Wedding decorations on Clearance

Funny thing, wedding decorations. They can be found in the after Christmas clearance section at Home Depot and Walmart.

Katie said she wanted lights. White icicle lights and blue lights. The room is 108×58 give or take. That’s a lot of lights.

Good thing they are 75% off.

Me, being the retard that I am, can’t pass up a good bargain. So, I went a bit overboard. I bought over ten thousand lights. Katie’s specs only called for about 7 thousand lights. Maybe a few less. I bought extra in case there is a bad strand. No need fussing with it, just put up a different one.

I guess I will have those white icicle lights up around the whole place for the wedding – or at least 3 sides of it. There will also be blue lights along the walkway down the center of the room too I guess.

I also found some LED lights that didn’t fit into her request. I bought them anyhow. LED lights are going to be the wave of the future. I wanted some to play with.

The LED package says ‘Save 80%’. Oh really? So I ran the numbers. Yep, it’s 80% judging from the power consumption labels.

I made up a spreadsheet. I am such a geek.

I had to figure out my electricity cost, as they don’t tell you what they charge, just an uber-itemized bill that I think is designed to confuse. Disregarding the fixed costs for meter charge, etc. which is roughly $10 a month, it looks like my electricity costs roughly $0.07 per kilowatt hour.

At that rate. All the lights I bought today would cost $16 a year to run 24/7. The icicle lights are $0.38 a strand a year. The LED lights are a penny a year. Now, that’s comparing apples to peppercorns. The icicle lights have 300 bulbs per strand, the LED lights, 25. If you go bulb per bulb, and use a dozen LED strands, your still looking at around 1/3 the price – which, when you figure it without the rough rounding of the above numbers, is the 80% savings they claim on the box. Granted, the LED lights cost over 10 times more per bulb. They should have a much longer lifespan, so if they last 10 times longer then regular bulbs, they would break even just in that respect. However, regular lights use less then 1/10 of their purchase price in electricity a year.

If I did my math right, the point where LED lights are overall cheaper then regular bulbs is after running them continuously for fifty years (assuming that they both last that long). That doesn’t seem right, does it? Somebody check my math. 1 strand of 100 regular lights – $2.38. 1.33 strands of LED lights, 60 lights per string at 6.98 is $9.28 worth of string lights so we are comparing equal bulb counts. $0.19 a year difference in electricity costs (using the longer string here, three cents a year). That’s almost 50 years of continuously running the lights before you saved more in electricity then you spent on the more expensive bulbs.

Doesn’t hardly seem worth it, does it?

One thing I did notice about the LED lights. The sum of the current for the individual bulbs is 1/3 to 1/2 that of the string as a whole is rated for.
That means that 1/3 to 1/2 of the electricity being used by a string of LED lights is wasted in the current limiting resisters in the string of lights.

That means, that if we can figure out how to wire them up more efficiently, they will run even more efficiently yet.

Sister’s dietary preferences

So, my cat, sister, evidently is a brand snob. It seems she likes Meow Mix over Friskies.
When I am panning from the very dark shot of the Friskies to the just dark of the cats on the cat food bag, you can hear her knock over the cat food bag in her attempt to open it. She then pounces on it and tries to open it again!

I think I figured out my kitty shitty problem. Sister, bless her little feline soul, won’t use the litter box after brother has used it. I have been fighting this litter box issue since I got brother fixed. I think he ‘smells’ different and she just wont go there. This was a ‘DUH’ moment on my behalf this week.

So. This is the nail in the coffin. I need to find a new home for one of my cats. As I am not the type that cleans the litter box twice a week, much less twice a day. I also have a two week long ‘vacation’ coming up in a few short months, so I need to find arrangements to deal with that situation too. Having only one cat would help make finding arrangements for cat care during that 2 weeks easier.

Also, Katie relented, and said I can keep the cats. Being that I can’t smell, and she can (acutely, I may add), she is likely to do 99% of the litterbox duty. So in difference to her, I would like to reduce the onerous job.

If anybody knows somebody who is looking for a loving cat, I have 2 here that are very dear to my heart. You can take your pick, and we can give it a 1-2 week ‘trial’ to make sure that the human(s) acclimate themselves well to their new feline overlord.

Jump start on my resolutions

Now how about that… I got a good jumpstart on one of my resolutions. Today I picked up 4 dozen canning jars for free! I just love freecycle.
Free canning mason jars with lids.
I ran them all through the dishwasher today, so they are clean. Ready to be washed again when I find a pressure canner. Katie suggested putting that on the wedding registry. Clever girl.
The cat protecting his 'fort' from the other cat Brother hiding in his ‘fort’. He had just defended it from an invasion of ‘cooties’ when sister stoped to investigate it. He is watching her, making shure that she doesn’t try to come back and give him more ‘cooties’.

It’s late. I should know better then to blog this late in the night.

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Chirstmas 2008 photos uploaded

I uploaded some of the photos from Christmas this year. Feel free to click over, and comment away on the photos!

Now for some lousy videos.

Katie and I came across this semi truck in the ditch backwards. They needed a bobcat to dig it out. You can see the skid arc in the road where the trailer swung around. That had to be a ride.

Katie was pulling Ang on a sled we borrowed from a neighbor. Isn’t that backwards? Isn’t the big sister supposed to pull the little sister in the sled?

Katie driving Ang around on the 4 wheeler. She about ran me over!

Brian driving Ang around on the 4wheeler. Too funny. Everybody working for Ang.

No comment….

2009 New Years Resolutions

Make your New Year’s resolutions yet?

I have a few resolutions this year. I am hoping that by putting these out in the open, I will embarrass myself into actually succeeding in them. None of this fluff stuff, like going to the gym, it’s stuff that I am really wanting to do, are already doing to some extent and want to continue to do.

In no particular order:
  • Get Married.
  • Survive first fight with new wife.
  • Buy house or get myself into a position where I can buy a house in the first quarter of 2010.
  • Pay off Discover Card.
  • Get vehicle for Katie whether it’s a new used one for her, or the Escape for her and a new wreck for me.
  • Grow some of my own food – ether in my little planter shelf set in the apartment or in a real garden.
  • Keep on blogging.
  • Get this video thing figured out so I can both take videos and edit them so I don’t make my viewers motion sick.
  • Send out Christmas cards to friends and family.
  • Visit the new family during Feast.
  • Give birthday presents to all the new Nieces and Nephews I will be getting when I get married.
  • Visit my folks once a month.
  • Change a tire for a stranger – the last couple of years, they keep turning me down. 
  • Create a new website for myself.
  • Pay my bills on time. It’s amazing how retarded I am about this. The money is in the bank, but I just don’t get it done!
  • Call my mom on her birthday.
  • Explore the Burmidge Forest Park that is just 2 miles from my apartment.
  • Go camping. At least twice.
  • Go somewhere I haven’t been with Katie.
  • Take Katie somewhere she hasn’t been that I have.
  • Get a Digital SLR camera.
  • Make something from scratch that I can use regularly with the sewing machine.
  • Finish the PakYak. Maybe build one that will fit me.
  • Learn how to use a chainsaw.
  • Help dad get a years worth of wood put up at the new house.
  • Go fishing
  • Go Hunting
  • Get 110 gallon tank running in some fashion
  • Get TV tank up and running again.
  • Visit friends that are out of state.
  • get some canning gear and learn how to can food.

I think that’s a pretty good list. I am going to have 365 days to do it all in. That means ticking one item off the list every 12 days or so. I guess I had better dive into this here list.
Do you have any of the same resolutions? Any suggestions?