Electrical Problems

You may have heard that the Buffalo Bills game last Sunday was blacked out a few times thanks to some balloons getting caught in the electrical wires outside the stadium. The entire stadium lost power half an hour before the game, and then once more in the second quarter of the game. Everything was shut down. No one was allowed into the stadium (because they couldn’t electronically scan tickets at the gates) and there were no clocks, referee announcements, score boards, advertisements… there wasn’t even a TV broadcast!!!

Yes, folks, the NFL was brought to its knees by a rubbery, plasticky, child’s toy.

It was quite entertaining. ๐Ÿ™‚

But prior to that more well-known electrical issue… there was one right here in the Campbell home.

Just before our friends were leaving for most of a week for a mini-vacation in Mexico, and leaving their two-year-old son (for the first time ever, no less) with us for that time, the electrical wiring in my attic office went haywire. There was no puff of smoke, no sizzling, no bad smells, no strange sounds. The lights just… went off.

I checked breakers, I looked in outlets, I looked in switches… all to no avail. The power would not come back on. Even had my much more savvy neighbor come take a look and what we found confused us even more! There was clearly an issue that required some more knowledgeable electrician help.

Thankfully, despite the fact that I didn’t even have time to call an electrician to come look at it… our house (with the extra two-year-old friend in it, whose parents were probably at least a little concerned with the electrical predicament we were in) did NOT burn down to the ground. That was cool.

When my neighbor came over, we took apart everything in the office. Light covers and light bulbs, light switches, moved furniture, and removed outlet covers. Since I was going to have someone come look at it, we left it that way. Well… after several days of operating in the (mostly) dark, I got fed up with the office being a shambles, so I started putting everything back together. I figured, once we get someone to come look at it… we’ll just take it apart again.

As I was replacing part of the light fixture… the lights came on. ๐Ÿ™‚ I tested it a couple times and realized that I had discovered the source of the problem!! I got some tools from my neighbor and indeed, the loose wire had been found!!! Yippee!!!

Jen (I found out later) had asked God that day to help us find a solution to that problem that didn’t cost us any money, and hopefully, before our house burned down. He did! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, for a fleeting moment, I felt quite accomplished in the field of electrical wiring. I actually found and fixed an electrical problem… all on my own! That is a rare moment indeed!

Not sure what’s with all the electrical difficulties, but they did make for two pretty interesting days/stories…

Hope the power is on where you are. (Of course, it would need to be if you’re reading this… so I guess it is!) ๐Ÿ™‚

The Crying Wall

Earlier this week, after a big storm blew through, I noticed my wall was peeling! The paint on the 6-inch wall under my office window had bubbled up and was coming off! There was water under the paint somehow, so I tried to dry it off, but noticed it was still coming. I checked for leaks, but really couldn’t find any. It was just coming through the wall!

I peeled the paint off and tried to dry it up, and find the source. I figured it was the air conditioner, but there was nothing in on the unit itself, and nothing in the window track below it. The only “source” I could find was the bottom corner of the trim on the left side of the window. Somehow, the water was coming through the wood, and draining down into the drywall! It was beginning to erode away!

Later that day, I ventured out on the roof to see if I could find the source of the water. I could not. Nothing. Looked totally dry, and was covered by a roof above the window. It HAD to be coming from the a/c, but I couldn’t find any water on it either?!!?

A friend I was chatting with about this online said, “Maybe it’s one of those miracle walls.” Perhaps it was an appearance of the Blessed Virgin… but I couldn’t see her face in the wall… I considered perhaps demonic forces causing my wall to weep… but thought better of it.

But it was very confusing… ๐Ÿ™‚

I finally decided to check the other side of the unit, and sure enough, it was wet on that side. Somehow the condensation was draining into the window track, through the wood trim, all the way to the other side. Tricky! I had not leaned the unit back enough, so a quick tilt did the trick.

I will need to plaster and paint now a bit. But, nothing too major.

But at least we figured out the source of the mysterious Crying Wall. ๐Ÿ™‚

A Wet Christmas?

I thought the song said White Christmas….

We did get a lot of the white stuff for the whole month of December. Probably the first three weeks straight. OVer a foot of the good stuff. I think I heard that we’ve gotten around 38 inches so far! BUT… for one week before Christmas we had temps in the 40s, and RAIN. Yuck!

But the best part had to be Sunday, December 23rd. That day we not only had more melting of the existing snow, we had torrential downpours!! I didn’t think about it while it was happening, but a couple hours of some seriously hard rain on top of all the melting… was too much for our basement. ๐Ÿ™

So, this Christmas, not only did we have rain, but we had a flooded basement. We’re still trying to clean up from it, but haven’t had any time with all of the Christmas celebrations with family and friends. We came home tonight to a VERY stinky house. (The furnace blows up the nasty smell from the basement to the rest of the house!) ๐Ÿ™ I went down and dumped some clorox on the floor and sprayed LOTS of lysol. That helped for now.

Hope your Christmas was dryer. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m NOT dreaming of a WET Christmas!

Home Defense

Home DefenseOn a recent visit to our town (OK, not that recent…) my Dad recommended the product to the right for our serious ant problem. Ever since we moved to Palmyra, we’ve had a serious ant problem. Every year, without fail. When it warms up, we are inundated with ants. Big, black, nasty ants.

So my Dad says, “Try ‘Home Defense’. It works great.” I thought, “Yeah, right…” We’d tried several remedies already, but he seemed convinced – so much so, that he bought the stuff for us – and we proceeded to apply the appropriate amount to the outside of our house.

