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Darth Paradox

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Bits and pieces and odds and ends [Dec. 8th, 2007|08:13 pm]
Darth Paradox
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  • IKEA sells packs of 11-watt compact fluorescent lightbulbs for $5. I was under the impression they were expensive, but when we found those last week we did a quick mental count of the lights in our house and bought enough to replace most of the incandescent bulbs in the house. (At least those for which it was possible; you're not supposed to use fluorescent bulbs with dimmer switches, and the bulbs in the bathroom are of a different type.) So several of our lights' energy usage has been reduced by over 80% with no large difference in light quality - an 11-watt fluorescent bulb puts out roughly the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent - and we're feeling green at the moment. :D

  • After a hiatus of a few weeks I'm playing Guitar Hero 2 again, working on five-starring the Medium songs. I'm nearly done; a lot of these songs seem easier than the last time I played through them, but that's to be expected. I just upped my rating on "The Trooper" from 3 to 5 stars, and that's the hardest song I've 5-starred so far, though Psychobilly Freakout is looming large in the near future. (ETA: Just tried it. Got it up from 3 to 4 stars on my second try, but the toggling-notes sections are kicking my ass hard.)

  • In other 360 news, I've gotten very frustrated with Gears of War. I'm fighting RAAM at the moment, and I can't finish him off because my goddamned AI teammate keeps running off and getting himself killed. I'd be fine if he'd just hunker down somewhere and hide, but no, he'll die off in a corner, and I'll have to run and revive him, and then I'll die because I left my own cover. To say nothing of the cases when the Kryll come in and dismember one of us; that's an instant game-over because we're unrevivable. It feels like I'm unable to progress from here as a result, and I'm frustrated: the single-player campaign should not require the use of a second player just to override the crappy AI.

  • Also, Beautiful Katamari is awesome. I rolled up the black hole!

  • We seem to have chosen venues for the wedding. We haven't nailed anything down yet, but we've got a pretty decent idea... We should be announcing a date soon.

  • I'm officially writing Pyrlogos now. I'm have the major story arc scripted out for each character for whom it is important, and I plan to start writing actual scenes either tonight or tomorrow. (For those of you who saw the earlier attempt, the input from that editing session has proven useful; I'm reevaluating both my ideas about story structure and my art style.)

  • After a recommendation from seorin and iris_of_ether, we picked up a bottle of peach lambic at the local specialty beer and wine store. We also got some raspberry lambic, which we just tried and don't like as much (it's a bit more beery than the peach), and a bottle of Moscato d'Asti, a white dessert wine that I've been looking for forever. More on that one later; the first time I had it, it tasted like candy, and I'm looking forward to trying it again.

[User Picture]From: iris_of_ether
2007-12-09 06:57 am (UTC)
I'm fond of the raspberry lambic, but then again, I don't hate the taste of (some) beer. The peach is exceptionally sweet, though - I'd suggest it as a 'dessert' drink, if anything.

We found some black cherry lambic (same brand) at the local QFC, and as soon as we're not feeling sick any longer, we'll probably try it.
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[User Picture]From: kinkyprude
2007-12-09 05:01 pm (UTC)
There's a kosher wine called Bartenura that also does a nice moscata, and it comes in a pretty blue bottle, so if you can't find it with the regular wine, check the kosher wine. Most stores will have it.
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[User Picture]From: darthparadox
2007-12-09 06:36 pm (UTC)
That was actually the one I had, at your seder four years ago (or so), that turned me on to its existence in the first place. I even remember the little picture of Italy on the label... I haven't had success finding it out here so far, though. It might be that I need to be checking during Passover time or something...
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[User Picture]From: kazriko
2007-12-10 08:19 pm (UTC)
What's the color temperature and the color rendering index on those, along with the types of power supplies? Last, do they have Mercury in them?

All 3 of those things are important when replacing incandescents with fluorescent lights. Standard Fluorescent lights are a very high color temperature, and thus are harsher on the eyes. A lower temperature is better. CRI indicates how wide the color band is, a low CRI will make things look bland and lifeless. Finally, you want to make sure it's a very quick switching power supply to reduce flickering. Most supplies are high frequency these days, but the lights used to flicker terribly at about 60hz, causing eyestrain. You don't see the flicker though...

If they have mercury, I'd avoid using them entirely due to the dangers of accidentally breaking one.
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[User Picture]From: darthparadox
2007-12-11 12:29 am (UTC)
I don't know anything about the color stuff, other than that they look whiter than incandescents. I'm pretty sure that they're the high-frequency power supplies, though - the lower ones tend to give me headaches relatively quickly.

They do contain mercury. I don't know much about the risk of releasing the mercury if the bulb is broken, but Ikea will accept used bulbs for proper disposal, which was my other related concern.
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[User Picture]From: kazriko
2007-12-11 12:39 am (UTC)
The EPA apparently considers it a bad incident for the bulbs to be broken, asking one consumer to contact an environmental cleanup service to deal with a broken bulb.

The majority of store bought fluorescent lamps are the very white, high-temp kind. I hate those. I specifically purchased a cooler orange fluorescent for my living room. It took a lot of hunting down to find one in the right range, and it was about $5 more than the standard tubes.

Speaking of that, I should probably go get another set of those and a fixture for my room, now that I've moved into it. The little fishtank light I've been using is even worse than the normal ones.
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[User Picture]From: darthparadox
2007-12-11 02:01 am (UTC)
Well, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for the warning.

(The bulbs were installed without incident, so we shouldn't need to touch them again until we move, given their long lifetimes...)
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