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Sunday, February 03, 2008


"This is how my life goes every day. Encountering idiotic obstacles and trying to find a way around them."

-- Joel Sherman, professional Scrabble player and former world champion

Everybody has problems. Small problems, big problems, life threatening problems. I consider myself fortunate that I'm mostly free of the latter kinds, and I am certainly sympathetic to those struggling with life's big issues.

That does not, however, mean that I don't get frustrated with the small stuff. In poker and in life. I may not be "sweating it", but problems are still problems.

The current idiotic obstacle that's vexing me is how to change a light bulb. Before you get on my case for being a dumbass - guilty as charged, of course - let me explain that we're not talking about a generic lightbulb. I can indeed handle those. Even when the bulb has broken and you have to extract the base. Not a problem.

This is what I'm talking about:

I don't even know what exactly to call this type of fixture. It's not track lighting, even though it kind of looks like it.

I have two of these fixtures. Over the course of the seven plus years I've owned the house, three of the four bulbs have now burned out. I've tried on and off to replace them, but have never been able to figure out how to do it. The bottom picture isn't a very good one - it's kind of dark in there, you know - but it shows that there appears to be some sort of metal clip. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to do anything - I've managed to remove it from one of the other cans without it doing a thing for the bulb.

At one point a while back, I started to take down one of the fixtures completely. I didn't get past pulling it off the wall, but no obvious answers were revealed, just a lot of wiring.

I've wasted a bunch of time trying to find a comparable fixture or to find some guidance on the internet. No luck. I'm not completely stumped very often, but the lighting industry has gotten the best of me on this one. GG, you schmucks.

What does this have to do with poker, you ask?

Not very much, thank you. But I suppose if you want an analogy, I can give you one. The stupid obstacle I can't seem to overcome there is that I can't make myself fold when I KNOW I'm behind. It should be fundamental at this point - I've played hundreds of thousands of hands. And yet I can't figure it out.

Stupid small problems.

Anyway, if anyone's got an idea I'd love to hear it before I call in an electrician or resort to rereading Phil Hellmuth's book.


Speaking of obstacles, I seem to have another one - getting past 27th place in a tournament. Played Saturdays With Dr. Pauly and finished - duh! - 27th. That's three times in the last month.

I got my money in ahead, but since it's Omaha I was only a 64/36 favorite. Oh well. It was a good time with a lot of old school bloggers taking part. Be sure to check it out next Saturday, 4:20 pm ET.

I will say that after all the double and super stack events on FT, it was strange playing with only 1500 starting chips on Stars.


Jestocost said...

I actually had to go online to download the installation manual for a bathroom ceiling light/exhast fan combo to figure out how to change the bulb, so maybe I'm not the best one to give advice here. Still, do the translucent shades that extend out in front of the bulbs unscrew?

StB said...

I usually turn the bulb counter clockwise to remove them from the fixture.

Drizztdj said...

I call my father (who's a master electrican) and nod approvingly when he explains how he fixed it with a nice local brew in my hand.