Thursday, December 1, 2011

All Thumbs Part II

    When last we left our hero (who would be me.  Oh, la-di-da, don't we think a lot of ourself?), the motion detector was successfully installed.  Or was it?
Look out squirrels!!
    While I inspected the job, my son (who had wandered away from his X-Box when he heard a chipmunk) stared at the underside of the brightly-lit detector. 
    “Hey, Dad, what’s that written on the underside of the sensor?”
    Deciding to eschew (French for “disregard.”  Or “atchoo.”  Which doesn’t make sense) the ladder, I squinted my eyes at some squiggles written on the plastic. 
    “Oh, that?  It’s probably Chinese for ‘Use only 60 watt bulbs’ or something like that.  Don’t worry about it.”
    My testosterone at maximum level, I could conquer the world.  I confidently strode into the house, thumped my chest, and announced to the womenfolk that I was Conqueror of Darkness.
    “Here,” my wife flung a pork loin my way and pointed at the grill, “now you can be Lord of Fire.”
    The motion detector did its thing for several weeks.  It could spot the movement of the smallest of critters, energize its halogen lamps, and instantly bring the driveway to near-solar intensity.
    Our property became an impregnable fortress, secure from wanton acts of nature.  And, if called upon, could be an emergency airfield.
It was so bad it was raining cats, dogs,
and Asians
    Last week, though, we had a rainstorm to match all rainstorms.  Streams overflowed, gutters choked with sodden debris, cars stalled in flooded intersections, and our neighbor, “Frank the Drunk”, started hauling in pairs of zebras and ducks into his bass boat.
    Oh, yeah, and our motion detector stopped working.
    Initially refusing to shut off, even during the day, it was merely tricked by the gloom of the storm.  Or so I thought.
    But, when the sun finally came out and we needed sunglasses, the light still refused to turn off.
    Seeing that, I thought that somehow the designers of the thing hadn’t taken torrential downpours into account.  Obviously, water had gotten into the whole shooting match and shorted out the wires.
Famous dead Italian electricity guy.
 Upstaged by that know-it-all, Edison.
Who wasn't Italian.
Marconi, not macaroni, dumbass!
    Of course, since I’m not exactly Marconi, the thought of WHY something that was shorted would still WORK never crossed my mind.
    Armed with an industrial size tube of waterproof silicant, I once more ascended my ladder to remedy the situation (this time I shut off the power).
    After coating all possible openings with the waterproof goop (of the motion detector), I descended the ladder making sure I didn’t go crashing into the garbage cans, forcing a visit to the local ER.  Re-energizing the circuit, I returned to inspect my work.  Voila!  The lights had gone off!
Okay, this wasn't me.
I had my shirt on.
    Mentally exchanging high-fives with myself, I put everything away and proceeded to fix lunch (OK, cookies, Totinos, and a Diet Coke).  Once it got dark, we’ll just see how good of a job I did!
    Well, darkness came and went.  And, the motion detector worked as well as a clock made of cheese.
    Perplexed, I figured I’d have to take the whole thing off, dry it, and re-install it.
    Balancing precariously on the ladder, I twisted the sensor and grimaced as a cascade of water rolled down my arm into my armpit.
    That figures!  Cheap Chinese, Japanese, whatever, piece of crap!  What frikkin’ genius thought to put the controls on top of the sensor so rain can just roll right in and fry the thing? 
    As I was mentally spending my refund after I returned this hunk of junk, I noticed the words that my son had pointed out as I was congratulating myself a few weeks ago.  Words that were printed on what I thought was the underside of the sensor.  Words that, when turned the right way, clearly stated:
    Back to the store.


  1. My grand dad had nice words for things like that but I can't remember what they were.

  2. And, if he was old enough, neither could he.

  3. Ok so installing a sensor light upside down is right up there with my hubby's achievement of installing a door handle on the hinge side of the door.

    Still, there is some merit in your adventure - maybe aliens will receive the sky pointing on-off signal in 60 years and interpret the defacto morse code into - "Don't come to earth we are not as advanced as we think we are yet, wait another 5000 years".

    Sorry Al but it was just too good to pass up and you seem the kind of guy who can take it. If you are not, here's a big hug to put me back in the good books -> (((((((Al))))))



  4. For a second I was thinking to myself "but... a clock made out of cheese would be useless!" ...and then I got it haha.

    Great write up, laughed the whole way through.

  5. you make me laugh. you and your cheese clock.

