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…