Here in my remote community of Echo Bay, population 13, we experience the dreaded Farenheit Effect. My neighbor writes: “It is an under-studied phenomenon whereby attempts to achieve modest goals – running water in your house, carrying supplies to your cabin, performing simples tasks, small construction projects, or even easy maintenance jobs – are repeatedly frustrated by unpredictable, random, and bizarre events. These events appear to obstruct progress in a manner almost exactly parallel to the conversion formula from Celsius to Farenheit [F=9/5(C+32)], wherein C is equal to the amount of time, energy and money that would ordinarily be expected for the nature of a given project, and F is equal to what it takes for us in Echo Bay.” When chatting about the estimated time to allow for future projects, Echo Bayians are often heard saying, “Well don’t forget to double it and add 30”.
I never experience the Farenheit Effect (FE) when I live in town or visit any city, nor have I witnessed any “break-downs” that could spur on the FE, such as a shower head suddenly spurting out only a few lines of water, a cupboard door falling off or finding the toilet paper holder jiggly; never to be tightened again. Such surprises are common out here in the wilderness and if you don’t treat them like getting a birthday present, the feeling of ” bushed-bitterness ” will definitely consume you. Just keeping the salal brush from devouring your house is enough to make one pack up and leave. Billy told me once that he found a guy sitting on a dock totally “bushed” cutting salal leaves with a pair of scissors. He laughed and said, “Salal can do that to a man!”
It seems you can plan all you want to evade the FE but it sneaks in no matter what you do. I know it probably doesn’t help that I live 30 miles from the nearest tiny town, usually have no idea what I’m doing and often end up “haywiring” my projects together due to lack of “right” supplies brought out, even when I take detailed notes for lists, photos, talk to “experts” or research the how-to’s. All my efforts barely reduce the cursed Effect.
Recently I’ve been followed and subdued by the Farenheit Effect on several of my projects…now wait…it’s been all my projects! I’ve had to redo my greenhouse construction twice, repair a cordless drill charger and even had to take a trip to town for more stainless steel screws as I’ve stopped shopping or rather looting our abandoned “Home Depot” stores, mostly because I know I won’t find any more “prize” supplies.
And how long would you estimate it takes to install a gutter drain pipe? I figured twenty minutes. Here at Ravenwood (my cabin’s name) with the Farenheit Effect swirling around me, it took 4 hours. I had to first complete two other minor projects to even begin, then found my existing gutter needed repair and when I finally began putting all the pieces together it became apparent that the parts for plastic gutter systems have changed in the last year. Hence, my components didn’t quite match up. And it is almost always guaranteed that a run in with the exasperating FE will cause blood. My skinned knuckle and broken nails…which when do hands look like this in town after completing a “simple” project?
Thankfully, through all the sighing, cursing and head-shaking during my Add-Half-A-Day gutter experience, I realized over the past 3 years I had accumulated all I needed to become the proud owner of a wilderness hardware store, plumbing supply shop, electrical warehouse, office supply store, painting shop and nursery. I had ever tool and supply I needed for the task, even though it ended up a teeny bit haywire. In that moment of awareness I became overwhelmed with gratitude, not only for all the labeled blue Tupperware bins in my sheds, but for my blessed and amazing life in the wild.
The day after I installed the gutter it rained. It felt like a minor miracle not to have to dodgeball the gushing stream of water normally cascading off my roof.
“Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles.” -Maltbie D. Babcock (writer)
So if you’re experiencing the FE and have stopped laughing at all the time you’ve wasted, you should probably hire someone to do the job like I’ve started doing.
People living in Echo Bay experience the Farenheit Effect. It is an under-studied phenomenon whereby attempts to achieve modest goals – running water in your house, coming home after getting your groceries, small construction or maintenance projects – are repeatedly frustrated by unpredictable, random, and bizarre events. These events appear to obstruct progress in a manner almost exactly parallel to the conversion formula from Celsius to Farenheit [F=9/5(C+32)], wherein C is equal to the amount of time, energy and money that would ordinarily be expected for the nature of a given project, and F is equal to what it takes for us in Echo Bay. As locals will frequently say, “double it and add 30”. While undocumented, it seems that the Farenheit Effect is prevalent in much of rural and remote British Columbia, though the prevalence may vary among different locations.