Moody With the Blues

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I have just, for the second time in two days, reset the garage breaker. Yesterday I feel sure it tripped by dint of me closing the bay door on my way to work (without either garage heat source turned on). I’m going to hazard a guess that it blew again this morning when Lynn left for work, although the quartz heater was on.

My solar panels are reporting they don’t have access to the internet and haven’t had it since yesterday morning.

The bill to move my shed, for which I never got itemization, ought to come to $600-some dollars (almost the cost of the shed); instead, the tow truck driver has it figured at $1,000 (more than the cost of the shed).

I noticed yesterday that Na Ki’o has a grossly swollen inner eyelid.

And I decided it was time to get serious about buying a home charging station for my car — only to be confronted by 31 (seriously) different home options from the one company I had settled on.

Bah, humbug.

None of these is insurmountable, and while annoying, most appear to be fixable. In fact, I have already taken steps to resolve several of these issues.

I located Na Ki’o’s eye medicine, two containers. One turns out to be a tube of ointment, which I think I’m having more success with (although he appears to be trying to wash it out of his eye with a wet paw as I type). At any rate, his eye looks much better after 24 hours of treatment.

I called the car charger company for assistance, and the clerk directed me to a place on their website that you enter your car make and model, and they tell you which options are best. That narrowed it down to four options (with variations) — of course, none of these was part of their holiday sale.

This prompted me to finally get serious about getting some assistance with the malfunctioning electrical in our house. I had complained to Dusty in October that the steam shower blew the new, higher-amp breaker not once but twice, and all I got in reply was: “I tried to call Shawn, but the connection was garbled.” And that was the last of it.

So I e-mailed my new work electrician, Peter. Peter has only been my work electrician for a little over a year, since my long-time guy retired. What I like about Peter is that he doesn’t care for mysteries, and he’s very dogged about working on the problem until it gets solved. I was on the roof the other day, and while I was there I admired how much cleaner all the electrical looks since he was up there a year ago.

Peter replied to my e-mail within the hour. He didn’t give me a time frame for when he can get here, but he will come examine my shower and all the other breakers. He said older appliances can trip these new, overly-sensitive breakers, but things like new garage doors should not be causing a problem. He also looked at the car charging website and told me which one to buy, although I have to e-mail him this morning to ask which of three variations to get.

In the meantime, I guess Lynn and I will have to get out of our cars, go around the house and into the garage by way of a small door to make sure closing the big doors didn’t shut off every single thing in the garage.

The solar power reporting is clearly just going to be a forever sort of project. Periodically the owner of the local company e-mails me to say she thinks Sun Power has gotten its act together. So far she’s been mistaken, every single time.

I was on the reporting site yesterday, because the nice part of their dashboard is that they show total electrical use in the house by the hour. I wanted to see how much extra we were using while heating the garage. But while Lena saw positive solar production for previous months the last time she looked, I saw more grid usage, which is in direct conflict with the bills I got from my electrical co-op.

I don’t know if the constant breaker trips in the garage, where the “supervisor” for our solar system is located, is messing with the reporting, and I suppose as long as the panels themselves are producing (except the one covered in snow) it can remain a minor irritation, but still . . .

Moving from the minor to the major, we get to my shed-moving bill. The tow company owner had intimated that it was going to be $1,000, but he did not provide an invoice, and seemed surprised that we would want one. He said he would get one, but then we had some snowy days, and I figured he was busy. Then we had unsnowy days and I still didn’t get my invoice.

Finally I started making calls. The city very generously did not charge him for smacking into their lamp post, and Western Lumber told me the fence posts he used to roll the shed along (which are now in our possession) would come to about $85. I guessed labor at 3.5 hours, although 3 seemed more accurate.

Yesterday afternoon I e-mailed my guesses, and was told I was wrong. It was 4.5 hours of labor, he said, although I don’t see how, because I drove past the shed a little over an hour before it was moved, with no sign of activity. But I’m never going to win that argument. And the fence posts were somehow $9 more.

Then, first I heard of it, it turns out he bought some special straps for this project, at a cost of $260. He seemed to figure it would be fine for us to pay for them and him to keep them, because he can foresee using them in the future. Belatedly, like around 5 p.m. yesterday, it occurred to him that this might not be appropriate. He offered to give us the straps, or split the cost and he will keep them.

Lynn is inclined to take the straps, and I kind of am too, but I don’t know what we would use them for, other than moving the shed when the HOA realizes how much better it would look in among the trees. And if we tried to sell them, how much would we get for them?

Half seems like he’s still getting the vastly better end of the deal. I understand tacking on a surcharge for buying something you wouldn’t normally need to get a job completed, but I don’t understand why this wasn’t detailed clearly up front, and paying half the cost when he says it’s something he can use going forward doesn’t seem particularly equitable.

I’ll pick an option and go with it, hopefully putting an expensive end to the Saga of the Shed. I feel confident Peter will come save us from the electric torments of this house, although who knows at what price. Sun Power is never going to live up to its promise as a better and more expensive solar company, but it seems likely that we can salvage Ki’o’s eye without an expensive visit to the vet. And I’ll just go with the priciest option I can manage for a charging station.

Expensive, expansive — it’s just a matter of world view, right? Bah.

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