Monday, December 15, 2008

Where There's A Will There's A Won't

I remember the day I discovered that some of the jobs I thought of as belonging to men were, in fact, things I could do. (Actually, I owe this epiphany to former roommate and lifelong friend, Kathleen. She was a whiz around the house.) As I recall, picture hanging was the task in question. I thought you needed men for measuring and hammering and such. Turned out, no. You didn't.

I was so proud.

But as the years went on, I learned there were limits to my handiness. BIG limits. Like not knowing anything about wiring and electricity. Like not being physically strong enough. Add to those limits an innate laziness, and get a picture of how much stuff there is around my house that needs doing.

Sometimes, though, corners can be cut. If you're creative enough, you can sidestep actual skill and come up with alternatives.

Sometimes, though, the best efforts fail.

So, ya might have heard about the arctic blast currently hitting southern California. B-r-r-r-r. Time to crank up the old heater, right? 'Scuze me. That would be the NEW heater that accompanied the new air conditioner I purchased over the summer.

Only, guess what?

No heat.

Lots of nice, cool air streaming from the vents, but no heat.

Oh, I could have called 'the man,' but that would be too easy, doncha think? Instead, on Sunday, I hauled out a space heater and lugged it into my 'office.' Then, I consulted my 'go-to' guys at work. The consensus is that my gas valve is turned off. "Follow the gas line to the little valve and give it a twist," my brother says. "But if the heat doesn't go on, be sure to turn it back off."

See, it's that kinda talk that scares me away from giving that little valve a twist.

Nonetheless, tonight when I got home, I dutifully opened the door to the closet in which the furnace resides. I didn't see any little valve. I DID see, however, lots of warning signs and cautions.

These made me feel a touch queasy.

I concluded that the little valve thing might be inside the the front panel, but knowing I didn't have the courage to give it a twist, I didn't bother popping said panel off. Besides, my sister-in-law loaned me a SECOND space heater--one guaranteed to 'heat up the whole room', so truly, this whole electric heater deal wasn't sounding so important.

Satisfied, I decided to get some exercise, so I turned on the TV and hopped on the treadmill. I'd only gotten through one replay of the Bush shoe ducking debacle, when



I also came to an abrupt halt.

Hm. No TV. No treadmill...sure enough, also no computer and no space heater in the office.

Blown circuit breaker.

I trudged outside, held my cigarette lighter up to the electrical panel and threw all the switches. Eureka. (Okay, I lied. The truth is, I had to do this twice because the first time I BELIEVED the labeling and only flipped the one marked 'lights and outlets'. On the second trip, I flipped them all. Voila. TV is back on and--obviously--so is the computer.)

Hey, at least I knew the location of the box and what to do with it. So what if it's 48 degrees inside? That's what sweats are for, right? And planning vacations to Puerto Vallarta?

P.S. to Blogreader Mindy--if you're still at a loss as to a Christmas gift, you may wanna consider buying me a flashlight. Preferably one with batteries that work.

No comments: