A few days after I put up our Christmas lights this year the outlet that they go into, which is also our porch light, quit working. So we got to enjoy our Christmas lights until Dec 3rd or so. But they were great while they lasted. The weather here has been terrible since then, which is the excuse I've used to avoid trying to fix the problem. You see I knew the problem was electrical, and I know about as much about electrical stuff as I do about plumbing stuff as I do about anesthesiology stuff.
So my convenient excuse held up until we hit 50 degrees today. I decided that somehow our house would remain unlit no longer. You see not having a porch light kinda bites when people try to come visit. So I did what I usually do when something isn't working - I took it apart in a way that it could never possibly go back together. I used a tester that I had no idea how to operate to test for an electrical current and surprisingly didn't find anything. So I tore things apart even more.
Finally I realized that I was clueless and that electricity could probably hurt me or at least make me really, really uncomfortable for a few seconds. So I went to my neighbor's house. I am extremely lucky to have one of those neighbors that the rest of you dream about. He knows how to fix most everything, he has every tool I could possibly ever need, and most importantly, he'll come over and help me out when I've exhausted my "taking things apart" strategy. In fact Rick (the aforementioned neighbor) and his family may literally be the reason we're still living in this house. Trust me, you wouldn't wanna give that up either . . . if you had my remedial fix-it skills. Well Rick dropped what he was doing, well, he was holding their baby, so he didn't exactly drop her, but anyway . . . And he came over and helped me fix the electrical problem and install a brand-new porch light. We even got to make a Home Depot run because I dropped a screw in the snow and couldn't find it (further demonstration of how useless I am with this stuff). Anyway, we had some folks over tonight and they were actually able to see the steps in front of our house and everything. Thanks, Rick!
Suggestion to the rest of you - move-in near Rick and I. I can worsen all of your home repair/maintenance problems and Rick can drop the baby he's holding and come fix them.