Saturday, January 14, 2017

Let there be light (in the bathroom)

Normally I’d just phone Eric at Starfleet Repairs.  He’s amazing. Comes out and fixes something like this and charges me a hundred dollars or so, given he drives out and does the repairs. However he’d solved my frozen water line problem before Christmas.
Then I was away in New York City so I’d not sent him the cheque for this.   I figured I’d just fix it myself rather than asking Eric to do something before he’d received the cheque. The cheque really was in the mail. First thing I did when I got back to the office.
I like to keep my hand in too. I’ve done all these kind of repairs since fixing things with my father and my brother as a kid.  It’s like bicycling. You don’t forget. It just takes time to remember.
The light was fried.  Darkness. Eric has replaced a couple of these overhead lamps with newer better ones.
I looked up on the internet where the closest RV supply store was.
North Shore RV Ltd was the closest.  Beautiful young woman in charge.  Confused me with a a whole lot of choices.  She had bathroom lights in stock. She had a catalogue of alternatives. She asked me if I wanted incandescent bulb or LED. I was confused and thankful she showed me the two choices.

"Which is brightest?  I need light to shave?”  I asked.
“LED, maybe. They’re about the same. But the LED  doesn’t get hot  like incandescent so less risk of fire.”
“Sold.”  I didn’t know.  Fire scares me.

Now I go home.   I learned years ago to turn off the breakers.  (I won’t get into that story.)
I love my screw driver. I have Pickwick 6 pack plus all over the place. A couple on the boat, in truck, in the garage, in the kitchen drawer. Pickwick is my favourite.
 I like screwing.  Unscrewing is fun too.
I had the old light off the ceiling in no time.  They hid the screws under the clear plastic bit but I found them.
Now I had wires. I have spliced and crimped connectors on wires by the hundreds on my boat.  It turns out now turns that my crimper and the connectors are all on the boat.
So I have to go to Lordco to get a crimper and  connectors. The trouble is the truck wouldn't start. It’s not been used in weeks and the diesel engine is a pig in cold.  I used my Miata to charge the battery but it didn't start.

It’s been 31 years since Barbara did heroin. Randy and a whole lot of other people were going for dinner to celebrate but I didn’t want to drive the sportscar on the ice last night when I couldn’t get the truck to start because the battery was dead.  It’s still dead.  Walking Gilbert along the trail today was more like skating. Some mallards flew up when we went by.  Gilbert thinks all of this is an adventure. I'd  thrown the yellow squeaky tennis ball for him for a bit and that made his day. He’s talked with a three other dogs today.

Yesterday I talked with an older guy who lived in Smithers about trucks.
“Diesel don’t like the cold.”
“Some Fords’ are really good but I’ve always liked my GMC."
“I’m thinking of trading my Ford Diesel in for a GMC gas.  If I was getting another diesel I’d go Dodge for the Cummings engine but I think I’m going back to gas. Used to like diesel when the fuel was cheap and the engines didn’t have all the environmental extras."
“I like my GMC. It’s diesel but the glow plugs are the best. Still my friend’s gas always starts faster.  Don’t have block heaters down here like we do up north. I still think I’ll go gas next time. "

The Lordco Store  is on North Road  in Burnaby.  Lordco people are always friendly.   Two guys and girl offered suggestions on which crimper and which box of connectors to get. I was the only customer at that time.   I spend $26 bucks.

Gilbert loves all this driving about and walking and pissing everywhere.  He’s my buddy.

Back in the bathroom,  with the breaker still off, I cut the wires.  I am always surprised that I don’t electrocute myself. Having electrocuted myself, a little personal shock therapy for my own insanity moment (forgetting to turn off breakers) , I’m always really happy not to be dancing and jumping up and down like I’ve tazered myself.   I use the wire cutting par tof the crimping tool.  The crimping tool is like a swiss army knife for electricians.
Oh oh. The wire coming out of the ceiling is black and white and the wire in the new lamp is black and red.  Normally you’d think black to black.
However,  electricians all belong to the Freemasons and were Lawyers at one time and now are Bildernbergs so they have this whole gnostic thing going on.  If it’s AC like house wiring black to black might work and red is red but with DC it’s different.  So I clean away some insulation on the wire and tie the wire bits together , black to black and white to red.  I think about this and look it up on the internet which is really confusing because there's all this  FAKE NEWS all over the internet especially in the electrical sections. Now this is  about the simplest of wiring problems so it's where they do try to kill off the stupid.
There’s wiring for liberals and wiring for conservatives, Tory and Whig wiring and Republican and Democrat wiring. There are diagrams put together by philosophy students. It’s all utter bullshit.  I don’t trust any of it.
 I pull on the wire. I like pulling on wires.
Sure enough the black wire is attached to a white red wire.  Pretty sneaky. Maybe it’s a DC thing. Or Ottawa.  It could just be the guy who put in the lamp was left handed or an Australian.  Often with wiring the guy who does the repair has the wrong colour of wire but uses it anyway.  It pays to double check everything when it comes to the simplest wiring task.
So now with a little tape I try putting together different wiring combinations and turning on the breakers. Amazingly one combination the red to the black to the red actually works. There is light. Light, glorious light!!!
So now I crimp the connectors together,   Yes I remembered to turn off the breakers.  Then I crimp the other ground wire together. I ‘m really thankful there are no green wires this time. The Green Wire folk are energy conscious or something.  Green wires are often sneaky useless redundant wires.  I’m confused enough but I pray the wires are connected.  I turn the breakers on. By Gods’ grace I'm not electrocuted, there is no arc and I don't set the bathroom on fire
I’m ready to finish it up but I need electrical tape. I especially love the liquid electrical tape.  But I don’t seem to have either.
I have duct tape. I consider Duct Tape an essential life ingredient but normally I have black electrical tape too. There’s none in the tool box, none in the junk drawer, none in the garage. I actually get dressed and take Gilbert for another walk and don’t find any in the truck. I am amazed because I always have electrical tape. I know where. It’s on the boat with the crimping tools and electrical connectors. But I can’t find any here. I walk to the local store and they have Duct tape but no electrical tape.

