rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Things Fall Apart

My high-intensity lamp, older than 90% of LJ's users, and already rebuilt twice, finally gave up the ghost a couple of nights ago. When I turned it on, it flickered a bit, and I thought the bulb had come loose. It had, so I tightened it, and a couple of seconds later the glass part of the bulb detached itself from its base and shot out of the lamp, smacking into the carpet. (I wonder now how far it would have gone had the lamp been pointing sideways.) There was hissing and the smell of ozone. I unplugged the lamp, and used pliers to remove the metal base of the bulb from the socket. I put in a new bulb, and it worked for about thirty seconds before it went dim and then dark. I fear the lamp is utterly defunct this time. The parts for it are no longer available.

So, today I went down to the hardware store and bought the closest thing to a replacement that I could find. It's a big architect's lamp, just like the one I have attached to Sluggo's desk. The problem is that these lamps are held in place by a little vice-like piece at the bottom, which must be clamped onto a piece of furniture. The particular piece of furniture to which the new lamp must be attached in order for it to be in a useful position does not have as much wood to grip as does Sluggo's desk. Thus, it is a bit unstable. I'm sure it will eventually come crashing down, damaging whatever is in its path. But this style of lamp is the best compromise, now that they no longer make the nice, medium sized free-standing lamps like the old one, so I'll just have to live with the risk.

I also bought compact fluorescent bulbs for the new lamp and for a 3-way living room lamp that has had a one-way compact fluorescent bulb in it. The new bulb for the living room lamp is a bit bigger than the old bulb was, and doesn't quite fit, so I had to Mickey Mouse the receptacle a bit. I don't like having to do that, but I didn't realize that there was a size problem until I had already opened the industrial-strength package in which the bulb came- meaning that the package had to be utterly destroyed in order to get the bulb out. I'm sure I could return it, but I don't like to do that when I've destroyed the original packaging, as the manufacturers know, I'm sure. That's why they made the packaging that way. I'll just use the lamp as little as possible, putting off the day when I have to buy yet another bulb.

I also damaged my knuckle while forcing the plug of the new desk lamp into the socket of the extension cord from which it must draw its power. The socket in the extension cord is a bit small, and the plug on the new lamp is a tad too big. Why the various manufacturers are unable to produce things that meet standards which have probably been established for at least a century, I don't know. Now the slice on my knuckle keeps opening up and dripping blood on Sluggo's keyboard. I fear that he'll develop a taste for it. He does run on Windows, after all, so he's primed to be a bloodsucker anyway.

I used to accept Capitalism back in the days when it was run by lying, cheating pricks. After all, just about everything is run by lying, cheating pricks, and at least the lying, cheating pricks who ran Capitalism knew what they were doing. But now that Capitalism is being run mostly by lying, cheating incompetent pricks, it's lost its cachet. I guess that so many products aren't made the way they used to be simply because they just don't make pricks the way they used to, either.

But I have to say that the weather this afternoon was very well made, despite the fact that it was occurring four or five hundred miles farther south than it usually does. There was a splendid collection of cumulous clouds, gleaming white with afternoon sunlight and then various shades of pink and orange for sunset. A bit of thin fog arrived with dusk, but the winter stars are still visible. The waning moon will rise late, but I will probably get to see it, as the fog appears to be dissipating and the clouds growing even more sparse. Being out in the cold ought to solve the problem of dripping blood, too, as it will probably freeze. Mmmm, bloodsicle!
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