Pic of the day: I am not really sure what these are called in English. I am however sure that the sight would electrify any electricians and fill most housewives with a sense of horror.
OK, not quite. But a few days in advance, I got a notice that the local electricity corporation would send a technician to inspect the house. Now, as regular readers will know, this place is not called "the Chaos Node" for nothing. Vast galactic swirls of lost matter fill almost all available space except for careful pathways leading to the locations in actual use: The bathroom, the bed, the fridge, the computer. However, if you trace the AC cable extenders far enough, you will eventually come to the spots where they connect to the mains sockets. So I tried to make access to these.
This took several days of washing clothes and stowing them away, sorting papers and throwing them away, hunting down baby dust bunnies and crumb assemblies and sending them screaming into the gaping maw of the vacuum cleaner. (Dust bunnies abhor a vacuum! I am not convinced that they will eventually grow into kittens if left alone, but the fact remains that cats retain a lasting and deep abhorrence for vacuum cleaners.)
I was of course still running like a gerbil on a multi-stimulant intravenous injection when the utility buddy arrived. He removed the fuses and started to probe with his weird meters. I am not sure I saw a tricorder there, but I would not swear to the contrary either. It is as Clarke said, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Or as Florence the furry engineer more correctly put it, any technology is magic for those who don't understand it. I did however understand the things he said.
Evidently the electric stove has a small power leakage. That's OK, I don't use it much after the episode where that plastic box melted and filled the room with toxic smoke. Also he noted that I had a lot of electronics turned off but not unplugged, and these continued to draw quite a bit of power when added together. This may not be so bad in the winter, as all of it is converted into heat, but is definitely something to think about before the summer. Furthermore, he informed me that modern computer equipment does not actually need to be grounded when used in a dry environment. So no need to pull a five meter mains extender from the grounded outlet to the computer corner. Finally, he strongly recommended using one five-sockets extender instead of each set of two three-sockets (2x3=5 because the cable from one takes up one spot in the other). He also strongly advised against having four levels of extenders plugged into other extenders and so on, branching out from one grounded outlet to about a dozen computers and peripherals and music and photo equipment. In his opinion, each such synapse is a potential fire hazard, and should not be placed in contact with paper either. Instead he recommended a few large pads which could be disconnected when not in use.
I pointed out that the computer, DSL and USB 1/4GB disk must necessarily be on at all times because of the anime exchange. So I intend to look for one separate extension for those, and one or two more for the other stuff. Some day. He's gone now, and presumably there will be years before the next inspection. So I have plenty of time. It's not like this stuff will catch fire unless he is there to tell it to, right? ^_^*
Visit the Diary Farm for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.