September 20th, 2004


I need a new house

My house is broken; I need a new one.

A few weeks ago, my air conditioning stopped working. The unit still ran, but it stopped making the house cooler. Upon closer inspection, I found that the outdoor unit was covered with ice. So it was selfishly keeping all of its cold to itself, instead of spreading it around the house like it's supposed to.

I turned off the AC and ignored it, figuring that I'd get it fixed during the fall when fewer people are trying to get their air conditioning fixed.

Yesterday afternoon, I went upstairs and flipped on the light-switch. There was a loud shrieking beeping sound which frightened me so much that I immediately turned the switch back off. The noise vanished as quickly as it came, and I glanced about in shock. What the hell was that? I looked at the smoke alarm, the most obvious culprit, but it looked fine. There was no smoke.

Cautiously, I turned the light switch back on. No more scary noises. But no light either. I flipped switches a few more times, then looked around upstairs. The clock was off. The carbon monoxide detector, plugged into the wall, was also off. Gradually I realized that the loud squeal must have been my carbon monoxide detector's dying scream when the power had gone out.

I went back to the main floor, and I verified that there was still power there. This was annoying, but I knew what to do. I traipsed down to the basement, expecting to find the upstairs' circuit-breaker tripped.

Much to my surprise, it wasn't tripped. Neither were any other circuits. I looked at the thing for quite awhile, wiggling the switches, wondering why none of them were tripped. I found the one for the upstairs and flipped it back and forth a few times. Still no power upstairs. Nor the garage, I found later, when I remembered that it was on that same circuit.

So that's weird. I worried for awhile that perhaps the electricity was leaking into the house somewhere, since it was obviously coming out of the box but not arriving at its destination. I worriedly pictured a frayed wire somewhere, sparking away, just waiting for a chance to burn my house down.

I contemplated how much work it would be to try to rescue all of my cats. I wondered if I should move my latest backup CD's off-site.

I told my dad about the problem though, and he thought it seemed unlikely that the house would burn down. Instead he suggested that perhaps there is a GFCI near the beginning of that circuit that has been tripped. So I guess tonight I'll try to see if that is the case. Just last week I bought a big rechargeable flashlight, so I've set that to charging.

But also, I have some weird plumbing issues in the bathroom that I've been putting off looking into, because I don't really know what I want to do there yet. So basically at this point, I think it might be easier to just find a new house. One that works. 'cause this one seems to be falling apart!