Did everybody bookmark Diane’s list of fantastic books? Good.

I was going to bring you more of nutty Ephraim, but instead I bring you an epic whine. Possibly a rant.


Early Victorian Geezer:
In my day we read by candlelight and it was FINE! ::looks at the ashes of his son-in-law’s house and thinks how they’re all going to fit in his house.:: We didn’t have this fancy gas. Houses didn’t explode unless you shot a cannon at them.

There. That should set the scene.


1. I bought LED lights for the house that can be connected to the wireless network and turned on and off remotely, put on a schedule, alarm, or timer and turned on or off etc even when you’re not home. You can also change the colors to pretty much anything. You can take a photo, or use one on your camera or tablet. I had a photo of macaroons I used so the lights in my room could be pink, yellow and cream when I was in bed, and then they would slowly turn off. I bought a strip for the hallway where the lighting was designed by an idiot so it’s always too damn dark and the switch that’s supposed to turn on/off the lights is either non-functional or at the other end of the hallway. Now we have a purple strip that comes on at 5:45PM and turns off at 7:00 AM. I love this. I will be replacing bulbs as money permits.

2. Where we live, we don’t have real internet. For some time, the best we could do is 3G connected to a router that works with a wireless dongle. The router also has ports for wired connections, which, it turns out, the fancy lights require. The “starter pack” comes with a physical bridge that you connect to your router via an ethernet cable, and then it’s just like magic! Wireless lights! One bridge can control up to 50 lights, and you can put the lights in groups and assign any variations of light, color, and intensity you like. This turns out to be fun, entertaining, a fantastic prank engine, and useful. Also, since this will be relevant in a bit, if your bridge isn’t working, you can still physically turn the lights on and off. Except the strips.

2.5 I had lights set up like this: On the days I work from home, the lights in my room fade on beginning at 5:20AM and turn off at 5:50 AM, after experimentation revealed I always need something I forgot in my room until about 5:50AM. The lights in the living room turn on at 5:25AM. I can also remotely annoy people in other rooms my playing with their lights.

3. Then our carrier for our 3G dongle had some kind of kerfluffle with Sprint and I came home to discover we had no internet. I happen to know AT&T 4G exists where we live since we get 4G on the iThings. So I went to the AT&T store and bought two wireless MyFi devices that were supposed to connect to our router. The wireless devices indeed gave us 4G speeds (YAY!!!) but they did not work with the router. So I got a 3rd device that was a dongle and … [imagine Carolyn’s life is hell] three days and two defective AT&T devices later, the Virgin Wireless dongle arrives. [Imagine some more hellishness] I get it activated over the phone. It works, but only 3G, which is OK since I really only want it for the lights at this point.

3.5 Because I was in light withdrawal. What do you mean I have turn the switch to get the lights on? Why can’t I have pretty colors? I want my macaroon lights!! Why can’t the lights come on when I’m still in bed? Where’s the pretty purple strip of lights for the hallway?

4. I connected the 3G dongle to the wireless router [imagine yet another level of hell, but shorter lasting than all the rest] but the router tech support people gave me the info I needed and 10 minutes later I turned my sister’s room purple.

The moral

Things are way more complicated now.

The future

Our grandkids will roll their eyes when we shake a finger at them and tell them, why in our day, we had to turn on the lights. And then turn them off. And if the internet went out, you went out for pizza.