[ There are no photos with this post. ]
As described in a regular blog post, we left for the long drive to Florida on Monday, December 26, picking up our middle grand-daughter on the way. We stopped for the night in Chattanooga, Tennessee and arrived at our destination in Orlando the evening of the 27th. We started the return drive home on Tuesday, January 3 (2023) and spent that evening in Macon, Georgia, with a stop the next evening in Covington, Kentucky just across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio. We arrived home the afternoon of the 5th, after first returning our grand-daughter to her parental units and younger sister. The barn project was not on our minds (much) during this time, as we were visiting “the happiest place on earth” with our 10-year grand-daughter while hanging out with our friends, and Eastern/Atlantic travel companions, Nancy and Paul, and their family. No progress was made on the barn project during this time, nor was any expected. We knew before we left that the roll-up doors had been delayed until (at least) the end of the month.
FRIDAY 6 January – TUESDAY 17 January
This was mostly a waiting period, but I did stay in touch with our DTE planning consultant. No pressure, though; winter had settled in and I would not be doing any electrical work on the barn until spring. Also, my copy of the 2023 NEC Handbook had arrived just before Christmas, so I spent a lot of time reading this 1339-page book.
The NEC is incredibly comprehensive, covering residential, commercial, and industrial electrical installation. I paid particular attention to the residential requirements, of course, but read much of the other material as a matter of curiosity. In spite of two degrees in Electrical Engineering, my exposure to power engineering is limited, and I am certainly not an electrician (which is a primary audience for the NEC). As I would be doing the final wiring of the barn, I was glad to have the time to study the CODE. The Handbook version is longer than the basic CODE book, and especially nice as it contains a lot of additional commentary, drawings, and photos, to clarify and illustrate much of the CODE text.
During this window, we received a generic customer satisfaction survey from DTE. We have been pleased with the quality of power we receive, the response to outages when they have occurred, and the attention to preventative maintenance, such as tree trimming, so I filled out the survey to reflect our general satisfaction with the company. There was a box at the end asking if there was anything other feedback we wanted to provide. Well … since you asked. While my interactions with our DTE planning consultant have been positive, and I said so, I was disappointed that the company was “quick to take our money, but slow to do the work, and that I had no idea when the work would actually be done.” I clicked “SUBMIT,” figuring nothing would come of it.
Well … I got an e-mail acknowledging receipt of the survey and thanking me for taking the time to submit it. An automated response, I presumed, so again, I did not expect anything to come of it. I then got an e-mail indicating that my comments had been reviewed and that someone would be contacting me. “OK, sure” I thought. But someone did call. We had a nice chat, which I appreciated as I had a chance to explain more clearly the feedback I was trying to provide. Again, I figured that would be the end of it. Not long after, however, the project took a decided turn, and I will cover that in the next five (5) special blog posts on this project.