A Few Practical Ideas

bulb changer

This is a bulb changer for CFL bulbs. The stick is about 4 feet long, hardwood, and you can change bulbs with this without needing to get a ladder even if the ceiling is high. The bolts are machine screws, the wires are bent from galvanized electric fence wire (heavy coat hanger wire would probably work). There's always one turn of the CFL bent tube exposed at the end, this has one wire that slips onto each side of that. The wires are stiff enough to turn the bulb, but springy enough so they don't break it. Putting a new bulb onto this and reaching up to the ceiling, the bulb may wobble a bit, and you probably need to start the bulb into the socket then line it up, but the bulb can't fall off. The wires stick out about 2 inches beyond the end of the stick.

walking stick tip

I have to walk with a cane, but I don't have a formal pre-made one, I save likely candidates that fall off the oak trees out back. Whenever I went to someone's house with wood floors I'd feel guilty for dinging them up. Whenever I went someplace with polished tile floors I'd find the tip of the stick zooming out from under me. A standard rubber crutch tip fits over a 7/8 diameter crutch (or pipe here). I took a piece of heavy-walled copper 3/4 inch water pipe, filed off the burrs, then whittled down the end of a stick so the pipe was a tight fit onto it. I drilled one small hole and put in a self-tapping screw to hold it on. Then I put a crutch tip over the pipe. Whenever I go someplace I bring this stick instead of the plain ones I use outdoors. The stick I peeled the bark off from, sanded a little, and put boiled linseed oil on. The stick goes all the way through the copper so my weight goes to the inside bottom of the crutch tip. The screw just keeps the copper from falling off, it doesn't bear weight.

reading glasses

I've been wearing common magnifying "reading glasses" for about 15 years and I've had many pairs. I found this deal at Utopia Tools and got 12 pair for $17, which is enough to keep a few pair scattered around the house. If you break a pair they didn't cost a fortune. They're Chinese made with plastic lenses so I only clean them with plenty of water or premoistened wipes, but I wear a pair of these at least 8 hours a day. One thing I've recently noticed though is that they didn't do a good finishing job on the ends of the ear pieces. Here you see one that looks broken off, some others are better but still rough. Work them over a bit with a nail file or emery board if they bother. I wear headphones a lot and with those pressing in on my ear lobes and these underneath I began to get sore spots. These are 1.75 power, they have a few other power choices too. Right now (4/7/2014) they're on sale at $15.99 a box.

AB1JX / toys