What is up with our stuff breaking down lately? I had to get a repair man out to fix the ice maker on our 3 month old fridge. My second clothes dryer is currently out of commission. (Yes I have two washers and two dryers. It helps a lot when you have a family of seven. And before you go off on me for ruining the environment with my energy wasting by running two dryers at the same time, it's not like I do any more laundry than I would do with only one. I just get it done faster. Clothesline??? I don't know. Sure sometimes, but who has the time for all of that all the time? Drop it. Just leave me in peace with my energy sucking, Earth ruining, devil worshiping two dryers already!! I'm sure that my eternal soul will pay a heavy price for my crimes! Shall I tell you how many disposable diapers I have contributed to my ginormous environmental footprint? I can hear a mob of dirty hippies knocking down my door as we speak! Al Gore is planning is next movie based on me and how I have single-handedly managed to raise the earth's average temperature by 5 micro-degrees, obliterate a 20 foot section of the ozone layer, and melt an entire polar ice cap ALL BY MYSELF!! Me and my bad kind of light bulbs!!! Come on I've TRIED to be good. I've got several of those "good" light bulbs in my house. (Please don't ask me how many of those my kids have broken! We're probably all dieing of cancer as we speak.) ACK! Is that the ghost of Rachel Carson holding a green knife at my throat?!! Okay, enough. Bruce just spent the entire day yesterday getting our van fixed. (Yes, I own a large vehicle that runs on gasoline, AND I drive it!) The blue-ray player that we bought only 4 months ago at most, has decided not to work, and when I turned on the heater the other day, (Yes, I have the audacity to heat my home, but only when it's cold outside.) it made a HORRIBLE noise.
Here is where we get to the story that I wanted to tell. A week ago or so, I got cold and struck up the heater for its first voyage of the year. As was expected on this first session of the year, this was accompanied by that familiar smell of a summer's worth of dirt being burned up, and by the usual beep or two of the smoke alarm. What I did NOT expect was the horrible rocks-in-a-blender noise that followed. Alarmed and dismayed, I shut the thing right off, and reluctantly added another urgent item to my hubby's to-do list. Happily the cold snap went away for a week or two, giving Bruce some time to get around to it. When he finally did, he was a witness to the awful sound of potential malfunction, and high maintenance fees. But, being the wise and brave soul that he is, he did not fear to investigate the source of this dreaded noise. Upon doing so, he was able to trace the sound to the exhaust fan.
"Do you know what that sounds like?" he asked me "That sounds like a golf ball in there."
"How could a golf ball get in there?!" It's a small box thing closed except for the ... oh, the two exhaust pipes that run up the length of the machine to the basement ceiling, turn ninety degrees, and then run about 12 feet out to vent in the backyard. We have found the little kids sticking rocks in the end of it. In fact a couple of years ago, Justice put one in there large enough to block enough airflow so as to make the heater shut off entirely, and refuse to run properly. But the kids were never able to get the rocks more than an inch or two into the end of the pipe, where you could just reach in and grab them right back out.
"If it's a ball, it could just roll all the way in." answered my genius Bruce.
So Bruce, with his trusty screw driver, undid the fastenings that held the pipes to the exhaust fan, reached his hand in and found .... a golf ball.
And there was much rejoicing.
Mrs. S - By the Numbers - At our final faculty party the last year I taught, two of the teachers (Dianne Amesse and Ginny Smith) paid me this tribute. They did "By the Numbers" beca...
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