Sunday, February 23, 2014

Unusual Winter Coming To An End

This winter has been one for the books.  Endless days of sub-freezing temperatures, icy conditions, and generally, 'stay inside' conditions, most of the time.

But now we're having some really nice weather and we are taking full advantage of it to clean-up and fix-up what needs cleaning and fixing.

Among the long list of things-to-do, I'm down to two final 'fixes,' both involving outdoor lighting.  One is a simple bulb change that requires some getting down on the ground like a reptile in order to reach under the step fixture to pull and replace the bulb.  Piece 'a cake.

But the other has turned into a major project.  A few days ago we noticed the bulb was not burning at night.  I gave it a rather low priority because it was a three minute fix at the most.  Just change the $#@* bulb.  So I took out the old 'cloudy and obviously burned out' bulb and went to the garage to get a replacement.  None to be had, so off to Lowe's to buy a bulb.  Judy went with me, and $160 later we were home with 20 bags of mulch, a bunch of flowers, garden plants, and my bulb.

So I once again postponed fixing the light while I unloaded and placed the truck load of stuff in position for later doing.  After all, I had the bulb and only needed to insert it and replace the cap.

Finally, I went to replace the bulb but when I went thru the side gate, it would not latch.  It had been giving me problems forever and this time I had had enough of dealing with it.  So I got my tools and removed some boards that apparently had rotted in an invisible spot, thereby making the gate sag.  One thing led to another and another and another and I eventually got it to close and latch with the slightest touch.

Then I had to put the tools away and clean up the sawdust and store the leftover pieces of lumber in the leftover lumber pile.

Then I headed directly to the garage to get the bulb to fix the light but on my way out, Judy said, "You need to light the Egg to cook the chicken."  So I went to the Coop to light the Egg, only it needed cleaning out a bit and new lump charcoal added, which I did, but I had to go get the trash can to put the ashes in.  And on the way to get the trash can I happened to notice that the other gate, the really pretty one, had a gap at the top which would require some weather proof glue and overnight clamps to fix.  So I did all of that but when I got ready to go back to fixing the light it was time to put the chicken on the Egg.  That meant cleaning and cutting the backbone out of the chicken so I could spatchcock (butterfly) it.  Then stand by while I cooked the meaty side directly over the flames for one minute before converting the Egg to indirect and flipping the chicken over for the remainder of the cook,which I did.

Then I headed back to the task of replacing the bulb.  I inserted the new bulb and checked it by turning the light controller to manual.  Nothing!!!!  So I shook it, my usual first attempt at fixing stuff.  Nothing!!!!  Then I banged it a little, my second approach to fixing stuff.  Suddenly, I saw a very faint orange glow... WTF!!!  So I go into my troubleshooting mode (and mood) and after some long and difficult minutes I determined that the fixture itself was bad and in need of replacing.  So that project is on today's list of things-to-do after another trip to Lowes.  Meanwhile, I used my meter to check the bulb I took out and it was fine in spite of being a little cloudy.  #$&@!)$$$!!!

So I'm starting off today with a yesterday project.

Then it started to rain......