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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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the unbearable lightness of being
children of dune - leto 1
So this is what happened. bkwyrm mentioned wanting to get full spectrum lights to combat winter mood swings, which reminded me that I had burned out a light bulb and mentioned that new-fangled "full spectrum" thing to my mother, who remembers this from fish and reptiles entering our home.

This was my first mistake.

I bet you did not know there is a store in Austin called, prosaically enough, The Light Bulb Shop. I bet, however, that you can work out what is sold there. Oh yeah. Not just full-spectrum, but weird coiled-looking full-spectrum marked by similarity to watt output. And some--other things. Did you know these come in sizes?

I'll be frank; I had no clue that less than ten miles from my house, there is a store that sells nothing but lightbulbs and some of them are full-spectrum of various wattage that fit into one's ceiling fan. Who. Honestly. Saw. That. Coming? Also, they are expensive, as I got three, because, fine, I don't really know why but the ceiling fan takes three and you can't get just one bright new energy efficient coily-futureistic looking one and leave the other two dinosaurs of lightbulb technology there; that's not classy. Not that until now I have ever cared, but I'm also a fangirl, anal, and a completionist--can you see me leaving that store with only one for a three-light ceiling fan? Did not. Think. So. They gave me a coupon. Honestly? Didn't really help that much with the price. Maybe just covered the tax. They told me these would save me money, which made me laugh, because I have never paid that much for lightbulbs in my life. Honestly, I don't even know what happened between the time I walked in the store and the time I left clutching a biodegradable paper bag and a receipt. And coily-looking lightbulbs.

Let's pause here for a second. Here is what was actually supposed to happen on Saturday.

A.) Get Child Wii.
B.) Get Wii Accessories.

Accessories turned out to be a Wii Fit, since everyone and their new puppy talks about it like a religious experience and because I love walking around Best Buy saying "Where is the Wii? Where? The Wii? The Wii is where?"

Hours of entertainment. I just love saying Wii. And asking about anything I could add the adjective Wii to. Wii socks. Wii shirts. Wii cookies. Wiiiiiii fun.

Anyway. Back to the story. Everyone who has ever read here knows I get a shopping high when making large purchases and taking me to a store, a light bulb store, with a variety of lightbulbs is a bad idea and that is how I ended up with a TV two months ago (except that had nothing to do with lightbulbs; I really don't know what happened then). My family knows this.

However, the deed is done. I took them home (and was mocked for basically having no excuse whatsoever to call anyone for any reason a reckless spender again when I look at the receipt for my three freaking lightbulbs), got an oven mitt, went to my room, turned out the lights, and sincerely hoped for electrocution.

I didn't die, in case you were worried.

All three lights went in. Now, here is something I did not know about my room.

The walls are really dingy and my room is now really bright. Like, non-eyestrain bright. Almost daylight bright. Mood-enhacingly, vitamin D producing bright. Really. Damn. Bright. And I will say this; never realized how dark everything is until now. And it's really cool because somehow, I got used to a throw blanket that was a dingy shade of olive and is actually supposed to be electric lime.

New world order, folks. Also, apparently the city of Austin loves these bulbs. They won't give me anything, but they will virtually give me cookies for being environmentally sound.

That was my weekend.

Oh. I watched two seasons of The West Wing, because--well, there's no real reason we need to discuss that, is there? That was a lot of TV watching. Things I didn't realize:

Cuddy was a call girl and Commander Adama was a justice. God bless television. I had my lights on when I saw it for easy recognition. It was nice.

You have to tell me what kind of swank lightbulbs these are. I'm kind of prone to SAD and have trouble finding bulbs that are bright enough, dammit.

I will find my receipt and check the type.

I mainlined five seasons of The West Wing in a little over a month and it took me a fair amount of time to recover, so I feel your pain! Seasons 1-3 were my favourites; did you enjoy?

So far, very much. I'd watched parts before, but seeing all of them has been a *lot* of fun.

And thn there was light.... I know that feeling. First time I used bulbs like that in the basement (of all places) I pretty muh went "o.O" at the whole room.

My walls are not as white as I thought. But I can see so much better.

I thought you were in Texas? Isn't that so far south that you don't even get short days? Why would anyone would even have trouble with too little light there?!? Personally I reduced my last electricity bill by just using mostly one energy efficient light bulb, though granted at a latitude equal to Southern Alaska it is a bit gloomy... OTOH considering that my family lived in Northern parts for centuries I'm sure I'm adapted well to be in the dark half of the year.

We have short days! Just you know, not Land of the Midnight Sun short days, but lots of winter overcast days. It does tend to make things a bit dark. Though I'm beginning to wonder about the state of light fixtures in ways I did not really understand before this weekend.

The sticker shock is big, but the good news is that you won't have to replace those lightbulbs in, like, ever. (And they're way cheaper to burn.)

I am jealous of your Light Bulb Shop!

