But only because its deal to acquire Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has closed, with the stock symbol changing from ALBA to GLDD and the warrants, from ALBAW to GLDDW. The warrants closed at $1.55 last night, a double or quadruple depending on where we bought them, but I’m not selling because (a) I’d rather wait until the gain goes long term and because (b), more important, with the stock at $6.45, their ‘intrinsic value’ is $1.45 (they give you the right to buy something worth $6.45 for $5) which means that the premium you pay for a 25-month option on the stock is just a dime; and because (c), most important, I think the stock is worth more, so a lot of upside could remain in the warrants. (As always: only for money you can afford to lose.)


It’s amazing (and perhaps a bit disheartening) that grown men and women spend their time arguing over amounts of money this small. Heaven forfend the government, nearly $9 trillion in debt, should have collected a few ‘too many’ pennies a month on your phone bill. But I suppose it’s worth your reading this and taking the $30 or $40 or $60 when you do your taxes. At least it will pay for your year’s subscription to my page.


Derek Deer: ‘I have been using them for quite a while. Most bought at Aubuchon hardware for $1.49 each. Only one failed after just 2 weeks (they replaced it for free, with the receipt). Several are hanging down (the failed bulb was hanging in the basement from a porcelain fixture). I don’t think position means much. The main point is that in the Northeast there are lots of rooms with high ceilings and long nights. It’s great to replace a relatively short life incandescent bulb in a hard to reach fixture with a more powerful, cooler, more efficient 10,000 hour bulb!’

Juliana: A good place to start in understanding light bulbs is here. And if light bulbs are always blowing out in one fixture, the fixture may be faulty, like my front porch light. I’m just too lazy to fix it.’

Frank Schrader: ‘I replaced all but 3 of the light bulbs in my house with fluorescents over 2 years ago and have yet to have one burn out (a big improvement over the incandescents they replaced). I know that I have at least two that are facing upside down and have had no problems – I will say this though – I bought name brand bulbs and didn’t try to save a few cents by buying ones that had a brand name I’d never heard of.’

Cyrus Ginwala: ‘Our fluorescents are sideways (in those recessed-in-the-ceiling cans). They haven’t exploded, but they do seem to die rather quickly, considering the price.’

Don Jensen: ‘ I have had a lot of trouble with short life on these bulbs screwed into ceiling mounted fixtures (so the base is up) I have finally saved the cash register receipt on the long life bulb so I can use the guarantee.’

Jeremy Bronson: ‘I have several fluorescent bulbs in my house, including 4 hanging upside-down from ceramic fixtures in my basement. I also have those compact fluorescent bulbs that are encased in a floodlight-looking glass shield so they can replace (upside-down) recessed ceiling bulbs and still look like traditional bulbs. All the bulbs have lasted very well, have reduced the heat otherwise generated by incandescent or halogen bulbs, and, most importantly, have never been associated with a drawer-soiling, combustion moment.’

Thomas Hawk: ‘I have several of the 60-watt-equivalent lamps mounted base up in open fixtures in the basement. I’ve had no heat related problems with them, whatever the brand name. I have several others mounted sideways in fixtures, two of which are 100 watt equals. No heat problems with them either. My complaint with them is that if the ambient temperature is less than 75 degrees, the lamps take several minutes to warm up and provide the anticipated light output. The starting illumination is about like a 7 watt night light.’

Bill Spencer: ‘A number of Internet articles (like this one) explain that the base up/down issue is one of efficiency and output performance, but apparently not a question of safety. For those sensitive to bright lights, color temperature is an important factor when buying a CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) in order to achieve the desired effect. Temperature ratings in the range of 1000-3500 Kelvin will produce a warmer light; higher ratings give brighter white lighting. Now you can even buy dimmable fluorescents, although you might need to shop on the Internet to find them ( is a good source).’

John Kasley:Catherine might explore the low-voltage Xenon lights which give a full spectrum of light – like halogens, only much better. The new triphosphor CFL’s do not flicker and might be okay as well. She should look for a CRI (color rating) of 85 or greater. If half the lights in a room are converted there is still a 50% savings, and the CFL’s don’t flicker at the ends like tube fluorescents. That spiral shape increases surface area and therefore light output. And as to Ken Glade‘s explosion . . . many CFL’s are designed to work base-up and they are fairly ugly, but so are his cheap ceramic fixtures. The circular fluorescent light (GE) disperses what little heat there is since the bulb is away from the base. MOST likely, insufficient voltage in the lines is causing the ballast to burn out, which is why only certain types of CFL’s can be used with dimmers. ‘Fluorescent Gas’ gas as such doesn’t exist, but the inert gas (neon, argon, or xenon) in the lamp does have traces of mercury, so if a bulb is broken, it’s recommended that one use a broom to clean it up. That’s broken glass – it’s sharp.’

Michael Rutkaus:LED lights meet Catherine’s requirements for non-fluorescent energy saving, but they are expensive. The light from them is considered pleasant by many.

Tomorrow: Chocolate Diet Coke!


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