Monday, April 06, 2009

Thank You, Congress*

Hey! Congress! You miserable, creepy, crepitating, crepuscular bags of pus; you whey-faced daughters (and sons) of the horseleech, forever lookin' for what's not yours:[1] thank you just all to hell.

See, my old barnyard light that lights up the back yard here at Roseholme[2] is acting up. Tam claimed it sounded like the compressor was going out. (Nontech people, that's, like, a joke).

Tonight, I tried changing the photoelectric control and the lamp to no avail. It's a mercury vapor light and the noise is the ballast growling. It's goin' out. It'd be a pain to change -- there's no marked breaker for it and it is several feet up in the air but hey, I can do that. If I can find the part....

No prob, I'll just hop on the 'net, surf over to McMaster-Carr[3] and...hey? Hey!

No dice. It seems you can't get that kind any more. EPAct 2005 did 'em in. (PDF) I might be able to horse around and stuff in a dual-marked one, but the light won't be UL-rated any more, which is the kind of thing insurance companies like to fish out of the debris and point out when they are denying claims. "Lookie here! Didn't say 'Simon says,' naughty-naughty!"

So it looks like I'll be hangin' a new light. I might instead be able to buy one of these (it's the right spec an' all) and keep the old one going but the more I look at that fixture, the less happy I am about it.

Tractor Supply -- a kewl place anyway -- has a light I like. It just might do.

And oh, yeah, Congress? Thanks ever so. Ya jerks.
* Funny, I typed "Congrass" first try....

1. The heart of that's from the Bible, I'll have you know. The Old Testament, and a fine description it is, too. Can you not just look at 'em and see the resemblance?

2. We of Roseholme have lights at the street, the porch, the back yard and the alley, 'cos the previous owner was a LEO and he got it. In the same way that I was happy to pay for a street light at my old place.

3. You know how people lookit the old, old Sears catalogs and exclaim over how they had everything? McMaster is still kinda that way. They can be spendy on some things but A) they have it, B) their tech support is outstanding and C) it ships today. Today. Website has excellent drilldown, too.


Bruce B. said...

Be careful taking down the old light. Break the bulb and you have a HAZMAT situation. Do some more research and find where you can drop it off for proper disposal.

I work in a converted factory building and we just had a partial survey done for mercury contamination because a carpenter reported seeing mercury vapor lamps broken when he was working on the building. Guess what? They found mercury in the air in that area but it's 'supposed' to be less than the OSHA PEL for office space.

Roberta X said...

Well, you officially have a hazmat situation. I think mercury gets more panic than it merits. That horrified intake of as the bulb breaks is the riskiest part of the whole thing, especially if was hot at the time.

I need to go look up how a modern MV bulb is made -- mine appears to have an inner capsule, sealed, that does the glowing and that would be where the mercury lives.

In any event, I have no intention of dropping it and I have swapped out the bulb twice already (took out the old, installed new, tried it, then put the old one back in). Come the day, I'll remove the bulb before I take the fixture down.

Anonymous said...

I don't do predictions, I only work from experience. When you have an incident in that lighted back yard, a LEO will visit and remark, "You sure gave them a good light to work by."

Although I could not but mention the Department's sponsorship, just then, of an Edison sales program called Light The Night Against Crime, I was impressed enough by his astute observation that I espoused a whole different concept of property security.

Roberta X said...

At the old place, there were frequent car break-ins, including my ex's -- they ripped out not merely the radio but a who section of the dashboard. After we put up the light, it stopped.

Light vs. no light, it depends on how bold your local hoodlums are. Someone who really, really wants what's yours will not be deterred by either but the way I figure it, I cannot take aim if I can't see 'em. YMMV.

og said...

But have you mastered McMaster-Carr mobile? With the Treo I can drill down to a part, place the order, link it to my girl at the office who assigns a P.O. and gets it attached to the right project, and have it in my hand- sometimes, the same day. McM rocks.

And you can replace those puppies off Ebay. Lots of people have new old stock.

Me, I like light. I like having it on mY switch, so I can turn it off- but I'd rather have too much than too little.

Ken said...

It's an opportunity, Ms X: Design, build, and install a light that emits Cherenkov radiation from disintegrating Congressmen (and -women).

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Or just disintegrates congresscritters, period.

Anonymous said...

Well, I didn't completely give up on lights. I just completely gave up on police.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

I've got heavy-duty halogen lights on the front of the house and four big plain incandescent spots in the back that rarely get used... the fence is slightly rickety and too tall to leap, and the gates stick and make a horrible racket when they open so I figure nobody's getting back there unless I know about it.

What I can't explain though is why the switch for the lights in tbe backyard is in the living room, almost behind the entertainment center, on the other side of the house. One more bit of lunacy to go along with the "mixed mode" 50's/80's electrical system (75% ungrounded/BX shielded box with three prong upgrade, 25% standard grounded, 1 outlet w/hot-neutral reversed that I just had to plug my computer into, thank god the ground works, and 220v for the water heater made from two 110v legs on separate breakers with a common bus ground) that just recently, somehow, started torching cable splitters on an hourly basis with 50v AC potential over the cable system ground because the entertainment system's outlet lost it's ground somewhere....

BobG said...

"* Funny, I typed "Congrass" first try...."

Sounds like you got it right the first time.

"Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
- Mark Twain

Anonymous said...

Electricity and electronics are not the same thing, and should not be asked to mate.

When I first fed cablevision audio into a real stereo system, I still thought "ground loop" was something that happened when your tail wheel was flat.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to stock up on 100 watt light bulbs. Congress banned those too. Last year is 2010, IIRC.

Government is in our lamps and our bathrooms.

Shootin' Buddy