Our household’s experiment with NEMA-member-provided CFL light bulbs continues to have its moments.

  • Recently, amidst yet another hailstorm of bulbs flickering, my better half suddenly burst out exclaiming “I hate these lights” — which if nothing else sends the message that I’d best not take any more work home.
  • Inspired by the recent Home Deport announcement that it will accept expired CFLs for proper disposal, I took a few of same to my local HD — only to be greeted with clueless stares. (In other words, the power source isn’t always connected to the outlets!)
  • Our new electric bill for June is $160.83, which is actually up from $152.05 for the same period last year. How could this possibly be? Well, our Dominion Virginia Power statement thoughtfully provides some explanations: (1) June ’08 was 1 degree Fahrenheit warmer than June ’07 (adding $4.21 to the bill); (2) its rates are higher this year (adding $6.80); while (3) we used 25 fewer kilowatt hours (taking off $2.23). Frankly, I’m disappointed that our usage wasn’t further down, but at least the new bulbs are helping us to fight back during a year of conspicuously rising energy costs.

How can someone like me remain a long-term technological optimist despite these immediate drawbacks? Well, my 401(k) has been giving me a lot of practice. Now everyone repeat after me: When the market is up that’s good news, when it’s down that’s even better since we get more shares for the money. When the market is up that’s good news, when it’s down that’s even better…The challenge is to stay the course.


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