Friday, April 18, 2008

My Dinner's on Fire

I have been playing with the microwave steamer bags recently. I decided to try to steam kale stems because I like kale but even on the stove the leaves and stems are usually cooked separately. The stems about the same size and texture as asparagus, which steams fine, so I gave it a try. At first, I thought there were some random metal shards in my produce because I got several small, fiery explosions that looked a lot like the results of leaving a spec of foil embedded in leftovers. I took the stems out, removed the one with a big, smoky, blackened crater, failed to find any metal, and tried again. Turns out that at the start of cooking, those small remnants of leaves that stick to the side of the stem just explode. After they steam gets going, they just cook, but when it starts, there's like heh heh, fire, heh heh. Dinner and a show.

Another thing has caught me by surprise this week. I've now ridden my bike twice. As I got going, both times I had a very strong urge to fasten my seat belt. It felt uncomfortable being without somehow.

For my final trick, something both surprising and on fire! I got back from said bike ride and went to the kitchen (the new appliances are fine!) to get some water. The light didn't turn on and the switch was in the up position. While this fixture has a tendency to dim faster than it ought, I just thought that tendency was why it was on sale for 75% off at IKEA. I went to jiggle the light bulbs (with the electricity off) and noticed that the situation was more grim - 2 of the supports had slid partly off the rail where the supports also provide electrical conductance to the track. I hauled out the ladder to re-attach them properly but closer inspection showed they were not ajar, they had melted enough to bend. And the wires were fried. Mmmm. Deep fried lights.

One of these things is not like the other. Sadly, that's the good one.
light fixture connection melted with burn damagenormal light fixture connectionlight fixture connection melted with burn damage

(Edited to say I fixed it by using table attributes. Using the uploader from blogger instead of my manual img src code just put it in the middle on the subsequent line. sigh.)

Now I wonder if it was a fault in the light fixture or a fault in the circuit itself - because I put this light up to replace a light fixture that had burned through one of the three sockets. Also, the area around the light fixture is smoky grey. (I just tried the magic eraser and it kind of gets it off, which is the first thing that has.) And to think I didn't know what to do with myself tonight. If I hurry, I can still go buy a light. One that is cheap enough that I don't mind replacing it in June with the remodel, but not so cheap that it burns the place to a cinder. I like fire as much (or more) than the next otter, but I like things to be in control. Even riding the bike and snowboarding, I dislike being out of control more than I like going fast.


Anonymous said...

how dare you make us look at these vertically! Okay what are we looking for???


CrankyOtter said...

I fixed it so they line up so you can more easily see the ones on the sides bend in, whereas the one in the middle is straight. The bent ones melted a little to get that way. They don't unbend. Also check out the burned section of wire at the junction of the wire to the bent thingies.

Alaskan Hellcat said...

so glad that you quoted Ween!

she takes all my money and leaves me no smokes... yells at my buddies and insults my folks....