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  #1  
Old 09-28-2009, 09:50 PM
Plan B Plan B is offline
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I can't change my light bulb

Seriously, I can't do it this time. I can't get the glass globe off to get to the light bulb. Here's the best picture I could find on the web of the fixture we're dealing with:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu..._lF47aNr7z9b4E

Except there's no screw to loosen. Not in the glass part and not in the metal ring above it.

I've tried turning both the ring and the globe in both directions. But I've mainly tried turning the globe counter-clockwise. And my teenage son, who lifts weights, has also given it a try a few times but he can't make it budge.

My best guess is that the last person to change a bulb, probably one of the handymen who has been in and out of the house this year, just got a little carried away in screwing it in, and it just got stuck.

Oh, also, I visited the local hardware store and they sold me a suction cup which they promised would hold the globe while I turned it. It didn't work out.

We haven't tried a lubricant. Is that worth a shot? Any other ideas? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2009, 09:53 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Unscrew that little knob that would be a nipple if the lamp were a breast. Be prepared to hold onto the glass globe as soon as the screw gets loose.
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2009, 09:57 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Try twisting the nipple.
It usually screws onto a rod that goes through a hole in the glass and up to the fixture base.
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2009, 10:03 PM
Plan B Plan B is offline
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No, as I said there is no screw in mine, none. No nipple to loosen.

Last edited by Plan B; 09-28-2009 at 10:03 PM..
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  #5  
Old 09-28-2009, 10:09 PM
Ruby Ruby is offline
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Your OP says you're trying to loosen the ring at the ceiling or the glass globe. The responses are suggesting that you try to turn the "nipple" portion of the fixture which would be at the very bottom of the glass globe...the part nearest the floor so to speak.
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2009, 10:12 PM
astro astro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan B View Post
No, as I said there is no screw in mine, none. No nipple to loosen.
I think you may be misunderstanding. If your light is like the one in the photo the decorative metal cone (nipple) at the bottom of the light actually unscrews, Try turning it counter clockwise.
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2009, 10:16 PM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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Does the light look something like this? Not that I have any idea how to change the bulb. I'm just trying to help clarify things.
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2009, 10:17 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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on the photo you posted it seems to unscrew the nipple counterclockwise, the areola is a ring that would freely spin with no effect.

other similar globe and base would have a nipple and areola that would unscrew a larger trim piece hiding a small hex nut that would need to be unscrewed.

do keep a steady hand on the glass the whole time. easy if you hold it tight to the fixture. unscrew the nut (nipple) with one hand and put that in your pocket. then take your now empty free hand up to the glass and take down. it can be a bit awkward but just keep a firm hand on things.
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2009, 11:18 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post
Does the light look something like this? Not that I have any idea how to change the bulb. I'm just trying to help clarify things.
I have a light like that. I haven't had to change the bulb yet, but since I'm posting here I'll bet I'll have to soon.

I've looked at the fixture, and I don't see any way to open it. I'm assuming the bezel is holding it all together, and I reckon I'll find out eventually.

If that's what the OP has, I'll be following this thread.
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  #10  
Old 09-28-2009, 11:28 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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My house has the exact fixtures pictured in the article. What's ironic is that I never thought of them as a breast, but I'm not sure I'll see them the same way again.

In any event, the first couple of posters are exactly right. The part to turn is the tiny round ball at the bottom. It has threads on the inside and is screwed onto a rod that goes up into the ceiling. As others have warned, you need to keep a hand on the glass part because it will fall as soon as you unscrew the ball.
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  #11  
Old 09-28-2009, 11:36 PM
Stealth Potato Stealth Potato is offline
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
If that's what the OP has, I'll be following this thread.
I'll be following this thread too, but mainly to find out the answer to the eternal question, "How many Dopers does it take to change a light bulb?"
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  #12  
Old 09-28-2009, 11:37 PM
friedo friedo is offline
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
I have a light like that. I haven't had to change the bulb yet, but since I'm posting here I'll bet I'll have to soon.

