Minor Home Improvements

Yesterday one of the two bulbs in the double ceiling light in my bedroom burned out. When I came home this morning I discovered that the second of the two bulbs had burned out as well. Seeing as how I replaced that one only a few weeks ago, and realizing how often I have to change those incandescent bulbs in my dimmer-controlled light, I decided to switch to fluorescent bulbs. I had replaced all my non-dimmer-controlled years ago (it only makes sense), and I finally decided to get rid of the dimmer switch in my bedroom and finally replace the bulbs that get the most use in the house with fluorescents.

So, off I went to Canadian Tire to pick up some materials. While I was there, I picked up some of that thin, beaded chain to fix my toilet (the existing one had rusted into two pieces), and a new toilet paper roll holder (my last one broke a long time ago and I never got around to fixing it).

First on my list was the bedroom lights. I made sure to turn the breaker off so I wouldn’t electrocute myself like I did when I was removing the light switch in the hallway when investigating a water leak from said fixture (yes, it was a stupid thing to do). That went without a hitch. I bought a pack of two 26 watt CFLs with a color temperature of 4100 K (aka “cool white”). Most CFLs have a color temperature of only 2700 K. The higher the color temperature, the closer the light is to natural sunlight (and the more “blue” there is in the light). The 4100 K CFLs are fantastic! It’s almost like sunlight in my bedroom. I have a 2700 K CFL in a desk lamp in my room and it looks yellow when I have that turned on while the 4100 K CFLs are going. When buying compact fluorescent bulbs, I strongly recommended getting the highest color temperature possible. Don’t settle for th 2700 K, or things just won’t look “right”.

Replacing the chain that leads from the toilet handle to the stopper inside the toilet tank was a little trickier. Removing the old chain was easy, but getting the new one on was a little tough since it was ever so slightly larger than the previous chain. The new chain just didn’t want to fit through the hole on the plastic stopper mount. With Red-Green’s Handy Man Motto “Any tool can be the right tool” in my mind, I grabbed a Robertson screwdriver and “drilled” the hole a little bigger. Presto! It worked like a charm.

Lastly, I installed the new toilet paper roll dispenser. It was a nice wooden one that somewhat matched the vanity. Unfortunately it came with phillips-head, brass, woodscrews, the most worthless kind of screws known to man. They might as well ship that crap pre-stripped since they end up that way before you can finish using them for the first time.  I had to throw one of the screws away and just use some proper screws I have lying around, and it all worked out in the end.

Now if only I can get around to puttying up the drywall in the kitchen that I had to replace a few years ago when I went on a mad ant-extermination rampage (they’ve never been back!)…

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