November 11, 2005

CFs part deux

Posted by Scott at 06:49 AM

CF Flood LampCFs - Being a Thursday night I one again left work a bit before five to pick up Mighty Timbo while Michelle taught CCD and the rest of the kids attended their classes. And again he and I drove over to the Home Depot to pick up more compact florescents (CFs). This time the goal was to replace the recessed flood lamp bulbs in the recently finished basement. Every time you flip a single switch, 390 watts are used in the six bulbs that light up the rec room there.

Flood lamps come in lots of form factors so this morning I pulled one out so I would have a reference of size, wattage, etc. in searching for a replacement. I lucked out. The store had sold CF replacements for the bulb I needed in bulk packages of four, again with a warm spectrum that Michelle likes. I bought two packages which gave me two extra bulbs that I could use in the bedroom downstairs as well.

Timothy was very good through the whole event. I always get nervous bringing him near a big store display full of light bulbs. I don't want his curiosity to start testing how fragile bulbs are. On the drive back home we stopped briefly at J. Beaners to pick up some gelato to go. Mmmmm... gelato. I picked up coffee flavored for Michelle and peanut butter with chocolate chips for me.

As with last week we got home before Michelle and the kids so Timbo and I head downstairs and proceeded to swap out the recessed overhead bulbs. He's always fascinated watching me work on anything in the house. Michelle and the kids got back just as I was putting in the last bulb in the rec room. After she got downstairs I told her to go ahead and "flip the switch".

The room was a bit dim. The bulbs were only about half as powerful as I'd thought. "Wait!" I said. I've heard that some CFs take a moment to warm up. It depends on the mechanism that they use to get the process started. Sure enough, over the next minute the bulbs got steadily brighter and probably even exceeded the older incandescent bulbs by a bit.

I explained that this room now uses 84 watts instead of 390. Once again she was happy to hear it. The kids will spend a good deal of time there this winter. Large families use lots of lights. Kids are forever forgetting to shut them off. Our home in Nashua didn't have as many overhead lights as this house and many of the fixtures use three bulbs each. I was reviewing our electric bill and looking over recent history. I remember it wasn't that long ago when we first moved out to Nashua eleven years ago, Michelle once had a cow when our bill jumped for one month to $70 or $80. Here was our last bill for October, typically the cheapest time of the year, and it was $105. In Nashua we had an electric stove and electric dryer. Here those are powered by gas. Average electricity usage was 23 kilowatt hours per day for October which is about typical except for peak summer when A/C boosts that higher. I'm hoping to get that down below 15 kilowatt hours. That would bring the monthly electric bill back down around $65.

CCD - When Michelle got home she was happy and sad. Our kids behaved well. In particular things have been hit or miss with the twins, but last night they stayed with their class and worked on their project. Michelle was a bit depressed because most of the kids in her class have so little background. The kids' families often only attend church a few times a year, know very little about anything Catholic, and the kids tend to be skeptical. They're there because the parents put them there but the parents' own example tends to reflect the mindset that this doesn't matter, thus the skepticism. She feels like she can say one thing but the parent's implicit message goes against it. I imagine school teachers deal with this a lot.

When she got home we discussed her experiences compared to my own from years of helping out with RCIA. In the case of RCIA there's usually no authority forcing the adults to attend. They do so of their own free will and it's a major time commitment. There tends to be more curiosity and a genuine desire to know what they're getting into. RCIA certainly deals with larger, more in depth topics, but usually the sessions don't have as much push back until you talk about certain topics like Real Presence, Confession, Mary, marriage or chastity.

We got the kids to bed. Sitting around the fire, I folded laundry while Michelle prepared for next week's class. We ate our gelato and decompressed. The girls now have a three day weekend for Veterans Day. For the past couple of years, every Friday at the office is "Wild Friday". Today's theme is Flannel Friday. Wear a flannel shirt to work and look as much like a 'yah hey there' Canuck as you can, eh? It should make quite the impression on our ChipIdea employee who is visiting from Portugal to aid with the technology transition of our designwork.


I taught 5th and 9th grade CCD for several years. I would often come home depressed. Michelle's experience was mine also. About 85% of the kids rarely or never go to Church because their parents don't go. They know little about the Faith and have little to no interest in learning about it. I think we are wasting our time, money, and effort on child cathecesis(sp?). The Church needs to target adult religious ed and possibly a parent and child model. Have both parents and children come once a month, go over the material at a high level and then let the parents go into details at home. Also we have to somehow communicate to parents that if they are not going to participate in the life of the Church but regularly attending Mass, then CCD for their children will do little good. Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: Dan Jasmin at November 11, 2005 09:20 AM

It is tough. You don't want to abandon them to the world without it, but they don't have interest. I guess in a sense, it's that way for many school teachers as well when they deal with uncooperative or disruptive students...

Posted by: Scott at November 11, 2005 12:03 PM

I feel the same. I co-teach 2nd grade religious education and it was beginning at the very basics

Posted by: Lisa at November 11, 2005 08:27 PM