I've looked at the fixture, and I don't see any way to open it. I'm assuming the bezel is holding it all together, and I reckon I'll find out eventually.

If that's what the OP has, I'll be following this thread.
I have a fixture like that as well. The globe is held onto a lip with thin metal tabs which snap into place. Very easy to remove and put back.

The rest of the fixtures in my house are the breast type. The other posters are right, you have to unscrew the nipple. It might take some effort if it's rusty.

ETA: If there's a ring above the nipple part, it's just a decorative washer that holds the globe in place. Turning it won't do anything -- the rod is threaded through the bottom-most part.

Last edited by friedo; 09-28-2009 at 11:38 PM..
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  #13  
Old 09-28-2009, 11:43 PM
Starving Artist Starving Artist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
I have a light like that. I haven't had to change the bulb yet, but since I'm posting here I'll bet I'll have to soon.

I've looked at the fixture, and I don't see any way to open it. I'm assuming the bezel is holding it all together, and I reckon I'll find out eventually.

If that's what the OP has, I'll be following this thread.
The description below the photo says the light has a twist-lock shade for easy bulb replacement. Based on that I assume that you simply turn the shade a short way and it drops out.
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2009, 11:47 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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OK, I've checked the kitchen light. The metal ring doesn't turn for me. Or it didn't; I did manage to get the entire fixture to turn a few degrees. But if it's a 'twist-lock' it's not working for me. Also there is no place on the globe to get a grip, such that it can be popped out.
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  #15  
Old 09-28-2009, 11:58 PM
Starving Artist Starving Artist is offline
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Did you try twisting the globe itself? I know you said there's no place to get a grip, but I'm thinking that maybe it just lifts up before turning or that maybe finger pressure is all that would be required to turn it.
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  #16  
Old 09-28-2009, 11:59 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is online now
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The fixture with the glove and the screw out appears in Step 14 here:

[url]http://www .ezdiyelectricity.com/?p=470[/url] <----------Linked site may attempt to install malware on your system.
The "nipple" bit screws to the rod.

Last edited by Gfactor; 10-07-2009 at 12:32 PM.. Reason: broke link and added warning
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  #17  
Old 09-29-2009, 12:06 AM
Starving Artist Starving Artist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
OK, I've checked the kitchen light. The metal ring doesn't turn for me. Or it didn't; I did manage to get the entire fixture to turn a few degrees. But if it's a 'twist-lock' it's not working for me. Also there is no place on the globe to get a grip, such that it can be popped out.
Uh-oh, doesn't look good. Here's what an owner had to say in the review section of the Home Depot link:

"I wanted to put in a brighter bulb because the room wasn't bright enough with the bulb I had. The white shade part did not twist off as indicated, I had to keep playing with it until the glass actually broke in my hand!
It was impossible to get the shade off. Now I am stuck and have to purchase a new celiing light. Buyer beware."


Perhaps a trip to Home Depot or perhaps Lowe's would be in order to check out how the globe is supposed to come off.
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  #18  
Old 09-29-2009, 10:06 AM
Plan B Plan B is offline
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Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post
Does the light look something like this? Not that I have any idea how to change the bulb. I'm just trying to help clarify things.
Exactly like that
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  #19  
Old 09-29-2009, 10:15 AM
DanBlather DanBlather is offline
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From the picture it's clear that the "nipple" (i.e., the little metal bit on the bottom of the shade) needs to be unscrewed. Have you tried that yet?

ETA: never mind. The picture above is not the same as you posted originally.

