Thursday, December 21, 2017

Getting to Know my Generator

I had to shovel a path on my deck or I knew I’d be going down again. As you can see in the second photo, the snow had turned to solid ice underneath and going to and fro to fetch wood meant I had to clear the deck.
I think of Christmas as I think of Halloween: I have no interest in participating but I’m thrilled for those who are into it — especially kids and families. I am, however, looking forward to a visit from the Humphrey family on Boxing Day.
Thursday morning I was vacuuming in preparation of guests tomorrow night. Wait, what’s that Sheba’s got in her mouth? I pull it out; we’re in my bedroom. It’s cat shit from the cats’ litter box and there’s a trail of cat litter and bits of dried poo all the way back to the litter box.
I put on Gregorian chants, lit incense and washed all my floors.
I’m lucky I ordered something with Pinecone Park written on it for my fence. I’m lucky I’m stuck with Pinecone Park as a name for this place otherwise I’m afraid I’d be calling it The Shithouse.
The 27-hour power seemed to feed my anxieties; I couldn’t even talk to Fred, Ethel and Sheba Wednesday morning. So I made humming sounds imitating the intonation of what I wanted to say. When the power came back on, my stuttery speech slowly started coming back.
However, I elicited all my manliness from the depths of my testicles to deal with the generator. I fixed the shattered funnel so that I could add the oil that needs to be mixed with the gasoline. Me, a needle and thread man, dealing with flammables and engines. I haven’t the gene.
On page one of the manual it says this: “Never operate in rain or snow.” What?!
Now, more than ever, I am keen on the sun room but the truth is, it’s really becoming my emergency room because the way I want it built I’ll be able to safely and legally use both the barbeque and the generator in there during future long power outages. It’s going to be a highly ventilated space.
The funnel for adding the oil was shattered, so I fixed it as my first step toward electrical self-sufficiency. And I found and read about the grounding terminal; I have to make and install a grounding wire. I’m glad I read this because I’m going to have to install the wire under the deck and feed it up through the floor through a sleeve so that I can attach it to the generator in the sunroom.
And I learned about fuel stabilizers too. I didn’t want to, I don’t want to deal with the whole generator thing at all. The more I learn the more complicated it gets — like my water system or dealing with garbage. But I’m going to have to get some fuel stabilizers if I want to leave my system at the ready.
I feel like I should be getting little badges to wear on my official Gabriola Island uniform like in cub scouts. I’d have my Fire Starter badge for sure, and my Water Husbandry badge too. What else? Garbage Management for sure and I’d probably deserve a Fine Arts badge to for the vision I am executing on my fence. Come the next big one, I’ll be earning my Generator Master badge for sure.
In all the emotional turmoil of the snow and power failure, I missed my semi-monthly garbage collection for the second time in a row. Garbage isn’t picked up again until January 8th! Thank God for my shed. Yes, I love my studio but the shed is incredibly practical. It’s truly a vital asset. All the garbage is bagged in there where it’s cold and where animals cannot get at it.
My bank situation is resolved and Vancity is sending me a gift of some sort. Finally my mortgage is gone from my account, almost three months after it was paid off and my bank balance is finally correct. No matter whom I tried to get help from or how, it came to naught until the bank itself needed to withdraw funds from my account. Then there was action. Now I’m trying to determine what I was charged for the three-week loan.
I have to stay home today to receive the reading lamp I really want. I missed it yesterday. I’ll bake a cake and make a salad but it’s going to be hard with the cats wanting to sniff, lick or step on everything.   

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