Lights out

For the past week or so, I’ve been lamenting my advancing presbyopia and feeling annoyed that the morning paper is getting more and more difficult for me to read. I do a lot of my reading while eating, at my kitchen table, and it has been a challenge these past several days. It’s winter time, not a lot of sun this time of year, and maybe I’m getting way too old way too quickly, blahblahblah.


My kitchen light, which is the main source of illumination for most of my house most of the time, just hasn’t been doing the job. I’ve checked that the dimmer switch is pushed all the way up several times, and even contemplated calling my handyman neighbor over to check to see if it is working properly. I like a well-illuminated eating area, bright enough to perform surgery under if needed, and this dimness has been grating on my nerves.

Tonight, though, oddly enough, I was reminded of the time I had a tail light out on my first car, an ancient Volvo. I took it to a certified Volvo mechanic, who quickly determined that the bulb wasn’t burned out and that therefore the problem had to be a short somewhere in the wiring. He proceeded to tear that car’s trunk apart, completely shredding the entire wiring harness on one side, as he sought the cause of the outage. Much damage was done to the car that could not be undone, and still the cause could not be located. The mechanic’s last-ditch, what-the-hell effort was to check the fuses and bingo, there was the problem. It took five minutes and less than a dollar to fix.

This lesson comes to mind when I confront a perplexing problem that might appear to require expensive and/or complex solutions: Always check the basic, fundamental possibilities first.

So yeah, you might have already guessed: One of the three bulbs in my kitchen light has burned out. Duh.

My eyesight might not be fading as fast as I thought, but my mind might be fading even faster!


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