Saturday, November 29, 2008

Flouting the Law and Christmas Trees

I broke the law boldly and proudly today. In Australia, it is unlawful for anyone who is not a licensed electrician to do anything more with electrical appliances than plug them into the wall and flip the switch. I knew this early on but never took it seriously, until I tried to change a light fixture several months after arriving! Removing a light fixture cover reveals a veritable spaghetti cluster of wires in all colors and textures. It's truly mind boggling. Why in the hell does a single light bulb need 7 to 10 separate wires running to it? I still don't know.

Anyway, since then, I've experimented and have met with mild successful, but not with anything very serious. I was planning something bigger but just the other day a licensed carpenter warned me that even he would "never touch an electrical wire." I should stay away, he urged, with a throat-cutting gesture.

Well, I went ahead anyway and can now report that the whole thing was a triumphant success. I installed two new exterior lights on our back deck. I wish I had taken a photos of the spaghetti cluster but it was tremendous, truly messed up. The light fixtures are stainless steel and they house ultra-high output compact florescent bulbs! I only had one complication. The ohm meter was cross-tiered to the swash buckle, which interverted the PPK sub-channel ground impedance loop to the panel. The boys at KBR sorted it all out, though, so everything went well in the end.

Look at the image and you'll also see that we got new vinyl cladding installed on our eaves. New gutters too but no photos of those yet.

We also put up our Christmas tree today. Miyako was so excited to get started all day beforehand that she must have asked us if it was time about a million times. Kent too found the whole thing quite amusing. He liked biting into the Styrofoam ornaments and licking off the glitter.

Took the opportunity to break open the Bailey's Kyoko's mom bought us. It was very nice.

After all the excitement, Kent was feeling a little sleepy. (Cockatoos are engaged in a battle royale in the tree behind us. They were so loud all day.)

No comments: