Sunday, January 10, 2010

When Engineers Go Bad ...



by Leann

I married an engineer a very long time ago--and we're still married. And I do love him. Honest. But ... I was clueless about what the future would hold once we said "I do." Blissfully clueless. I had no idea that HD TV  all things must be fixed, even if not broken, that research on home improvement projects can take years, nothing can be purchased during the first trip to the store, that carving a turkey is an event that will ensure all the food on the table will be ice cold by the time you get to eat. Oh, I could go on. Our latest ordeal was purchasing an HD flat screen TV (had to wait for the prices to go down). And it was an ordeal that I won't go into.

 But there is something happening today that is literally Chinese water torture. It's freezing in Texas. In the 20's. The engineer who turns on the Weather Channel as soon as he gets out of bed is an engineer heaven today. He has a mission! Pipes must be drained, spigots insulated, and he even ran the washing machine with nothing in it to make sure it drained completely. (We have a utility room. It's not like the washer is parked outside the backdoor.)

Dripping faucet  But it's the drip, drip, drip of every faucet that is driving me crazy. If water is moving through the pipes, I have been told over and over and over, then the pipes will not freeze and all hell will not break loose. I made the mistake of complaining about the dripping noises and was met with complete shock and disbelief that I did not understand the consequences of broken pipes. (I know bad things can happen ... I get that part.) But what I do understand better than anything is the consequences of being married to an engineer when it freezes in Texas. Thank goodness he has now gone to work (on a weekend, no less) to make sure everyone there knows about broken pipes, too.


I feel sorry for the guys at the plant.  (How about you?)

31 comments:

Jennifer said...

If you tie a string around the faucet, long enough to touch the sink drain, the water will run down the string and into the drain...no more "drip, drip, drip" sound.

Andrea C. said...

Leanne - your entire post today echos my life with my husband. I feel your pain.
By the way, I love your books and I am so happy you are the new cozy chick!

Shannon said...

I married an engineer, too! It's taken us about 15 years to realize that when we are arguing, it's usually not about the same thing! And, you are so right, EVERYTHING has a process.
The hard part now is raising my oldest son who has an engineer-mentality as well. I start every teacher conference with, "I know...his dad is an engineer..."

signlady217 said...

I'm not married to an engineer, but to an phone systems/electronics technician. Close enough. Yes, everything has an insanely long process to pass through before it is deemed good/cheap enough to purchase. And yes, it is wonderful when he is at work! Love him to death, but my word, he makes me crazy!!!

Leann Sweeney said...

Ah ... not alone, am I? And I love the thing about the string, but if I tell him, well, let me put it this way, there might be diagrams involved. (And I won't be drawing them.)

Mason Canyon said...

We're having freezing weather in Georgia too. This is like the four or fifth day and I am so tired of it. We've had our faucets dripping and it can drive you crazy. I've turn a small fan on to cover the noise, plus it circulates the warm air. Good luck.

Leann Sweeney said...

It's 34 degrees and he turned off the water. Yahoooooo!!!!! (but we're still turned to the Weather Channel. Things could change, you know.)

Carol Brown said...

I'm not married to one, but I've known enough engineers to understand how it must be. And to be glad I'm NOT!

Kiy said...

I never realized engineers and scientists had so much in common! Mine does this kind of thing too (and don't get me stared on diagrams). While he isn't a tv guy, he's checking the weather every 12 seconds (at probably 12 different locations) on the Web.

I keep telling myself I have odd little quirks too. And reminding myself, and reminding . . .

Good luck, stay warm!
Kiy

Heather Webber said...

I'm married to a chemist, so I get where you're coming from--although I've mellowed him a lot over the years.

It's 22* here, with a low this mornng of 5*. When's spring again?

Leann Sweeney said...

It is so nice to be in the company of those who understand. :-) And of course nothing will change.

Katie said...

no it won't...though I admit, in my house I'm the one who researches everything all the time. who makes sure the water is dripping when it freezes.

Dru said...

I've been known to research problems to the point that when I finally call the maintenance guy to take care of the problem, I know what steps he should be taking. And will watch him fix it for future reference.

Leann Sweeney said...

And you should be proud of that! The dripping faucets are important and everyone needs someone to watch out for possible disaster. And I do check things out before I buy. But the recent TV purchase was sort of like we were in negotiations to acquire the Mona Lisa.

Leann Sweeney said...

Fixing stuff is a talent I do not possess. But I can use a plunger and pour liquid plumber down the drain. Does that count? :-)

CindyinTempe said...

