Crazy Harry Plays with Electricity…again

Two days ago, Adam calls me to tell me a circuit breaker keeps tripping. So, figuring it’s bad,  I got a replacement on the way home. But when I got home, I decided to unplug everything on that circuit. Yet the circuit breaker keeps tripping, so I figure it’s definitely bad. But before I ripped into the circuit breaker box, I decided to check the circuit for shorts, you know, the kind of thing the circuit breaker is designed to protect you from. We found a short.

I decided to get Adam involved and teach him more about electricity and house wiring while I was at it. My neighbor advised that we might have a bad outlet, so we set about disconnecting each outlet in the circuit to find the culprit. The first one yielded no luck, but Adam had the brilliant idea that before we disconnected the rest, we should at least check first. This turned out to be a good idea, because by disabling(and ruling out) the first outlet, we had the means of testing the rest of the circuit from the lines we disconnected to the first outlet. Sure enough, using this logic, we nailed the outlet that was the culprit. When we took it out, I saw at once what had happened.

About a year ago, when we were repainting the family room downstairs, I had Adam do the outlets to teach him how to handle things like this. Apparently, I didn’t do a very good job supervising him, because what we saw tonight was this: when we stuffed the outlet back into the box last year, the bare ground wire was on the same side of the box as the hot wire. Two days ago, the ground wire contacted a screw on the hot side and shorted the circuit. You could see the scorch marks on the bare wire and the screw. Fortunately for us, the circuit breaker was doing its job after all! I learned my lesson(s), and it only cost me about $3.97 for the unnecessary circuit breaker, as opposed to, well, you can imagine.

So I’ll leave you with this. Remember what Crazy Harry says near the end of the original Muppet Movie?

Arianna’s 8th Birthday!

Today was my 8th  birthday. Last night, I had a sleepover party with 5 friends, some from school and some from church. We did a lot of dancing and swung our hips. Daddy took a video, and will try to post it later. Here we are after cake, opening presents. This is a Panda Bear necklace I got from Rory and Maeve. That’s Maeve behind, saying “Oh, brother!”

Today, we went to Target to get my gift, a Polly Pockets Water Slide. I took some pictures after I put it together. You have to put real water into it. Here is the slide and the dolphin ride:

This is just the slide:

This is a dolphin in the dolphin ride:

Also today, I spied another yellow bird outside out house. We got the camera, and took a picture. It’s a little blurry because we had to zoom in a lot. I looked it up in my Michigan bird book, and found out its’ called a Common Yellowthroat. This one is the female, which looks puffier and not as bright as the male:

BTW, Arianna noticed that the date on these pictures says 2008, but that’s because the camera batteries keep falling out and messing with the date. Daddy fixed it now.

Make Sure the Chocolate Chips Are OK

Yesterday, the boys went to Cedar Point. One of the people who volunteered to drive was Martha, who planned on taking her acolyte son, Jacob. As a measure of gratitude, I volunteered to take her daughter Elizabeth for the day and night. Martha was really glad, because she said she could now bring her husband Sean to Cedar Point, since he would no longer have to watch Elizabeth all day.

Arianna was delighted to have some company all day long, and a guest for the night as well. We managed to stay busy and positive most of the day, but we had a lull after dinner, and I suggested we bake cookies. Both the girls jumped for joy. And jumped and jumped. You know Arianna likes to cook, but I didn’t know that Elizabeth did, too. She especially liked cracking eggs, and got to hand pack the brown sugar. Arianna got out all the ingredients, and they took turns measuring and hand mixing, but also got to use the power mixer when it came time to combine the dry ingredients with the wet ones. I showed them how important it was to sample the chocolate chips as we put them into the mixer, just to make sure they were good enough for cookies. I figure that’s a cooking habit I can pass on, you know, chef’s privilege. I took some pics of the process. I couldn’t quite catch the huge smiles, but I guarantee they were there. Oh, and when the boys came home, they were ecstatic!

Dropping the dough

Yummy, nothing like home made!

Alice Cooper at Cedar Point?!

Our church acolytes annually visit Cedar Point each year, very shortly after school starts, as an advance appreciation of their service and ministry to the church. Today, Aaron joined the acolytes as a guest. Adam sent me this picture of him with the simple description of ‘Aaron after dinner’. I don’t know what they’re serving.

Oh, and why did Aaron let Adam take his picture? Because you still can’t see his eyes…

What is this, some sort of Jedi mind trick?!

I was sorting through the family pictures looking for something, and I stumbled upon these pics, taken in 2006. Something similar happens to me when I’m looking up a word in the dictionary, and I stumble upon lots of other words to distract me. Anyway, it appears that Adam and Aaron were goofing around with making faces and taking pictures of themselves, then they tried it on mom. Although Cyndi makes some pretty goofy faces herself(which I think inspired this photo session in the first place), she wouldn’t do it on command, despite Aaron doing his best Vincent Price Jedi intimidation technique.

Adam, Evil Eye face

Aaron, I Have to Sneeze but it’s Stuck face

The two headed-dragon from Quest For Camelot imitation

Cyndi, I’m Amused or Just Oblivious face; Aaron, Where the Wild Things Are, Wild Rumpus pose