I remember when I bought my apartment 30 years ago ($11,000, down, $30,000 mortgage, thank you very much). The real estate agent and I met the seller in the lobby – she had been out shopping – and she wouldn’t let us go up with her in the elevator. She asked us to wait downstairs so she could go up first and turn on the lights. It would show better that way.

I know you think we’re on a high floor with a sunny view, but writing a blog – as lucrative as it is – is not investment banking. Charles and I suffer on a low floor with sunshine emanating only from our dispositions. (So it’s dark.)

To compensate, we have 47 light bulbs. Excluding closets. I just counted.

In the old days, most of them might have been switched on (for example, 16 on a track to light the living room, five on a track to light the hall) – roughly 3,000 watts. It’s nice having the whole place bright.

But now, as I type this, two of them are on: CFLs lighting my office – 50 watts.

And – as I spend almost the entire day and night sitting here typing (and as Charles is generally out being a famous fashion designer) – that’s mostly all the lighting required.

There’s still the matter of the refrigerator (non-negotiable) and all the instant-on electronics (negotiable, but so far the environment has lost the negotiation). But at least with the lighting, dramatic savings have been possible at almost no sacrifice.

ENERGY TIP: Many of our 47 bulbs are dimmable, on tracks, which – when we do have then on – are kept low. Charles likes it that way; it’s more sophisticated. (To me, it’s just darker.) But it also saves energy – I checked – almost, though not completely, proportional to the degree of dimness.


I apparently knocked the Daily Quotes jar over with my elbow, so you’ve been getting, at left, a random offering each day from just the relative few that didn’t spill out. Oops! I just got a dust broom and swept the rest of them off the floor and back into the jar . . . and will continue to add a new one every so often.

Monday: What May Be a Great (Free) Alternative to Symantec


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