Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Adventures with the "Cable Guy"

Yes it is me, the other half of One Path. Ken, and Jenn in Seattle, keep commenting on my lack of participation with One Path. I just don’t have as much time to spend writing and besides, Ken is the one with the talent for writing.

As you should know, I am on the Board for our Homeowners Association. This means that I should know all of the Rules and Regulations, and as far as I’m concerned, we should be an example of a “good homeowner”. Well, for over the past year we have been in violation of the R&R’s. One violation that I won’t actively change is the fact that we have 4 pets…1 dog and 3 cats. Despite how much I complain about them almost daily, I will not get rid of them. The other violation is our satellite dish. The first time we had in installed, it was attached to our patio fence. We soon learned that this was a violation (we had no clue because no one provided us with the R&R’s when we moved in nor did we have any information telling us who to contact to get them). So, being the “good homeowners” that we are, we immediately scheduled to have the dish moved…moved onto a pole planted in a bucket of cement that the prior owner left on the patio for just such a use. The dish was just fine, but we had cables running along the outside of the building with a hole drilled into the wood siding for entry into the second floor. BIG violation according to the R&R’s.

Now, before any of you say…well you’re on the Board, why not just have an exception made. All I can say in response is that this is how corruption in our leaders starts and I want no part of that! Plus, there is this retired gentleman on the board that is a “HOA Geek”. No kidding, the other day I must have gotten at least 15 emails from him which were just copies of the Civil Code. Now, they should all know that I work in a law department (I’ve told them this when I was running for the Board) so why he feels the need to send me all of this information that I readily have access to is beyond me. And his answer to everything is to pull out his highlighted copy of the R&R’s and point at it saying “It’s in the Rules and Regulations”. Simply, he just bugs me.

So back to the satellite dish…I finally decided that it needed to be moved (the Board has a walk thru scheduled this week which will be starting right across the street from our unit). I scheduled an appointment for this past Saturday for sometime between 8 am and noon. I just don’t understand why they have to give a 4-hour window…it completely messes up half of your day. Since Ken was in San Diego visiting Tim, I figured I wouldn’t have much to do that morning.

The satellite guy, Kris, got to our place at about 10:20 am. I told him what we wanted done. We walked upstairs and it was during our talk about moving everything that he told me they don’t run cables through the wall space, just from one side to the other…but I needed the cable to get from the second floor to the first. He said that he could run the cable along the floor of the stairs, along the floor of the living room to the living room TV. This just wouldn’t do…I certainly didn’t want the cable running along the floor all over our home. I then asked him about drilling a hole through the floor in one corner of the master bedroom down through the ceiling in the living room. He said he could do that if I was okay with him drilling the holes. No problem and he started the process.

First, he moved the dish from the patio to the roof. No problem there…he then had to feed the cable through a vent that went down into a second floor closet where the heating unit was kept. I helped with that…first I got an umbrella with a hook handled to hook the cables. He then went back onto the roof to feed the cables through while I pulled on them. He ran the cable from the closet into our bedroom and then around to the corner behind our desk. Now this desk is one of those corner desk that is a pain in the ass to move…so we had to crawl around under the desk to do the wiring. He went downstairs and drilled a hole into the ceiling…drilled into open space very easily. Later Kris said that he thought “wow, that was easy”. Well easy it was, because of the approximately 15 inches of space between the ceiling and second floor as we soon learned. Kris then got out this really long drill bit…it must have been a few feet in length. He successfully drilled through the ceiling and through the second floor. Then came the challenge of fishing the cable through the two holes.

He got out this long stick that he used to fish the cable through the wall and poked that through the ceiling…I went upstairs to see if the stick came through the floor. I could hear poking around under the floor, but no stick in sight. We decided to switch and he would poke down through the second floor. I went downstairs to wait. I was really watching for it, but next thing I knew this stick came falling out of the hole and I caught it on its way out. There was our first attempt.

We tried again. This time I successfully grabbed the stick before it went through the floor. Kris then tied the cables to the stick and I tried pulling it through the holes. Well, I pulled the stick through the holes, sans cables. Our second attempt…gone.

We tried for a third time. After poking the stick around looking for the hole in the ceiling, I grabbed it when it came through. This time Kris somehow attached the end of the pole into the end of the cable…smart guy, much smarter than the homeowner he was working with, me. This time I gently pull on the stick and the cable follows through after the stick. YAY! Success. I then start pulling on the cable as he is feeding it through the hole. Well, I honestly didn’t hear him tell me to stop and I thought I felt a push on the cable to I pulled some more. Next thing I know, the end of the cable comes through the ceiling. Yes folks…I pulled the entire cable through and we had to start over again…short-lived success that was!

We try yet another time. After finally getting the stick through with the cable on the end, I gently pull the cable through and STOP after an appropriate amount of length has come through the hole. I held the cable until Kris came downstairs and yes folks this time we succeeded! He finished connecting the cables and then wrote up the order.

It was about 1:10 when he finished…nearly 3 hours after he arrived! I felt so horrible for my lack of cable fishing skills that I tipped him $50. I think that made up for my ineptitude.


Jenn from WA said...

This sounds surprisingly close to my dresser situation on Saturday. Maybe Saturday something aligned correctly to cause havoc on all ... (see my blog for dresser details). Thanks for posting Vicky...You can write.

Fred Mertz said...

Sorry to have to say it, but with a few minor changes that would be an erotic story what with "pulling the cable, "grabing" the stick, he didn't tell me to stop...

Man am I one sick puppy.

Kenneth La Salle said...

The sick part is that Vicky made that same comment to me last night as she was writing it... so, enjoy guys...