Re: Jesus Christ????

J. R. Molloy (
Fri, 1 May 1998 19:31:14 -0700

From: ChuckKuecker <>
>OH, come on! Every engineer knows, the
true god (devil??) is named Murphy,
>and is a redheaded Irishman. His laws
govern the cosmos.

Indeed, Murphy's Law reigns up there
with Catch-22. Perhaps you've also heard
of Belefant's Law, which states: You
can't do anything without having to do
something else first.

To illustrate, I submit the following:

It starts simply. The other day the
lights in our house flickered, and
finally half went out. Knowing something
about electricity, I ascertained that
power to one leg of our 220-volt service
was gone.

Complete power failure on one leg
usually indicates a power supply
problem, so I called the power company.
They said they had no recorded power
outages in my area so they would sent
out a crew. The crew came, verified the
outage and said they would trace it back
to see if it was a power company failure
or a problem in the house wiring.

the connection point between the power
company's responsibility is the meter
box. The power company crew opened the
meter box removed the meter to check
forward and backward from that point. In
order to check the lines they had to
access the meter terminals. Upon
examination they said that the meter
terminals in the box were corroded and a
check was impossible until the box and
terminals were replaced.

GETS WORSE... I contacted an electrician
to replace the box, and the power
company crew waited until the
electrician who does much of my
electrical work arrived. He looked at
the meter box and the power company crew
and said that only specifically licensed
electricians are allowed to work on
meter boxes. He gave me the name of a
qualified electrician and left.

The second electrician came, looked at
the box and said the power company
would have to turn off the power at the
transformer so that he could work. The
power company crew chief went to turn
off the power at the transformer. He
walked over to the pole that held the
transformer, looked up, and said "uh
oh!" I knew we were in deep doo-doo.

chief went on to explain that because
the lightning arrester support has
corroded, the lightning arrester would
have to be fixed in place before he
could turn off the power. Furthermore,
his truck with a "cherry picker" was too
small -- he would have to call for a
bigger truck and another crew.

The bigger truck, with another crew,
arrived. The crew decided that some
trees would have to be trimmed for
access to the pole. A tree trimming crew
was called.

Meanwhile, the electrician said that he
couldn't replace the meter box until he
got a permit from the town's building
official. As it was an emergency, he
thought he could get it immediately, and
off he went.

...AND BEYOND. After the trees were
properly trimmed, the big truck's crew
found that the only way they could get
to the lightning arrester with their
"cherry picker" was to park the truck in
the street. The street is a main artery,
so the police had to be called to block
and divert traffic. It began to look
like an IEEE convention. Finally,
traffic was diverted, the trees were
trimmed, the lightning arrester fixed,
the power turned off, the meter and
meter box replaced, the power was turned
back on, and the lights in my house
worked. It took all day, two town
agencies, three power company crews, two
electricians, and more than a dozen men
to do it, but I felt lucky. It didn't