Fixin’ things

Yet another weekend is passing by without any progress on the closets that are to become bookcases. Yes, that is their official name. Eventually they will get to be called simply “Built-in Bookcases” or “The Library” – but for now, they must go by the longer name.

But as I am finding out with homeownership, there’s always plenty of things to do and planned projects often give way to needed projects. Yesterday it was a faulty outlet in the bedroom. I realized the thing was crumbling apart, so it became the fifth outlet that I’ve upgraded to 3-prong status. Today it was the office light. A couple days ago I was stretching my arms, and accidentally whacked the overhead light in the office. Our ceilings ain’t exactly high, and the sucker hangs a little low in the middle of the room. I didn’t think it was a big deal until a day or so later I had trouble turning it on. And a day after that, I couldn’t get it on at all.

So today I decided I better deal with that first, seeing as how doing anything in the office was becoming difficult. My original plan was to kill the circuit just long enough to do the work, while allowing my computer to keep running some stuff on the UPS. That last until about 15 minutes in, when I realized that the wires were completely ripped out of the lighting fixture. Time to kill both systems and concentrate on the task at hand.

After a little disassembly, it became obvious that the old fixture had to go. The obvious part was when I tried to unscrewed the contacts and snapped them clean off. Yeah, that’s not gonna work. Fortunately we have an old overhead lamp from Ikea that wasn’t being used. Unfortunately I couldn’t disassemble the incredibly basic, 3 inches of plastic that comprised the socket. Instead, I hacked the cords apart.

Stripping a power cord, and stripping electrical wiring are two different things. In this case the cord was molded around the electrical wires, making it damn near impossible to get off. So I started doing all sorts of inadvisable things with my Leathermen. Not too surprisingly, I cut myself. Somewhat surprisingly, I managed to get TWO fingers. And really not surprising in the least, I continued this process immediately after bandaging them. I guess the biggest surprise in the end is that I didn’t cut myself again, managed to not drip blood all over the place, and actually got the light working.

It’s a little under-powered for the room, but that can be fixed later – probably a different bulb would be enough. There is a certain sense of accomplishment in even the smallest of home improvement tasks. But that’s quickly erased when you realize that you spent the entire day fixing a light that was working 4 days ago and your computer that was working 4 hours ago and managed to make zero progress on your list overall.

Oh joy, and tonight’s the Oscars. Normally I’d skip them (I think I managed to miss just about every nominated film), but with Jon Stewart hosting, this is quite a popcorn affair. I’ll just tell Lisa that she got me sick, and that’s why I didn’t do anything…

4 thoughts on “Fixin’ things”

  1. Sounds a bit like my deal – I thought my overhead lights in the kitchen burned out, but the new bulbs are flickering just like the old ones. And I really don’t want to install a new fixture, if I might actually be painting and redoing things over the next few weeks. Like, redoing all my outlets, because the folks before me painted right over (and into) them.

    On the bright side, my shredder wasn’t so much dead, as taking a small coma, and is back to its old paper-destroying self. I’m emptying boxes of crap, and filling them with other crap that I want to keep, that I will no doubt want to get rid of as soon as I unpack them in my new place. But less is always better when it comes to crap.

    I may just go for broke and start emptying my shelves, so I can get rid of the 70’s porno mirrored bookcases I have. If I can get rid of them, then I’ll call you up, with a few beers, and that sledgehammer – and maybe a video camera in case we later need to explain ourselves in a court of law – and get rid of all the random steps and plateaus my cracked-out predecessors left me in that place.

  2. “So I started doing all sorts of inadvisable things with my Leathermen. Not too surprisingly, I cut myself. Somewhat surprisingly, I managed to get TWO fingers. And really not surprising in the least, I continued this process immediately after bandaging them.”

    Is this some sort of guy thing or is this some sort of engineer “oh I know what I’m doing” thing or what? Because I’m not surprised either.

    Mark – Oh no! Not the porno mirrored bookcases! Not the random steps! Every time I go to your place I think about Seinfeld when Kramer discusses how he took all the furniture out of his place and just has lots of “levels”.

  3. Every time I go to your place
    Wasn’t that like, once? :p Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I had more than one person over. Well, I can, but it was a while ago, and it’s more dramatic to play it up 🙂
    I should be having some kind of event at Chez Slovak in early April, once Eva has a work schedule that resembles a sane human being’s, and I get a few more things taken care of to make it presentable.

    Speaking of last time, I owe my love of Tomasello wines to you. That blueberry wine you brought over got me hooked, and I don’t even like blueberries. So, yay wine 🙂

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