Walking home I meet Mac.
“Happy New Year,” he says and ,”Hi Gilbert”.
Mac has a dog and Gilbert and his dog play together. Like all dog owners we acknowledge the dogs of their owners.  Mac  pets Gilbert while talking to me.
“Have you got any electrical tape, really handy.”  I ask.
“In my truck."
“No don’t bother.”  Mac’s always helping me. He keeps an eye on things. I don’t want him to go out of his way. I have the duct tape.
“It’s no bother,” Mac says. He’s dressed like me in a parka and mits and togue and it’s cold. We can see each other’s breath. You aren’t supposed to see breath in Vancouver. This isn't a Winnipeg or Edmonton.  It’s too damn cold for Vancouver.
“I’ve got duct tape." I say, " I’ve already crimped the connectors.  I just wanted to tape it up too. Duct tape is non conductible, isn’t it?"
“Yea, duct tape would work."

I part.  I take Gilbert and go into the warm.  I love the warm. I take off 100 lbs of clothing and feel great back in shorts and t shirt. I get the Duct Tape and prepare to wrap.
Then I remember.
I have electrical tape in the motorcycle bags.  I just have to find the motorcycle keys. I hide them.  Sometimes it takes me a while to find them.
I put on some sweat pants and slip ons and go outside in my t shirt with Gilbert . He's delighted to have another chance to pee  and sniff stuff. I look in the Harley luggage.  Sure enough, there’s the black electrical tape.
Back in the warm, I wrapped the wires I’ve connected with connectors with black electrical tape.
Next I can’t get the clear plastic top off the dome lights and break a tab before I can get both out.
The mounting holes are purposely hidden inside the light.
I'm pleased with myself because I haven’t lost the screws I took out earlier. I actually remembered to put a towel in the sink so I didn’t clog the sink with falling screws. There are so many things in life you know to do from having done the wrong thing in the past.  I created a plumbing problem once working over my sink. Not this time.
I like screwing. I  screwed the new lamp to the ceiling after pushing the wires up in the hole.  I actually put the breakers back on and tested the light to see it actually still worked before I finalized the job.  Wow!
I actually have light, in my bathroom.  I have light in my bathroom. It's brighter and it shows the dirt more.
It took me about  three hours.  I started before noon and it’s now nearly 4 pm.
I did change the propane tank because the heat went off while I was working.
 also stopped for lunch. I’d boiled some eggs this week so I squished up three of them in a bowl.  I mixed them with salt and pepper and mayonnaise and buttered some toast to put around this concoction. I had these egg salad sandwiches sitting looking out the window while Gilbert had a little caesar beef dish.
I have shaved with a flash light since the light packed it in on Tuesday.  I showered in candlelight. That was kind of romantic, except I was alone.
I’m rather pleased with the light.  Changing a light fixture is about the simplest most basic job a guy can do with electrical wiring but it is really fulfilling.  It’s almost as much fun as target shooting bottles at the gravel pit.

Eric would have done this in 15 minutes. He’s amazing.  Tom was supposed to come over today and we were going to replace the light and go look at trucks. Tom’s an engineer and can fix anything mechanical or electrical. He finds hearts and souls a challenge but if it’s governed by the laws of physics, he’s got it beat.
He phoned me to say that he got a flat on the way to the highway, changed his tire and then got another flat with his spare so he’s packing it in. He’s gone back to his cabin in the country and isn’t going to venture out again today. Having to fix two flats in this winter weather after only your first cup of coffee is enough to send anyone back to the house.

I called Kevin on my iPhone to coordinate after church lunch time.  It's Laura's birthday and we want to celebrate.  He was out with Anna and the kids.They’ve taken them to the bird sanctuary down south. I told Kevin the last time I was there was with my brother.  We were taking pictures of sand hillcranes. The call ended with him saying, “I”ve got to go. A sand hill crane is attacking Anna and the kids.”
I wouldn’t think any of the people I talked to would have voted Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. I suspect one listens Barry Mannilow.
I liked all the people I talked to today.
God is good. God is good all of the time.
Let there be light (in my bathroom). And there was!!!!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well, now when I win the lottery
you need a new office on the ground floor
a new home
a new truck
the list gets longer