Jerry-Rigging, Composting, Eyebrow Plucking, and Norwegian Nazis

I had a choice to make this morning. I’ve been browsing the Liberating Minds forum again, which brought me back to the Freedomain Radio website, which took me into a provocative thread or two that I could say a lot about, but all of it would be snide and require a lot of backstory I just don’t feel like typing out. OR, I could pretend to be helping with the compost machine restoration project by fetching things and generally playing the overseer, as Husband and Father solder some wire to patch up the ones that I cut in the machine per NatureMill‘s explicit, if erroneous, instructions. I was going to perch on the stepladder to put myself in a position of authority above the laborers, but Puff the cat took my seat. Now I am way far away on the other side of the breakfast bar, within earshot but out of reach of the soldering iron, helping my making myself available. It’s also keeping the menfolk busy. I am also trying to think if there are any earrings that need soldering since the iron is hot. I think the green amber set could use some fixing. Fetching now…

The trip to procure the earring led to the discovery of two earrings that need repair, from two different sets! This is very exciting, to be reclaiming jewelry like this. I also passed a mirror, which resulted in some eyebrow and chin hair plucking, so I look much tidier, and then I read a few pages in my book, Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun, and came across this delightfully elitist passage:

Lapps always keep to the outlying spots, in dark places; light and air distress them, the cannot thrive; ’tis with them as with maggots and vermin.

Nice work, Hamsun! Is this the part where I invoke Godwin’s law? He was a total Nazi sympathizer. But mostly it’s just a book about prosperous farmers. And that is the end of my fetching.

I don’t know what we would need with two composting machines, considering that I only have containers for a garden and not really that many, all things considered. The NatureMill people told me to responsibly dispose of the broken machine locally, which meant ditch it in a conscientious way, preferably breaking it down (myself) to its components and paying the local people money to recycle it. Most people would probably throw it in the trash. I care a lot less about recycling than I do about tossing some perfectly good piece of machinery because of some stupid break in some wires. It’s the point of it. Granted, the machine wasn’t perfectly good because of that design flaw that jammed the dumping tray in the first place, but you know what I mean. If I had been less lazy, I would have dragged the thing out of the kitchen, taken a picture, and put it for free on Craig’s List for someone with technical savvy to take away and fix. If I had been more confident in my own ability to solder (I am not a very good gluer, so I was hesitant to start a project that not only needed me to join something but needed me to join something with heat) and even more less lazy, I would have fixed it myself. Or attempted to, anyway. Just because a perfectly logical solution exists in my head and there are people around implementing it for me doesn’t mean it will work. I’ll be very curious to see what happens when we power it up again. Can one do irreparable damage to an electronic control panel if the wire feeding it is cut about twelve inches away? We’re not actually in the circuit board.

I’m still curious what they did to/with the customer service person who told me to cut the wire in the first place. Despite that hitch, I still think the customer service I received was excellent. I still don’t actually have the new machine, but I was told at the outset that it would be several weeks. I think they get backordered fairly often; stuff I’ve read online (looking for answers about storing compost or when this tray got stuck) took me across discussions of the machines not being available sometimes.

UPDATE: The wire is soldered on one side–the easy side with enough length for wiggle room (I didn’t cut it exactly in the middle). The test now will be matching up the wire colors on the other side, which should be an easy task for other people to perform, even with just a cat to oversee them. She is a very cuddly cat.

Fella and Filly are still asleep, and I do not feel like advancing the laundry just yet (I feel bad leaving the room where other people are doing my project for me, you see). I can do nothing with my fledgling garden but wait for seeds to sprout (do you think the grape vine would grow more enthusiastically if I actually gave it a trellis to cling to?). I bought a patio umbrella at Lowe’s today for an excellent price ($79) to replace the one that was lifted by the wind during a rainstorm and dropped unceremoniously upside down onto the neighbor’s patio to break. (Fella wanted a red one this time, so we got a red one.) I had a moment of panic, though, about buying it without reading any reviews of it online, but the price said to me that there probably weren’t going to be any left if I came back to buy it later. So I bought it and thought I’d leave it unassembled until I read reviews online (to save myself the trouble of repackaging it if it came back), and now I can’t find any. It looks like I am going to have to try it out myself and just hope it isn’t a piece of crap–how primitive! I thought the Internet was supposed to put an end to this kind of risky behavior. Now not only do I have to test it myself, I’m saddled with the responsibility of either warning others about its defects or announcing to the world its triumphs. I can’t just have an umbrella anymore. (Maybe I can find some of those solar-powered lights to hang beneath it, though… that would be fun!)

UPDATE: Only four more wires to go before we can power it up!

I’m thinking we might have to make a trip to Costco today, if only for string cheese, soda, and hot dogs. We made and installed a chalkboard on the patio, but didn’t get any erasers for it yet; that’s an adventure waiting to be had. I want some hanging plants to go in front of the window above the sliding door in the living room, so we could go back to Lowe’s and price pots and wall brackets.

It all seems like so much effort.

If we successfully jerry-rig this composter, it will need new starter soil. I guess a walk through the complex to collect a peck of dirt would seem adventurous enough for F&F. I’m leaning towards Costco, though, but not if I have to go by myself. That is, without another adult. It’s just that on a Sunday afternoon it’s going to be a madhouse.

I’m going to balance the checkbook now. And there are some text messages to answer on my new cellphone. Also some neighbors are talking to each other in the garage alley. I better go eavesdrop. It could be something I need to know.

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