Saturday, April 7, 2007

Spring snow, sine curves, and switch loops.

I generally love snow but right now I feel like Nettie in The Color Purple, crying out "Why??? WHY?!?!?" to Mister: WHY is there 2-4" of snow predicted for tonight, plus a hard freeze warning?!? Who didn't get the message that it's spring?? It's APRIL for Maude's sake!!


And of course I finally PAID someone just this past week to dig up all the perennials from my old house and plant them in a temporary bed here, and I'm convinced that now they're all gonna die. Of course I could have done something like go out and cover them but that would have required me to remember to do that before 11pm tonight.

ACK! Speaking of which, there are two beautiful pots of annuals on my front steps that probably should come in.

Why can't weather be like a beautiful perfect sine curve:

(Aren't sine waves pretty and perfect? Or does it just look that way to math geeks who haven't been getting out enough lately? Rumor has it that once when I was really quite inebriated I rattled on and on about the mathematics behind the curves of a well-designed bowl, as part of an even more in-depth explanation as to why I have such a bowl fetish, all while lovingly stroking the curves of one of my favorite bowls. Hey, better than taking my shirt off, putting someone else's underwear on my head, and dancing on the table...)

Speaking of geeks, I drew out some diagrams to help me make sure I know what the heck I'm doing when I wire two lights in a row in a switch loop - where the power starts at one end, then goes to one light then another, and the switch is at the very end of the circuit. If you never see another update, you can presume I got it wrong and post your condolances for my partner. If I got it right, I'll post my diagrams just to have something to illustrate me talking about getting some real work done around here, since the diagrams are going to be more interesting to look at than the a photo of two small functional florescent fixtures in my dingey basement with wire stapled to the joists. My plan is to make sure that it works first with a modern switch, then I'm going to take off the original rotary switch and see if it appears safe & functional, and wire that in instead. Hey, a girl's gotta have SOMEthing original to use in her old house, even if it's just the light switch to her ratty fugly basement!!


Felicia said...

This is the second post today that had a math reference (pi r-squared vs 2 pi r in the other). Something in the air...

Have fun/be careful with your electrical project. Wow, that rotary control is kinda scary looking!

Shoestring Girl said...

Hi, thank you so much for visiting my website, so glad someone felt the same way about that photograph of the grandmother and child as I did. I guess it's because we are both nanas - your baby is beautiful and so is your house. I will be watching your progress.


Old House Gazette said...

I'm thinking about keeping one of my rotary switches in use, also.

(At the bottom of the page)


Georgetown House said...

Larry, I hope you make it back here - this is what I tried to post in reply at your site but it kept telling me that I was violating your site's no-swearing filter. Any idea what word(s) it didn't like? ::grin:: I mean hey, I can spew profanity like a sailor in certain moments, but it's just puzzling to be blocked when I'm trying to talk about wiring old light switches!

Here's what I wrote - so, what's the trigger?

What I haven't yet started to research is how to make it safe. Right now it appears to be a switch mounted right on top of wood... one bad short and whooosh! Then again, I haven't taken it off to see if there's perhaps some kind of ceramic backing to it... Those things are cool, though. And I asked around on old house web and talked to a few folks who had wired them to work with new wiring, so it can definitely be done!

Old House Gazette said...

It was a very silly swear filter. If you look at the copy of your comment that I posted after turning off the swear ban, you will see that it censored the "ps s" from "perhaps some", leaving "perha** ome". Weird. I hacked it and deleted most of the silly things they had in the swear word filter config page. It's all good now.

Oh, and most of those switches have a ceramic back to them. The terminals ARE usually exposed on the back, though. With new wiring, it should be reasonably safe.


Georgetown House said...



So, the "she said a dirty word*" filter took "perhaps some" and somehow decided that I was trying to sneak in the word "piss"?!? Oh hells bells, even my never-swearing Granny says piss! It's a good old fashioned country word - piss, piss, piss, piss, PISS! ::grin:: There, that felt better. Geesh, I was hoping that it was at least for something worthwhile, like "mounted"!!!

Can't. Stop. Giggling. hee.