Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Unexpected Mushrooms #WordlessWednesday

Last Friday.  Our community garden plot.  We were doing a little raised bed maintenance on what was going to be a hot day.

And then I saw these growing.

No, these aren't potatoes.

These are mushrooms.  An unexpected crop. I'm happy they were outside our raised bed.

And no, I'm not going to harvest these.


Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

How Many People Does it Take to Change A Light Bulb The Conclusion

Last Thursday, I published a blog post about a little bulb that burnt out in the inside of our freezer.  Trying to find a replacement bulb for a "12 V E14" LED sent us on an hours long hunt where I learned more than I want to know about LED light bulbs and technology that goes obsolete between the time you buy something and the time something needs replacement.

This is a too-familiar story for many of us, and I thought that the commenters on that post might want to know what finally happened.  What we encountered was an odyssey of customer service (or lack of it), which seems to be normal for these times.

When I last left you, dear reader...

... I was exhausted from a long, fruitless Internet research. We used to have a couple of appliance parts places in this area, but we knew they were no more.  The manufacturer of the freezer had nothing at all about freezers on their website. They had a customer service number that actually had Saturday hours, but spouse didn't want to try it. Amazon didn't seem to have anything that looked anything like this little light bulb.  Finally, we gave up for the day.

The next day, our son came over for lunch and he tried to help us. He discovered our particular bulb had been discontinued.   Finally, he came up with a possibility, on Amazon (a site I try not to order from, but it was looking like we had no choice).  The bulbs (we had to buy two) came last Tuesday.  They didn't fit.

He thought he found a possibility at a big box store locally, and that's where my post Thursday ended.  So let's join our story, already in progress.

We have two of those stores locally and I'm not going to name the chain.

Store #1: spouse went by himself.  There was no one around the department to help him.  He couldn't find it although the website said it was in stock.

Store #2 (both spouse and I) couldn't find the bulb and, again, there was no employee around.  We asked the customer service desk person and she looked annoyed (OK, maybe my take on her facial expression, but I also know she has a thankless job and may have just been having a bad day, especially if the store was understaffed).  She paged someone to come to that department. No one came.

We then went to the next aisle (a different department) and there was an employee there.  This young woman helped us.  The bulbs son had found (I had a screenshot on my phone, thankfully) were another size: E-12.  E-14s apparently are no longer made. She knew very little about the light bulb department, so our thanks go doubly to her.

This E-12 was the size of the bulbs we got from Amazon.  I got to thinking, was there such a thing as a E-14 to E-12 adapter.  Turns out Amazon sold one, through an Amazon storefront (I think that's the right term) on the West Coast.  I emailed them to see if it would be suitable for use in a freezer lid.

I never got a response after some 24 hours but the adapter was so inexpensive I decided to order it anyway.  It came yesterday.

The adapter worked.

So, how many people does it take to change a light bulb?  The modern answer: Too, too many.

Have you ever had a planned obsolescence experience?

Monday, May 23, 2022

Power Ballads #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and we all know what that means.  Boys and girls, it's time to turn away from your cares and enjoy some music!

Who are the Music Moves Me bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only-meaning at least one music video, please!)   Our head hostess is Cathy from Curious as a Cathy,  and she is joined by the knowledgeable Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and the world famous (not) me.  Our founder, Xmas Dolly, has stepped back from blogging for now, and would appreciate your good thoughts as she works through some health issues.

We'd love more music lovers to join our fun group.  All you have to do is join the linky above with a music post that contains at least one music video (there must be a music video or your post will be subject to removal or labeling "No Music").  Easy peasy!

Each month, except December, we have a guest host. For the month of May, our guest host is John Holton of "The Sound of One Hand Typing".

For today, John is choosing the theme "You Pick".

I'm picking some power ballads today.  So, dim the lights and get your cigarette lighters and/or cell phones ready.  But first, what is a power ballad, anyway?

You know it when you hear it.  It starts out slow, then suddenly, you are soaring in the stratosphere, grabbing onto the lyrics for dear life as you hope the song will never end.

Although the 80's may have been the golden age for power ballads, not all my selections are from the 80's.  In fact, my first selection is going to be quite recent.  Ukraine won Eurovision on Saturday night with this song by the Kalush Orchestra.  It's not a power ballad in the traditional sense but I want to honor Ukraine and its people today.

The song:  Stefania.

This brings up an interesting question.  Normally, the winner of the current Eurovision hosts it the following year, meaning that Ukraine would host in 2023.  But what if Ukraine is unable to?  

Current speculation is, the host country would be either Poland or (the second place entry) United Kingdom.  Let us hope, however, that Ukraine will be in a position to host.

And now, power ballads.

First off, Boston and their "Amanda" from 1986.  Fun personal facts:  this is the last album I ever bought from a Woolworths (remember them?) and the last brand-new vinyl album I ever purchased.

From 1984, Foreigner and "I Want to Know What Love Is".

Let's turn to a 1989 song that is a tribute to Elvis Presley.  Alannah Miles and "Black Velvet". 

The Scorpions and their 1990 hit "Winds of Change".  This song once helped me through a bad time in our history (9/11) so it has a lot of personal meaning for me.  If only we could live like brothers...

Now, two more power ballads from the 90's.

Metallica and their 1991 "Nothing Else Matters".  

Last, but not least, I ask "hush now, don't you cry..."

Queensryche and their 1991 hit "Silent Lucidity" 

And that's an exhausted wrap!

Join me again, same time, same place, next week for another episode of Music Moves Me.

 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

RIP Vangelis

I found out Friday that composer Vangelis, of Chariots of Fire fame, died on May 17 in France.  He was 79 and the cause of death was heart failure.  Thank you, John of The Sound of One Hand Typing, for the information.

