Friday, July 29, 2011

893 Always On

893 Always On

Those of us old enough to remember early television know that it took a few moments for the sets to warm up and start running.  The vacuum tubes inside them and in radios took a few minutes to get going.

Today nothing’s like that except the toaster and the oven.  Everything else “warms up” instantly.

Why?  How?

Because nothing is ever really “off.”  Not anymore. It’s on “Standby,” breathlessly awaiting your command.

Your cell phone charger draws power when it’s plugged in, even if you cell phone is not attached.  Ditto your iPod, iPad, Kindle, and anything else with a battery.

When your laptop computer is charged, and it’s still plugged into the wall, it’s still drawing power.

When your TV is “off” it’s still drawing power.  It’s on Standby.

See all those lights on your cable or satellite box?  What do you think allows them to shine?  Why, goodness!  It’s the electricity from your wall.

The cordless phone is always on.  To correct that you have to pull it out of the wall once it says “charge complete.”  

The clock on the microwave, the clock on the stove, the clock on the coffeemaker, the night light in the button for your doorbell.

Nothing is off.

Nothing.
Your burglar alarm is always on, and, of course, you want it to be.  Same with your wall or desk clocks -- the few that still run on household current. (And when was the last time you heard anyone say “household current?”)

Now, granted, these are not big users of electricity.  But while rates are as high as they are, they are SOMETHING.  Probably more than the corkscrew bulbs which you bought for an arm or the LCD bulbs you bought for an arm and a leg and which use relatively few watts.

How many TV sets do you have? How many battery operated this-and-that pads and pods and cell phones and cordless phones, cameras and video cameras.  

And how about the refrigerator?  Does the light really go out when you close the door?  Are you sure?  ABSOLUTELY sure?

You push the little push thing on the refrigerator frame and the light goes out.  But you can’t see when you actually close the door.  Maybe it’s a “smart” refrigerator (like a “smartphone”) and can tell the difference between when you push the push-thing and when the DOOR pushes it.  (And you can’t set the timer on a camera and seal the camera in the refrigerator and have it take a picture, because the flash will make it look like the light is on, even if it isn’t.  And probably you shouldn’t sit a small child in the thing and close the door, even for a moment.  Who knows, maybe the phone will ring, you’ll answer and leave the poor kid in there until he suffocates.)

Shrapnel:

--You can help make this posting more complete.  Do you have a tankless water heater, a “Hoveround” or a sleep number bed?  If you do, please check and see if they’re actually all the way off when not in use.

--A lesbian couple was strolling around at Dolly Parton’s “Dollywood” Amusement center near Knoxville, Tennessee, when a worker asked one of the them to turn her tee-shirt inside out while on the grounds, lest it offend the rest of the patrons because it said “Marriage is so Gay.”  At least they didn’t throw the women out of the place.  Don’t ask don’t tell lives.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com.
© WJR 2011

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