Monday, March 06, 2006


It was another of those home improvement weekends, when once again I thought I could cheat the system. I was only partially successful. This weekend I strapped on the electricians hat and removed the living room thermostat, and tried to replace it with another more modern and programmable. And like so many times before I called dad to bail me out.

My wife is results oriented, not unlike a light switch, either on or off, good job or bad. Success is gauged not based on effort. Her philosophy is that of Mr. Miyagi. You either install a thermostat yes, or you install a thermostat no. You install a thermostat guess so—squash, just like grape. Oh sure, she told me to start in another, less important room. But what can I say? I’m a cowboy at heart. This morning, huddled under a blanket in our ice cold living room, you can guess what kind of chilly send-off to work I received--a three-word portent: call the electrician.

Our house may just be the Millennium Falcon of homes, cobbled together with flotsam and jetsam—it may need a rap on the dashboard, but the hyper-drive technically functions. If I'd have started in another room, my confidence would have tacked in the red. Our bedroom room was a snap, a typical four wire configuration that transcribed perfectly from the instruction manual. But our living room was another story, a total mystery. The wires that once completed the installation of the old thermostat had a much lighter gauge, in other words, much thinner, and so I assumed to be of substantially less voltage. I mustered the courage to touch them, and didn’t feel a shock. Have I killed it? That’s for the electrician to say now, but I have a few theories. If I were living alone I would test them out, but with my wife looking over my shoulder, failure is not an option.

Oh well. I was going to tell you about my weekend of playing Pokemon with Jackson. That will be tomorrow’s subject. Let’s just say that I had an epiphany. My parenting style might not be perfect, but I do get in the primordial ooze and sling mud. That has to count for something.

Jackson called me this morning on my way to work.

“Hey daddy, Trapinch just evolved!”

“What is he now?”

“He’s a … Mommy what does this say? A Vibrava!”

“Cool, one step closer to Flygon.”

“Yeah. We’re totally going to beat Wallace now! Do you wanna talk to momma?”

“Does momma want to talk to daddy?”

He asked the muffled question. “No she doesn’t. Ooops, wait, she changed her mind.”

She never stays mad for long.


Bailey Stewart said...

My father was a master carpenter, but there were some things that he just couldn't do - he was a so-so electrician or plumber, but the big jobs he called in the troops. Although we did have a saying in the house - if it ain't broke, give dad a moment ...

I've been trying to get to your blog all morning - something wrong with blogger and I was "forbidden" access to your site. Sheesh - could give a girl a complex.

magnetbabe said...

Number one rule in this house:


You're lucky you are even alive.

Shesawriter said...

You sound exactly like my DH. That's how he describes me. And yes, I look over his shoulder! LOL!


Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Does your house have one of those fantastic holographic board games?

As for electrical work, I steer clear of it. I am hopeless with such things.

Scott said...

Eve - I love that expression. That's a new one for me, and I will work hard to avoid it's application!

Nat - Man that was funny. It turns out I wasn't too far off. See today's post once I get it done.

Tanya - It's funny how alike we all really are. I had an Indian girl (friend) who loved how alike she and her husband were to my wife and I.

Toast - There is only one way to learn...

trinamick said...

I can fix a lot of things myself, but electrical things aren't my forte. That's what a BIL is for. :P

Sadie Lou said...

You totally messed with your wife's house temp? How did you survive? My hubby never touches the thermostat because it's programmed the way I want it. He runs around the house without a shirt on--why would he get a say in the comfortable-ness of the livingroom?
Man, that was brave--even if you were only one screw loose.