Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

From time to time here Ol’ Robbo has mentioned his general rule that in the area of home repair and maintenance he steers clear of anything having to do with wiring and electricity. I’ve always had a healthy respect for the juice and a clear notion of what can happen to people who mess about with it without knowing what they’re doing. But I think I’m going to make an exception.

What with long use and ordinary wear and tear, three of the more important table lamps in Port Swiller Manor suddenly have ceased to function recently due to broken turn knobs. Although my first instinct was to start Binging “lamp repair services”, it occurs to me that it would be a lot cheaper simply to buy replacement socket assemblies and fix them myself. Surely this is a wiring job of such simplicity that even a neophyte like me could handle it, isn’t it? Am I missing something?

And speaking of light, Ol’ Robbo is getting increasingly agitated by those teevee ads by Generac flogging its roof-top solar panel battery power back-up system. What irritates me in particular are the pie-in-the-sky “testimonials” by happy (and smug) “customers” claiming their utility bills have gone to virtually nothing since installing their systems. As the “free energy” words come out of their mouths, very, very small print flits across the bottom of the screen explaining how this is all subject to qualification for federal and state tax credits and how the savings are calculated out on a twenty-year basis, and so on. In other words, it’s a lot of accounting-trick flim-flam. Folks who fall for it will get slammed good and hard on the front end, and by the time they realize down the road that they’ve been rooked, it won’t matter to Generac.*** Grrr.

As Mattie Ross says in True Grit, nothing is free in this world except God’s Grace, and none of us deserve that.

***Full disclosure: We installed one of their big gas-powered generators four or five years ago and I may be slightly bitter over how much I paid for something that has seen so little actual service.

‘Tis the Season UPDATE: Speaking of wiring, the house on the corner up from Port Swiller Manor is going a bit bonkers with the outdoor ornamentation this year: lots of blow-up figures; lights everywhere; candy-canes. But what grabbed Ol’ Robbo’s attention on his walk today was not one, but two signs placed out by teh sidewalk which read, “ATTENTION – PLEASE LOOK BUT DO NOT TOUCH DECORATIONS!”

A new one on me. Is this a bit odd or do I just live a sheltered life?

Oh, and as to fiddling with the lamps? To quote Ox from “Stripes”, “YES! I’LL DO IT!!”