Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Saturday, December 7, 2013

An Inconvenient Truth

You know how it is. The coat you purchased yesterday went on sale today. The garbage truck comes early on the day you oversleep. You rush out of the bathroom to answer the phone only to find out that it's a telemarketing call. OR. . . you notice that your furnace has stopped running because your house is feeling a bit chilly - at 8:00 on a Friday night - when it's 12° outside and getting colder - in the middle of a blizzard - and your husband is planning to stay out in the woods for another 24 hours. Yep. Inconvenient and true. 

You quickly weigh your options. The thermostat reads 64° and you own a heated mattress pad, so the situation isn't desperate. However, you decide that it's probably best to call your husband. The Lord is good. Your framing contractor, Ron, is in Houghton. He's also licensed in plumbing and heating. Yes, he can stop by on his way home, but it will be about 1-1/2 hours. No problem. He comes and lights the pilot light on the furnace. It takes 2 tries before it wants to stay on. He cranks up the thermostat and decides to run home to get a thermal coupler (a.k.a. thermocouple). By the time Ron returns, it's 11:30 p.m. (Did I mention there's a blizzard outside?) Hmmmm. The furnace is still running just fine when he returns. Maybe it was some sort of weird downdraft that knocked out the pilot light. It is windy (blizzard again). He hates to install the new part if it was just a downdraft, so he says to get the house nice and toasty and see if the furnace continues to run through the night. You like to follow instructions, so you get the temp up to 72°. You turn the thermostat back down to 68° and get some shut-eye. 

Before you know it, it's morning and the phone is ringing. It's your hubby calling to see if you have frostbite. You're not yet fully awake, but you head out to the living room to check the thermostat. You notice that it "feels" colder than 68°. Yep. It's down to 63°. Guess you need that new part after all. Ron returns. Thermal coupler installed. House toasty again. End of story.

The Lake Effect Snow Machine is really working overtime. Here's a webcam shot of the bridge between Houghton and Hancock today. 

That webcam is located indoors and takes very clear photos. The haziness is caused by the snow in the air. Here's a photo from the downtown Calumet webcam from a few minutes ago.

That camera is located outdoors. It's getting deep out there, folks. I should have some pretty impressive snow totals to share with you on Monday. Stay tuned!

All is well (and warm) in the Keweenaw.

P.S. I forgot to mention - Ron came out late at night in another blizzard 2 years ago when the "brains" of our furnace decided to die. What a good guy!

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