Monday, October 21, 2013

How Many Shannons Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

It only takes one. But it takes her over an hour to do it.

I know, bad pic. I'm too lazy to take a good one.
I was cleaning Chad & Jamie's room so they can use it this weekend and noticed the bulb in the ceiling fan needed to be replaced. The only bulb I had was one of those eco-friendly twisty ones which I figured would work just fine. I put in the twisty bulb, flipped the switch, nothing. I grabbed another bulb which was a GE Reveal that I usually save for lamps but just wanted to see if I was having a bulb issue or a ceiling fan issue.

Evidently I was having an idiot issue. As I was trying out the Reveal bulb it dawned on me that I didn't pull the chain on the fan to make sure the light was on. I had just flipped the wall switch which will only work if the chain is pulled to the 'on' position. Sure enough, I pulled the chain and the light came on. I dug the old bulb out of the trash thinking that maybe it wasn't burned out after all but it rattled when I shook it so I told myself I wasn't a complete idiot for changing it. I was just a partial one.

I put the twisty bulb back in the fan's fixture so I could save my Reveal bulb for a more worthy lighting source. The ceiling fan globe was all dusty and had a couple of dead bug bodies inside so I took this opportunity to wash the globe and wipe down the fan blades. After the globe was all nice and clean and dry I went to put it back on the fan and the bulb hit the bottom of the globe before the top of the globe reached the screws. I forgot that some of those twisty bulbs are longer than regular bulbs so the globe would no longer fit on the fan.

Ideally I would just go buy the right size bulb but that seemed wasteful since I already had a working bulb in place and we're not exactly in a position to be buying light bulbs all willy nilly. I dug through the basket of light fixture globes that we all have sitting in our garage, right? Don't ask. I found a lovely antique clear one that was taller than the original globe but the opening was the same size so I figured it would work. I brought it inside, washed it out, shined it up and took it upstairs to put on the fan.

My fan is similar to this but not as fancy. And with fewer blades.
I was rewarded with a "clink" as once again the bulb hit the globe before the globe reached the fixture. I went back out to the garage to reassess my options. They looked limited since most of the larger globes also had larger openings which I wasn't sure would fit the fixture. In a stroke of genius I decided to measure the diameter of the opening which would save me a lot of running up and down the stairs trying to find a fixture that fit. I was so proud of myself but my pride deflated somewhat as the tape measure reached less than half way across the opening before hitting the socket. No, I didn't consider the socket when I had the diameter-measuring-epiphany, thank you very much.

I measured from the edge of the opening to the edge of the socket, multiplied by 2, added in the estimated diameter of the socket (I could have gotten an exact measurement for that had I thought to remove the bulb but it never crossed my mind either.), then went back downstairs armed with a number that did me absolutely no good whatsoever. According to my measurement, the globe I took off the fan shouldn't have fit in the first place.

I ditched my faulty measurements, grabbed one of the longer globes, took it inside then had another stroke of genius and decided to stick one of the twisty bulbs inside the globe to make sure it fit before hauling it upstairs. I was pleased to find that it fit all the way down quite nicely. I thought it might be smart to take the globe upstairs to make sure the opening was the right size. But the globe was really dirty and I didn't want it dusting up my clean room so I took a leap of faith.

I put the globe in the sink to wash it out and heard water running upstairs so I waited for Jayson to get out of the shower so I wouldn't have to hear him whine about how I scalded him half to death. Finally I took my clean globe upstairs, put it in the ceiling fan fixture, and found that it barely fit. I don't care about the barely part, it fit and that's what matters.

I put the original globe in my basket 'o globes then sat down with a cool drink, exhausted from my light bulb changing ordeal. I do need to finish cleaning my house but I also need to put a new roll of toilet paper in the holder in the downstairs bathroom and at the rate I'm going that might eat up the rest of my day.