Here at the house

I'm home today with a mix of allergies and a nasty head cold. I have plenty on my to-do list, and the Miracle of Home Computing makes most of it possible, but head fog makes my attention span too short to get much done. So, I'm posting pictures to my weblog.

My parents came to town this weekend, and we replaced an old and ugly ceiling fan with a nice new fan. The old fan was hung from a beam in the center of the ceiling and wired via an old extension cord stapled to the beam.^1^ Replacing such fire-hazard wiring meant a couple of long trips to the hot, stuffy attic, where we crawled around to run proper cable, brace the new fan mount across two beams, and generally inspect the roof beams (which are okay, but the roof needs re-shingling to prevent further water damage). Unlike the old one, the new fan matches the ceiling, is mounted higher to prevent wacking one's head on the lights, and is placed off the center of the room to be less obtrusive. Balancing a ceiling fan, for those who have never had the experience, is a long process: Turn fan on high; observe wobble; turn off and wait for blades to stop spinning; clip tiny weight to one blade. Repeat. When the fan seems stable, stick a piece of adhesive weight to the top of the blade. After a full hour of tinkering, the fan is rock solid, and I mean *rock solid*. You could mount a camera from it and take long-exposure photos of the dogs playing frisbee on the floor, it's that stable.

I also stained and varnished the bench I built last week. I've found new excuses to go out on the front porch just to sit on this thing.

^1^ Such wiring is, to say the least, unsafe and not to code. Also, it's stupid. Prior owners of the house ran the same flimsy extension cord *through walls* to wire hall lamps in a hazardous configuration electricians might call "insanely dumb." We think we've found and removed all such nasty wiring, but we're keeping out eyes open.