For Chris Borges, it was as easy as sending off an email with a quick question.
Next thing the Greater Annapolis resident knew, he was hashing out details with producers from the PBS series, Ask This Old House about filming an episode at his home.
And Tuesday afternoon, Chris and Terri Borges opened their home near Heritage Harbour to the show to demonstrate how to set up your home to run off a portable electricity generator.
Heath Racela, an associate produce of the popular PBS show, said the question has been a popular one all year after the hurricanes, tropical storms and early blizzards routinely knocked out power in many parts of the country.
For the Borges family, power outages have become an unfortunate way of life. Chris said they were without power for six days after Tropical Storm Irene blew through the area.
Chris and Terri both work from home—Chris is a graphic designer and Terri a mosaic artist.
"A couple times a year you're guaranteed to lose power," Chris said.
So Racela said the project became how to install a manual-transfer switch that would be connected to the house and could be plugged into the generator, which runs on unleaded gas.
The switch allows the homeowner to designate 10 circuits to be powered by the generator. Chris and Terri picked things like the home's electric heat, air conditioning, refrigerator, stove and outlets for their computers.
"They provided everything," Terri said.
She said it was a fun experience to watch the film crew at work. The couple said watching the crew properly light the small room in their basement where the switch was installed and doing take after take to get the dialogue just right was pretty fun.
Chris, a big fan of the show, did most of the on-camera stuff.
"It's amazing how mistakes can be made over and over," Terri said. "You'd think it would be us making mistakes and saying the wrong thing, but everyone has needed a few run throughs. It's really interesting to see what goes into making a TV show."
Tuesday's shoot was made even a little more interesting with a crew from WETA public television following the show around the region. The local channel will be doing a segment on Ask This Old House doing projects in the area.
The crew from Ask This Old House, based in Boston, was then headed to Alexandria, VA, and Washington, DC, to film other episodes, Racela said.
"It's all real questions that we go out to," he said.
The episode featuring the Borges may run in March, though a definite schedule is not in place.