Just tonight, as I was noticing how much food we leave out sometimes, and some of it – like the pot I made sweet tea in tonight – lined with sweet stickiness, I realized that we have had almost NO ants since applying Home Defense. (I have to say “almost” because I am honest to a fault. I’d say we have seen maybe 6 total ants since applying this, and before we did, we would have seen 6 ants per three square inches per hour!!!)

So, if you have ants… I can’t recommend this product enough! And, as with the DVD I mentioned below, if you click on the image above (or the text link) and purchase it from Amazon, they will give us a commission for that sale! Stop the ants, and feed Greg’s kids. What could be better? ๐Ÿ™‚

(By the way, as always, whenever you click my amazon links, it takes you to that item’s Amazon page, but if you purchase anything on that visit to Amazon – even if I did not link you to it – Amazon will still pay me a small commission for any items you purchase! Sweet deal! There’s a link at the top of every GregsHead.net page that takes you to a little Amazon search page where you can begin your Amazon shopping, and they’ll give us a percentage of your total. So, if you would like to help feed our kids…….) ๐Ÿ™‚ hehe.

5 Reasons

Summer BugsYou might know that I really, really don’t like summer… and that’s mainly due to the hot, sticky weather. Ick. Just really not for me. But this past week of warmness reminded me that there are at least 5 more reasons to not like summer…

  • Ants
  • Mosquitos
  • Flies
  • Alien Bugs
  • Spiders (except that they eat the other things

See… once the weather warms up, the creatures come out!!!! We’re INFESTED with ants. The other day, Jen found a giant pile of them around a dirty SOCK. A SOCK. You have to be a lot more careful in the summer, cause any food on the counter or on the floor or in the sink or even IN THE TRASH CAN will bring out the bugs!!!!!

I’m not a fan of summer.

But I do like seeing our raspberries coming back to life. That’s pretty cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

Four Years Of Huge Debt

Our Awesome Yellow House

OK, that’s not really what we’re celebrating today. But it was a funnier title. ๐Ÿ™‚ Today is the day we moved into our yellow house- our first house – four years ago. Can’t really believe that. Can’t really believe the size of the figure on the “balance owed” ledger on the bills from our mortgage company. Or the taxes for that matter…


This house is one of the coolest things God has given us, besides each other of course. We have made memories here that will last forever. We have shared life with friends, shared our stuff with friends, had friends live with us for a time, and shared many many meals with friends and family over these four years.

Today we’re celebrating this fun gift that God has given us by having some friends over this morning – any minute now, actually – and then probably some more tonight ๐Ÿ™‚ What else is a house for? ๐Ÿ™‚

So thanks God for four years in this place. And somehow we have paid every monthly payment, and all the taxes… thanks for that too. (Do you know how much these things cost???) ๐Ÿ™‚

But most of all, we love the memories… made with these four kiddos below.

We the Campbells love Our Yellow House. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our Awesome Yellow House

Carpet From God, ๏ฃฟTV and Other Web Fun

Well, most of the clean up is done, and a neat-o story from today is…

I called a carpet-laying friend of ours today during a break from cleaning up and asked if he possibly had any scraps of carpet he’d be OK to part with. I told him the situation, and that we had lost all but really one of the scraps of carpet we had formerly been using. He sort of chuckled when he said, “[My partner] just called 10 minutes ago, from a job he’s doing, and asked if I knew of anyone who could use the carpet he just ripped up.” Awesome. That was a fun piece of good news.

I like good news.

Speaking of news… while I was away from my computer…

A (cool) Morphable Model of 3D Faces
AppleTV is Now Shipping
Apple Sent Out a Special Invitation

We’ve Been TP-ed

toilet paperThe clean up continues, and I must say the worst part (besides the obvious offensive smell) has been finding TOILET PAPER all over everything. ๐Ÿ™ (Well, just the floor, and the toilet bowl.) You know… I don’t really enjoy cleaning up my own kids’ poo… I’m not so much enjoying cleaning up poo from my whole TOWN.

Thankfully, there have been no actual poo sightings. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m making progress… hope to be done by this afternoon.

This has been another home-owner’s adventure, to be sure.

Something Has Come Up…

I walked downstairs to get something, or do something… I can’t really recall those moments right now. Whatever it was that I had in mind got completely obliterated by the overwhelming odor I smelled first near our bathroom and then downstairs, in the room the kids were in.

My natural assumption was children, being children, were filling the room with their own stench. I checked. They were not. And this was a very oddly bad smell. I was about to head back upstairs when passing through that room again was so unbearable I had to find the source of that smell.

I finally realized that it smelled like sewage, and I thought perhaps that ancient toilet in our basement (we just stack things on top of it) might be belching up some fumes or something.

It was belching up lots more than that.

When I went downstairs I heard a little “waterfall” and went to investigate. Water was pouring out of the toilet. I cleared it off, tried to look for any valves I could… until I finally just shut off the water to our entire house. I lifted the lid to find fresh “poo poo” and toilet paper floating in there. (I could rule out that anyone used our toilet by the fact that I had to move 50 pounds of books and other things off of the lid to get there!)

I had no idea what to do. The basement is flooded with other people’s flushes, and it’s still coming.

I called the village water folks. They tried calling… but got no answer. I called a plumber, and he told me to call the village. At least he told me more. Apparently, we’re not the only ones. There’s a “main” backed up on our street… and sure enough, my neighbors have confirmed this. So we’re all sharing in the joy of this smelly day.

Unfortunately, lots of our basement (and so, lots of our stuff down there) is sitting in 1-2″ of poo water. Looks like I have a new agenda for today. ๐Ÿ™

So… they assure me the truck is coming soon. We’ll see.

Just how do you clean up such a mess?