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This & That: Dominoes

Jan 14, 2014 12:25PM ● Published by Erik Dittmann

Dave BowmanBy: Dave Bowman

The game of dominoes has been a mainstay of homes and households for many years. Many a winter night have been spent pondering where to put that next tile, whether to block a fellow player’s move or to “go in for the kill” and claim victory.  The game itself arrived in Britain from France in the 18th century, and many different countries and cultures play different variations. 

Now, you can spend many hours planning game strategy or…

You can just line ‘em up and knock ‘em down.  The “domino effect” is a “chain reaction that occurs when a small change causes a similar change which then causes another similar change, and so on, in linear sequence.”  President Dwight Eisenhower coined the phrase during the Cold War when he suggested that the fall of French Indochina to the communists would create a “domino effect” in Southeast Asia.  Pretty heady stuff, but we all encounter a “domino effect” once in a great while.  Although it usually does not result in the fall of a country, it can cause our own little “strategic crises,” if you will.

Just recently we needed to replace an old bathroom fan, which had been making interesting sounds from the first day we moved in.  I expressed what millions of homeowners and do-it-yourselfers express confidently every day, “No problem!”  Doing the thorough research necessary for this monumental undertaking, we looked at all fan possibilities and options noting that the instructions on each fan state that ALL you need is a screwdriver and pliers, and the time to install will be one-half hour.  Analyzing the situation, I sought the assistance of my knowledgeable future son-in-law and proceeded with the project.  Out pops the old fan.  The area is prepped for the new fan, and then my son-in-law’s inevitable exclamation… “Oh, this looks goofy.  I have never seen this before.”  (First domino down!)  Closer examination revealed jury-rigged, spliced and diced wiring, and the understandable, “I think you need a junction box” and a call to the electrician.  (Bang! There goes another one.)  So much for the screwdriver and completion in one-half hour!  After getting the wires safe and sound, it turns out that the wiring through the old fan had been powering both upstairs bathrooms, so while awaiting the electrician, there were no lights in them.  Get out the trusty camping lanterns, kids, we are going to be roughing it!  (Another domino hits the dust.)  Suffice it to say, the electrician did a bang up job, and we now have a functional and electrically safe bathroom fan, and lights to boot.

Life will sometimes be like a row of dominoes just knocking each other down, with seemingly no end in sight.  But remember, those same dominoes can also be arranged in an interesting and unique pattern.   

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