Thursday, August 30, 2012


Electricity baffles me. Take our electric fences, for example. They can’t do their job of keeping livestock in the pasture and coons out of the garden unless they’re “grounded”, with a conductive wire (coming from the solar charger) that’s attached to a steel or copper stake which is driven into the ground. However, they don’t work if they’re “grounded out”, meaning that tall, damp plants act as ground wires. I’m confused.

Birds sit on the same electric fence that causes horses and cattle to jump if they touch it. Hubby says that’s because the birds aren’t grounded and the animals are.

I have a vague notion, perhaps incorrect, that breakers and fuses are “blown” by a sudden overload of current. On Monday—a very hot day—I realized that our air conditioner wasn’t running. I checked the thermostat and found it lifeless—not even a pulse.

A kind soul from the heating and cooling company came the next morning. He discovered a blown fuse in the furnace, which seems to act as a sort of middleman between the thermostat and the outdoor air conditioning unit. Soon the repairman found the problem or, rather, the culprit. A mouse had set up housekeeping in the doohickey that houses some wiring. It had gnawed off the rubber coating on a wire, which must have touched another wire. The ensuing discharge of electrons was enough to blow our fuse but not enough to kill the mouse, which was alive and well in its very own air-conditioned apartment. Maybe the mouse wasn’t grounded.

As I said, the concept of electrical power is difficult for me to grasp. So was the shock I got when I grasped the electrical fence yesterday (which I’d incorrectly assumed to be logically shut off, since no livestock currently inhabit that pasture, and the gait is open anyway) in order to crawl through it to irrigate. Apparently, the human heart is quite sensitive to electrical energy, and heart rhythms can be interrupted by the same! Next time I have to crawl through the fence, I must remember to either check the charger or else make sure my feet aren’t touching the ground.

"True wisdom and real power belong to God; from Him we learn how to live, and also what to live for.” --JOB 12:13




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