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» Sunday, August 09, 2015Seeing Friends As Well as the Light
I was chatting with Emma much too long last night (well, along with all those Strange Paradise videos), so when I did wake up this morning, after ten, I needed some ibuprofin to get going.
After breakfast we headed out to Advance Auto Parts. We both needed windshield wipers, I needed a new bulb for one of my brake lights (a nice guy on Spring Road had let me know Monday that one of mine were out), and James needed two new rubber bungee cords to keep the "trunk" (literally a big heavy duty rubber toolbox that holds reusable shopping bags and my driving pillow) stable in the bed of the truck. We have to buy these so often now; the old ones he used to get when he had the old truck would last several years, but the new ones are so cheap they crack and then break after only a few months in the Georgia sun. Once those were picked up, we headed for Sprouts.
We cut through the back instead of going through the main road because it was simply easier to make a right turn out of Advance. This was a serendipitous move because at the traffic light at Hicks Road and the East-West Connector we spied a familiar car ahead of us: Alice's red Prius with its Star Trek trimmings. A second later my phone rang. "Where y'all going?" "Sprouts." "We're going to Uncle Maddio's for lunch and then Sprouts." "Can we join you?" "Sure." As Miss Emily Baldwin said, "The nice thing about life is that you never know when there's going to be a party."
So we had lunch together. Uncle Maddio's does great build-it-yourselfs. We sat and chatted about Aubrey's adventures in baking (she made gnocchi for supper one night, and she now has a Kitchen-Aid blender), recommendations for an HVAC service provider and a chiropractor, and how Alice had gotten a usually obdurate acquaintance's goat. Then we went over to Sprouts. Alice had been there before, but Ken and Aubrey had not. As Alice said, you can be very bad there. We got cashews, my favorite chocolate coated honeycombs, pork bits and small steaks, some Yukon Gold potatoes, the elusive ghee, and a big container of chicken noodle soup for supper.
We parted ways then, and we got gasoline and picked up a paper, and then headed home. When we got in we fastened the new rubber bungees on, then I pulled my owner's manual out of the glove compartment and looked up how to replace my brake light (driving around on the freeway another week without one was not what I wanted). All I needed was a big standard screwdriver to unscrew the brake light cover—dang, it's plastic!—and then turn the fixture a quarter turn and the connection dropped out of the plastic housing. I unplugged the old bulb, pushed in the new, screwed the housing back on, and James checked it out to see if it worked, and it did. Once inside I shucked everything off for my tank top and shorts, and prepared to climb up on the blanket chest to replace the light bulb that had burned out in the ceiling fan fixture that morning.
Blast. We take the glass globe down every so often to clean the dust out of it, but we'd forgotten this thing takes small light bulbs, like the ones that go in the refrigerator. I called the closest place, Vickery Hardware, and they had some, so it was back on with the clothes and James drove and I went in.
Taking this globe off and putting it back on is sheer drama. James usually puts it up and takes it down, but he has been having balance problems this weekend any time he goes into the heat. So I got up there and discovered my acrophobia was in full force as long as I was staring upward with both hands in use over my head. I had to keep stopping to breathe. James had his hands around my waist to steady me. To get it off you have to unscrew a finial, then unscrew a nut with a washer. The nut is very skinny and there's nothing to hold the globe as it comes down. My hand, unlike James' hand, is too small to cradle it as it comes down, so I had to hold the edge. Putting it back up is worse because you have to thread the two pull cords, one for the light and one for the fan, through the holes in the globe and then thread the two separate parts, the nut and the washer, through the fan pull as well. I breathed a sigh of relief when it was finally time to screw that finial back on.
We spent what was left of the afternoon watching Time Traveling With Brian Unger and the two latest episodes of The Astronaut Wives Club, had the chicken soup for supper, read the paper on Sunday for once, and got the trash out by 9:30. Tucker had a longer walk than usual because he would not go out at suppertime when we usually walk him; some nitwit outside was shooting off fireworks.
While that was all going on I finally listened to all the nagging and updated the laptop to Windows 10. This mainly consisted of sitting around watching countdowns on my screen, until it finally finished. My God, you have to then go into settings and shut down just about everything if you're using it a laptop; I guess it would be different if you were using it as a tablet, because then you would need to have locations and e-mail service and Skype and all that. I must have spent fifteen minutes clicking switches to off, especially the ones about tailored ads and all that.
I had a bit of trouble when I tried to open my HTML editor, which is text-based and rather creaky, but I like it, but I went into the compatibility settings and fixed it up so it worked again. The only bad thing was that it ate more room on my hard drive; it's only 60GB.
[Update August 11: Arghhhh! One of the new lightbulbs blew out today!]