  6. That's okay, Al, you're a guy. Guys don't read directions.

  7. You mean the poor motion detector was upside all that time? Boy, it must have been dizzy. How long could you function while doing a headstand?

  8. I loved this post as usual Al, your posts and your comments always give me a laugh. A clock made of cheese... lmaoooo!

  9. hahaha see you should listen to those momentary breaks from x-box land. After all playing with all the noobs, smart things get said when we leave..haha

    I bet the cats were still nicer then the dogs and

  10. I bet Mrs. Penwasser was just shaking her head.

  11. Your lunch of cookies, chips and a DC sounds like something my husband would concoct. Why is it that men refuse to read directions? I don't let Kaleb put stuff together by himself anymore for this reason!

  12. Well, if you were in China it would have been right side-up wouldn't it? So it was correct there but not over here in our part of the world. (Drill the hole through the earth to get over there and check the soundness of my logic I say, then come back and let me know if I was right. :-D )

  13. Speaking of rainstorms, we had a lot during the summer. One day we had some rain, the next day I check my fb online and the house where my local political group meets at got flooded. The house was in a deep hill, so it destroyed everything inside except some furniture. It from a nice house to garbage in just a day. It did have an upstairs but some kids broke in and vandalized the place. Talk about a nice week. Good thing they just rented from it.

  14. @Marlia: Now if I could only figure out why my toilet flushes when I turn on the lights.... Ya know, you might be right. Maybe the aliens should wait a few years.
    @Sub-Radar: But, we could always spread that clock on a Ritz.
    @Sherilin: At least the clock was made of good Wisconsin cheddar. But, it only keeps good time during Packers games.
    @Nancy: I KNEW there was a reason I should have read the directions on that hand dryer in the bathroom. I looked pretty silly squatting underneath it to dry my face. Plus, my lips got chapped.
    @Gorilla: And think about all the water which would drip into my shorts.
    @Yeamie: It was on sale. Next to the crackers and hunks of summer sausage.
    @Eva: I think I inherited my tinkering skills from dad. Uh oh. Better buy some stock in duct tape, wood putty, electrical tape, and spackle.
    @Pat: But their claws ripped the crap out of my umbrella. And the dogs took a big dump on me. But, the Asians cooked them both and called them General Tso's This-Sure-As-Frig-Isn't-Chicken Chicken.
    @Ruth: She called me by several pet names.
    @Leslie: We always figure there's a better way of doing things. Thinking like this leads to things like the Pinto, New Coke, and Adam Sandler movies, though.
    @Giggle: I never thought of that! THAT'S why they're going to rule the world. Well, that and we have those Adam Sandler movies.

  15. I was going to say....and that furniture was pool furniture....but this is a sad story.
    Oh, crap, I DID say it, didn't I?
    That really sucks, though.

  16. This video is the only way I can express my current thoughts.

  17. Me like Tim Allen work tools make grunt.

  18. I just realized I haven't had macaroni in forever and now I want some :(

  19. Nice work, Penwasser! *high five!*
    I love laughing at, er, with you. :)

  20. @Bones: The homemade stuff is the best (although I'll enjoy the Velveeta and even Kraft kind).
    @Dawn: Thanks! And now I'm getting ready to go up on a ladder to put up the Christmas lights. Golly, I hope they have Wi-Fi in the Emergency Room so I can blog about it.

  21. Either way it should have been sealed. Damn chapaneese clocktronics anyways. Who puts a hole in an outdoor fixture/

  22. This sounds exactly like the sort of thing I would do to anything I install.

    I don't trust myself with any form of home improvement.

  23. That made me laugh...

    This would be longer, but I'm late for a date with my new bedding, and as I tossed my good luck penny, after deciding THAT Heads would be more commenting for Al, and Tails would be me under the covers...I flipped it up and it landed....THIS SIDE UP! (which is the opposite of THAT)

    So, goodnight Al...lights out!


  24. Funny stuff! And clever! Of COURSE I thought you wrote macaroni, not MARCONI! You are a funny guy!

  25. How did I miss this.

    Hahahahaha, you and I are apparently similarly skilled at DIY.

  26. @Bushman: It's become the stuff of family legend.
    @Dwei: I should just learn from my mistakes.
    @Jenny: That is TOO FUNNY. Thanks for the chuckle.
    @Pat: Good thing the guy's name wasn't Zitiberg.
    @dirty: I'm willing to tackle any home repair project. If nothing else, they give my family plenty to laugh at.