December 11, 2012
Christmas magnifies nearly everything. There is more to eat, the shops are lit up by extra lights, and suddenly you have more family members around than you even remember having. However, it seems to me that Christmas also magnifies the effect of Murphy’s Law. There are a million extra little things that can – and do – go wrong. Don’t worry, though. I have the answer for your two biggest Yuletide headaches.
1. The lights don’t work.
The tree is up, so you carefully drape it with lights, plug them in, and… nothing. Not so much as a flicker. There are two kinds of light strings: those strung on a series circuit and those strung on a parallel circuit. In a series circuit, all it takes is a single, solitary bulb to go out, and the whole string is done in. To fix this kind of light string, you have to go through and test each bulb individually by replacing it with a bulb that you know is good. On the other hand, on a parallel circuit, a single light going out has no effect. The only thing that will cause the whole string to go out is a short, not an outage. It is must be fixed the same way, except that you might have to reset the safety breaker between each test.
2. The garland is hopelessly tangled.
Last year, you decorated your house, accenting the mantle, handrails, and the tree all with this sparkly string of fuzz. It was beautiful, unlike the mangled mess that you pull out of the storage box this year. I suppose that there is some secret trick to untangling the decorations, but it is probably inconvenient and involves the implementation of some rare good like bear grease. More practically, in this case, the best offense is a good defense. This year, try making your own storage spools. Take a large piece of cardboard, cut notches in the side, and wind the strands around it.
Oak Grove Branch