Skip to content

Science Fair 1841

September 29, 2009

I have finally accepted the inevitable. Fall is coming, and it’s probably going to be followed by winter. And the preparations have begun. Last week I bought a box of assorted herbal teas. I wore my fall coat to work yesterday. And last night I replaced the two thin blankets on my bed with the duvet that I had ceremonially deposited in the storage closet at the end of June when it finally stopped snowing.

The only thing left to do was to turn on the heat. It’s been a bit chilly in the apartment for the past few days, but either I was in denial about that or I was trying to be a man about it, whichever better suits your perspective of me and/or sounds funnier. Yesterday, though, it was time to knock the nip from the air in here. I pushed the lever of my good old Flame-Master (that’s seriously what it’s called; photo forthcoming) up to 22. I waited. Nothing happened. The nip persisted. So, later in the evening, feeling that perhaps the heater just needed a big push to get started, I cranked the Flame-Master’s lever to 30 in an act of Princess-Bride-like dramatic overkill (NOT TO FIFTY!!!). But nothing happened.

While on the bus to anxiety dream land last night or I guess technically early this morning, I came up with the really smart idea of turning the fuse off and then on again, thereby kickstarting the heat somehow. This morning I realized that there is no fuse for heat radiators. I’m no electrician or whatever type of person it is that would deal with this, but I am persistent and I have a real single lady’s need to prove her independence by going above and beyond in the field of DIY home repair. Earlier this year my toilet stopped working and I fixed it using only a towel and a toilet brush and it was the happiest moment of my life. About a week later I found a plunger in the back of my bathroom cupboard, but only because short stories need poignlarious endings. Needless to say, that’s a really obnoxious portmanteau of poignant and hilarious. I’m glad I didn’t know the plunger was there. I did it myyyyyyyy way. (I did that sentence Frank Sinatra’s way.)

Anyway. I pried the decorative cover off the Flame-Master and was rather surprised with the results:

The Flame Master. It's not as crooked as the bad photography makes it appear.

BEFORE: The Flame-Master. It's not as crooked as the bad photography makes it appear.

Seriously? A little tube of mercury attached to a bunch of wires and coily things?

AFTER: Seriously? A little tube of mercury attached to a bunch of wires and coily things?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This thing is just way too Wallace-and-Gromit for me to be fully comfortable with its existence in reality. I wish my camera took better close-ups so you could see the intricacies. It looks like the project my grade nine shop class made after learning (and, in at least one case, promptly forgetting) the basics of circuitry, except some of the components are way too old. That phial of mercury hanging out in the top left gave me pause. It looks like something you’d find in your dead great-grandfather’s basement. The whole thing is reminiscent of an earlier century. In fact, I decided to take another photo in sepia:

Introducing the winner of the science contest (ages 13-15) at the 1841 County Fair...Horace Thompson's amazing Thermotronic Tempometer.

Introducing the winner of the science contest (ages 13-15) at the 1841 County Fair: Horace Thompson's amazing Thermotronic Tempometer!

I would have liked this post to end with me restoring heat to the land, but no dice so far. I may have to talk to the landlord, despite our ongoing wasp eradication feud. Until then I guess it’s on to Plan C: going around each room banging on radiators. I was planning to wear a sweater today anyway, and the cat has a coat on all the time, so it’s no problem.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: