Tag Archives: planning

Jitters and Calm

Not quite to day one yet and already feeling nervous. My biggest concern is the itinerary. There is so much to do along this route. And even though I’ve allowed two whole weeks to drive the 2400 miles, there is no way that I can predict in advance at what pace I must go to meet my modest daily goals.
Most days are around 200 miles. Some a little longer and others a tad shorter. Just driving that’s only about four hours. But with dozens of stops along the way the time can slip by quickly. Some of the stops are to take a picture. Or a quick look at the remains of an old building or neon sign. But other places are museums or national parks that require a significant amount of time to see correctly. The Grand Canyon for instance. Takes more than 15 minutes to take it in.
And trying to plan motel stops is also nerve wracking. I don’t want to end up somewhere with no place to stay, but don’t want to be committed to a reservation either. What to do?
You know what? I can toss the itinerary out the window any time I want. The only hard timetable destination I have is the airport in LA at the end of the road. What I do between Chicago and Santa Monica is whatever I want it to be. One visit to Route 66 may not be enough, but I’m gonna see it the best I can. In a way that makes me happy. It is after all a vacation and not a test of endurance!
That’s part of my story. What’s yours?

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Dim Bulb

Who would have guessed? When Thomas Edison created the first commercially viable light bulb in 1879 he never would have guessed. Or maybe he would have. Back then the light bulb came in one size. One color. One shape. Today, there are so many types of light bulbs that there are entire retail stores devoted to nothing but light bulbs.

There are fixed bulbs and replaceable bulbs. Some screw in and some plug in. The base of the screw in type comes in several sizes, wide and narrow. And the glass portion of the bulb comes in an endless variety of shapes. Round, elongated, tubular.

Of course you can get blue lights, black lights, soft whites and white hot lights. And any other color you can imagine.

Even the type of light comes in varieties. Halogen, mercury vapor, fluorescent, metal halide, LED. Special purpose and application lights abound. So who could blame me for picking the wrong one when I went to replace a bulb.

Late last year I bought a solar powered motion activated security light for my daughter’s house. She had told me how one night when a friend was visiting they had to venture out into the darkness from the front door to the driveway and her friends car. I could fix that. One way or another. There was the hard wired spotlight option. Or the solar option. Not being an electrician, I went the solar route.

After I installed the solar fixture and its small power panel I noticed that way up under the eaves, tucked away and blended into the soffits, was an existing spotlight fixture. Wonderful. I had to look at it like more light is better than less.

Taking a quick glance at the fixture I knew exactly what kind of bulbs were needed to get the newly discovered light working. Several months ago I had replaced a number of outdoor lights at my own house. A real hodgepodge of fixtures and lights. So I just knew form experience what was needed. And even better, I knew I had a pair at my house. Leftovers.

I confidently climbed the stepladder with the replacement bulbs in hand. After removing the first of the charred and blackened burned out bulbs it suddenly dawned on me. The replacements were too long. Everything else matched up, just the wrong length. Might as well have been a candle.

Head in hand I descended the ladder. Muttering a few words about the complexity of the light bulb. Tomorrow I’ll head to the hardware store to get the right bulb. And climb back up the ladder. What is it carpenters say about measure twice, cut once? Dang!

That’s part of my story. What’s yours?

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