Saturday, June 30, 2007
as messed up as a soup sandwich
The images in today's bloggitude are the Befores of my next project. Kitchen? No, but the noises are getting louder about that. Spare bathroom? No. Some other area we've discussed earlier? Nope. The master bedroom? No, but I foresee a trip to a lighting store to replace the overhead light... like most houses built in the 50's and 60's, the contractor used those simple two-bulb lights with the shade held under them by a cap-nut, which presently cost about $5. But speaking of those cheap bedroom lights, that's what I'll be removing from my office. I will be replacing one of those with a lighted fan. As you can see in the lower image, I've chosen a 30" diameter fan and also elected to swap out the fru-fru (3 candalabra) lights that came on it for some real (4 moveable spots) lights. Also, since I don't believe that the utility box the fixture is connected to is being held in place by anything stronger than two threepenny nails, I'll replace that with something more up-to-code for fans. And since I like having the lights on a dimmer and know this doesn't work so well for fans, I've obtained a single doohicky that can control the fan and light from one (existing) switchbox, thus I don't have to screw around with installing a second switch and gangbox the wall... and you would not believe how much they charge for those. Damn monopoly! A plain switch costs like 88¢ a dimmer costs about $5-$10, a gangbox costs a buck or two, and this device with two switches is $25! Anyhow, I'll set into this project on Tuesday, my next day off. My bride prefers it when I do my home improvement projects without her present so she doesn't have to see the mess or hear my un-family-friendly commentary about various aspects of the project. That happens when previous home improvements were done by Crackheads™, as you've read previously.
My wife has been on me for awhile to find out what's wrong with the phone in the kitchen / dining room, the one we use most often. There's so much static at times you can't hear anything. I finally did that a few days ago. Is it a bad phone? Buy a new one, try it out, no difference, but at least it doesn't rattle and it can be heard ringing from the bedroom clearly. Is it the handset cord? Can't be, we just replaced that a month or two. Cord from phone to splitter? Replaced, nope. Cord from splitter to Caller ID box? Perhaps, and to lessen the mess of cords why don't I just replace that with the DSL filter. Hmm, still noise. Cord from Caller ID box to wall? Replaced, nope. The wall jack? I think we're onto something. The phone can be plugged directly into the jack (okay, put the DSL filter on the cord first) and it's noisy. Buy a new jack plate at Lowes! Discover that the old one was mounted against the wall, and this one requires a hole in the wall. No problem... uh, wait, there's a stud behind the drywall here. Pull out the drill and a 1" router bit. Dig out space for the back of the jack plate. Wire up, test out, all is great. Time to mount to wall... Okay, here's a stupidity for you: Why is it that phone jack plates come with the same kind of bolts as electrical plates, when I have never seen a phone jack installed in a gangbox? Those bolts are useless in drywall! Go out to shed, find a couple appropriate-sized wood screws, use those instead (since there is a stud for them to go into!), and it's all flush and pretty. Hmm, the wall itself makes it obvious it's time to paint, since that jack had been there since 1960 (even if the phone wiring changed at some point) and had been painted over once or twice... who knew the kitchen was originally stale-guacamole green? We know it now. But anyhow, task complete and now the phone is crystal clear, yaaay me! And painting of the kitchen, those noises I have been hearing this week, appears to be the next project we'll tackle.
Looks like bubble juice in the back on the right there by the fan.
It suppose you've got that fan installed by now.
I hope the dimmer works.
Yes, that's bubble juice.
Coming entry will talk about the installation. It's cooling me off right now!