redbyrd_sgfic (redbyrd_sgfic) wrote,

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How Many Engineers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

AKA, how a simple task can turn out to be *way* too complicated.

Y'see, the outside light over my front walk burned out. I kept forgetting and forgetting to change it when it was light (I don't NEED to turn on the outdoor light when it was *day*). But finally, I remembered, got a bulb and went out to change it.

And of course it's the kind that has the shade that's screwed on over it, so I went to find a screwdriver. This should not have been difficult. We have at least two large ones (the smaller ones didn't work- I couldn't get enough leverage). I found numerous other lost tools, including the drill bits (put up three shelves and rehung the doors to the wardrobe, which we took off to move it last fall), the roundover bit for the router (which I need for the last custom door), the power planer, which we'll need to level the next set of bookscases once they're assembled, and both hand planes (which I don't need for anything in particular, but should have been on a shelf and not on the floor under a bunch of other crap).

Finally, I bought a new one. Because, really, that's the only surefire way to find a lost tool- replace it. So, I took my brand-new screwdriver and approached the light. And nothing moved. No amount of leverage, no amount of WD-40 on the screws would make the slightest bit of difference. I tried other things. Nothing. The screws were rusted solidly into the mass.

After some reflection, I realized that that the light itself was probably original to the house (making it 41 years old), and the bulb had probably not been changed in at *least* eleven years. Why eleven? I've never changed it before, and I've been here five years. And the prior owners didn't use the front door (I know, I had to hack through a lot of brush to even find it). And they had the place six years. That put it back to the people before *them*.

So, how did I resolve this dilemma?

I forgot about the screws holding the lampshade on and dismounted the whole light from the side of the house. Then I went *back* to the hardware store, and bought a replacement for the whole unit, carefully selecting one that used the same mounting location (because the front facade of the house is brick, and I did *not* want to have to set a new bracket).

And then I came home, installed the new lamp, with a new bulb. Compact fluorescent, so I won't have to worry about it for another eleven years, at least.

The missing screwdrivers haven't turned up yet, but I'm sure they'll be along any minute.

So, as it turns out, it only takes one engineer to change a light bulb....
Tags: construction, humor
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