Well, I managed to survive the most expensive day, EVER.
The cost to replace my alternator? ~$330.
It was interesting too. When I got the manifold replaced, it was a $45 part that required about $400 worth of time to install. The alternator, on the other hand, only cost about $90 labour but was the unit itself cost $200 or so (plus taxes).
The cost of the electrician? Only about $150, possibly a bit less.
The guy came by around 1pm and was done by 3pm, so that wasn't too bad. Turns out that it wasn't the aluminum wiring coming unspooled in the walls. There was a junction box downstairs in the basement that had a morrette that hadn't been tightened properly which caused some arcing.
It was kind of funny how we figured out where the problem was. After pulling most of the plugs in the kitchen out of the walls to test for power flow, he finally gave up in his search for the problem, leaned against the counter in the kitchen and stomped his foot in frustration, which caused the lights to go on. I remembered that the last time the lights came back on by themselves was when Kara went charging through the kitchen the weekend prior, which sent me scrambling downstairs to find that junction box in the ceiling directly below where the electrician was standing.
Thankfully we found the problem before a fire started!
We also got a few other wonky electrical things fixed while the electrician was here yesterday, so all in all, it was worth the $150.
Oh, and I can claim that as a home renovation. I can't claim the $25K we spent on the basement, but I can claim the $150 I spent on electrical work... stupid government...