Entries from April 2007 ↓

CFL or not to CFL?

Why I’m not replacing any incandescent bulbs in my house with compact flourescent bulbs:

How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb? About $4.28 for the bulb and labor — unless you break the bulb. Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about $2,004.28, which doesn’t include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health.

Aware that CFLs contain potentially hazardous substances (i.e. mercury), Bridges called her local Home Depot for advice. The store told her that the CFL contained mercury and that she should call the Poison Control hotline, which in turn directed her to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Steven Milloy calculates that it will take 11 years of energy savings for Ms. Bridges to recoup the cleanup cost. That assumes she doesn’t break any more CFL bulbs in the meantime.

No thanks. I think I’ll wait for LED bulb technology to get better before I go out to replace my incandescent bulbs.

Cute

I looked in the dictionary today. Sure enough, I found a picture of Bailey:

Cute:
-adjective
1. attractive, esp. in a dainty way; pleasingly pretty: a cute child; a cute little apartment. (see picture below)
Bailey bath time

Don Giles

Don Giles was the youngest brother on my mother’s side of the family.

Don was the rebel of the family. He dropped out of high school after his brother, who was two years older, graduated. The family believes that he thought, “if David doesn’t have to go anymore, neither should I.” When my grandmother heard he was ditching classes, she told him he needed to go to school or get a job. He went out and got a job.

A couple of years later he moved in with his girlfriend. When my grandmother heard this, she told him that if they were going to live together then they needed to get married . Don married Penny when he was 18 and she was 17. I was about 4 when they married and vaguely remember there being a controversy about how young they were. Perhaps unexpectedly, of the 5 brothers and sisters on that side of the family who married, Don and Penny were the only ones not to divorce. They were married 33 years.

Don led a colorful life. After moving to Texas, he held a series of jobs, not all of them “respectable”. One included smuggling electronics into Mexico to avoid the tarriffs. I remember him telling a story of being caught by the Federales and his boss getting him out by bribing them. He wasn’t afraid of hard work though. His last job was as a ranch hand working with cattle. That may be were he got sick.

Don and Penny moved back to Phoenix a few months ago. He went into the hospital shortly afterward with an infection in his lungs that he had been carrying for months. My wife and I took our daughter to Phoenix in February when we first were told of the seriousness of his condition. I hadn’t seen him since our wedding nine years ago. Bailey met her great-uncle for the first and last time during that trip.

Don succumbed to his illness this evening at around 5:00 pm. He was 51 years old.

He is survived by his wife Penny; his mother, Marguerite; his brothers, Wesley, Lonnie, and David; and his sisters, Carol and Frances.

May God bless Donald Giles and comfort Penny.

And may God bless Marguerite Giles who is in another hospital recovering from surgery. She lost her first child to cancer when he was three. She lost her youngest child today.

Character

I found a blog post showcasing a picture of President Bush helping Democratic Senator Byrd walk during a medal ceremony for the Tuskegee airmen.

I think this is an amazing photograph that gives us a glimpse of the true measure of President Bush. In a candid moment, he is helping a political opponent. The leader of the free world showing human compassion for his political enemy. But politics do not matter when it comes to human need; he reaches out and helps the senator. A small act, but significant.