Friday, November 15, 2013

Porch Light Replacement with a National Geographic Twist

I finally got around to hanging that porch light I bought on eBay. You can read about that budget-win purchase here.

This post is about actually getting the light installed. The story also includes a lizard/salamander/newt-type creature that went all NatGeo on my arm and detached it's tail and made me almost fall off my ladder.

But let's forget about that for a moment. Let's start with the "before" pictures. This little dinky light is reminiscent of a drunken vampire bat. See how it leans? And look how tiny it is on the porch of my already tiny home.

Drunken Bat Porch Light

Itty-bitty light on my porch.

This the new light, fresh out of the box. It's a Heath/Zenith Antique Bronze outdoor light, model SL-4350-AZ-B.  I took this picture so I would remember how everything was supposed to look, since I was about to take it all apart. (This is not my first time to the take-it-apart-and-lose-something-and-can't-get-it-back-together rodeo.)

Fresh out of the box.
The new light required some prep work. It was a beautiful bronze color, which did not seem to go well with my black and white house. Paint is cheap and easy, so let's do that.

As I took it apart, and laid the pieces out in the order that they came off the light. And then I snapped this picture to remember. Theoretically, I'll be able to lay them back out after I paint them, just like in the picture, and just work backward to put it all back together. Theoretically.

Things are going well so far.
And then I put everything in a cardboard box and spray painted them, rotating the pieces when they dried, and spray painting the other side. That's a little plastic bag over the bulb socket, since I didn't want to paint that.

The spray-paint box. As you can see, the last item I spray painted was white.
Finally, after everything was painted at every angle, I put it all back together.

Here's the part with the creature. I had to take off the old light. When I did, a tiny creature scurried out, ran DOWN MY ARM, and jumped to the ground. It left his squirming tail ON MY ARM. It was like the National Geographic channel just happened ON MY ARM. I somehow managed to not fall off the later as I screamed and frantically shook to get it off. Ewy! Ewy! Ewy!

So that nightmare passed, I calmed down, and installed the new light. I took all the safety precautions, of course. Turn of the power, take a picture of how the wires were connected to the old light, connect the wire the same way to the new light, and screw it in.

Here's the reveal. I know, I know, I took the final photo at dusk. You can't really see the details of the light itself. But trust me, it's better. The light is appropriately sized for the porch, and casts a ton more light. Plus, it automatically comes on at a low level at dusk, and brightens when it senses motion. Then dims again about 5 minutes later. No more fumbling to unlock the door!

Until the next project, tschüss!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Custom Cut Glass for Picture Frames

As I stand here in the blue home improvement store, waiting for my turn to have a piece of glass cut, I thought I'd share what I hope ends up being a budget tip.

Earlier today, I bought a picture frame, and promptly broke the glass as it slid slow-motion off the table.

I'm at this store for a totally different reason, but happened to walk down the aisle where they hide the sheets of glass. I say "hide," because I spend a lot of time in these home improvement stores, strolling the aisles, thinking of projects...and I've never ever ever noticed this.

Anyway, back to the story of how I saved a little money.

There is an employee cutting glass for another customer. Not only did I not know they stocked sheets of glass, I didn't know they would cut it, too. Seriously, I just spent $$$$ on custom-cut glass shelves for my cabinets, when I could have come here and spent $.

So let me just act like I meant to come down this aisle for this specific purpose. On the fly, I decided that I'm going with acrylic, since glass and I don't get along. Also, the final framed picture is going in a bathroom. Just the thought of broken glass on a tile floor makes me want to faint. 

It's $8.98 for an 18" x 24" sheet, which he's going to cut down to the 16" x 20" I need. I feel like $8.98 is cheap. Especially since he cut it for me. I'm already looking at other things that might need a custom piece of glass or acrylic.

Here's a picture of the employee cutting it. Sorry it's all blurry and stuff, but one bad picture is better than no picture at all.

Certified Super Star Glass Cutter Man

Bis Später!

Brrrr...3.8 miles

We were told it would be "about 3 miles." I guess that means almost 4. While I complained to myself on the run, I'm happy I finished! I have no idea what my time was, since I got lost about 2 miles in and had to stop to wait for those behind me to tell me where to turn to get back. The cold morning (about 30 degrees), and the need to get back to the start, kept me going. My multiple layers (running leggings, warmup pants, dryfit t-shirt, fleece jacket, hat) weren't enough to keep me warm. Oh, I guess I'm still complaining, then! :-p

This morning's run is brought to you by Katy Perry's "Roar." (Although, at no point did I feel like I was running through a steamy jungle.)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday morning neighborhood run.

So...I just realized my MapMyRun app is way off in the distance it calculates. It says I ran 2.38 miles, but Gmap Pedometer ( says I ran 2.69. I like 2.69 better than 2.38. I knew it was off a little bit (the streets around have lots of trees that interfere with a clear GPS signal). 

I ran for 22:45, for a pace of 8:27. 

I ran through Cloverdale. In the newish part of Cloverdale (by Stonehenge and Derk's Filet & Vine), there was a man sitting outside playing a banjo and singing out loud, all by himself. I wonder if he does that all the time.

This morning's run is brought to you by "Wake Me Up," by Aloe Blacc and Avicci.