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Posts Tagged ‘Light Bulbs’

Congress Temporarily Saves the Incandescent Light Bulb

December 16, 2011 2 comments


Tucked away in the 1,200-page bill that keeps the government funded through the rest of the fiscal year is a teeny, tiny, little provision that denies the Obama administration any of the money that would be necessary for it to enforce new energy efficiency standards that would pretty much eradicate the incandescent light bulb.

Yes, that’s right…for the time being anyway…the old light bulb continues to live on!

For some reason, this has been a huge priority for congressional Republicans- presumably because of the symbolism of it all; playing on the resentment of Americans being forced to use those weird, foreign-looking, squiggly light bulbs by squinty-eyed, bespectacled, nerdy, little, carbon foot-print-measuring, bureaucratic, government weasel-heads.

I’m going with the GOP on this one. You can only judge these things, I think, based on your own experiences. And my one experience with the new fangled light bulbs was not a pretty one. Saw it in the drug store one day and thought, “Oh what the hell, let’s see if these things do as advertised.” So I brought it home, took out my incandescent bulb in my bedroom lamp and screwed in the new one.

The packaging says, “lasts five years!” What a deal, I thought. Yeah, they’re a little expensive but totally worth it for five years, right? Ten minutes after I put that new bulb into the lamp, it popped and died. I was totally outraged. There is a huge difference in my book between five years and ten minutes. Huge. I fished the old incandescent bulb out of the trash can and happily screwed it back in again.

With visible disdain (visible at the time only by my cats), I tossed the failed new fangled bulb into the trash. I felt duped. Violated, even.

Look, I’m as environmentally conscious as the next guy—no—more so. I don’t even own a car. I have the tiniest little carbon footprint of anyone I know. I love the earth and the trees and the grasses and all of God’s creatures. I would even be in favor of the eradication of the incandescent light bulb if it would buy our lovely planet just one more day. But the thing you’re replacing it with- HAS TO WORK.

Otherwise- back off, Mr. Government Bureaucrat Guy. Don’t make me buy a 1960 diesel pick-up truck without a catalytic converter- ‘cause I will mess the earth up. Big time.

Interesting Week…

March 11, 2011 2 comments


Apologies for the lack of posts this week, but for reasons I can’t explain, it has been imperative to maintain radio silence. But I just knew Tuesday was going to be a bad day.

Call me superstitious, but I can tell how a day is going to go within the first 17 minutes of getting out of bed. Stupid little things like your trousers falling off a hanger tell you something. Or maybe you bang your fingers against the cupboard while you’re reaching for the cat food. Or one of the damn cats trips you while you’re trying to make your way to the bathroom.

On this particular Tuesday, everything was fine until I tried to tie my left shoe. The lace snapped. I hate it when that happens. It’s one of the rudest things a shoe can do. Unless you happen to have an extra set of laces handy, (and, really, who does?) you have to take the remnants of the lace and rethread the damn thing impossibly through the little eyelets.
This is not possible for a 54-year old man to do in a dark room without his glasses on. So I turned on the lamp and…whoa….the bulb burned out with that startling little flash and pop that immediately makes you wonder if you remembered to buy extra bulbs the last time you went to the grocery store.

You have to understand…the shoe lace snapping and the bulb incident happened within about 15 seconds of each other. I should have called it a day right then and there. I should have called my boss and said, “Boss, I can’t explain right now, but I can’t come in today. Something’s happened.”

But, no- I went into work. Can’t talk about what happened there. All I can tell you is that some guy who works for my company had the most expensive lunch in the history of modern civilization. The tab may end up being somewhere near $430 million.

I know…weird, right? I kept thinking of the shoe lace and the light bulb. Really bad omens. All my superstitions verified.

Then Thursday night came along and I had to attend a black-tie affair at a swanky hotel in downtown D.C. But I was running late because more stuff happened at work that I can’t talk about. Have you ever tried to put on a tuxedo in a hurry? It’s friggin’ impossible.

First, I couldn’t find the damn black buttons and cuff links. Tuxedo shirts have regular white sewn buttons, but they also have little holes next to them through which you insert the black buttons. Without them, you can still button the shirt but you look like a dweeb; like you don’t know you’re supposed to use the black buttons. And the only available cuff links I have at the moment, inexplicably, have the seal of the United States on them, which is a very odd set of cuff links to wear with a tuxedo.

But I rummaged through my apartment and finally found the official black buttons and cuff links. Putting them on in a rush is not as easy as it sounds. But I did it. I high-tailed it to G street, hailed a cab and arrived at my function only 7 minutes late. The meal was quite tasty and the evening was rather inspiring.

I’m thinking there’s some hope for Friday.