Last edited by DanBlather; 09-29-2009 at 10:16 AM..
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  #20  
Old 09-29-2009, 10:27 AM
Hampshire Hampshire is offline
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Have you tried just pulling the globe straight down? No turning or screwing.
I have a few fixtures where the globe is held in place by flexible clips. You just pull the globe off and push it back on where in snaps into place.
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  #21  
Old 09-29-2009, 10:57 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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no nipple globes could be held by spring clips.

the home depot globe could be a slotted twist, like maybe a 10 degree turn and pull down, it would be 3 or 4 L grooves with one leg open to the top, a pin or dimple rides in the groove. it could release at anytime so keep a hand on it. make sure to give it a slight right (probably) twist before you take your hangs off it if you don't get it down (you don't want to have it unlock and decide to let loose later).

a very good suggestion is going to the store and see a new one.
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  #22  
Old 09-29-2009, 11:15 AM
Icarus Icarus is online now
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Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
the home depot globe could be a slotted twist, like maybe a 10 degree turn and pull down, it would be 3 or 4 L grooves with one leg open to the top, a pin or dimple rides in the groove. it could release at anytime so keep a hand on it. make sure to give it a slight right (probably) twist before you take your hangs off it if you don't get it down (you don't want to have it unlock and decide to let loose later).
I voting for twist-lock. Hold the bottom globe, twist counter-clockwise 10-20 degrees (make sure the brass collar doesn't also turn). It should come off.
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  #23  
Old 09-29-2009, 11:19 AM
yabob yabob is offline
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From the page with the picture:
Quote:
... Unique twist-lock shade provides both easy access for changing light bulbs and a clutter-free exterior since no external hardware is required to secure the glass.
My guess would be that the white globe part is spring loaded with some slotted tabs holding it in place - you push up on it and twist with the palm of your hand, simply by friction. Not unlike the arrangement on a child-proof pill bottle. But, yeah, take a trip to the store and look at one.
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  #24  
Old 09-29-2009, 11:26 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Originally Posted by Starving Artist View Post
Perhaps a trip to Home Depot or perhaps Lowe's would be in order to check out how the globe is supposed to come off.
This was going to be my suggestion, as well.
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  #25  
Old 09-29-2009, 12:42 PM
Plan B Plan B is offline
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Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
This was going to be my suggestion, as well.
I think that's what I'll do. I don't expect to have a chance to get there until Saturday. I'll report back, if anything interesting happens.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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  #26  
Old 09-29-2009, 01:57 PM
Plan B Plan B is offline
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I just called Home Depot . They said to break the globe and they'll replace it for free. But I think I'll go there first, see if there's a better way.
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  #27  
Old 09-29-2009, 02:04 PM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post
Does the light look something like this? Not that I have any idea how to change the bulb. I'm just trying to help clarify things.
I have either this exact model or a close relative.
This (G-rated) light just, uh, unscrews (so to speak). The glass globe twists counter-clockwise (lefty-loosey) which lets it drop out from the plastic base. No springs or anything, it's just friction/gravity keeping it in place.

If it doesn't twist, I'd grab it with a cloth (to get a better grip and protect my hands in case it broke) and try twisting a little bit harder, with some jiggling and/or pushing straight up to try and break whatever seal is going on.
I think it would be difficult to get any oil in to the threads; if you can't turn it at all, I think the only option is carefully breaking the glass globe and getting a new one.
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  #28  
Old 09-29-2009, 02:13 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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I can't change my light bulb

Oh, and I forgot to say before:

Worst. Robert Klein. impression. EVER.




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  #29  
Old 09-29-2009, 02:42 PM
CWN CWN is offline
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I went to the Progress Lighting website and it states it is a twist on glass "for easy re-lamping"
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  #30  
Old 09-29-2009, 03:44 PM
moldybread moldybread is offline
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I have the same fixture in my bedroom. It is extremely hard to remove. I had to actually bang on it with a rubber hammer at the highest point to break it loose.

A bit of advice: when you get it off and replace the bulb, do not tighten it all the way. I did this and had to beat it again with the old rubber hammer. Now I just have it barely sitting in the grooves. A large gust of wind could knock it down I presume. Hope its not while im sleeping.

