atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5853: My new title

Last night I put up one of the new light fixtures, but couldn't put up the other one, because the front door would hit it. The original fixtures were also pendants, and the one by the door hung from about 4" of chain while the one over the stairs hung from about a foot of chain.

The new fixtures are also pendants and come with a total of four 12" rods, which are screwed together at installation. The height of the fixture is therefore "adjustable" in one-foot increments. One foot is too long.

I went over the materials on hand and wondered what I would need to buy to make it work, but then a few things occurred to me. First, it looked as if the male end was a threaded insert; second, if I could remove that insert I could cut the rod shorter and then maybe tap the inside of the rod to accept that threaded insert.

Well, first up was to figure out what to do. The insert was not driven in (a few attempts at pulling it, using various methods, didn't move it at all) so I decided to sacrifice one of the six spare rods I had to determine what the actual construction was. Dremeled a slot in the male end, saw threads, then cut a slot and drove the rod material away from the insert.

I'm not sure what they used to secure the insert, but it sure wouldn't move. It's probably some kind of thread lock compound or epoxy or something. Cutting it out was pretty simple, though.

Then I marked a length of rod and cut it short. No threads inside (I had not expected there to be) so I'd still need to tap it...or would I? Ground the threads off half the insert so that it would just barely fit with a little persuasion, and then epoxied it in.

...with the result that I now have a 3" long rod, which should be about the correct length so I can put up the fixture and have it clear the front door. It looks like it came from the factory that way. All done with no tools or materials I did not already have on hand.

When my wife got home, I told her, "From now, on, when you introduce me to people, you'll have to tell them, 'This is my husband, the genius hacker.'"

I don't know if 3" is really the ideal length. I might want it a little longer. Well, if I have to do this again, instead of cutting the insert out I'm going to heat that end of the rod with a propane torch and see if I can unscrew it. I just don't think of using heat in these kinds of situations, not that it really matters much; when I was working on it this shortened rod was mainly a proof of concept. It's just that it worked out so well I'm not at all averse to using it.

* * *

Then I find a voicemail message on my phone from someone alleging they are a debt collector. Saying they're going to sue me if I don't pay them, of course. So I called them back.

Problem: the account they are calling about was opened in July of 2003. I did not open any credit account in July of 2003. Further, they claim that payments were made until September or so of 2008, at which point payments ceased, and the account was charged off April 2009.

Big problem: there were never any bills sent here, which is the only address they had on file, and obviously I never paid the creditor any money since A) I never opened the account, and B) I never received any bills from them.

The account was a credit card, "Visa for Bank of Millennium" in the rep's words. All my credit cards were paid off and canceled by the end of 2004 and I haven't had a credit card since. The creditor was Household Bank. That doesn't really add up, except they explained that Household Bank is an "umbrella". Okay, that's fine, but that still doesn't explain why I never received a bill from them EVER.

The other thing that's not explained: when I moved to my current bank--and this was either in 2013 or 2014 at the latest--the banker who set up my account ran a check to see if I could have a credit card through their bank. The only activity on my credit report was the payoff of my student loans in 2010. Stuff drops off your credit report after seven years. If a creditor wrote off an unpaid credit card in 2009, that should still have been on my credit report until April of 2016, and visible to the guy at the bank, who would then have said, "Well, we show that you have an unpaid debt...."

I'm sure a bunch of stuff doesn't get reported to credit bureaus, but I'm equally sure that when a major bank writes off a couple grand--the amount these chuckleheads say I owe--they report it.

So I know this is a spurious claim. I don't owe them any money.

The problem is disputing it. I told them that I needed to see it in writing, to see a hardcopy of the claim, in order to verify the debt. The first rep I talked to refused to send it to me. The second said that he would do so, but if someone decided to pull the file and start the case, then he could no longer help me.

Well, I'm not worried, because I don't expect I'll get that letter. I'm betting they're going to give up because I refuse to be an easy mark.

* * *

Nice choice of music--Sousa's "Liberty Bell" rather than "Yakity Sax", which is overused IMHO.

SpaceX, still doing experimental rocketry the right way. And having a little fun along the way.

* * *

A word to the wise is sufficient:
That "Silent Majority" that you pretend does not exist is getting really sick and tired of your bullshit.
Oh, we sure as hell are.

* * *

Nearly 500 years of Christian forebearance for muslim atrocities ended with the Crusades. Just remember that it took five centuries before Christians responded en masse to islamic aggression.

We need not wait so long this time, I think.

* * *

Well, that's sub-optimal. It's pretty bad when the piston comes out with the cylinder liner.

* * *

Errand day today, and now I'm tired.


Fixture is installed, and it clears the front door by a bare 3/8". Perfect.

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