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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   laparoscopic electrical wires
Tuesday, January 9 2024
It was snowing pretty hard late this morning when I wanted to drive into town to get some electrical supplies for the split installation project. So I waited, and by early afternoon it was pretty clear that if I wanted to get supplies in a timely fashion, I would have to take the Forester (since the Bolt is not to be depended on in such conditions). So off I went, without any dogs, since they hadn't wanted to come. At the Home Depot I bought a couple tandem 15 amp circuit breakers (the kind that can produce two circuits while occupying only one slot) so I could open up some slots for the two-pole circuit breaker to provide 240 volts to the new split. I also bought that two-pole 15 amp circuit breaker, a quick-shutoff box, 100 feet of outdoor 12 gauge romex, and a 16 inch Monster energy drink (which goes good with the 150 milligrams of pseudoephedrine I'd taken this morning).
Back at the house, I procrastinated work on the split project by adding some nice frontend Javascript to the spec web app I've been building.
By the time Gretchen left for her prison poetry class up in Coxsackie, the snow had turned to rain and she could take the Chevy Bolt. At that point, I started working on routing the power for the new split. Power for splits has to go to the outdoor unit, though in some cases it's useful to take advantage of holes opened up in the walls for the refrigerant lines to also route the power cable (since both the refrigerant and the electricity have to get to the outdoor unit). The indoor unit is in a wall directly above the north wall of the boiler room, the wall where the main circuit breaker panel lives. I figured that if I could get a wire down the inter-stud bay and then through the floor plate, I might be able to get it to the circuit breaker box with a minimum of temporary holes through the drywall. I like to route new electrical wires laparoscopically through the existing structure so as to minimize subsequent repairs. In routing the wire today, I wanted to just cut a single assistance hole in the drywall. The best place to do this was in the south wall of the garage, since it is the north wall of the first floor office, the same wall that the indoor split will be hanging on. It seemed best to make the temporary hole from the garage side, since a baseboard heater runs along that wall in the first floor office. Also, that wall has been painted a pastel purplish-blue on that side, and I might not have that paint anymore. (On the garage side, the paint is just flat white primer.)
Once I opened up the wall and used fish tape to get the romex from the laboratory down to the hole I'd made at the bottom of the garage wall, I then had to drill a hole through the wall's bottom plate and feed the wire down through it, hoping that if I stuffed enough down there, some of it would randomly end up atop the drywall in the boiler room, where for years now I've had a large access hole cut in the ceiling about five feet away. Luckily, a loop of that wire was reachable from that access hole, and I was able to grab it and pull it out. Then I used fish tape to pull a string up from just above the circuit breaker box. I tied the string to the end of the new romex and pulled like hell, hoing it would then hang from the ceiling above the circuit breaker box. But it was caught up there somewhere and I could only get a couple feet to pull down. Eventually I figured out that it had gotten looped over a pipe, so I had laparoscopically wrangle the romex backwards and around to the non-hung-up side of that pipe, an effort that required me to push my left shoulder joint to the painful limits of its range of motion. Ultimately, though, I got the romex to do what I wanted, with enough hanging from the ceiling for wiring up the new circuit in the circuit breaker box. But that would be for another day. I decided I'd earned the right to start drinking. But I also took some diphenhydramine so I wouldn't stay up too late drinking and end up with a hangover.

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