Getting cranky (Day 173)…

August 20, 2007

head lamp

While on this cycling trip a couple weeks ago, I quickly realized how ridiculously unprepared I was for the weather. Despite the gear list advising us to bring warm sleeping bags and heavy fleece jackets, I just flat-out refused to believe Oregon could possibly get that cold in August, and so instead packed this Equatorial +15ºC sleeping bag, which was so thin I actually wore it as a scarf most nights and slept in layers of other people’s sweaters.

I also brought a couple long-sleeved T-shirts I figured would only be needed if it rained or something, and didn’t bother with any hat or warm socks.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Needless to say, I was freezing almost every night. And then, to make matters worse, my flashlight died. It was some cheap thing that didn’t have replaceable batteries, but because it was pretty crappy to begin with, I decided it was time to get a real flashlight. I wanted one of those geeky headlamp ones, too, because it would allow me to do important stuff like s’more assembly and lip gloss reapplication with both hands.

When I went to Grassroots today, I found exactly what I was looking for: the “Dynamo-powered” (ie. crank-up) LED headlamp from Novelty Imports. It said it would never need batteries or bulbs, and could even charge cell phones with the right adapter.

I suppose I could have gone the solar-panelled route, too, but then there’s something a bit more satisfying in producing light with my own energy.

Battery Matters (Day 52)…

April 21, 2007


Our photo editor here at the National Post took the green initiative a little while ago by putting a funny little bin on his desk so we could throw used batteries from our tape recorders, cameras, computers and whatnot in there; when it gets full, he takes it to the local hazardous waste depot so they’ll be properly disposed of rather than dumped in a landfill and left to leak mercury into the soil.

So, with a 9-volt and four triple-A’s in hand, I made my way over there and threw ’em in, and will continue to do so with the rest of my used batteries. I realize a more eco-friendly option would be to invest in rechargeable batteries, but when I can get free ones from the supply cabinet it’s hard to say no.

Photo courtesy of iamilk on Flickr