05 March 2009


A lightswitch dimmer that fits in the old slot

Inspired by the halogen lights in the hotel rooms we visited last week, my wife and I bought some inexpensive new light fixtures for our kitchen yesterday. Even after swapping the bulbs for lower-wattage versions, we discovered that they can be pretty bright. So today I tracked down a clever dimmer switch, the first of its kind I've seen:

Clever dimmer switch

The switch fits in a regular old-style wall plate, the kind we've had throughout our house since it was built in the 1960s. The main toggle is slightly narrower than usual, and operates the regular way. Next to it is a tiny, thin, fingernail-operated slider that operates the dimmer. Neat.

Whenever we repair or repaint something in the house, it becomes suddenly obvious how old and dirty some of the unchanged stuff is. In this case, the beige old wall plate and switch make it clear not only how not white they are, but how grimy the switch itself is after over 40 years of use. Ew.

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17 June 2008


Where to get a door trimmed in Vancouver

We had carpet installed in a basement room last year, and it was just thick enough that we had to remove the door because it would no longer close—it ran into the carpet at the bottom. The simple solution was to get the door trimmed at the bottom to fit, but we never got around to it.

Until today. We have a guest coming from Australia, and she's staying in that room of a week and a half. It would be nice if she had a door. But it turns out that finding someone to trim a door in Vancouver is no easy task. Home Depot doesn't do it. Competitor Rona does at their big store on Grandview Highway, but their machine was broken. I called and called around without much success.

With the right tools and rig, I could do the job myself, I suppose, but it would take awhile and the risk of misaligning or cracking something is pretty high in my only semi-handy household. Fortunately, the House of Doors on West Broadway near Alma is happy to take my money and shave half an inch off the bottom of the door for us. We'll take it out there tomorrow morning. Now you know.

UPDATE (June 18): Yup, worked great. I dropped the door off at the back of the store, came back 20 minutes later, paid $20, drove home, and re-mounted the door. No problems.

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25 September 2007



Manly toolbox at Flickr.comIn all the years of our marriage, my wife and I have stowed tools in haphazard places, in boxes and closets and drawers and on random shelves and hooks. Recently it became too frustrating: on several occasions we needed a particular tool, and we couldn't find it.

So this afternoon I stopped off at Home Depot and picked up a nice big toolbox, and spent about an hour rousting tools from their various hiding places to put in it. I didn't find everything, but most of the stuff is now in there and we know where to find it.

Yes, I'm 38 years old and I bought my first toolbox. Today I am a man.

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