilet's outlet horn downwards by the same amount with some kind of extender. Otherwise, you're not gonna get a reliable seal between them. Oh, and if you cut the bolts that attach the toilet to the flange plate, replace them; they're neither expensive nor hard to find. Don't try to re-use the old bolts by connecting the bits together again, each threaded half way into a nut. That isn't reliable either. <Sigh>

There's moderate damage to the basement ceiling under the main-floor toilet, but (luckily) there doesn't seem to be significant damage to the floor under the toilet. It's a good thing that the main-floor toilet isn't used often.

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