ETA: The blog is being rebooted as an incentive for my Patreon Supporters. All posts go live after a week, but Supporters at the $10+ tiers get early access. Thank you!
Brooke here. This isn’t the first post I wanted to put up on the rebooted blog. There is so so so much that needs to be discussed. Like how the washer had a slow leak and it black molded-up the new basement, or how we got the foundation repaired, or how we finally got the pool up and running but then a giant tree smashed it, or how we acquired Puppy….but if we don’t get started, nothing will get done. Good rule of home improvement, that.
Let’s turn back time to 2010, right after we bought this REDACTED REDACTED motherREDACTED house. One of the first posts we ever put up was on the Precarious Death Stairs, which was basically a black hole made of oak and beadboard that ended with a sudden stop in an aquarium.
Since then, it’s been painted to reduce the dark and enhance the light and looks substantially less dangerous.
(Please note that by substantially less dangerous, I mean that intelligent human beings still fall down these stairs on a regular basis. A few months ago, we had a service technician out to do some repairs, and he was chitter-chattering about how great the house was and how lucky we were and then he just tipped over and fell into the void.)
But we’re not here to talk about the paint. We’re here to talk about how I got scammed with a lighting fixture.
I ordered this little guy from Amazon (if you’re feeling frisky, you can do an image search) for $95. I thought I was supporting a small company, original design, etc. When it arrived and it was very obviously nothing but $10 in pipe fittings and $20 in cord and sockets, I was rather grumpy: when I did an etsy search, I found multiple listings with the exact same design, and was extremely grumpy.
Son of a…
These fixtures were all the same 9-inch design, since the largest eye hooks you can buy fit into the smallest reduced nipple fittings (shut up not my term) on the market. I had no choice but to come up with a complicated master plan:
- Return the original light fixture.
- Build my own darned light fixture.
The new fixture was 18″ from end to end, or twice the size of the original. Cost of new pipes was a whopping $18, plus $10 in shipping. To top it off, I ordered a vintage cloth cord from a dealer on etsy ($16 with shipping), and added a $22 pendant lamp from Amazon’s scratch-and-dent bin.
Since the PDS aren’t wired for light switches, I had a local lamp shop swap out the pendant cord with the plug, and then set it up on a motion sensor. As the PDS are tucked away in a dark corner, the motion sensor doesn’t activate until you’re standing on the top of the stairs. The whole thing actually works!
And there’s a short, sweet high note before we kick off the many hundreds of blog posts about this legacy of crap in the shape of a mortgage. I’ll be trying to keep to a once per week update schedule.