I try to be as environmentally sensitive as the next guy. I do turn off my lights on the beach so as not to disturb nesting turtles, I don't keep a light burning outside my house all night so as to disturb those less fortunate than me from practicing their trade of rifling cars for food money, I lower my high beams as a courtesy to approaching vehicles, and I rather fancy watching TV in the Dark.
But today was the day of reckoning for such a Dim Wit as me.
For a month I have been putting off replacing 3 of the long dead 65W ceiling floods in our kitchen. Now mind you, I didn't build this pile, I just happened to come along and take it off someone else's hands.
If I had built it, as was my trade in a previous life, I would have not put eight (8) poorly conceived flood lamps 14'3" off the kitchen floor, making it virtually impossible for a 6' retired person to change them when they burned out, which they do frequently.
Forget any tired jokes, even 6 Polish traveling tourists would be hard pressed to change these bulbs.
The previous owner did leave me a clue, however. I found an expandable 'stick' in the garage, with a basket like housing at the end. Apparently you secured this basket like thing around the offending bulb, relying on friction, and God, and carefully begin to screw the bulb counter clock wise to loosen it from it's rather cheap, and dare I say flimsy housing. (Read, POS)
One must also take care, as occasionally as one nears the end of the screwing exercise, the bulb could fall 14'3" to the floor causing possible bodily injury.
Well, off it was to the hardware store, where I suspected what awaited me.
Yes, the dreaded, and expensive, CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) replacement for my much cheaper, less efficient trusty Incandescent.
Might I add, that since my kitchen lamps are dimmable, I also had to select a CFL that was programmed to accept my dimmer, or forever wear sun glasses in the kitchen I neither built, designed, or ever imagined in my 35 years in the trade.
Did I mention the Dimmable bulbs were a tad more expensive?
Yes, $15.95 and I needed three (3). Luckily, fate was kind, as there were only 3 left on the shelf, 'selling like hot cakes,' my friendly salesperson intoned, almost as fast as the mosquito repellent they couldn't keep in stock due to the season.
He didn't mention the street lights that the town kept on which only encouraged them to breed ALL NIGHT LONG!
The magic bulb carton informed me that THESE bulbs took 15 Watts, put out 750 Lumens and had a life expectancy of 6,000 hours, 360,000 minutes, or 21,600,000 seconds.
Naturally, the life span could be longer if a hurricane, or other natural disaster, such as a hurricane, caused a power outage .
However, in today's economy, one must consider the more probable, being shut off by the power company for non payment as one's disposable income was consumed by food, gasoline, and now CFLs!
Did I mention these bulbs were made by General Electric? In China? With instruction also in Spanish?
Yes, that same General Electric that paid no corporate income tax last year, who's CEO sits at the head of the President's Economic Council, and just announced they were moving the majority of their XRay technology to China to become 'more competitive'.
So. Now I have a $15.95 bulb that cost $.35 to make and package, $.10 to ship over in a container, plus a reasonable 30% markup for the vendor, and 7% in sales tax for a grand net sales cost of $.63 and a gross profit margin of 25 x cost for a company who claims they didn't make a taxable profit!
Hmmm, if it wasn't so dark in here, I could probably see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Life sure does suck if you're a Dim Wit.