PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


A Cautionary Tale.

OK, maybe I'm going over the top here. But you know that you can't jump in and out of your car & rub your legs and arms together & then remove the gas pump from your car, because you could EXPLODE! You know this. You've even seen video, of combustion in action. (I'm particularly fond of this version, as it is titled in Spanish. Cuidado! Incendio!)

So we had a weird power blip this morning, and I noticed that the cordless phone blinked as the power came back on - but I was so focused on resetting clocks (Must! Restore! Order!) that I didn't notice the blinking continued. And it was blinking when I got home tonight. I investigated a bit further, to discover both phones downstairs were dead. I unplugged them from their electrical source (cuidado!) and re-plugged them in, and the same problem. Maybe the phone was knocked off the hook upstairs - so, thump thump thump, up I go. Nope. Not off the hook, no signal. None in the craft room. Thump Thump Thump, down to the basement. Checked the wires down there, plugged & unplugged the alarm, back upstairs, (thump thump thump), no signal. Test the alarm. It works. But we have wireless on it as well so there's no way to know. FUCK. So I went outside, to look at the wires out there. Nothin'. You can't even get IN the box out there, locked down tight, (cuidado! phone service technicians only!), thump thump thump, back upstairs. I get the number to my phone company and call. The service technician puts me on hold and comes back on with the news.

His diagnosis? Static electricity buildup in the phone jacks. What I'm supposed to do is unplug all phones from the wall, unplug the power source to cordless phones, and wait five minutes. I bit my tongue and refrain from asking if I was supposed to sacrifice a chicken and walk in a circle backwards six times while reciting a nursery rhyme in French.

You might say I was skeptical. But why stop running up and down the stairs at this point, eh? And I might as well try it, preposterous as it sounded. So I unplugged the phones on the main level. Thumpity, thumpity....thump. Back upstairs. Tackle the craft room because LAWD knows, getting at that phone jack on the wall requires moving the cutting table, which happens to have four boxes under it, and piles of sorted yarn in bags next to it. (Yes, I said sorted. I did get some work done up there.) After I determined I would have to hurtle across the table, or under it, and possibly risk serious bruising, I decided to skip it and unplug it at the phone. On a lark, I pick up said phone and - lo and behold - a dial tone.


So static electricity DOES build up and it can completely screw up your phone service. And your evening! Static electricity is totally getting kicked out when I rule the world.
posted by PlazaJen, 8:27 PM