13 October 2009

This old house

There is an issue with the fluorescent overhead lights in our kitchen. Of the two light switches that control the lights, only one is currently functional (at least most of the time). The other requires some finesse to turn on, and generally requires turning it on and off several times during which time it flickers. I sometimes just give up on the lights, and grope around the kitchen instead, since it must look like I'm starting a rave with all the blinking lights and whatnot.

These are the trials of renting a house that was built in the 1960s and has rarely been renovated since then. Here are other things that have gone wrong in recent history (not exhaustive):
  1. The light fixture over the kitchen sink spewed flaming sparks when we flipped the switch. Turns out it still had the original brown paper wrapped wiring.
  2. Like so many other basements in a karst ecosystem, there are cracks in the walls and it frequently leaks water when it rains (or when someone spits in the backyard).
  3. The bricks in the back of the fireplace are crumbling and falling.
  4. The bathtub faucet leaked. Again, original hardware, had to be special ordered, blah blah.
  5. The computer system in the refrigerator had to be replaced and drainage cleared.
  6. The toilet innards had to be replaced because of calcium buildup.
  7. The basement drain had to be professionally cleared because of roots growing into the pipes.
And my personal favorite:

The elbow joint in the bathroom sink was almost completely filled with calcium buildup and had to be replaced.

I mean, sure it's a big house, but for real? Why is everything going wrong when we live here? Sometimes it's because the house is old, but the fridge is quite new!

House rant over.

In other news, I breathed a big sigh of relief today after reading some informal mid semester student evaluations. It appears my hard work really does help my students, and it is gratifying that they appreciate it! I almost have motivation to start grading the huge stack of papers I have waiting for me...

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