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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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   Charlotte's first bath
Monday, February 12 2024
I spent much of the night on the laboratory beanbag, as Lester the Cat was occupying my preferred non-bed sleeping place, the teevee room couch. Before I got up off the beanbag this morning, I happened to think that I might've made a wiring mistake yesterday in Ray & Nancy's garage subpanel. Much of the wiring in Ray's studio (which is a large part of the garage) comes off half of a 240 volt circuit that divides somewhere downstream from the subpanel. Since there's no evidence of any actual 240 volt applications in the garage, I'd put the two halves of that circuit on separate, unbridged circuit breakers. But I'd added them at separate times, and it occurred to me that I might have added them on the same 120 volt pole. This would be bad, because it would mean two separate circuits with their own circuit breakers on one pole would be sharing a neutral. This means that if both circuits were running at near their capacity (in this case 20 and 15 amps), then the neutral would have to carry 35 amps, which it is nowhere near thick enough to do. (The reason this wouldn't be a problem if both circuits were on separate 120 volt poles is that the neutrals on those would cancel out — a perfectly-balanced load would send no current down the neutral at all.) So I sent Ray a message saying I would be coming over to check if this was the case and also to swap out the 20 amp breaker with a 15 amp one, as I thought his old armored wiring, which looks to be about 14 gauge, probably can't support 20 amps.
At around noon today I ran some errands: returning and picking up books at the Hurley library, getting some anti-itch shampoo for Charlotte at the Hurley vet, and driving out to Adams Fairacre Farms (always crowded with well to do shoppers) mostly to get pierogies (to replace the ones I'd gobbled up last night). On the way home, I stopped at Ray & Nancy's place and was pleased to see that the two circuits on that one three-wire cable were indeed on separate 120 volt poles. I was feeling so confident in my work that I downgraded the 20 amp breaker without even bothering to deenergize the subpanel first (which is somewhat dangerous but how I usually work). Then I went into the house, where I found just Nancy. She was wondering about some other sketchy issues in the garage, so I checked them out and gave my informed judgement: a bad switch was probably causing some lights not to work, and maybe someone should do something about an electrical box with wires hanging out of it (though they weren't energized, according to my multimeter).

This evening I made a big pot of chili featuring tempeh as the "meat" and lots of mushrooms that were very close to expired (some had dried up and others had grown slimy).
Later, Gretchen and I gave Charlotte a "bath" in the upstairs bathtub. It was actually more of a shower, with us dumping cups of lukewarm water on her and lathering her up with the new anti-itch shampoo. For some reason, Charlotte has very itchy skin and is always scratching. It used to be worse; soon after we got her, she broke out in little bumps that lost their hair. We're unsure if she has a food allergy or there's something environmental in our house that she's reacting to. But hopefully the shampoo will help. I should mention that she put with with the bath a lot better than I expected her to. She stood still and allowed us to lather her up, and we didn't have to fight to keep her in the tub as we used to have to do when we used to bathe Ramona (usually that was after she rolled in something disgusting).

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