atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2805: Electricity is making me lose my mind

Current voltage: 132 (Heh. "Current".)

"You should call ComEd and complain!" Right now there are still tens of thousands of people in the area who are without power thanks to the big storm that blew through the other day. I called them last night and learned that ComEd isn't listening to any calls but those reporting outages until the present emergency is over.

Why on earth the voltage is 5-8 volts lower during the day is beyond me. 132 is still too high, but at least it's only 10% over instead of 16% or more. 10% is within the range most devices can safely handle.

To make things even more entertaining, last night before bed I decided I'd replace the fan switch in the bathroom. It didn't take much doing, but it resulted in no change whatsoever: the fan still doesn't come on.

I pulled the cover off and checked the fan itself; it's not seized or anything, so I pulled the plug in the housing and checked for current: nothing. Obviously the "hot/melty" smell was something else going on; it wasn't the switch. (It might have been the UPS dying, but who knows?)


Today, then, I get to climb into the attic with my DMM and try to figure out where the juice went. The fear of a short circuit led me to turn the power to the bathroom off, even though the wires are in conduits, because you never know what can go wrong and safe is better than sorry. (Pity I haven't got RJ crimpers to hand; I could run the network cable at the same time.)

I had originally planned to do car stuff today, since it's so nice out, but fixing a wiring problem with the house comes first.

* * *

Okay, this is something I've been meaning to talk about for months (if not longer) and haven't, and I was reminded by something else that I'll write about presently.

...on route 30 in or around Dyer, Indiana, there's this little white house with a sign out front. This little white house is a business; it's a psychic's office and it's surrounded by other businesses.

The large text on the sign reads: "TARROT".


Every time I see that sign, I know what happened: the "psychic" never heard anyone pronounce the name of the deck of almost-mystical cards and said, "I want the sign to say 'Tarrot blah blah blah'." (Look: when I pass the thing, I'm doing 45 MPH in traffic--usually moderate-to-heavy--and I don't have time to read it all.) Whoever produced the sign didn't ask for a spelling and just wrote what he heard.

I have to wonder how many people pay money to get a "tarrot" reading every week.

* * *

Paganism owes its present existence to Christianity.

"Ancient" mysticism.

The latter link is to Cracked. Yoga? Not old. Satanism? Not old. Tarot cards? Not old.

Me? Not surprised.

* * *

Right now it's scarcely warmer outside than it was at 4 AM. Looks like the weekend will be hot again. Right now I--thanks to a Xanax before bed due to anxiety attack--have absolutely no energy or ambition or motivation to do anything more complicated than going back to sleep.

In fact, I'm sitting here with my eyes closed and typing, with my head back against the chair, because I just don't have any energy to hold up my head. How lazy is that?

...but it's also a pretty awesome display of my typing ability, isn't it? I always used to have to look at the keys, but somewhere along the line I learned to touch-type with only the occasional look at the keys. I still need to look at the screen in order to prevent mistakes, but by and large I need only occasional glances at the keyboard to make sure my fingers are in the right spot. The class I took in 10th grade was supposed to teach me to have my eyes on a document while typing what's on the document onto a new page, but I was not a very good student.

Still, that's what touch-typing is for. Of course, that was 1982, and I learned to type on an IBM Selectric. Thirty years later, it's a computer, and you rarely see typewriters any more, even in offices. They've just been outmoded, is all.

More power to people who use them (and handwriting) to do rough drafts and stuff, but it's just not my bag. I prefer word processors; after 29 years of typing, it's second nature. The words appear in my brain and just naturally flow out my fingertips.

...there's a commercial on the radio for some "speech to text" program, and it features the announcer speaking the way people do when they're typing as they speak. (Like in Wargames: "Later....Let''Global...Thermonuclear...War'.") If you know how to type, it's not even remotely like that.

We think a lot faster than we speak. The brain already knows how to insert "wait states" in the formulation process for speaking; typing is slower than speech but the same "subroutine" that inserts those wait states in the composition of speech works for typing. So the sentence you want to type gets held in a kind of buffer while your fingers rattle the keys, and once you've learned how to do it you can hold some really complicated ideas in mind while the bits trickle out through the fingertips.

Unless I'm thinking about it, I don't even notice the keyboard. What I think appears on the screen.

* * *

Hmm, that description of how tired I feel turned into a mini-essay on typing. If I keep up with this, I'm not going to get anything done. I'd better post this and get moving.

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