Thursday, October 22, 2009

Everything Falls Apart

Everything is falling apart around the ol' Rectoría! The dang mac mini went on the fritz a month ago and I finally got it into the shop, where it is still undergoing "diagnostics." I think they're just holding it hostage but they haven't made any monetary demands yet. Then the dagnab "wood ants", who, you may recall, ate some of my books last year, decided to attack my lps. They ate all the Monty Python records! They ate the jackets and labels and left their disgusting bodily fluids all over the vinyl, rendering them unplayable. I hates me them wood ants!



I like to use a Braun electric toothbrush (illustrated above), 'cuz it makes my teeth feel like I just had them cleaned at the dentist's office. The kind I use costs $14.00 and the replacement brushes cost $11.00 for a package of three; not cheap! However, the freakin' electrical device thang tends to cease functioning with the greatest of ease. If it's not the on-off switch it's the motor freezing up. I've gone through four of these things in a two-year period, which is ridiculous! My personal belief is that all the Quality Control departments of all the companies in Northern Hemisphere send all their crappy stuff to Central America. I'm working on a Glenn Beck-style blackboard explanation of the whole thing.


Our showerhead is similar to this one

So the other night the Lovely Mona announces that "the water heater no longer works." And while it's true that we have no need or desire for hot showers filling the bathroom with so much steam that one needs a fog horn to find one's way to the sink, we do like just a little warm water to take the chill off. When we lived i Paraíso, in the former Canal Zone, we had a tankless flash heater which was great, except that we always seemed to run out of propane while I was in the shower. The Rectoría in Parque Lefevre, however, has the terrifying Shower Head Flash Heater (illustrated above). There is nothing as comforting as standing naked in the shower, water raining down on oneself, glancing up at the showerhead and seeing electric wires going from the wall to the water-spewing showerhead. Water and electricity go so well together!!! Last week I switched it from "warm" to "hot" (which is always scary as there is a spark and there's nothing as much fun as seeing electrical sparks while standing naked in the shower) and in about two minutes there was an odor which was so strong and chemical-smelling that I couldn't even breathe. I switched it back to "warm" (more sparks, of course!) and the odor disappeared. So I wasn't too surprised by the Lovely Mona's report. I was surprised, however, to learn that the showerhead heater that died had been recalled by the manufacturer because it "poses a danger of electrocution." (whodda thunkit?)

killer recalled showerhead heater

I remembered that I had a spare somewhere in the place, so yesterday when returned home from la parroquia I searched for said showerhead heater thang. I found it, fetched my tool-box, and headed into the Master Bathroom. The switchbox for the power source for the Scary Hotwater Heater is along the side of the house. There is a locked gate there, and I was Extremely Unhappy to discover that the key to that gate had been lost while we were in the U.S.A. on our sabbatical. I looked throughout the house and was unable to find the key. I tried turning off the power to the bathroom, but it is too dark in that room to see without artificial lighting. I decided to give the ol' Ignorant Fix-it Guy method a try and just work without turning off the power. The Lovely Mona expressed some discomfort with this, especially with the idea of my demise coming about through electrocution. Being the Manly Man that I am, I gave it a try anyway. There were a few too many sparks for my taste, so I finally reached out the bathroom window (which is quite difficult as we have louvered glass windows and them "keep the stealie-boys out" bars on the windows). I reached out the window, patting the wall until I found the switchbox and was actually able to turn off the power to the Dangerous Killer Showerhead of Doom. From there on things were Peachy Keen, as the kids say, and I removed the Dangerous Killer Showerhead of Doom and replaced it with a different Super Scary-looking Showerhead of Doom from Another Manufacturer. Reached out the window, turned the power back on, tested for warm water and was pleased. Of course, since I know darn well that all the crappy stuff is sent to Central America, I'm not sure how long this one will last, but at least I had a pleasant shower this morning.

Other than that, everything is going really well!

Here endeth the rant

9 comments:

Ann said...

YIKES!! Glad you did not fry yourself.

Anonymous said...

Is there an address in Panama (and is the mail delivery
reliable?) where anonymous donations can be sent to you?

DHL has an Express Donkey Delivery which I am told is
dependable. Being as I am from Missouri (which is the
Show Me state. . .no Wait, It's the Scold Me state. . .
wait, hold on). . .Hmmm.

Okay. Is there an address wherein donations
(or donuts, as the case may be) can be sent to
Panama to ameliorate your condition??

No questions, please. Just answers.

Peace and happiness,
Atkins tv J.in.the.B 434 , etc, etc. . .

PseudoPiskie said...

MAKE CHECK PAYABLE TO:
St. Francis Episcopal Church
Be sure to indicate on check:
Dresbach Missionary Fund
SEND CHECK TO:
St. Francis Episcopal Church
Attn: Treasurer
1205 Pine Avenue
San Jose, CA 95125-3459

David |Dah • veed| said...

Is reaching out a window and feeling around blind in the main power box of a home in Latin America, installed by an electrician who may or may not have actually been an electrician, a sign of insanity or bravery?

Perhaps it is the doorway to the virgins of paradise? No, no, that is that other religion. Oh yes, we are anglo-catholics, sainthood?

Gracias a Dios, that you have survived the ordeal.

I have just recently lighted our gas water heater because the cold water is once again cold. At mid day one can still shower here in cold water, however, early risers cannot. Our weather is now fluctuating between 32°C in the day and 15°C at night.

Kirstin said...

Jeebus! I'm AWFULLY glad you're alive!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, PseudoPiskie (although, I would prefer the
TruePiskie!! But we must take and be grateful for
what we get in Life. . .), for the info.

I will research Heated Showerheads.. I feel almost certain that they can be battery-op or at least
plug-in rather than hard-wired and dangerous.

And electrically-driven toothbrushes are a mere
bagatelle. If I send one to the address which you have
listed, will it be forwarded to Mickey?

RSVP,
Thanks,
Atkins & J.in.the.B 434, etc, etc. . .

Padre Mickey said...

Anonymous Atkins T.V. etc,
The address psuedopiskie posted is an address for financial donations. It's not a good idea to mail things here as the postal service is terrible and things "disappear."

The spare showerhead is working fine, as is the toothbrush I bought two weeks ago. I was just posting about how stuff seems to fall apart easily here.

Thanks for you concern and generous offer.

So, are you ever going to email me?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the address correction. As it happens, I
currently know someone from Panama who swears
(not in actual profanity, mind you. . .) that his
beloved home is a Mecca of Modern Technology. He
responds with what could only be described as
"Pixie-ish Vexation Bordering on Sociopathic
Hostility" (he's quite small) whenever I describe the
Panamanian Phone System as being a series of
Dixie Cups linked by Twine.

I am assuming that you are in a rather rural
location. DHL actually does have a reputation for
delivering packages in dauntingly dusty locales.

However, shall I assume that the minions who
reside at the address that PseudoPiskie gave are
capable of forwarding donations to your doorstep,
such that you can determine how best to partake
of them?

RSVP

P.S. As to your last question, there is an Old
Etruscan saying: When The Full Moon Shall Wax
Over The Baskin-Robbins, There Shall Be a New
Sorbet.

I never fully understood exactly what that meant.
I merely offer it, humbly, for your edification

Peace and Happiness,
Atkins TV & Jack-in-the-Box 434

Padre Mickey said...

I live in Panama city. The phone system is a little better than dixie cups on a string, but the telephones often go out when it rains, and it rains nine months out of the year.

I See You!

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