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January 30th, 2006

I’ve got a little spare cash and am trying to remodel the living room. Mostly (other than the new couch) this will mean upgrading the cardboard furniture to newer cardboard furniture and slapping on a coat of paint.

But I found these great lamps at Shopko. Two table lamps and a floor lamp for $55.

Kind of pricey. I wasn’t kidding when I said I’m upgrading with cardboard.

But, yesterday, there was a sale, and they were down to $44 and change. Hot Dog! New lamps for me!

This morning, I woke up and there was no computer, internet, TV, TIVO, or light in the living room. The breaker kept tripping.

We live in an old house. In my mind, I was spinning scenarios with mouse-chewed wiring. I called an electrician and waited for flaming electrical death.

And hooked the computer to a different outlet via a chain of power strips. I had to unplug the humidifier to do that, but #1 Son said this was just as well since the thing was, “only improving the conductivity of the air.”

We’re a cheery family. And we have very vivid imaginations.

So, the electrician gets there and I can hear him moving around in the basement, and not coming up the stairs to give me the “Hey, Lady…” speech, where it turns out I’ve done something stupid like forget to turn on a light switch. There must really be something wrong. Probably something expensive, since the clock is running on this visit.

Eventually, he isolates the problem to an outlet behind a bookcase, where I’ve just plugged in my new floor lamp. I speculate that I jiggled something loose when plugging it in.

He fiddles. Puts things back together. Plugs in the lamp and the breaker blows again. How strange. A defective lamp. A brand new, just out of the box, defective lamp.

On impulse, he tries a different bulb. Problem solved.

Did you know that you can cause a short and blow your breakers by using a one-way bulb in a three-way lamp. Not all one-way bulbs, mind you. Just the one I happened to put in last night.

Thank God I got the lamps on sale. I needed a couple hundred for an electrician to change my light bulb.