Good luck. Ill never buy one again, thats a fact!
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  #31  
Old 09-29-2009, 04:08 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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You can google "twist lock globe" and see that there are many of these types of globes. Gently twisting back and forth to start it and then counter clockwise turn should remove it. There should be a slight detent in the glass or the fixutre that keeps it from walking itself out of the fixture and you need to apply enough force to overcome this.
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  #32  
Old 09-29-2009, 04:40 PM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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If your light fixture looks like the first one illustrated and if the little nipple thingie is there, twist the little devil with all your might or even a pair of pliers. It it doesn't move, keep twisting it and eventually the threaded rod to which it is attached will come out. Keep one hand on the glass part in any case. Otherwise, call an electrician and let him be baffled instead of just you.
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  #33  
Old 09-30-2009, 05:57 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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I looked at a light at Sam's Warehouse today with a twist on globe similar to what was posted. It did not turn easily. I would use rubber dish-washing gloves to get a good grip on it. It was definitely a counter clockwise turn and once started was easy to remove.
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  #34  
Old 09-30-2009, 09:05 PM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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This thread is going to be the perfect way to determine how many Straight Dopers it takes to change a lightbulb. One to start the thread, N-2 to make suggestions, and one to make the lightbulb joke. Let us know when you get the bulb changed, Plan B, so we'll be able to say what N is.
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  #35  
Old 09-30-2009, 10:30 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
This thread is going to be the perfect way to determine how many Straight Dopers it takes to change a lightbulb. One to start the thread, N-2 to make suggestions, and one to make the lightbulb joke. Let us know when you get the bulb changed, Plan B, so we'll be able to say what N is.
Damn, I was just about to make that joke.
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  #36  
Old 10-01-2009, 12:30 AM
Oslo Ostragoth Oslo Ostragoth is offline
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I gotta get in on this.
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  #37  
Old 10-01-2009, 01:35 AM
Baffle Baffle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
This thread is going to be the perfect way to determine how many Straight Dopers it takes to change a lightbulb. One to start the thread, N-2 to make suggestions, and one to make the lightbulb joke. Let us know when you get the bulb changed, Plan B, so we'll be able to say what N is.
You forgot the part about X, the number of dopers giving the proper removal technique for a different kind of lamp.

(Never mind the fact that the OP couldn't find an accurate picture in the first place.)

Last edited by Baffle; 10-01-2009 at 01:36 AM..
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  #38  
Old 10-01-2009, 01:56 AM
EvilTOJ EvilTOJ is offline
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The house I moved into had these boob lights in all the rooms, only without the nipple. I had to go to a lighting store to figure out how to change the lamps since there were no screws holding the glass in place.

On mine, the glass itself has the screw threads that screw into the bezel. I had to stand on a stepstool and hook a belt around the glass in order to get enough grip to twist it off.
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  #39  
Old 10-01-2009, 02:48 AM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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I had this one in my last house, and changing the light bulb was a total trainwreck. It literally took two adults and as many teenagers as were available.

It was easy enough to get the disk at the bottom off, but getting it back on was really hard because the element spun around, and there was no way to hold it. We tried tape, magnets--it was a bitch. So finally I put in one of those long-lasting fluorescents that last years. Of course, then we moved.

I loved that light fixture because it was retractable, but I left it there, and I'm not looking for another one. It's embarrassing when it takes your whole family to change the light bulb.
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  #40  
Old 10-01-2009, 07:07 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
I had this one in my last house, and changing the light bulb was a total trainwreck. It literally took two adults and as many teenagers as were available.

It was easy enough to get the disk at the bottom off, but getting it back on was really hard because the element spun around, and there was no way to hold it. We tried tape, magnets--it was a bitch. So finally I put in one of those long-lasting fluorescents that last years. Of course, then we moved.

I loved that light fixture because it was retractable, but I left it there, and I'm not looking for another one. It's embarrassing when it takes your whole family to change the light bulb.
easy enough if you have teeth to hold on to the reflector with.

if the retracting mechanism still works well you can extend it and be able to invert the lamp housing which makes it easier, could then maybe rest it on ladder.
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  #41  
Old 10-01-2009, 08:39 AM
Shoeless Shoeless is offline
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Nothing to add other than that I have a fixture in my kitchen exactly like the one pictured in the OP, and it is a pain in the ass to change the bulbs. You almost need three hands for this task. I usually wait until I'm down to one lit bulb out of the three so that I can replace two at a time and not have to mess with it as often.

