2011.03.30 Beware of things that spin

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

I came downstairs one morning in late-February to discover a note from David in the microwave. 

No, it wasn’t a sweet belated Valentine or a frustrated observation that I’d again left the kitchen table in a crazy mess of newspapers and junk mail.

It was a warning: “It’s done. Do not use!”

The microwave, he later told me, shot out a brilliant arc of electricity before sputtering to a certain death.

The collapse of all things electrical began on my first trip to Little Rock when I pulled out my phone charger and it collapsed in my hands. It was a very cheap car phone charger purchased because I was too cheap to buy a regular phone charger. 

I considered spending more than the two bucks I dished out, but this cell phone is  old—probably on-its-last-legs old. But it keeps on kicking—or did until the charger self-destructed, coming apart at its center and spitting out skinny red and yellow wires.

It’s a 2119b Kyocera, an early Virgin Mobile model that we bought Rosie when she was in high school...Rosie is about to turn 25 which means the phone is at least eight years old. Other than the numbers fading away and its insatiable need for electricity, it’s perfectly fine.

Maddie doesn’t think so, though. Whenever I pull it out in public, she walks away from me.

I told my friend Adrienne about it and she just laughed.

“Oh, Mrs.,” she said. “Is it one of those refrigerator-size phones? Who could blame her?”

Certainly not the salesclerks I showed it to when trying to buy a new charger. Everyone from Michigan to Little Rock got a good laugh upon seeing the phone.

Microwave, phone, and then the washing machine. The washer has been biting the dust for some time now, but I’d rather spend money to visit my new grandbaby than buy a new machine. 

It’s been two weeks since I’ve seen baby Caroline and I can hardly stand it. Every day I flip through photos and we’ve done a little Skyping, but it just isn’t like being there in Little Rock, smelling her pure goodness...not perfumey baby products...just pure baby.

Everything she does is cause for celebration or noteworthy in some way—even her grunting sounds and eye-rolling routine that brings to mind “The Exorcist” as her eyes roll to the back of her head, then both look left, both look right, then look cross-eyed.

Her little pursed lips as if she’s practicing how to kiss, her smiles—real smiles, her full array of entertaining facial expressions and vocalizations—they’re all just cause for wonder.

She’s a person! A real, red-headed, sweet little person! There’s no end to the mystery of it, the awe, that this pretty little thing sprung forth from my daughter, who sprung forth from me. I know, there were a couple of men involved along the way, but it just seems not quite believable that such a thing could happen.

So, nursing that washing machine along is fine by me, especially since David just discovered a unique fix for the problem of the washer not kicking into the spin cycle. He stuck a screw driver into the lid locking mechanism and somehow, with the lid up, the washing machine courses through all its cycles with no problem.

On a do-it-yourself online forum, the issue was actually being discussed after a guy named Ben (No, not our son, Ben. Our Ben is usually frustrated by his parents’ make-do attitude and would go out and buy a proper washing machine.) posed this problem about his newly purchased second hand washing machine:

Subject: missing washing machine lid, need to bypass lock mechanism!

“I lost the lid when i picked it up from where I bought it from and the lid blew off when I delivered home.”

“Running a wash machine with no lid is going to be both dangerous and messy,” advised one responder. 

I read that to David and he disagreed.

“The only danger is fighting the urge to stick your finger in there,” he said. “No, not finger, hand,” he amended his original statement.

“‘Finger’ is when you have a table fan and the shield comes off,” he explained.  When the fan is spinning around, “You want to just stick your finger in,” he said.

I told that to Adrienne and she said, “I guess I better not turn my ceiling fan on when Mr. comes to visit. He might get the urge to stick his head in it.”

Note to Caroline: You better focus those eyes when you’re around your Grandpa.

  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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