Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, earth hour

Earth Hour Unplugged with a Mad Family

My son was walking around the house saying ‘hippy…hip…eeze, hippies…hippies, you’re all hippies’, shaking his head in disgust and disapproval.  My daughter, became enlightened at about age three and fully understands compassion, caring for others and the world around us. 

My son was watching Joe Dirt, a ridiculous movie with an actor that had the best/worst mullet I’ve ever seen and the dilemma was it fiinshed at 8.30 wheras Earth Hour, or Hippy Hour as my son would call it started at 8.

One hour no electricity, no gizmos, no gadgets, lights out, a challenge to say the least.  My wife was clear that we need to do such a thing. I had a strong argument against it, so I thought, not that I didn’t care. I knew the ‘Truth’, the hidden truth and I started rambling on about free energy invented by Tesla and other patents owned by the power mongers.  At that point my daughter said, “Dad no conspiracy theories”.  I said, “they are not theories”. She said, “I don’t care, we are doing it anyway”. 

To fill you in I have always been cautious of the world around me, and was so mad and extreme at  certain times in my life that I never even picked flowers for 32 years because I didn’t want to hurt them.  Well not quite true, I had read a book by D T Suzuki on Zen, and he pointed out the difference between the Western mind and Eastern mind.  He said that in the West we pick the flower and put in a vase and say ‘how beautiful’ and in the East they watch it grow in the garden and let it live out its life there. He used an example of two famous poets, I think Yeates and Basho. 

Being an acoustic guitarist there was a simple solution, if need be I could play guitar for an hour, no amp required, no PA just the sweet sounds of an unplugged guitar.

The hour was getting closer, my wife starting running a bath and I was calling out to her that she would use more power running the hot water system than we would just leaving the lights and other gadgets on.  To no avail, she had her Self Development mp3’s on her ipod ready.  “Oh by the way, the ipod uses voltage that came from the computer that was plugged into a power point, you’re cheating”.  The door closed the candles were being lit.  The lights went out, my son and I  were running around the house looking for one of his Motoxcross mags.  It’s interesting how little light a candle puts out when you ar looking for an object.  He cheated twice, he flicked a light on and off, environmental sacrilege, but still didn’t find it.

I’m not sure what came over me but it only took about three minutes before I was sneaking around the house making ghost noises ‘woooo,  woooo,’ and scratching my finger nails down the doors create a creepy effect.  A voice came from the bathroom…quiet. The poltegeist had to retire.

 Oh no, my son opened the fridge door,  it was still on, quick turn it off, no we can’t, the food will thaw.  We pretended it never happened, he was hungry, he hadn’t eaten for 23 minutes and it was urgent.

Meanwhile my daughter was revving up her ipod for what I assumewd would be an hour of head bobbing and foot tapping in the dark. What I hadn’t realised was that she had set it up for me to listen to her favourite tunes.  She played me a couple of songs by Angus and Julia Stone, very acoustic, very nice and I made an agreement with her to teach her the tunes, there’s only a couple of chords but it’s nice material.  Another tune I liked was by Via Audio, it reminded me of Prefab Sprout and Everything but the Girl, very musical, sort of light Indie pop, but I liked their harmonies and they don’t rely on volume to create sound.  After a while my wife emerged from ‘deep space’, she said something that I couldn’t hear but I assumed it was ‘what are you doin’, right at the moment I was repeating the words of the song ‘ I’m wasted’, ‘I’m so wasted’…she wandered off up the hallway into the dark looking very puzzled.

It was almost time, an hour was up, we opened the curtains, I went onto the balcony to watch all the pretty lights come on, I was ready to shout “HAPPY ELECTRICITY” as the neighbourhood lit up, but alas, 9 o’clock went by and not a flicker; a few blue lights shining through the windows, the teles were on.

Just then it happened, my son picked up an acoustic guitar and starting playing the riff to Black Sabbath Iron Man, I hadn’t listened to it since 1973, well I may have but I would have probably filtered it out.. I couldn’t help myself,  I ran to the kitchen, picked up the broom turned it upside down to use as a mike stand, there I was channeling Ozzy Osbourne, “Has he lost his mind, can he see or is he blind, is he live or dead, has he thoughts within his head.”

I can’t wait for the next one.  Are other houses like mine?


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14 thoughts on “Earth Hour Unplugged with a Mad Family

  1. dad

    do you remember the story of when i wouldnt let you mow the lawn because i liked the weed-flowers? *i learnt my zen at a young age*

    you have a spelling mistake in there somewhere. you left out an e in are. same with assumed in paragraph 9.

    dad, the argument for earth hour was the people would be able to see the difference they make when turning their lights off for one hour, and start to make responsible decisions about the way they use energy because of its greenhouse impact.

  2. Good for you for supporting Earth Hour!

    I hope that you will continue thinking about the environment and do more to reduce your carbon footprint. One of the quickest and most effective ways to reduce your contribution to climate change is to stop eating meat and dairy products. Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gases, that’s more than all the world’s transport systems!

    A kilogram of beef is responsible for the equivalent amount of CO2 emitted by the average european car every 250 kilometres, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.

    There are other advantages of a plant based diet too. You can improve your health, save grain and crops to feed to starving people instead of animals and, of course, there are huge benefits to animals.

    Give it a go!

  3. Thanks Sophie for your sensible comments

    It’s a great point about being veg. I was veg for 37 years, but have recently gone back to eating fish once a fortnight or so for health reasons.

    what you have pointed out is very thought provoking, and although I know there are other technologies that are sitting on the shelf somewhere which we can’t access, it is important that each person makes conscious decisions.


  4. Hi,
    What a great post. I answered your discussion on BC but I’ll repeat here that my family and I flipped the breaker switch so for one hour we used no power at all. Then took blankets into the back yard, talked and watched the stars.

    My 10 year old was a little miffed because he missed the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards but he got over it quickly and had a good time.

    I’m glad you participated..we felt like the odd guys in the neighborhood..none of the houses around us participated..sad..they missed out.

    I’d like to see some results from power plants that tracked the dropped usage on the grids. That would be interesting.


  5. That was a great story I really enjoyed it. I’m glad you participated it was a really fun hour. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great that you are mostly veg. I guess fish every now and again is not going to make such a big difference! Incidentally, what were the health benefits you were seeking? Omega 3? If so, I take flax seed oil and that works just fine.

    The great thing about dietary changes is that no new technologies are required and no extra money needs to be spent, the results are instant.

    Thanks for your reply!

  7. hehehe… this is incredible Tony 🙂 i’d love to experience this in my country someday 🙂

    love to see your daughter commented your post btw 😀

  8. Thanks Lisa.

    It’s incredible how kids adapt once they try something. Maybe there were quite a few others that did do the power off as well, it’s possible that you missed them because they had lights out 🙂


    Thanks for dropping buy


    I tried to forward an email about health but it came back to me


    Do you eat every 22 minutes ?


    It might happen, all things like that come from grassroots and grow.
    Yeah the girl is great


  9. You seem to have a nice time in this situations and this is what everybody should do. Make the best of every situation. It seems you actually turned this hour into quality time with your family.Great use of the blind hour 😉 !

  10. great story telling. Our family participated but we just played a board game by candle (many) light.

    Really the ipod/mp3 players are cheating.

    well the way i ended up here was searching around about earth hour – it’s schedule again for 2009 – should be even darker.

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