The other evening we were, as I recall, shutting off our big projection TV when we heard a loud "PHOFFF" sound from inside its cabinet. The first thing I thought was that the projection lamp had blown. I fetched my screwdriver and opened the access door for the lamp and, sure enough, the thing had blown. Fragments of glass and filiment littered the inside of the cone-shaped lamp body. It took a little research but I found a source online, ordered the replacement, and within about 48 hours received the new unit. It was expensive –lamp plus express shipping was just under $200– but less expensive than many alternatives like a repair shop or replacing the TV. It was a delicate operation but not too difficult to uninstall the old 100-watt lamp and replace it. Now the TV's back in shape and, most importantly, She Who Must be Obeyed can watch Smallville on the big screen. Funny thinking about the changes in television sets from the old "picture tubes" and vacuum tubes to, now, projection lamps, and plasma or LCD panels, and printed circuits.
I have the day off today –but must work Saturday and Sunday– so spent the day with a routine visit to the dentist, walk around the shopping mall, shipping about 800 copies of my printed work, and resting a bit. It's a chilly, drizzly, foggy day and a good one for staying indoors, listening to music, reading, napping. And for once I got to do some of each of those things. Ahhh!
Next week I've another Friday off and ought to head out to the Observatory to tidy up. I also need to get a clear night there and a practice session on my own — there's a public open night scheduled for April 19 and I want to be prepared. When the weather warms a bit I also want to work on completing the restoration of the old bronze plaque that adorned the entrance to the 1939 Observatory. Refinishing involves applying lacquer and the fumes are just too wicked to have in the house or to bear in a closed space; I'll do the work at the Observatory by day and let it dry there at night. I'm looking forward to some time off and comfortable weather, some time spent in the quiet environs of that old "space place."