Saturday, July 21, 2007

Rejected Lines from Handel's Messiah

King of Kings, forever and ever!
And Lord of Lords, Halleluia, Halleluia!
King of Kings, forever and ever!
And Lord of Lords, Halleluia, Halleluia!
There is no Fan of Fans in there. There is a reason for that.

GPop likes ceiling fans. In our old apartment, he installed one in the bedroom. It worked fine. I don't particularly care one way or the other when they are installed correctly, working properly, and silent. If they are too low, though, they make me nervous, because I'm tall.

When we bought this house several years ago, there was a ceiling fan in the kitchen. Because this house is very old, many of the rooms do not have overhead lighting and the appropriate switches installed. The fan that came with the house had a short chain pull switch for the fan and long pull chain for the light. The kitchen has a 9' ceiling, but as I mentioned before, this isn't really a problem, because I'm tall.

Well, the Second Law of Robotics Thermodynamics set in, and the fan broke down. We replaced the fan with a remote controlled fan from Hunter. Everything was fine, but about 2 years later, the receiver inside the fan unit stopped accepting signal to turn on and off the lights, but the fan part still worked properly. Our local hardware stores were unable to get the component, so I had to order it from Hunter directly.

I received the part, and installed it pretty quickly. Everything was fine. Until about 8 months after that, the part went out AGAIN. I just got used to turning the bulbs to turn the lights on and off. We are green nerds, so we use fluorescent bulbs. That way, we don't burn our hands.

A few weeks ago, GPop called me at work to ask if we could include a new Hampton Bay ceiling fan in our budget. I'm a tightwad, so I was a bit hesitant, given that we just bought a new furnace, and ceiling fans seem to me to be a bit decadent, but I decided that in the interest of domestic harmony, I would abstain from voting, which made the vote 1 in favor and 0 against, so we went ahead and got the fan from Home Depot.

Due to some issues with timing, we didn't try to install the fan for a couple of weeks. Finally, on Tuesday night, we opened it up. Of course, we first removed the Hunter fan and placed it outside near the trash. Then we opened the Hampton Bay fan to find that it was dinged up, missing pieces, and had no instructions. GPop took it back to Home Depot, and they replaced it without any trouble.

Take 2.

We futzed around with the fan for about 20 minutes before we realized that the mounting bracket required us to put some shims behind it to pull it just a little down from the ceiling. We went to Home Depot again to get some shims and some masking tape for a painting project we wanted to tackle. On the way home, Son asked how long this would take. I, disregarding every experience I'd ever had with home improvement, told him that it shouldn't take more than half an hour. Son asked, "What if we're not done by 9:00 tonight?"

"Well, we'll..." I started.

"Never speak of it again?" quipped Son.

I love my son.

Back home, we glued together two shims to get the right size, drilled the appropriate holes through them, and put them up with the new mounting bracket. We had to insert tab A into slot B very carefully (read: jerk things around with lots of swearing) so that everything fit correctly, because we'd also purchased an after-market remote control for the fan, and that receiver needed to go up in the bracket as well. OK, so now it was all attached to the ceiling.

GPop started to reach for the fan blades, but I suggested that we turn on the power to see if the fan worked. GPop went downstairs and flipped the breaker. Yep, you guessed it. Nothing worked. I checked the remote and the receiver to see if the DIP switches were set correctly. Son looked over my shoulder, and he noticed that GPop had set them incorrectly.

"GPop, the switches should be down, down, up, down, and you have them set up, up, down, up. You set them wrong."

"[grind, grind]," went GPop's teeth.

We set the switches correctly and tried again. Press the remote, flip the switch on the fan. Flip the switch on the fan, press the remote. Press the remote twice, flip the switch on the fan twice. Reverse it again. Nothing. GPop hung his head and muttered things.

We detached the remote receiver and attached the fan directly to the power. GPop went down to flip the breaker on again. I flipped the switch, and the fan turned about an eighth of a turn while making a grinding noise. Then it stopped. I yelled for GPop to shut off the breaker. As he approached, I told him what had happened.

Since Son has joined our family, we've learned to internalize a lot of our cursing.

We decided that we'd take the fan back for a refund, reinstall the Hunter fan, and just order the @##!&^ part. Since it was already close to 9:00, we took down the new fan, capped the wires, and brought the Hunter fan back into the house. Time for bed.

Take 3.

Morning has broken, like the first morning.

We grabbed the Hunter mounting bracket, and put it up on the ceiling. Of course, we had lost the screws to mount the Hunter fan to the bracket. Time for another trip to the hardware store. I went alone this time. I decided to go to the local True Value family-owned store this time. I was just buying two screws.

The hardware guy helped me find the screws, and as I was checking out, he asked if I needed anything else. Since this was trip four to the hardware store (including the original purchase), I told him that if I had to come back, I'd be in disguise.

I went home. When I got in the house, I noticed that the little rubber feet that acted as spacers for the bracket had fallen off. (*&&^! I found one on the floor. After looking around for 5 minutes, I was ready to go back into the store (in disguise (I have a fake mustache and beard I bought for a costume a few years ago.)), but then I found the other foot in the truck.

Finally, we put the Hunter fan back up.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the great forest called Braem Wood. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

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