Another dead light bulb

Aren’t these things supposed to last eight years? Well, we have been here a little more than eight years, and this bulb is kaput.

dead Philips compact fluorescent light bulb

To be fair, it was in my wife’s office, and heavily used. It’s also definitely more than a year or two old, whenever it was I started writing the date and source on the bulb in indelible marker as soon as I got it home.

You may recall the wretched bulbs Tienda Inglesa introduced after its American takeover.

 

Syd’s suggestion

As I mentioned in my last post, my best efforts were for naught when it came to re-installing the tire after I installed an inner tube on the hand truck/dolly. The tire I inherited simply did not behave like the ones in YouTube videos. I’m pretty strong, but it just wasn’t happening.

Because Syd mentioned the gomería (tire shop; translates as “gum,” unh huh) on Ruta 11, I stopped by there this afternoon. They don’t know me — I went maybe there once six years ago — and the place was crazy busy. No sign of an office. How long would I have to wait before someone noticed me — and then how long before they could get around to it? I was in no hurry, and would happily have left the hand truck there for, well, whenever.

But a kid (anything under 35 is a kid at this point) noticed me. I quickly explained in Spanish that I’d installed an inner tube, but no way could get the tire back on.

Whatever he was doing, he stopped. Tried to do the job by himself with big-ass tire pry bars they have (an order of magnitude larger than the screwdrivers I have), called over another worker to help him, and it took them a couple of minutes, working together, to fight the tire back onto the rim. Nice! Wasn’t just my incompetence!

In the process (don’t ask me how) the other (non-tube) tire lost all its air. No matter. He filled both, passed the rig back to me.

How much do I owe you?, I asked.

He simply waved me off.


Please remind me of this the next time I complain about business in Uruguay.

Hand truck in my garage, Urguay

G-clamps

I bought a hand truck (dolly) a couple years ago from some departing Americans. They warned that one of the tires loses air over time, an issue I tried to deal with a couple times at local tire places. Eventually, though, to no avail. With no inner tube, you can’t get air back in with something as slow as a bicycle pump.

So I brought an inner tube back from the US, since I happened to be going and was an easy add-on to an existing free-shipping order.

It took a bit of work to get the tire lose, and then putting the tube in was no big deal. But getting the tire back on? Impossible!

Then I found this wonderful video. My solution! But I needed some C-clamps, which understandably are called “G” clamps here.

G-clamps in Uruguay

So I immediately set to work with them, and …

… *sigh* later I’ll be taking the hand truck to the local tire place, to see if they have a way to get the tire over the rim.

The “G” clamps will prove themselves useful in other ways, no doubt.

 

 

 

What you pay for

I have posted a few times about cheap Chinese products. One of my recent free-international-shipping purchases was a replacement for a 4-port USB hub that was compact, highly-rated on Amazon, and, for whatever reason, disappeared.

After a week, its status.

discarde cheap Chinese 4-port USB hub, Uruguay

Obviously a quality-control reject, it dropped connections. Fortunately, during its brief tenure, I did not rely on it for external drives, just keyboard and mouse.

So it’s a complete write-off, my investment of USD 0.99, delivered from China for free.

 

Goodbye slotted screws

Twelve or thirteen years ago, when we lived in Spokane, I reached my breaking point. I don’t recall specifics, but it resulted in me going through all the hardware in my workshop, new and used, and throwing in the trash every slotted screw I could find.

slotted screw

Come to find that in Uruguay slotted screws are ubiquitous. The other day, in order to clean the outsides of our wooden windows with homemade screens, I had to remove a couple of them. The frames and windows have slots in them, and a removable wooden spline is screwed to the top frame. Hmm, let me try that another way:

spline

Squinting up against the outside light, it’s hard enough to find the old and dark screws’ locations, much less the orientation of the slot. For a couple of them I had to use a flashlight.

After everything was cleaned, I put all but one of them back, which I took to the ferretería, to buy the same with a Phillips head. And so, into the trash with the slotted screws!

Perhaps one day I’ll feel the same about Phillips head screws, and insist on Pozidriv or Supadriv or Robertson (square), or double square, or triple square, or hex socket, or double hex, or Torx. But I doubt it. The 81-year old Phillips is just fine for now.