Confessions of a Squeaky Wheel

By , May 10, 2018

I try not to complain in public. I really do. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to see benefits when I do!

In my last post, Trying to Gain Headway, I tried to strike a positive note while I described how unseasonable weather discouraged our homestead operations. That very afternoon, as the forecast predicted, everything changed.

May weather on Lynn Canal

This is more like what we hope for at this time of year! (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

The wind died until Lynn Canal became a mirror of smooth water. The sun came out and warmed the alder blossoms and other buds, perfuming our grounds with “the smell” of summer. I heated up my lunch in a sun oven. I filled a new feeder as a cloud of hummingbirds hovered, supervising. Two new varieties of songbirds appeared and began tearing up the dooryard, looking for bugs. I fished off the rocks for the first time this season.

When Michelle and Aly arrived home, they weren’t wearing coats for the first time since last year. We ate dinner on the veranda, then wandered down to the rocks’ edge. As we gazed into the water, a shoal of herring swam by. We assume they’d been around for a week or so, but with the rough water, we hadn’t seen any. Friends texted to say they’d harvested herring on Mud Bay.

A short time later, Aly and I watched Michelle adjust the new hummingbird feeder. My gaze shifted to the edge of the rocks, just as the smooth water bulged and changed—a humpback whale surfaced and blew within an arm’s reach of the shore!

The next morning, two humpbacks swam through the bight, fishing herring. I opened the windows and left the front door open to let fresh air into the cabin. We ate dinner on the veranda again. Our homestead temperatures reached 61°, modest by most standards, but balmy by ours!

Wednesday, the sun shone again. The breeze came up somewhat, but it still feels like summer to us.

My complaining didn’t make any of this happen, and yet . . . .

I remember a few years ago, when I told my neighbor that I hadn’t caught any fish. What happened next made me believe in The Power of Self Pity!

Further, there’s our recent experience with our cell booster.

I mentioned previously that we’ve had trouble with the booster. The fuse in the plug should have broken if it got too hot, but it stayed intact, melting the housing, coming close to starting a fire in the cabin.

burned out booster plug

The burned out booster plug. Hard to see the damage, but the heated fuse melted the housing and tip (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

I ordered a new plug from the company, then emailed them to report the incident, in case they found that useful. That led to an exchange of emails with their Customer Support. Before long, they offered to replace the whole booster kit in exchange for the old one, so they could analyze it for weakness! They also cancelled our replacement order and refunded the cost. We couldn’t refuse this, as it represents about $500 in goods, and the whole system has been upgraded since we purchased ours (see Well Connected). Not only that, when it arrived, it included a much more powerful external receiver antenna! We’re still installing, but we anticipate a considerable increase in connectivity, just as tour ship season looms, threatening to wipe out our reception on ship days. Once again, the squeaky wheel gets the grease!

All of these experiences tempt me to whine more vociferously than ever before. I’ll try to keep it to myself for the most part . . . .

 

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