out of the past

it wasn't quite this bad... but the house is kinda drafty now...
Hey, I got stuff to write!

Last night Wes came over to help me with another “project” I’ve been wanting to do. The puny one-bulb wall light that came in our garage is just not enough to light that place up. Since it’s attached to a switch inside the laundry room, I’ve been wanting to rewire that switch to ignore that tiny light and instead control a new shop light that I would mount from the garage rafters. Sounds easy enough right? Problem is, I’m cursed.

When it comes to “mechanical” projects I am utterly hopeless. Murphy’s Law seems to be in full effect every time I have to use hammer, nail, drill or saw. It’s just the way it’s always been. I have a feeling I inherited it, because I can remember helping my dad and uncle hang paneling in our spare room once – you know where you slather the back of the paneling with something not unlike Liquid Nail and press it against the existing wall? Yeah, we got about three or four panels in place and realized we had been hanging them upside down. Too bad that glue binds stronger than anything on earth… we just hung the rest upside down. Pretty little flowers, all growing right down towards the floor. There are so many more examples… but I think you get the idea.

Anyway, since Wes had successfully done some wiring projects at his house – his resume impressed me, so I asked if he wouldn’t mind helping me out. Being the sucka he is, he graciously agreed. He had previously hung a shop light in his own garage, as well as put in a couple ceiling fans and done other miscellaneous projects. He also once recounted to me a story in which, during one of his projects, he managed to put a knee through his ceiling from the attic. Sounded bad, but I wasn’t worried. Looking back, I shoulda realized that Wes had a history…

We made a couple trips to the Home Depot (see, you can never go to the HD only once for a project… it always requires at least two trips – one usually involving a return or exchange) to get the necessary tools and materials. After which we studied the problem, ordered some iffy take-out Chinese, and got ready to work. The initial work went great, we hung the shop light and drilled a new wire hole in the in the to-be-bypassed light wiring box, all in little time. With our spirits up, we headed into the attic with the fish tape to drop a new wire into the existing light box.

Fishing wires through existing walls is hard; not to mention supremely frustrating. I don’t think anything can be as aggravating as trying to hit a 1″ area from above with a metal tape, and doing it all blind, while breathing dust and insulation. After much cussing and sweating, we finally managed to fish a wire through. After some wire-nutting, drilling, and breaker-tripping, we finally managed to get everything done. I now have a super bright shop light hooked to the switch. It’s like noon in that garage now, I love it.

Ahhh… but I skipped the good part… As we were toiling in the attic trying to fish the wire through the garage wall – Wes Vila struck again. Yup, you got it right. Crash! Right through our laundry room ceiling. All I can say is, I managed to not fall through the roof… maybe the effects of gravity are slightly more on Wes than all other humans or something. Anyway, check it out:

wes’ hole, i stuck my hand thru and “pointed” in case you couldn’t see it
every time we open or close the garage door, a snowstorm of insulation comes raining down

despite wes’ “accident,” i have a beautiful new shop light!
my attempt to get the switch action and new light in the same shot… worked ok i suppose.

Anyway, I still gotta thank Wes for coming and helping me out. New skylight notwithstanding, we got a lot done in one evening – and my new light is awesome!! Although I did have to update my “list of jobs I think I might like:”

  • Farmer
  • Mammographer
  • Special Effects Wizard
  • Video Game Tester
  • Fishing Show Host
  • Firework Maker
  • Standup Comedian
  • Rock Star
  • Retaining Wall Builder
  • Home Wiring Expert

Did you guys notice the comment from “Shaine” on the blog yesterday? Holy crap man, lemme ‘splain a little.

Shaine and I were best buds way back in 5th grade. I’m pretty sure we were the two coolest kids at our whole school, at least that’s what we thought. We “owned” the last two swings on the line of swingsets (the farthest from the schoolbuildings, so we could cuss and tell dirty jokes without fear of punishment). If people were in them, they would actually get out when they saw us coming. Shaine lived across the field from me, and we used to run across the field and climb his backyard fence when going between houses (the farmer didn’t like it very much). Man, did we have some awesome times… I’ll write about them sometime. I just wanted to mention it because it blew my mind to finally talk to him again (on IM). Thanks for reading, and commenting. If all goes well – we plan to hook up again when I go down to visit my folks next, possibly even visit some of our old haunts in Lompoc. I’m totally pumped.

Finally, sorry this blog is so late… but honestly, it’s pretty big and kinda complicated. Little images and bulleted lists in tables, man… crazy. Hope you enjoyed it.

Dave out.

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