Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Domesticity and CFL

The WaPost says that Fluorescent Bulbs Are Known to Zap Domestic Tranquillity [sic]: Energy-Savers a Turnoff for Wives.

That is very much not the case in our household. Whether or not I wanted the job, I was always responsible for stocking and replacing light bulbs around our home. You would not believe the wide variety of light bulbs used in fixtures around our house and garden. Some stores stock one kind that we need, but not the others. I have to shop the lamp store, the hardware store and Target. Then I have to save the old bulbs and bring them to the hazardous waste collection point on my next trip. It was not a job that I really enjoyed or had time for.

When CFLs were readily available at the places that I shopped routinely, I replaced the incandescent bulbs that burned out with CFLs. Sure, the light spectrum is a little bit different, but I got used to it. In fact, I now prefer the whiter light of CFLs to the yellow light from the "warm white" incandescent bulbs.

Seven years without changing a light bulb. Gotta love that. Would you believe that Mark never noticed a thing throughout the changeover period? Come to think of it, he did have to do some of the shopping and light bulb changing while I was on bedrest in 2000.

Back to the WaPost article. Articles portraying women as only concerned with aesthetics really annoy me. He makes it sound like we are concerned with the appearance of our skin tone more than planetary stewardship, rational energy policy, our nation's balance of trade or national security. It's all connected and women are good at making connections.

After Mark and I attended the MIT on the Road lectures about global climate change, he started to turn off the lights when he left the rooms. 20 years of my nagging didn't do it. He had to hear it from Daniel Nocera, a chemistry professor who specializes in energy research. I hate nagging. It is another job that I never asked for or wanted. Thanks, Dan!

We recently received confirmation of our Lair of the Golden Bear reservations. I am one of the week 2 after dinner speakers this year. I will be speaking about our climate measurement record. E.g. What do we know and how well do we know it? I can explain the physical measurements, their uncertainties and their interpretation. I can try to explain the climate models. They have much in common with the weather models that I use in my own work. But, I need to prepare for broader questions. I have been reading John Houghton's Global Warming, The Complete Briefing in preparation.

Yoga or Pilates classes before breakfast and dinner every day, throwing pots at the art shack, hiking, kayaking, bicycling, archery, reading, watching the sunlight on the creek, knitting circle, cocktail hour, swimming and tie-dye! Iris said I forgot to mention Disco Bingo, the camper talent show and Kub Korral activities.

I can't wait. See you at the Lair. I posted my packing list last year.


  1. I never really noticed a difference when we switched. My mom hated it when she came to visit, though. And when we sold the house, the realtor insisted we change the bulbs to incandescent.

    I hope all that changes when we sell this house. I have no desire to buy incandescents.

  2. Anonymous13:29

    Well, I like the color of the light of the CFL's better, it just took me longer to find the ones that give ENOUGH light (aging eyes and such). We are still in the process of changing, as a bigger variety of sizes and shapes become available. But I wouldn't go back.

    And George didn't start turning off lights until recently when he read about it in one of the papers.


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