I am kinda shocked I didn't know it existed. And that my mother did.

It is a marvelously terrifying store. They have lightbulbs I did not know could exist in our dimension.

FYI, those lightbulbs NEVER FREAKING DIE. You will be bequeathing them to your grandchildren. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but really, they totally outlast other lightbulbs and that's where the savings lie.

I was really unhappy about that Cuddy-callgirl thing. I wouldn't have cared if she were a callgirl Sam became fond of and that was it, but she was a callgirl studying to be a lawyer (!), which made her very stupid, because if she got arrested and convicted, she would not have been allowed to become one. Also, lawyers and law students aren't supposed to commit felonies, they're charged with upholding the law, even if they should disagree with said law, thus rendering her ethics nonexistent, even as we were expected to find her a sympathetic character. Oh, Sorkin! Why you make your supposedly intelligent female characters do such stupid things? Why?

But I adored the Commander Adama justice. He went antiquing with his wife! I'm hoping life continues to resemble art and we get someone like him for the Court.

Considering how often I have to change my usual bulbs? I have no problem with this.

I'm seriously looking into getting one of those lights- prone to SAD and in this city during the winter, it isn't unusual to go at least a month withouth the sun. One year we went nearly 4 months. That was a bad year. Augh. But a lot of ladies I know who do/used to suffer from SAD swear by them. So. I'll look into them more.

If nothing else, being able to not squint is doing wonders for my mood. I never noticed how easy it was to find stuff--or see the color of my shoes--with proper light.

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*dies laughing* Ouch.

The Light Bulb Shop claims another victim!

I swear, I had to practically drag my brother out of there once. I have no idea how much he's spent there on efficient bulbs, and I don't want to.

I'd love to update all the ones in my apt, but 3 of my 4 ceiling fans take FIVE bulbs each--you do the math. I comfort myself with buying LED Christmas lights and being happy when my eclectric bill doesn't spike over the holidays.

oh man, I believe it.

My fan takes three. I have two over the vanity and a closet and a lamp that--will be updated someday. Then--then the rest of the house. *shivers* Though I have been told and have read it does save a lot of money.

You got the energy-efficient full-spectrums? Are they nice? Do they buzz? Are they going to get dimmer over time? My history with compact fluorescents is dubious (if I wanted to look like a zombie and be driven nuts by high-pitched buzzing, I'd just stay at the office full-time) but these sound nice. I would be interested in follow-up reporting, because I too suffer from seasonal darkness and am looking into lightbulb replacements.

No buzzing at all. I--do'nt know about dimming, as these are the first not in the garage where I never go. I will follow up!

As a Vision Scientist (tm) I've been looking into these "so called" full spectrum bulbs. The first thing I found out is that there is no such thing in Science! as "full-spectrum".

Anything with a color temperature above 5500 Kelvin is supposed to be similar to outdoor light.

Now, there is also luminous intensity, as represented by candelas , usually represented as candelas per square meter.

Lux is a little more complicated, and frankly, the wiki article explains it better.

The studies I know of that deal with SADS use light boxes that discuss things in terms of Lux. They haven't exactly been an unqualified success.

Because light does, in fact, regulate sleep-wake cycles, and may be implicated in dopamine production, It is definitely a good idea to make your environment lighter during the day. Keep in mind, this is a system separate from other visual perception, and it takes at least 10 minutes for these neurons to really respond to light.

The best advice I've heard (other than installing a lot of lightbulbs with decent color temperature) is to get outside around noon even if it's cold out for at least 20 minutes, and resist the urge to eat too many carbohydrates (tryptophans piggyback on the glucose, and make you sleepy).

I'll take your word for it; it's similar to what we had to get teh lizard, from waht I read on teh box, just in non-terrarium form.

Are you new to The West Wing? Because pocky_slash has an excellent TWW primer, which she wrote up simply because The West Wing has been referenced all over the place with regards to parallels to the election and Obama.

It's so awesome and kind of hilarious to see art imitate life and life imitate art! Also, have you seen this?

President Barack Obama learns about the Stargate Program by ladycat777. It is made of PURE WIN.

Heh. I watched parts of season two when it was current, then fell out of the habit.

B managed to score some of those new curly-looking 'energy effiecient' bulbs at a convention and HOLY FREAKING CRAP! It took awhile to get used to the brightness, I tell you what.

It also makes our carpet look like slaughtered Barney and put him on the floor. *L*

*dies* I believe it. There are new colors in the spectrum that I did not know existed.

I have a friend whose obsessed with saying "Wii" so he says stuff like "Wiitarded" all the time.

I'm sorta dazzled by the fact lightbulb stores exist. I'm going to have to bring that up in a conversation some day.

It is a beautiful and miraculous place with a red lightbulb on top.

And here are pictures!

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*happy to know this*

Light bulbs are awesome. And I want that lamp.