Vangelis, whose birth name was Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou, was born in Greece and grew up in Athens.  He showed an interest in music at age four and started performing his own music at age six. 

He didn't do well at traditional music lessons as he wanted to experiment with music.

As a young man, the artist we know as Vangelis formed some bands and also scored some Greek movies.  He changed his name to Vangelis, meaning "angel that brings good news" and eventually moved out of Greece. His last album was released last year. 

I discovered that Vangelis did a lot more than Chariots of Fire - in fact he had 23 solo albums released during his lifetime and many other works in collaboration with others.

I want to bring you two songs from the 1981 Chariots of Fire soundtrack, which won an Academy Award for best original score and is beloved by millions.  First, the title song, from the opening scene. This song was originally was called "Titles".

Chariots of Fire.

The second song is  a hymn called Jerusalem.  That song, which closes out the movie,  will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever lived in England.  The words come from a poem written in 1804 by William Blake, a poet and painter.  The music was written in 1916 by Sir Hubert Parry during World War I.

Here's the story of the song.

Another musical great has left us.  RIP. 

Want more music?  Join me and other music lovers for Music Moves Me (and we welcome new participants, too).  My post will go live just after midnight Monday, Eastern Daylight Time.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Zooming Spring and Visits to the Farmers Market

Spring is zooming by so quickly.  It seems that just yesterday (but it was the end of April) we had a snowstorm, but today, it's 90F (32.2C) as I blog, and is still going up.

Spring is going by so quickly that I had photos from April of our local farmer's market, and hadn't even used them on my blog yet.  These first three photos are from April 22 (first photo) and April 30 (next two).

Parsley root (yes, there's such a thing and it's delicious)
 
Mushrooms.

Ramps.  (I never did try to plant these in my yard).

By May 7, some of the vendors (this is a year round market) had moved outdoors.  We call these plants on the right "scallions" in our part of New York State. Other parts of the country call them spring onions, green onions, or even salad onions.  On the left is spring garlic, which is quite edible before it starts forming bulbs.

Asparagus and rhubarb.  This asparagus is so much better than what is in the stores - so fresh and, sadly, not cheap, either  We splurge on this.

Leaf lettuce (this is so fresh, too.)  We have lettuce planted but it is nowhere near ready.

Most of the May 7 produce is still available, but it won't be long until strawberries are ready.  My hanging basket everbearers (overwintered in the garage) are flowering.

I have so much to show you but it would be overwhelming.  But, as I leaf through photos taken in May, it brings back so many memories of how quickly spring is moving this year.

Is this season (be it spring or fall) moving too quickly for you?

Friday, May 20, 2022

All In A Day's Sky Work #SkywatchFriday

Last Sunday gave us some amazing sky contrasts with stormy weather where I live in the Southern Tier of New York.

Rain was threatening, so we went to a local park for some walking in the afternoon.

This doesn't look too good, does it, although you can see a patch of sunshine on the hill in the extreme right.

You can see rain in the distance right above the indentation in the hill in the bottom center.

Yet, in another direction, the clouds are so puffy.

But back to the ongoing storm.  Maybe we'd better call it quits and head home.

Around sunset, I decided to see what the sky looked like.  You can see why it's called the Blue Hour.

The sky still seems a tad grouchy.  No big post sunset show tonight.
It's all in a day's sky work.

Now, to all, a good night.

Joining Yogi and other skywatchers this Friday for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

How Many People Does It Take to Buy a Light Bulb?

It started with a burnt out little lightbulb.

We bought our chest freezer back in 2012. It has a light in the inside of the lid which turns on when you lift the lid.

Recently, the light started to flicker.  My spouse, who knows a little bit about electronics thanks to military training from years ago, tried various things but nothing seemed to eliminate the flicker.  On Saturday, the light stopped working.

Spouse took the lightbulb out of the lighting compartment.  It was a small thing, an LED bulb that said only "12V E14".  

Now, keep in mind that spouse and I are senior citizens, meaning that most of our lives were spent with the old incandescent light bulbs that have since been replaced by newer, more energy efficient technologies (such as LED bulbs).

My education on LED bulbs, just coincidentally, had begun a couple of days before, when we had to buy light bulbs for my home office fixture.  We hadn't bought light bulbs in a while, and the choices for modern LEDs absolutely overwhelmed me. Warm bulbs. Cool bulbs. Color changing bulbs. Dimmable bulbs.  Non dimmable bulbs.

Now, another project.

So E14, I found,  means a small screw socket. The "E" means an Edison socket, in other words, the socket looking like an old incandescent light bulb, and, indeed, that is what our small freezer bulb looked like.

But this is where the fun (and I use that term loosely) began.  The owners manual for the freezer said that if the bulb burnt out, we were to contact a service technician to replace.

Umm, no.

But, an hour or so later,  I was exhausted from fruitless Internet research. We used to have a couple of appliance parts places in this area, but we knew they were no more.  The manufacturer of the freezer had nothing at all about freezers on their website. They had a customer service number that actually had Saturday hours, but spouse didn't want to try it.  Amazon didn't seem to have anything that looked anything like this little light bulb.  Finally, we gave up for the day.

Sunday, our son came over for lunch and he tried to help us. He discovered our particular bulb had been discontinued, after visiting several more websites.   Finally, he came up with a possibility, on Amazon (a site I try not to order from, but it was looking like we had no choice).  The bulbs (we had to buy two) came Tuesday.  They didn't fit.

So son did a lot more research (after asking us for certain measurements) and he thinks he found a replacement bulb locally. Several hours of research and hair pulling have already been invested in this quest.

So something 11 years old is obsolete.  That's nice to know.

Later today, we will go to that store.

Finally, to answer my blog post title's question:  How many people does it take to buy a light bulb?  

Answer:  at least three.  Maybe more.