Friday, April 23, 2010

Lights Out

Vector 3LED Recharge Night Light (VEC186) at CompactAppliance.Com

I decided to cook dinner early today, which is good because the lights went out and stayed out for a couple of hours.  My daughter came out of her room, upset, and asked if I paid the bill because it's not even raining.  Yes, I paid the light bill.  She can't get on the internet or watch TV without power.  What is she going to do?  I suggest reading a book and she looks at me as if I've suggested that she could clean her room (another valid option). 

She decided to do her nails.  Not just paint her nails, but put tips on.  She pulls out the glues, acrylics, and several other aromatic (not pleasantly) potions.  Without the A/C running and providing ventilation, it's not long before the entire apartment reeks of acetone.  I can't take it any more and make her put it away.  What is she going to do now?  She told me she hoped there isn't a hurricane this year because it's only been an hour and it sucks already.

Other than it being a little hot, I don't remember having such a hard time entertaining myself without electricity when I was a kid.  We played with a deck of paper cards...or ivory dominoes.  Yes, it is fun to play poker at the same table as Sven in Sweden and Nga in Asia, but I still like to play with friends that are physically in the same room. 

Where I live, we have to be prepared for power outages all the time.  The image is of my favorite emergency lighting.  I have two of them and want to buy more.  During Ike, we placed them in the bathrooms.  If you unplug them while they are not in use, they'll last for days if not weeks.  One of the teenagers took it in his room and ran the battery down - during daylight hours.  It lasted at least 8 hours of continuous use.

Now I keep it plugged in an outlet in the kitchen.  The batteries automatically recharge without overcharging, so you can leave it plugged in all the time.  The light comes on automatically when the power fails and provides enough light for the entire kitchen and living room area to move around without crashing into the furniture.  I don't have to stumble around searching for the flashlight or trying to light a candle which I'm afraid to leave burning with the cats around, anyway.

I had to do a Google search to find the exact model I have.  I've never shopped at that particular site.  I'm sure you can find them or something similar at Target or Wal-Mart.  I found some similar items on Amazon.  I linked to the ones with the best reviews.


Jingle said...

Good Luck Shopping!
I am sorry that there is issues with your daughter, things will go back to normal soon...

Best Wishes!

Amanda said...

Those lights are awesome.

I know what you mean about back when we had power outages when we were small. Other than sweating (or freezing during winter brown-outs because our Floridian blood is THIN!), I'd just read. No complaints from me. My mother swore I'd go blind, but so far so good.

My boys on the other hand... well, at least there's competitive reading at school. It gives me some leverage.

jack69 said...

Strange how we as a nation have become so tied to utilities.
Good though provoking entry. What to do in the absence of power. I remember noting how quiet it was for days whenwe had not power up here due to Hugo.
Take care.

Unknown Mami said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I should get one for our "earthquake" kit.

Kelly said...

That looks really handy! I'll have to see if I can get one at WalMart. I usually fumble for the flashlight (I have them in several spots) when the power goes off.

Vince said...

You can get something similar with a photo cell. I have them in the garden.

Brian Miller said...

they look cool. we keep out flashlights in the hall closet in case the powere oges out. which happened a few times dring the crazy winter we had.

buffalodick said...

With you being a camper, you might know about this... I have two flashlights that charge themselves simply by shaking them- handy in a black out!

Jingle said...

happy Day!

ak said...

oh wow i remember when i was younger and put fake nails on myself...ouch coming off..was not a good look for me. and my mom wanted to kill me ha


Jen said...

@Jingle: Thanks. Back to normal with a teenager is more of the same...

Is that an award for me? Thanks.

@Amanda: That's what they told me, too. I'll risk it.

@jack69: I remember hearing the cheers when the power trucks would roll down the street. Those people were like rock stars.

@Unknown Mami: It's strange to hear "earthquake kit" does make sense that you have to be prepared for those, too.

@Kelly: I found mine at Target several years ago and it still works.

@Vince: Can you turn those off?

@Brian Miller: I have flashlights stashed everywhere, but can't always find them easily when I need them.

@buffalodick: I've heard of those. Does the charge last long, or are you constantly shaking them?

@ak: She has to soak her fingers in that nasty acetone until they come off. I'm not a fan of the fake claw look, either.

Viva La Fashion said...

its so exciting the first couple seconds after the light go out...and then you realize that you can't do anything! :)

A Lady's Life said...

Oh thats funny. I love power outages. lol
It gives me a chance to light up candles and make it so romantic
I try to experiment with things like using lint from the drier, covering it with vaseline to see how long it will burn and also using a glass filled half with water and half with vegetable oil and a wick which you soak in oil and put it through a small cork so it floats, with a small part on top you light and the lower part hanging under the cork in the oil. Its lit for hours.
Then we sit wondering how long it will be before the lights will come on and actually have a family talking session over anything and nothing. Its fun and special since otherwise we'd all be doing our own thing.Then out come sandwiches. Its also a good time to shred and melt cheese or chocolate with a candle slowly to dip things in.Decadent life lol

sage said...

So, what was the reason for the power failure? I don't mind power failures when it is cold, but not too cold so I don't have to worry about pipes freezing, and I can sleep in front of the fireplace.

Rob Strickland said...

Those rechargeable lights look like they would be good to have. But I can't help remembering when I was a kid and the lights went out. It was just too bad and a candle in the living room and a candle in the bathroom was as good as it got. After awhile we just went to bed and hoped the lights were back on by the time we woke up.

The shake-em-up flashlights buffalodick is talking about hold a charge for a pretty good little while, though I've never timed the ones I have. They are worth having just because having one means you will always have a little bit of light as long as you have an arm that works. My folks have one of the crank-em-up lights and it seems to last longer.

You are already having to run the A/C? I realize where you live is a little farther south and closer to the Gulf than where I live, but of the reasons I love April and October is because my house needs neither heat nor A/C those months.

But yeah, if the lights went out in late May rather than late April, I'd be bitching way more about the heat than the dark, even though I know full well I can take both just fine.

Is that one of the things making it to 40 does to a person?

buffalodick said...

Jen- we are talking a 10 second shake will last 15-30 minutes- no batteries to worry about!

Jen said...

@Viva La Fashion: That depends who you're with...

@A Lady's Life: I think it's romantic, too! I love having dinner by candlelight. Your experiments sound like fun.

@sage: We never found out.

@Rob: There are years we run the AC at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

@buffalodick: I'm going to look into owning a couple of those, then. No batteries to hunt for, change, or dispose of sounds good.

Anonymous said...

Remember when the power went off, when I still had to prepare warm milk for the kid to eat/drink. Ever since we have a small gas heater in the kitchen, even though he's now old enough to eat also cold things ;)
Nice to read that first thoughts go to rain, as it is mostly the same reason over here as well.
Wishing you a wonderful and bright start into the new week.

Jen said...

@athens: I have a small emergency stove which uses canned fuel. I'd rather not have to use it.

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