An Exciting Night

I power washed the patio, balcony and stairs on Sunday, and didn’t get the washer put away, leaving it on the patio (which is upstairs, above the garage — our living area is upstairs and the bedrooms down).

Early this morning, about 1 AM, Patricia was awakened by noise on the patio. She thought she heard someone testing doorknobs, and there were other noises. Suddenly, the security light at the bottom of the stairs came on.

I got up to see what was happening, looked out the kitchen door, and saw a fire on the patio. I ran outside in bare feet, turned on the hose, and put it out. What you see below is the charred remains of the power washer.

Patricia called 911 while this was happening, and they sent a fire truck, even though it was under control. The firemen came, looked at it, and we all stood scratching our heads trying to figure out how it had seemingly spontaneously combusted. But the fire was out, and they shrugged and left.

After we got to bed, I think I figured out what happened. He or they were probably kids looking for an easy house to burgle, couldn’t get in, saw the washer, wondered what it was or how it worked, and picked up the nozzle and pulled the trigger. I had left it plugged in, and the power on. Even with power on, it doesn’t do anything unless the pressure in the hose drops when the trigger is pulled. Unfortunately, there was no water hooked up to it, because I’d turned off the hose and disconnected it when I finished spraying on Sunday, so probably the motor started running attempting to pressurize the non-existent water, which also acts as a coolant. I’m guessing that they held it on long enough that the motor overheated and caught the plastic case on fire, at which point he/they panicked and ran down the stairs.

I’m guessing they won’t be back any time soon, though I suppose we should report it to the police, just for statistical purposes. Normally, it’s a pretty safe neighborhood. This is the first burglary attempt of the house while we were home, as far as I know, in the almost twenty years that we’ve lived here.

[Early afternoon update]

Patricia points out that I’m understating the noise level (I was still half asleep). We actually heard things being shoved around up there, and the patio table was definitely in a new position. If it wasn’t burglars, it was very strong, aggressive and curious raccoons. I’m still going with human-caused disaster.

A Sad Anniversary

I think that today is the thirty-eighth anniversary of the day that Gene Cernan climbed back into the LEM and headed off to lunar orbit with Jack Schmitt to meet up with the command module for the trip back to earth (perhaps depending on what time zone you use). Humans haven’t walked on the moon since, for many reasons, but foremost because too many people think that the only way to return was the way we went the first time, with massive government expenditures and a big rocket. This false perception has held us back for almost four decades now.

Not That Many Shopping Days Until Christmas

I really appreciate the shopping that people have been doing at my Amazon link (over there in the left sidebar) — it really helps reduce the stocking coalage, especially the Kindles (though the cameras and printers and laptops are great, too).

But for that Tea Partier in the family, all of Bill Whittle’s Firewall videos have been compiled into a DVD, so it’s a great stocking stuffer, too. I don’t get a direct cut, but I’d like to see Declaration Entertainment succeed, because I’d like to do well by doing good consulting with things like the solar fiction movie that Bill wants to make.

[Update a while later]

If anyone else is having trouble using the Amazon box, like my commenter, this link should work.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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