Let There Be Light

The nice weather is still holding out in NorCal. It could stay like this all the way through winter and I’d be just fine. Not getting my hopes up for that. I took advantage of the pleasant temps by tackling a slightly overdue outdoor project, hanging some LED string lights around the porch. By “overdue,” I mean we bought these lights at the last house we lived in, and they moved up here still in the box. Hey, I like to put a lot of thought into the install process. As it turned out, and this is very rarely the case, there wasn’t much thought needed. The lights were spaced 2′ apart, and the rafters under the eave where I wanted to hang them are 2′ apart. The light strand is 48′, and from the outlet where they are plugged in to the corner of the porch is 48′. You just don’t see that work out every day in my world. Of course any project, no matter how minor, is not without difficulty for me. The big time waster in this case was the power outlet, which was conveniently located right where I wanted it. It was well located, but it didn’t have any power. Rats. Thanks to my 9 year degree in electricity, I quickly ascertained it was a GFCI outlet. Problem solved, it must have tripped. Except it wouldn’t reset. Well, that happens when they have no power, so I went through the familiar process of resetting all the breakers (and all the clocks, etc) in the house. Yeah, one day I’ll label those breakers while doing that… Another day. Anyway, after that, still no power. The GFCI must have failed, time for a trip to the hardware store. Luckily, just before leaving for the store, I made one more wild guess; The mystery light switch inside the front door that we’ve never figured out. Yep that was it. Turn the switch on, reset the outlet, and I was in business. Geez, who puts a switch on one outlet? Seems a little odd to me. I guess that was before the days of just plugging in a wifi-enabled plug and using that, which is my use case here. From there, it was just a matter of completing the tedious process of drilling pilot holes, screwing in the hooks, and hanging the lights. It would have been a relatively quick job, but it was hampered by my rather extreme aversion to heights. Each step had to be done with one hand, while the other hand remained firmly planted on the nearest structural board. No matter how unlikely, I could not shake the feeling that I was somehow going to lose my balance, tumble off the step stool, over the railing, and end up horribly disfigured on the ground 30′ below. OK, maybe more like 12′, but it looked like 30 whenever I glanced down. It probably took me 3 hours to complete the whole length, which admittedly did include frequent breaks to check the 49ers score. I was so pleased with eventual outcome that I decided to continue on with the second strand we have, down the back side of the porch. That section got interrupted by the Chief’s game, but I’ll get the rest finished soon.

Other than that home improvement project, it was an uneventful weekend. We were pup-sitting our friend Renfield, so we mostly stayed home and kept an eye on him. He and Quinn really go at it, they are quite the pair. They will be outside for so long sometimes you start to get worried about them, but invariably when you look out the window you’ll see them running circles at top speed around the back yard. Nacho, well, not so much. She just stares at them from a safe distance and wiggles in excitement. Can’t quite seem to figure out that she might have fun if she joined them. Oh, Nacho. We made a crockpot full of lentil soup to go with the Chief’s game, which was a success. (I’ll omit the lemon next time, it was overwhelming and kinda weird.) And that was about it for that weekend.

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