Not exactly a “pet” story, but it’s my major accomplishment while hiding out in lockdown (unfortunately, I’m a high-risk person so cowering in my house is my Lifestyle of the Poor and Unknown—hey…could make a good TV series, don’t you think?):
With no further ado, THE ADVENTURE OF THE FEETY-THINGIES begins:
The light below my microwave (the one that shines down on my cooktop) went out a few days ago. It had intermittently been working/not working and finally gave a zap! and a blitz! and stopped working entirely.
Being Poor and Unknown, I dug out my Advantium Oven (that’s the microwave) installation manual. Looked up the type of bulb. And just for grins looked to see if i could order it from Amazon.
Turns out…I could!
And the price was pretty good—$8 (including tax) for 3 bulbs. Way cheaper than even the minimum fee for someone to come fix it. So I ordered, and day or so later, the package showed up at my door.According to that oven manual, the process of changing the bulb is straightforward: You take out one screw—no info on whether Phillips or flathead—let the door drop down on its hinge, pull out the old bulb and push in the new one, then screw the door closed again. Simple huh?
Yeah. It SOUNDS simple. In concept it IS simple.
It’s the execution that’s maybe not so simple.
I pulled out my handy-dandy screwdriver and set to work. Unfortunately, I didn’t know, the manual didn’t say, and I couldn’t see whether the screw was a flat head or Phillips. After dorking around a little, I figured out it was Phillips. But my handy-dandy screwdriver’s Phillips head seemed to be too big.Wasn’t real sure, of course, because I needed a light to see for sure why the screw wasn’t unscrewing. But…duh…the light bulb that illuminated under the oven was burned out. (Who knew?) And the under-counter lights on either side of the range didn’t give enough light for me to see.Then I had to find a screwdriver with a Phillips head narrow enough to fit that screw. Finally got that after a couple tries. I unscrewed that little sucker, making SURE I caught the screw in my other hand and didn’t let it drop—black screw on black stove top with lots of gas sinkholes to lose it forever…not a good plan!
Thinking all the time, that’s me, right?
Then I eyeballed the existing bulb. And pulled it straight out, being careful to maintain the same orientation when I placed it on the counter so I’d know exactly how the new bulb should go in.
I opened one of the tiny little boxes of bulbs and the picture attached shows what it looks like—it’s a puny little sucker, not more than an inch long from end to end. And it ends not with a safe, sane screw connector. That would be too easy.
Yeah. The “connector” on this bulb is two little wire feety-thingies. They’re pretty stiff, but still…two little wires. That’s it.
Now the problem is that it was nearly impossible to see where those little wire feety-thingies plugged in. It turns out there’s a kind of gray ceramic block with two little holes in it where those little feety-thingies go. Since the feety-thingies are not as big around as a straight pin, the little holes are…well…LITTLE. As in teeny-tiny. Practically microscopic. About the size of a period on this email as best I can tell. At least they didn’t seem any bigger than that.
So I’m trying to fit the feety-thingies into those two little holes without actually being able to see what I’m doing. I wear bifocals and getting my head at exactly the right position so the right focus point on the lenses brought the bulb and the gray ceramic block and those teeny-tiny holes into focus, all while practically standing on my head to see under the oven and having my hands block the very place where those itty-bitty feety-thingies go... IMPOSSIBLE.I finally dragged a dining chair over to the stove so I could sit down and get my head low enough to look up. I fiddled and pushed and tweaked and dorked around and felt the little feety-thingies go in—not that I could actually see what I was doing. I gave it a little extra push to seat it properly—and the glass of the bulb crunched.
So then I had to gather up the broken bulb, pull it out—only to notice that one of the feety-thingies was still in the ceramic socket. Another search for my needle-nose pliers and happily, the stuck feety-thingie stuck out far enough that it was easy to grab and pull.
BUT…one bulb down. Happily, I bought three of them. Smart thinking, no? (Actually, it was because that was the most cost-effective bundle—one bulb alone would have cost over $7.)
All right. Let’s try this sucker again. Sitting back in my chair—and being VERY careful—I squinted around my hands and the bulb trying to find those two little holes in the ceramic connector while trying to hold my head at just exactly the right distance to stay in focus. And put those stupid feety-thingies in both sides.Not one side only.Not the other side only.BOTH sides at the same time.
This is harder than it sounds when you literally can’t see what you’re holding, or where you’re aiming, and those little connector holes are considerably smaller than the diameter of a straight pin. Way smaller. Practically microscopic. Nano-sized, in fact.
Let me just insert an editorial comment here. Any IDIOT stupid enough to design a bulb that uses two skinny little wires as its feety-thingies instead of an easy screw socket deserves to be on my All Time Idiot List. Just saying…
OK. FINALLY got both feety-thingies started in the connector holes. Gave it a gentle push—and it wouldn’t go in. Went through this exercise about a half-dozen times—I’m elevating that idiot bulb designer to All Time Moron Status, by the way—and FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY got both feety-thingies in. Gave it a GENTLE push to seat it properly. And…took my hand away.
After all this, I hit the button to turn on the light—and it worked!!!! Yes! Full Light Worked! Night Time Mode (about half-power) worked!! Yahoo!!!!!
That left only one issue. I had to screw the cover plate door back in place. With a black screw. On a black plate. Against a black bottom to the microwave. (Are you seeing a trend here???) If I thought seeing the little connector holes for the feety-thingies was hard, finding the stupid place where the screw screws in was worse because again, having to practically stand on my head with hands and screwdrivers hiding what I mostly needed to see—and the hinge wasn’t solid enough to keep the door from wiggling front/back—everywhere except straight on so it lined up with the screw hole.
FINALLY got that in place. Screwed it in.
And…I washed the cover lens for the plate (both sides, the inside before I screwed the cover plate in place). Washed the two vent filters while I was at it. I don’t use those much for cooking because the noise of the fan drives me nuts so they don’t get very dirty. But they’re all clean and shiny now!
And I still have one bulb left from my 3-bulb package. I labeled the little box it’s in and put it in the island drawer.
But I call this a SUCCESS!!!!!
My greatest accomplishment during lockdown!
Yesterday, I assembled a chair that came with essentially NO assembly instructions, just a picture that was singularly unhelpful.
But, I got it!
What have you done that's made you feel like celebrating a hard won victory?