So, if you're sitting on a deck, in a hot tub, in Alaska, this is what it looks like. The Mrs. and The Boy are enjoying some nice warm bubbly water. It was about 20F when this picture was taken. Not the hot tub water - that was 100F. The air was 20F. I must remind myself to be a bit more specific.
The view of the trees from my front deck and huge picture window is irritating. The trees surround our property. Heck, when I drive to my house, I drive through lane after lane of spruce and birch trees, towering toward the crisp blue sky until I get to the wooded five acres that our log cabin (next post) sits on.
Another irritating thing is all of the wildlife. Saw a cow moose munching on a tree yesterday as I was driving home. Drove within 10 feet of her. It really bothers me to be surrounded so often with such nature. I would much prefer to live in a congested concrete suburban paradise, living four feet from my next door neighbor near a busy street with fast moving, noisy traffic and street lights that block out the stars (which are so vivid and bright here that a yard light is superfluous). Yeah. That's my dream.
Anyhow, they delivered the Hot Tub on Thursday. Since it was 20 F, I had to make sure that it had power available to it. That involved getting into the electrical panel. I was using an exterior grade electrical cable for the fifty amp, 220 volt power. For those not conversant in power, that translates into "enough power to turn you into that burned french fry that got stuck in the fry basket at Burger King." I am certain, certain
, that there is some quick and easy way to strip the exterior polyconcretebutalenewhatever covering off of the wire. I have no knowledge of this easy way. My only advice: do not
use a really sharp knife, unless you have adequate first aid supplies on hand. Do not
ask me how I know this. Let's just say that when your left index finger isn't usable in typing, that you tend to type an 'r' instead of a 't'. It's like Scooby Doo (rut ro, Raggy) is channeling through your computer.
Anyhow, I digress. It seems that I sometimes make assumptions that are incorrect. Mine was that the circuit breaker that I had would fit into the electrical panel that I have. Since the house is of recent vintage (1980's) I made the assumption that the breaker would fit. Nope. Now, as all of you who have done time critical repairs on a house know, the time that you find this out is typically within 10 minutes of the hardware store closing. Yup. Discovered the error of my assumption right on time.
In my defense, the Hot Tub Delivery Man and his Trusty Minions moved the delivery up on me, and I had intended to take my time in putting everything in, with no time pressure. Since Hot Tub Delivery Man had to go to Anchorage to have his teeth waxed, I could either have the tub delivered on Thursday or June 15, 2012. I opted for the earlier delivery.
Went to Home Despot (emperor of all things home related), and found that, for some probably pagan reason, they change their store hours on the equinox to be open later than 9pm. Really. Is there some astronomical reason to switch store hours based upon the relative position of the Earth in it's orbit 'round the Sun? I'm not sure, but I imagine Stonehenge, robes, and virgin sacrifices fit in here, perhaps in the kitchen cabinet aisle?
So, Home Despot was closed. I got in my car and scooted to an equally deserted-looking Lowes.
It was, despite the apocalyptic barrenness of the parking lot, open. The make of my service entrance (place where you go with the flashlight to click on the circuit breaker that went off after your three year old pour orange juice into the toaster and made a lovely blue torch next to the sink) seems to be entirely different than any circuit breaker made in the recent memory of any living man.
Except for the one that cost $138.
So, armed with the platinum covered moonrock encrusted circuit breaker, I went home, stripped more wire, and installed the breaker. I asked The Mrs. to step back as I flicked it on. We heard a low rumbling outside. I felt like Thomas "juice me" Edison. Power was restored and my rapidly cooling hot tub was now once again blessed with heat. The end result was that The Mrs. and The Boy got in last night, and enjoyed a nice soak, having to stare at those damn irritating trees and the equally irritating bright starlight and moonlight.
I'll get in after my hand heals back up.