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Heterogeneous Hump Day

August 29, 2007

Now it is Wednesday, and I am not so tired as I was on Monday, but I would still like to get in my car and go home. If I could spend the afternoon relaxing in my living room and reading instead of sorting out check printing requirements in Canada that would be dandy, but alas it is not to be.

I did stop at Lowe’s on Monday night and they did have the bulbs for my torchiere. I bought two of them so I’d have a spare and the clerk offered to dispose of the old one for me (by which I hope she meant in an enivornmentally responsible manner, because it had mercury in it, but I didn’t think to quiz her about it at the time). On my way from Lowe’s to the library, I got caught in a backup on the freeway in one of those stretches with no exits so I crawled along, only then switching off my book on CD and catching a radio report that said traffic was being forced onto the shoulder a couple miles ahead. Not too long after that I spotted what looked like a semi-truck sized trailer wheels up in the median. I got a little closer and saw it looked like a livestock trailer and started cringing in anticipation of seeing big, dead animals on the road. I got even closer and saw a brownish mound next to the trailer and thought, “oh no, they’ve made a big pile of the dead animals”. Imagine my surprise, then, when I got up to the spot and saw the brownish mound was actually several cows standing close together, noses facing the overturned trailer. They looked fine, not dead at all. On the other side of the trailer were several more not-dead cows. I felt so relieved. Sure, the cows were probably on their way to be killed and eaten, but for this afternoon at least they were still alive and grazing on the median. (Writing this reminded me to look up news reports, and it appears no people or cows were seriously injured in the accident. Why that story says the truck was carrying six cows when there are clearly at least twelve in the accompanying picture I do not know. )

Tuesday I came into work and plugged in one of my new bulbs only to find the lamp still didn’t work. Crap. I suppose I should have suspected it wasn’t the bulb’s fault, since the light would sometimes come on hours after I turned the switch and bulbs don’t usually fail that way, but this is a weird bulb so I guess I thought it might work differently. After pondering the matter throughout the day, I decided I’d buy a new lamp just like the old one. I’ve been happy with this torchiere, with its simple lines and energy efficient compact fluorescent bulb I can dim with a turn of the knob. I knew Lowe’s still carried them, having seen them on my way to the bulb aisle, and it sure would be faster to just go get a new one instead of trying to find the receipt for the old one and seeing if I could get it replaced under the 5-year warranty (limited, of course) or finding a new lamp I liked which would no doubt take a different kind of bulb so I’d have to return the ones I’d bought. So yeah, path of least resistance, that’s the road I’m taking.

Except I don’t always take that road. It would have been easier to stay in once I got home last night, but instead I went out and jogged in the heat and humidity. I used my Nike+ for the first time in a long time. I’d put it away because I didn’t like seeing those slow paced workouts in my history, making my average per mile go up and up, but I missed the lady telling me how many minutes I had gone and stuff so I decided I could deal with the badness in my stats. After all, the badness is still there whether it gets recorded or not. I set myself a goal for walking minutes and running minutes and met that last night, so I’m giving myself a pass on pace for right now. Good thing, because I was S-L-O-W.

This morning I stopped and bought the new torchiere and spent a few minutes putting it together after I got to the office, placing it next to its older nonfunctioning sibling, which I will need to get rid of at some point but for now I’m enjoying people’s reactions when they come into my office and see two identical lamps sitting side by side, one on, one not. The material that came with the new lamp says, “In the unlikely event that your fixture ballast or lamp socket fail, these components can be replaced by a qualified electrician.” Okay, but the whole lamp only cost $40; I’m pretty sure a qualified electrician is going to set me back way more than that even for a small job. It’s the same deal with the warranty, which says I have to ship the defective unit back to the manufacturer; the base is heavy so the thing doesn’t tip over, so I’m thinking mailing it would not be cheap. The warranty also states, in bold, that it covers the entire fixture “EXCLUSIVE OF LAMPS”. What? The whole thing is a lamp, isn’t it? Do they mean “exclusive of bulb”? If so, why not say that? Bah.

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