Appointed guardian of the mead of poetry (and chunky jam)

Dear Internet,

TheHusband and I were pretty busy this weekend with lots of Martha Stewarting it up around Throbbing Manor, which precluded me getting any more writing done other then some tweaking of a few things. I am fairly pleased with myself having completed almost two weeks straight of writing in my private journal, something which I haven’t done this long of a stretch in ages. I’m also getting in the habit of taking a daily picture so if I can’t get write, I can at least embed an image to kind of illustrate how my day is going. Because sometimes you want to showcase just how awesome the internet really is.

The biggest relief was when my brother popped over on Friday and Sunday and fixed the electrical in our boiler and stove. Over Labor Day weekend, with a house full of guests, the neighborhood transformer blew not once, but twice in the same day. The first blowout happened in the morning and power restored within a few hours after. The second blowout happened that same evening and was a number of short burst where the entire neighborhood flickered on one minute/off one minute for about ten minutes. Once that arc finished, we discovered the stove and the boiler, which were both on the same circuit, were fried.

We could write a novel about Throbbing Manor’s electrical problems, with the first chapter on how not to use three various types of electrical (knob and tube, modern, a hybrid) running through the house. Upon my brother’s recommendation1, this summer before my surgery, we buried the house electrical from the pole to the house so it is no longer aerial, upped our panel from 100 amps to 200amps, and repositioned the house surge protector2 from the sub-panel in the basement to the main panel in the garage. Every time Jeff comes over to do work on one small project, he uncovers a plethora of other issues that are bigger then the original project.

Throbbing Manor is almost 90 years old, and we live in a historic district where we’re one of the “newer” houses built, so coupled with the houses all trying to modernize their interiors, it’s not terribly surprising to get the occasional blown transformer. Except, this happens nearly every month and so much so, we signed up for the appliance plan via our electrical company that if ANYTHING should ever happen and an appliance breaks, they will fix it for free3. Since it was Labor Day weekend, I called on Tuesday and find out that our boiler is not under the repair for the plan.

me: “But it says ‘furnace and other heating elements,’ ” I insist to the customer service rep.
Consumers: “Except for boilers.”
me: “But when I called to set up the plan, and asked about boilers, the assured me it was part of the plan.”
Consumers: “I’m sorry you were told incorrect information, but that is not true. For an additional $7/month, we can add the boiler addendum.”4
me: “…”
me: “Just so I’m clear: Even though our boiler and stove are fried due to transformer blowing out not once but twice on the same day, and this is Consumer’s fault, I have to pay for the repairs on my uncovered equipment.”
Consumers:”Yes.”

Consumer’s was quick to get the stove repair to us within a day but he had to “order a part,” which was nearly two weeks ago. Boilers, due to their complexity, are expensive. Since we were going to have to pay for the boiler ourselves, we waited until my brother was free to look at electrical before calling the boiler people because they would have had to call an electrician to fix the fried bits anyway since Jeff discovered the arcing over the years coupled with shoddy repair jobs on the house electrical, mixed in with sketchy installation of circuits was causing various bits to melt in the shut off switch attached to the boiler, which he also repaired.

By fixing the circuit the stove and the boiler were on, viola! The stove now works! Which means, we no longer have to use a lighter to get the range going (gas stove/electrical ignition) and we could use the oven.

Edit 1/03/2013: This has been languishing in my drafts box since September. I think I was planning on finishing this post after I made a batch of pear cherry chutney but never did the update, hence for the abrupt ending.

TTFN,
Lisa


1. My brother is a licensed electrician. Don’t try this at home.
2. Brother checked and verified the house surge protector is working so why it didn’t catch the arc the second time reamins a mystery.
3. Consumer’s offers the ASP which is insurance for your appliances. Most energy providers have this kind of service and it’s way better then the typical renter/house insurance since there is typically no deductible. ( I would still keep house/rental insurance for other things, but for appliances, this is the way to go!) You pay $X dollars a month, attached to your bill, and you call if there is an issue. They send out a repair person, and you don’t get charged for the visit or the repairs (however, the last bit can be variable but it’s typically free / low cost then if you did not have the plan).
4. I signed up for the boiler addendum. Dammit.

Wanted: Your (used, well loved, weeded, no longer needed) books

Librarians! Booksellers! Bibliophiles! I am in the process of doing a fairly large project that will be heavily dependent on used books. I am currently scouring local charity shops, used bookstores and library book sales for my needs, but thought I’d put the call out to the internets. I’m looking for a particular types of books, so if you have anything you think might be of interest to me via the list below, contact me via email, Facebook, Twitter or comment here and let me know what you have.

I will pay for shipping of the materials.

I am looking for:

  • Classic authors (think Austen, Brontes, Melville, Dickens, Joyce, Tolstoy, etc) whose works are in the public domain. If you\’re unsure, email me for clarification or see if their work is available on Project Gutenberg. I’m not picky about the author or the title, just as long as it is in the public domain.
  • Books by Ian Fleming, mainly James Bond series.
  • Not terribly picky about edition, publishing house or locality. Will accept non-US based English and also foreign editions.
  • Preferably hardcover but will accept paperbacks depending on size/condition.
  • Would prefer and love large print versions, but not necessary.
  • If the cover is ripped/torn/damaged, but the majority of the interior text is clean, I still want it.

 

Mwah!

Meijering at night.

Growing up, my mother installed a strange power relationship with food into our heads. I’ve never quite figured out where her ideas came from but essentially her idea was that less food in the house the better. Let me explain further: She would sometimes “forget” to go grocery shopping and or she would buy a few packages of hamburger, American cheese slices, saltines, and popcorn. For a family of four with eating habits for a family of six.

We’re large people and a bit on the tall side (I hover near 6′, Mumsy at 5’10” and brother at 7′. My now-ex step-father is about 6’1″.) While my mother is now borderline morbidly obese, my brother and I are just plain chubbeh. We could stand to lose a few pounds, but, we’re both fairly active (then and now) and are not sit at home stuffing our faces type people. We do, however, have large appetites.

It wasn’t that we were poor, Mumsy made a really good living as a home health care nurse (let’s just say, she neared six figures by the late ’90s in Michigan) and she certainly could afford to feed us, but, without fail, every week she would go grocery shopping and bring home the exact same items:
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