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My Dad is in the old school sense a Geek.  He is a true Renaissance Man.  He can bake an apple pie that would turn your Granny green with envy AND he can make wood furniture that would make the cabinetmakers of old proud.

Not only is he comfortable with that he's comfy taking a multi-meter to task when troubleshooting an electrical problem on his boat.  So here goes in Dad's own words:

When a radio doesn't work at all, no lights, total silence, what sort of idiot to you have to be to think that turning up the volume might do any good at all?   Ahhh, well, that would be my kind of idiot I guess.

Some sort of electrical gremlin had worked its way into the accessories panel on the boat.  There was a brief period of intermittent  failure but that quickly went all the way to  nothing working at all.  Surely there was an important connector that had wiggled loose or a fuse someplace that wanted a little attention so I set out searching with a meter.  I couldn't find a bad fuse anywhere inside the console and no loose wires, and not the least whiff of 12 volts DC, so I turned around to look into the battery compartment. Ah Ha!

A little plastic fuse box on a wire connected to the negative pole quickly became a "Gizmo of Interest" if not out right the "Prime Suspect."  I opened it and found a five amp automotive type fuse so I pulled it out for a closer look.  Other than a bit of chalky gray corrosion on its contacts the fuse checked out just fine so I cleaned the contacts off and stuck it back in.

The radio at my back came booming to life and said,"That is an affirmative Captain!"

and I was so startled I could have peed on myself.  I don't know which was the worst of it the sudden loud sound or the seemingly in-context comment the boat had shouted at me.  It was as if it had said OOH that's it RIGHT THERE!  Problem solved, I turn the volume down on the radio and shut down the accessories.

Maybe every once in a while intelligence itself just bubbles up out of the void the way the physicist's virtual particles do only to disappear back into the uncertainty from which it came.  I'm gonna keep an eye on that volume knob in the future that's one thing you can be certain of.

Needless to say when I got this story in an email from my dad, I laughed so hard I could barely read it to my husband and son who wanted to know why I was laughing so hard.  Understand my Dad has these things happen to him a lot.  In fact, he's the only person I've ever known who actually said, "I think I've been struck by lightening"  He's just that kind of guy.

Posted on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 6:32 PM Personal Geekness | Back to top

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