Hazards of living in an old house.

13 Oct

As my lovely wife noted on Facebook yesterday, I spent an inordinate amount of time changing 3 lightbulbs last night.
We’ve got these lovely little recessed can-lights in the ceiling over the fireplace but I was just certain that they were using incandescent bulbs.

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Being the good hippie that I am, I can’t go more than a week in a new residence without changing out every incandescent bulb I can find to a nifty new CFL’s.

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Anyway, as I disassembeled my way into the old can-lights I finally got to the ancient (150w!) Incandescent bulbs that were in there, but from there, things quickly went south.

The damn bulbs snapped off at the base (on all three!), leaving the metal threads stuck in the socket.  After attacking the three stuck bases with a pair of needle-nose pliers they were all successfully freed, though broken glass did carpet the floor afterward.  If only that were the end of my problem…

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The old bases were brass/bronze (or some alloy thereof) and caused a bit of galvanic corrosion with the steel socket sleeve, making both the ceramic ring that holds the socket in place, and the new CFL bulbs almost impossible to screw on.  I eventually persuaded them all to screw in to place with a generous dab of dielectric grease and a few choice words.

After more than a few hours wrestling the new lightbulbs into place, Callina informed me that the dishwasher wasn’t working right.  It got all the dishes hot, but there was no sign that it actually got them wet, and therefore no sign that they were actually cleaned in any sense.

A short trudge down to the basement revealed that the water was indeed turned on, but the basement floor was wet…. Curious…

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Turns out we had a curious/stupid/bored mouse or two living under the cabinets in the not-too-distant-past.  One of the buggers managed to gnaw almost completely through the water line for the dishwasher, and not the easy-to-get-to one either.  This mouse decided to gnaw through the 3/8″ rubber hose that snakes all around the side of the machine, so you have to take the whole machine out to replace the little chewed bit.

A quick into town, and I was back with a new 3/8″ hose and a bar of rat-poison.  Problem solved.

In spite of the few problems we’re mostly unpacked at this point.  We’ve got a functional living-room and a real-live kitchen with all our long-lost appliances and stuff in it.  The bedrooms and bathrooms are mostly together, at least they’re functional.

I’ve heard that my Dad will be coming up to visit us on Tuesday, so I’ve got two projects that need to get done by then: Clean up and repaint the woodstove, and get a place in the barn ready for the 3 hens he’s bringing with him.

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