PhilM
Location: Salinas, CA
Age: 40
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"Only two things are infinite--the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt

"I'm not as think as you confused I am." Someone, somewhere, at some time

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Monday, May 26, 2008
Sticky situation

Someone recently asked how my home repairs/improvements are coming, pointing out that I have not posted about them in quite some time. Um, yeah, I haven't. Mostly because I've been lazy busy and haven't really been working much on the house. However, I recently had cause to actually get off my duff and work. Last week the lights in my bathroom stopped working. This morning I finally got around to doing something about that. Since the kitchen light failure a while back turned out to simply be a loose wire on the switch, I started there. No luck. So I decided to take the lighting unit down and check the wiring there. And I was reminded how much of a complete and utter moron the previous owner was. I can't even say, really, that he would do things "half-assed". That term implies that someone got lazy and took shortcuts. But I've discovered more often than not that the previous owner went out of his way to do things more with more difficulty than if he had done it properly. Case in point: the wiring behind the bathroom light.

The lighting unit itself has 2 "in" and 2 "out" wires. Obviously, the "in" gets tied to the "hot" wire in the wall, and the "out" goes to the "return". What did I find? One return and one ground wire spliced into a second return wire about 2 inches from the end. This splice was then wrapped in multiple layers of electrical tape, coated in some kind of epoxy, and painted. The end of the return wire was then tied to the "out" on the lighting unit, and wrapped in about 8 feet of duct tape. The other end was much simpler, having just one hot wire tied to the 2 "in" leads on the lighting unit. However, it was also covered in another 8 feet of duct tape. Seriously, it took me two friggin' hours to get all the tape, epoxy and other crap off the wires, where I found that, sure enough, a connection was loose. After returning from the store (had to purchase some wire nuts), it took a grand total of 10 minutes to get things wired up right & the light re-mounted on the wall, including taking a few minutes to clean it up since it had about 8 years of dust buildup. So rather than simply run to the hardware store to get some wire nuts (I live about 3 blocks from one, btw, so it's not like an across town journey) and do it properly, this twat decided to undoubtedly spend quite a bit more time wrapping things in half a roll of duct tape after epoxying & painting. Gack. No wonder they were Packers fans.

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