strange things are afoot at the circle sparkler.

two nights ago, my cat, my wife and I conspired to pour half a bottle of wine into my laptop. fortunately, it fried the keyboard and not the whole computer. unfortunately, it was really good wine.

meanwhile, an electrician came this morning to replace our electrical circuit breaker box of death, which apparently has a bad habit of not tripping when small kids put their fingers in associated electric sockets. needless-to-say, the lady and I have decided that this is (in fact) a bug, and not a feature, and decided to replace.

back with the laptop … after I got the electrician settled, I started a long drive towards Suburban Maryland to drop off my computer with the people who we contract to service it when stupid people do stupid things. (did I mention it was my work computer?)

once I got to beautiful, non-historic Lanham, I went to where Google Maps said the repair service was. Found the road, found the street number, pulled into the parking lot. No computer repair people. I whip out my handly iPhone, double check where I am. then I double check where I am supposed to be. both are right, except they obviously aren’t.

fifteen minutes later, I realize that even though I am on Nicole Road, the building number i found (4421) is technically on Forbes Road, a street which (i should note) three blocks away. the 4421 I need is actually across the street from the 4421 that i found. there are two 4421s, on opposite sides of the same road that shares two names.

this, unfortunately, is the part of the day that will end up making the most sense.

back at home, we already know that we are getting a bigger (wider, taller) electrical panel box than what we had before, namely we had to rip out a kitchen cabinet to acommodate the new sized box. which we then had to special order a (smaller, daintier) replacement because our cabinets had been discontinued.

in the process of ripping out our old electrical box, our fearless electrician discovered that there is a pipe running along side the old box. a pipe that can’t be moved. on the other side is a door jam, that also can’t be moved. so our box won’t fit. and it’s the smallest box they make.

they suggest we put the box on the other side of the same wall, which, i should mention, would be in the living room. about four feet off the floor, right next to the couch. all I can hear in my head is future prospective owners having a conversation like, “do you like the first place we saw, or the one with the electrical box in the living room?”

I ask for other options.

at the same time, at the other end of the living room, another electrician is installing a light in our hall closet, which is both the most important room in our house (storage) but also the darkest. turns out that our closet is surrounded on all four sides (and ceiling) by concrete. turns out it is also hard to run wires in and through concrete.

back in the kitchen, our fearless electrician has decided we can put the box in the kitchen if it isn’t fully recessed. meaning it will stick out from the wall. meaning I am glad I’ve been too lazy to return my friends compound power mitre saw, because I will be putting a wood facing around our new electrical box this weekend.

they go about their business.

with the pressing computer and electrical stuff actively being resolved, I finally settle back to work. I use the term “back” because last night I had nightmares about elevator outages/accidents in the Capitol building, which got me out of bed at 5:00 am. for the record, I have no idea what that dream means either but, I was working at my desk by 5:30 am.

back to present day: I sat down in baby sparklet’s room, with my battery operated phone and my battery operated computer, and settled in for a long day’s work. it was only then that I realized I didn’t have a battery operated cable modem, or a battery operated router. so i wouldn’t be doing any battery operated work today.

so I headed off to find a café. I chose starbucks, entirely because they have ATT wifi, which I get for free because I have an ATT iPhone. turns out, free wifi is only if you access the Internet from your iPhone. so it turns out that i had to pay for access. at a place I hate. to a company I despise.

the rest of starbucks went better — I just had to fight for a table, fight for a plug, and then sit across from a random guy off the street who was rocking back and forth, talking to himself. this was fun and all, but I had to hop on a couple of conference calls for work, and didn’t want to givecrazy rocking guy a reason to think I was talking to him. I walked back home.

did I mentioned I hate ATT? that’s because I can’t really use my phone at home. I often have to go down to the courtyard in front of my building to use the phone, which is unfortunate because my coverage is especially bad when it’s raining and that’s not a fun time to be outside.

so, it was raining. and I couldn’t be in the courtyard. so I went to my car, and sat in the front seat for the next three hours. never once thinking of the ramifications of carbon monoxide in enclosed spaces. promise.

the good news is that my iphone sometimes drains quickly if I am doing network heavy things, like checking email or reviewing documents … otherwise known as working. well, to be fair, *that* wasn’t the good news, the good news is that in my car I could plug my iPhone in to a car charger, which should stave off my power problems.

but, I learned something new today — namely that my phone won’t charge (in the car) if you are talking on it. which is what I was doing. for three hours. in my car. because it was raining. and I had no power at home. or cell coverage.

I don’t remember much about the rest of my day. I wrote a large check to our fearless electrician, I finished up some work, I started prepping the electric box for my new weekend project, and finally took my morning shower around 6:00 pm.

the one thing i *haven’t* done today is try to install the new kitchen cabinet that we had to special order to replace the one we ripped out to make room for the new electric box. I think I might be stalling because, while the new cabinet is two inches smaller, and our new electrical box three inches farther out from the wall.

I think that might just about finish me off for the day.