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2015_01_11-03When I was in Home Depot Thursday to get the “war”* to fix my foot pedal, I saw they had exactly the kind of floor lamp I had been looking for and at a really nice price.   Also, while I was wandering around looking for where the wire was — which was way back in the lumber department, I got a piece of scrap lumber to act as a backstop for the drill bit when I drilled the 4 holes in the base plate of the foot pedal for the wire to go through.  They also had a miscellaneous assortment of hooks, loops and bars that fit into the pegboard that allow you to secure different types of things to the pegboard, and I got a packet of those.  They also had some cord clamps suitable for clamping several cords together which worked so much better than clear packing tape (and without the sticky mess!) to guide and secure the various cords.

2015_01_11-02Thus equipped, I tackled the task of taking the thick, heavy, metal baseplate off the foot pedal (a simple matter of removing four screws), drilling two pairs of holes in the base plate (and breaking a drill bit in the process — just snapped that rascal in two!), threading two pieces of “war” through the holes and reattaching the foot plate to the foot pedal.  In order to take the pegboard away from the backs of the book cases it was screwed to, I had to move my chair off to the side so I could roll the desk out of the way.  Once I could get to the back of the pegboard, it was a simple matter to remove the “dead” foot pedal, slide the wires of the new one through the appropriate holes in the pegboard and twist them tight to secure the foot pedal to the peg board.  Then I just put the pegboard in place against the back of the book cases, and replaced the screws.

2015_01_11-09Of course, in reality, it’s never that simple or straightforward a process.  You have to factor in the white cat.  He has a natural talent for getting right in the middle of whatever it is I’m trying to do.  I’ve had the little schmoe for 15 years, and you’d think I would know by now that it would have made it so much easier on both of us if I had shooed all of them out of the office and shut the door — which, of course, I didn’t.  Instead, I had to constantly move him out of the way so I could get to things.  Although I did get the foot pedal mounted and working, I did it in spite of the white one.

2015_01_11-11I already have two table lamps in the living room, which are fine for just general stuff like visiting with people and watching TV, but they don’t provide task lighting. I do have a little tensor lamp on the reader table I use when I read things on my Kindle, or have a pattern to follow, but unfortunately, it also back-lights whatever I’m trying to do,  throwing the important bit — the part I actually need to see —  into shadow.  The solution to that problem is to get some kind of task lighting directed from above and behind, over my shoulder, hence the pole lamp.  I’d identified the need, but hadn’t seen a floor lamp or pole lamp that would fill the bill until I saw the one in Home Depot.  It was the right lamp at the right price.  Also, while the little tensor lamp I have is a great lamp, it’s over 13 years old and finding light bulbs for it is becoming problematic.

2015_01_11-14The lamp I got is one of those “some assembly required” things, but no tools were required.  It was a simple matter of screwing the pieces of pole together and screwing the pole onto the base.  The cord was already threaded through.  You just had to pull it taut as you screwed pieces together.  Then you attached the glass shades.  It’s a pretty little lamp and it blends nicely with the table lamps.

Now, about my living room area.  It has no ceiling light (or ceiling fan), so I’ve got to have lamps.  Apart from the outlet the TV and its accoutrements are plugged into, there are three other electrical outlets/power points, one on either side of the window and one on the same wall as the front door, and each outlet has sockets for two plugs, which would be nice except only one of the sockets in each outlet works.  I’m not sure why this is — the top socket in each of the three plugs just happened to go kaput (what are the odds of that?) or they were deliberately disabled to keep from constantly blowing the circuit breaker (not as unlikely as you might think — These apartments were built in the 1960’s).  One of these days, I’ll remember to mention it to the apartment manager.  In the meantime, I need to plug in two lamps, as well as the base unit for the cordless phone, and the phone modem attached to the TV cable that kluges around the fact that there’s only one working telephone jack (land line) in the whole apartment and it’s set up for a wall mounted phone.  So, I have one plug strip from one outlet that has the base unit and phone modem plugged into it, and a second plug strip that has the two table lamps and the pole lamp plugged into it, that is mounted on the wall, so I can turn on all three by simply turning on the plug strip.  That leaves one outlet I can get to easily to plug in the vacuum.

2015_01_11-01What with all the USB stuff I have plugged into my computer — keyboard, wireless mouse, foot pedal, a second monitor —  I only have two open USB ports.  Several months ago, I had gotten a USB hub that adds 4 more USB ports.  While I was “playing with the octopus” i.e., rummaging about in the computer cordage hooking things up, I hooked the USB hub up (for a net gain of 3 USB ports . . .) and have it in front between my monitors where it’s a lot easier to get to than the front of my desktop unit, which is angled behind my monitor.  This makes it a lot easier to plug in my camera and my MP3 players.  I had to move my digital clock to do it.



* Texan for “wire.”