Monday, February 02, 2009

I'm Your Handyman

We are having a dinner for some old friends in the near future, and since we are southerners who suffer from Fobtpwt Syndrome -- Fear of Being Thought Poor White Trash -- that means we have to do major house cleaning at the least, and minor repairs, lest we be thought, you know ...

Being PWT is not as bad as being thought that one is ...

Um, anyway, Sunday morning before the Super Bowl, we got up and changed out the lights in the kitchen. There were two sets of track lights, one over the sink, the other over the butcher block table, that were, admittedly, in poor shape. Bought when we had a white fridge, which was long ago replaced with a black one to match the black stove, the old lights were white. And softened by years of heat, they were falling apart, distorted enough so they couldn't be forced back into place. Tobacco Road-looking.

The overhead, an old T-12 fluorescent 48-inch double, had a cover that was brittle, cracked, and littered with dead bees and suicidal moths.

So we got two new sets of stainless steel track lights, and because there were no covers available for the old overhead, a new T-8 48-inch-double fixture to replace the whole thing.

For those who care, T-12 refers to the inch-and-a-half diameter bulbs. The T-8's are smaller around and slightly lower in wattage, more efficient in energy use -- 32 watts each, compared to the old 40-watters. Can't see much difference in the lumens, especially if you use the high-color resolution.

Anybody remotely handy with a screwdriver and spring-nut wire connectors could have taken the old fixtures down, assembled and put the new ones up in an hour, if they dawdled.

Took me, with my wife's help, more than twice that long, and I had to resort to the old method of winding wires together and using electrical tape on one of the track lights because there was no room for the wire connectors under the new cover.

And, of course, once the kitchen was newly lighted, and more brightly so than before, we saw all the dirt and grime, so that has to be cleaned, plus the grease traps have to be cleaned ...

Never a dull moment.

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