It’s not brain surgery, right?

My anesthesiologist friend wants to replace a fan in her home.  She’s watched some HGTV where they can renovate a kitchen in a 2 hour program and concludes that replacing a fan can’t be harder than brain surgery.  She has actual experience in brain surgery, so no problem, right?

Those of us with advanced degrees can have a bit of the big head.  When I told my Ph.D. husband that I wanted to replace the light in our bedroom with a ceiling fan for his birthday, he sighed deeply.  Then after taking a several more deep breaths to compose himself, he gallantly agreed that he would love a ceiling fan for his birthday, especially if it meant we could spend quality time together during the purchase and installation of the fan.

The purchase of the fan went surprisingly easy.  There was only 1 Hunter fan with 72″ blades (this is the diameter of the fan) and a light kit.  Yes, that is one big ass fan.  It has to be big because it hangs from the vaulted cathedral ceiling 15′ high.  The ceiling is one component of his lack of enthusiasm for this project.  I am fairly sure that you never do brain surgery while standing at the top of a 12 foot ladder, nor do you operate with your hands above your head in the dark with no electricity.  At least they don’t on Gray’s Anatomy, which certainly portrays medical drama with accuracy equal to the home improvement shows.  Both are a bunch of hooey.

First we had to move the king-sized bed to access the wiring.  Then, we removed the existing gargantuan light fixture with relative ease.  It had 20 bulbs, weighed about 40 pounds, and it was so ugly only it’s maker could love it. Finally, installation could begin.  The fan came with a 6″ extension, and we needed to replace that with a 4′ rod.  After a trip to the hardware store for a connection piece, we discovered that all we needed to do was replace the current piece with our piece, not join them.  By then it was dark, so we had to put the bed back up.

Day 2 we move the bed again.  When you do brain surgery, the beds have wheels.  Sounds a whole lot easier to me.  Just sayin’.  In my handy, dandy craft desk (from blog post number 2) I have a spindle of string that I got for a dollar at the Goodwill store that is just right for fishing the wire through the 4′ pole.  I put the fan blades together while Mark diligently follows the directions and wires the light in and then proceeds to remove the screws from the motor housing cover.  The instructions say to do this after you have hung it up.  It’s our lucky day because a screw is stripped and stuck.  Hard to get some torque on it above your head, so we have to undo the wiring and take the mother down.

A few squirts of WD-40 and alot of elbow grease later, we get the screw out and can proceed.  Hang the fan back up and then have to put the blades on it… on a ladder… in the dark.  I can promise that they don’t show this part on tv because it would all be bleeped out.  Finally, the blades are attached and we can move on to the final part, the light kit.  It’s not to hard to figure out which wires go together, but putting the cover over them is a bit like trying to zip a stuffed suitcase… on a ladder… in the dark.  Get it all shoved in, bulbs in, turn it on and, Voila! Lights and action!  Thrill!

But, wait!  What is that noise?  A blade is not secure and screws must be tightened, so the lights must come off….  A little more screwing around and then it’s fixed.  It only took about 6 hours.  Only.  Does brain surgery last that long?  Hmmn.  Still making a noise.  Internet research points to the dimmer switch.  Replace that.  Great!  No noise and works beautifully.  Except that now the other light in the room won’t work….  Fixed.  Again.  For now.

Who’s up for some rocket science?



About Laura Alford, PhD

I'm a recent graduate of LSU (PhD in Accounting). In addition to academic research, I also write fiction on Tuesday nights with the Asilomar Writers.
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8 Responses to It’s not brain surgery, right?

  1. Rennie says:

    you make me smile 🙂 ALOT

  2. LC Coon says:

    Got fire insurance??
    Smoke alarms???

  3. Mark says:

    Ahhhh, but the final result is so worth it. I love the fan and my failing memory has already expunged the installation process.

  4. Bodie Byles says:

    Or you could have just called Me! Ha!

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