Plan B, good luck with yours and I hope you don't have to break the glass to get it off!
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  #42  
Old 10-04-2009, 08:57 PM
Plan B Plan B is offline
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Success!!!

Here's what worked. Somewhere in the middle of the week I squirted a lubricant all over the outer edge of the glass. Of course with gravity working against me I got more of it on my hair and face than on the correct part of the glass. Then it was impossible to grip the glass because of all the lubricant that had dripped down. So I gave up for a couple of days.

Then I came back with a pair of kitchen gloves and some warm soapy water and paper towels to dry everything off and I washed all the lubricant off the part of the glass I wanted to grip and I dried it off. Then without using the gloves I tried magiver's suggestion of shaking the sucker back and forth and it came off in a few seconds. I replaced two bulbs and but the glass back in place safely, but not tightly. QED

Thanks for the support and suggestions.
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  #43  
Old 10-06-2009, 05:02 AM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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Congratulations, Plan B.

So now, as I said above, we can answer the highly significant question "How many Straght Dopers does it take to change a lightbulb?"

Well, someone out there may want to count how many different people contributed to this thread and use that number. But I'm too lazy to do that. Instead I'll note that Plan B's "Success" post is the 42nd message in the thread. That number is of supreme cosmological significance, as most of you know, so I propose it be the answer to the question.

There! That was easy.
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  #44  
Old 10-06-2009, 03:40 PM
chappachula chappachula is offline
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I can't believe that nobody has yet posted the link to the humorous classic SDope thread about changing a broken light bulb

146 posts of fun......
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  #45  
Old 10-06-2009, 06:49 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
Congratulations, Plan B.

So now, as I said above, we can answer the highly significant question "How many Straght Dopers does it take to change a lightbulb?"

Well, someone out there may want to count how many different people contributed to this thread and use that number. But I'm too lazy to do that. Instead I'll note that Plan B's "Success" post is the 42nd message in the thread. That number is of supreme cosmological significance, as most of you know, so I propose it be the answer to the question.

There! That was easy.
Douglas Adams was right! 42.
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  #46  
Old 10-07-2009, 03:12 AM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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Originally Posted by chappachula View Post
I can't believe that nobody has yet posted the link to the humorous classic SDope thread about changing a broken light bulb

146 posts of fun......
Thanks for posting that link. I really needed a good belly laugh. Somehow I missed that thread when it was active.

So did Plan B try a potato in changing his lightbulb? And was the power turned off first?
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  #47  
Old 10-07-2009, 12:18 PM
Corner Case Corner Case is offline
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Originally Posted by GIGObuster View Post
The fixture with the glove and the screw out appears in Step 14 here:



The "nipple" bit screws to the rod.
SonOfABitch! That site installs a Trojan.Maliframe!html virus!! Do not access!!

Last edited by Gfactor; 10-07-2009 at 12:33 PM.. Reason: Removed link to possible malware site
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  #48  
Old 10-07-2009, 12:35 PM
Gfactor Gfactor is offline
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Originally Posted by Corner Case View Post
SonOfABitch! That site installs a Trojan.Maliframe!html virus!! Do not access!!
A request for next time: If a link installs malware on your computer, please don't quote it. That just makes more work for the moderators. Thanks for letting us know about it, though!

Gfactor

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  #49  
Old 10-07-2009, 12:38 PM
Corner Case Corner Case is offline
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Originally Posted by Gfactor View Post
A request for next time: If a link installs malware on your computer, please don't quote it. That just makes more work for the moderators. Thanks for letting us know about it, though!

Gfactor

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Oops, my bad; jumped into panic mode without thinking!
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  #50  
Old 10-07-2009, 12:58 PM
Gfactor Gfactor is offline
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Oops, my bad; jumped into panic mode without thinking!
No problem.
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