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.

Battle of the bulbs (Day 34)…

April 3, 2007


I finally, finally went to Canadian Tire to pick up some compact fluorescent lovin’, but ended up standing like a deer in LED headlights, staring blankly at the ginormous wall of bulbs, unable to determine which brand was best.

In the end, because I had four bulbs to change, I decided to buy two of the NOMA soft white bulbs and two of the General Electric “plus compacte!” ones, both 13 watts (equal to 60 watts). The advantage of the former was that the light would presumably be more romantic; the latter ones, on the other hand, were even more compact (and thus cuter) in form.

Well, as much as I appreciate mood lighting, I have to say I can’t really see a difference when it comes to the soft white bulbs — both brands give off a light that’s slightly harsher than my usual incandescent ones, though thankfully not as horrid as the fluorescent tubes at my office. Full points, however, go to General Electric for their stubby CFLs, which were the only ones that fit in my bedside lamps without hitting the shade at the top.

After I screwed them all in, I went to this website One Billion Bulbs, which is trying to get people to log in with how many bulbs they’ve changed to CFLs. Upon entering my info, I got this nice little message: “Thank you for taking the time to change 4 lightbulb(s). Your total annual savings are estimated to be $24.12. Your actions will help prevent approximately 491 lbs of greenhouse gases from being spewed into the atmosphere each year.” Aww — professional, and yet not afraid to use the word “spewed.” My kind of organization.

Lights out (Day 25)…

March 25, 2007

switchAn obvious one, yes, turning off all the lights whenever I leave the house. But I’ll admit, there have been times when I’ve been rushing out the door and left a few on by mistake. Sometimes, on really gloomy days, I’ve justified keeping one or two on for my cat or — and I know this is ridiculous — a vase of flowers that look like they need it. But no more of these excuses. All lights out, every single time I leave.