Today is the Saturday of the long Thanksgiving weekend. It’s nearly the end of November, and weather-wise the month is living up to its reputation: it is just above freezing, damp, and constantly threaten to rain, sleet or snow.
I’m sitting here in my living room with my cat Beatnik sleeping next to me. My main task at the moment is to wait for the repair person from Time Warner Cable to come and fix whatever is preventing us from getting pay-per-view and certain channels, especially some HD channels. This is a recurring problem we’ve had through the years. Sometimes they come and tweak something on the utility pole out front. One time they installed a signal booster and I suspect that is the problem today. It’s now several years old and is probably just starting to fail. It’s plugged into a GFCI outlet in the basement and I did check that the outlet does not need resetting.
Our house was built in 1820 and that outlet is located in the very oldest part. The floor is dirt and you can see that some of the beams are really just stripped logs with the adz marks still on them. There is a plaster ceiling down there, though some of it has fallen. There are also some mystery tables in the center of the room that seem to imply that some sort of industry took place in that space.
Right next to that room is what was first the kitchen for the house. We know that because there is a boarded up fireplace, which is otherwise rather rare to have in a basement. It is one of six fireplaces in the house, though we only use one, the newest, in the dining room. Even then we only use it for special occasions, and we had it going for several hours on Thanksgiving.
The five other fireplaces are all on a central chimney and I wouldn’t use them before I had them checked out thoroughly. Eight years ago we were told that we could use them sparingly, but I’m just too afraid of a house fire to try them. Maybe someday we’ll get them relined and have some sort of new dampers installed, but that is a luxury that can wait a long time.
That room downstairs that was the first kitchen is now my workshop. One of the things I need to do is run some new electrical wires and install more outlets. I’m making do with an extension cord but it’s not that practical. I’m hoping to reorganize the shop this winter and build a long work table on which I can put my miter saw and bench top drill press.
I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that I’ve had the drill press for several years but have never taken it out of the box. I know that it is packed in some kind of rust-preventing gel that will require kerosene to dissolve. That means it’s a job best done outside. It’s also a job I usually think of doing in January, just about the worst time of the year to do such a task in the backyard or garage.
So it gets put off, and here it is November again. It’s not going to get done today because, as I said, I have a very important job to do. I need to sit here on my couch and wait for the cable TV repairman.