Saturday, December 16, 2006
Ho Ho Ho
We went to get our Christmas Tree. It was 76 degrees and sunny but we fought the elements and went out any way. Lowe's had the usual Christmas Twig for $21. You had to pay $42 for anything that resembled a tree. CP warned me not to bring home another pygmy tree like I did last year. So we found a Christian Ministry selling trees. It was Crossfire Ministries sort of like athletes In Action. They had one nice tree on the lot. I offered them $20 for it and cinched the deal. Just as the guy was about to wrap it up he discovers a tag on it that says "Save, Sold to Sheldon $30". So we then look around the lot again and then were about to leave when the guy comes over and says we can have that tree for $20. So we have a little Christian small talk and he loads the tree. As we are driving out I see him putting the "Sold to Sheldon" tag on another tree. Always make 'em feel they are getting a deal.
I moved the 48 gallon fish tank out of my office/TV room/recliner emporium to the living room. This was done in anticipation of Monday's arrival of Princess Leia. Or as I like to call her Princess Lei-Arounda. I will put the trundle-bed in there for her. This way she can sleep in, without Bo licking her toes. Marianne made it quite clear that the air bed in the living room was not going to cut it. After filling up 3 trash cans with water and removing the gravel, plants, rocks and fish, Ben and I carried it to the living room. I positioned it carefully checked it with a tape measure, plumb line and GPS and then returned the 600 lbs. of water with a bilge pump. As I put the last gallon in I realized the outlet (which was 4 inches from the side of the stand) was not a GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlet. In my office/den the circuit has a ground fault breaker in the fuse box. So, I'm looking at my options. Break my hump trying to put the GFI outlet in next to the tank, or buy a 15 amp GFI circuit breaker for the box or a GFI extension cord. The later two choices are both expensive. Then I had a moment of clarity and realized that I could put the GFI device in any outlet that was proximal to the fish tank outlet. To my utter delight the fish tank outlet was the last one on that circuit! There I am happily putting the the GFI outlet in a spot right out in the open. Now, I have installed about a half dozen ground default interrupter outlets in my life. In Maryland they would always fry with the lightning strikes that were common on our little windy hill. They are not really surge protectors per-se, but they have saved many of our T.V.s and computers. And I actually know a man whose life was saved by a GFI when his wife dropped the hairdryer in his bathtub. As a safety feature the new devices won't work if installed improperly. You have to connect the line circuit to one spot and the load circuit to the other and have a good ground. So I'm reading how they have made the device idiot-proof and chuckling to myself. Then I take my meter and identify the line and the load wires and hook it up and voila, I had it backwards. So I get out the directions and read them and it says if the device doesn't work you hooked it up backwards,(DUMMY)! Now I have the fish tank in the living room for all to enjoy, and best of all I can drop the light in it while I have my hands in the tank, standing in a puddle, leaning on a pipe and test my new GFI.