I'm married to a mathematics major. Everything turns into a math problem! If something happened in the early 1990's, it's "my father would have been X years old" or he almost always times our walks...

Leann Sweeney said...

Their brains are just different than ours. That's not a bad thing ... except when the water is dripping. Or you have to time things. (when our kids were little, all their timeouts had to be timed by a device. When I gave timeouts, I was the timer.)

Shel said...

I live and love in Illinois. It's been in the negatives, single digits, and one glorious day in the 20's for about three weeks now. I haven't left a single faucet dripping, because whoever built our house was a genius that put ALL the pipes in inside walls! This is one of the longest spells of bitter cold that I can remember, but nothing's frozen yet. (Of course, now I've jinxed myself...)

Helen Kiker said...

Having to pay the bill for repair after an outside faucet was not winter proofed I AGREE with your husband - you are lucky to have one who works that hard!!!!!

Helen

Leann Sweeney said...

I totally agree, Helen. He does work hard and I am lucky. But he laughed very hard when I read him this post. We do joke about his way of looking at the world and he totally doesn't get mine.(We had pipes break back in the 80's when Houston had about a week of temps in the teens. All the power line froze, so no heat either. It was not fun.)

Denise Swanson said...

Add me to the married to an engineer list--chemical/computer. My friends and family can never believe we don't have latest greatest electronics, etc, but like your hubby Leann, mine researces it to death. Love the negotiating for the Mona Lisa comment. I so live that life. ;)

Lindy said...

I am usually the one to tell my husband we need to do something like freeze protect the outside pipes... then he tells me in excruciating detail everything he he does. He is so proud of his role as the man of the house that I don't say "And, what makes you think I am even a little bit interested in this???"

Leann Sweeney said...

Seems like writers do tend to pick their "opposites." Things do get fixed that way. Although I would have no problem hiring someone. We've had plumber come to our house maybe once in 38 years. If he doesn't know how to fix it, he'll figure it out. Although he did once put the VW engine back in backwards. Guess that's when his philosophy turned to "Do it right or you'll be doing it over."

Fat Cat said...

My beloved father was an engineer. He was absolutely incapable of walking past a button without pushing it, or a switch without flipping it. He visited the little house I moved into after my husband shacked up with his secretary in our house and readjusted everything...the air flow in every vent, the water flow in every faucet, the light switches, the color balance on my TV set...etc. He wanted so much to make sure my two babies would be safe and warm. It was so touching, but it was also hysterical. I loved him very much, and I so miss his loving company.

Pat Smith

Leann Sweeney said...

What a touching story. That's why even though my husband drives me crazy with this stuff, he can laugh about it when I list the week's engineering projects. We all have telling details that make us characters--just like in books!

Lover of Books said...

Having a hubby who is a computer is wonderful 100% of the time, he can fix things and help me with things. He does deliberate on getting new stuff for around our apartment but once he gets it, he is so happy. Mind you it's not negotiating a lot, so I can say it's not so bad. :) I am loving reading your blogs. :)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks so much. And I've enjoyed everyone's comments so much!

Maggie Sefton said...

LOL, Leann. I was married to an engineer for many, many years. But, he wasn't the Mr. Fixit type of engineer. He was a professor of electrical engineering, so we used repairmen whenever something needed to be done.

But I'm LOL at your saga of water pipes. Here in Colorado it regularly drops to 20's in the winter and we don't worry about frozen pipes. The most I do when I travel in winter is to open the cabinets beneath the sink to allow the warm air from house to keep pipes warm. Apparently, your pipes beneath the sink are okay if they're inside the house, not outside. And all those pipes are inside directly under the sink. Only the folks who live in the High Country and have vacation properties that sit unused are the ones who need worry.

trek said...

My Number Guy is an engineer. At 3:30 this morning we were awakened by a horrific noise. Looks like the pump on the furnace is on the blink (I'm waiting for the repair guy now).

NG went down to the basement to see if bleeding the pipes would help. Nope.

I called the gas company and turned on the kitchen tap to drip, drip, drip.

Yes, we are well-suited to one another.

But the incessant drip is getting on my last nerve nonetheless.

Good luck.

Bookworm Princess said...

Wait until he sets his eyes on the new Samsung LED TV. He will be drooling for it in no time :-) I want one too but after buying a plama when they were new I have learned to wait.

Leann Sweeney said...

We ended up with the LED Samsung and the cable tech just left. Wouldn't you know the cable would go out right when we are setting up our TV? And for all the playoff games? Grrrrr. But the tech fixed it today and it is AWESOME. And turns out she is a cat lover--has three--so I gave her a book because she was so sweet. And she was absolutely thrilled.