Porch Light

Image courtesy pixabay
Image courtesy pixabay

My porch light, no lights–both of them–are possessed.   They each have a chip–the silicon kind–not the nick/dent kind.   The eleven page manual describes the various options and switches along with a nomenclature.  

(Yep, the diagram actually was entitled nomenclature--which I thought was a bit over the top, presumptuous even.) We’re talking about a porch light here–not a nuclear power plant.  Aren’t nomenclatures associated with complex notions like biology and chemistry?  You know that class in college that 98% of freshmen flunk?  Calling a picture with arrows and a legend a nomenclature is like calling a system analyst an architect.   Right?   Just where is the building, bridge, house, shed or outhouse built by any system analyst?   “Oh, but our designs are blueprints for complex systems,” the industry argues.    I think they– the IT industry–need to think up their own names for their own people and quit borrowing and mucking up perfectly good words with their obscure parallels.  Or they can just call a spade and spade and let it go at that.  I can say this because I once was a system analyst and I designed my share of systems–complex ones–but I was never by any stretch of the imagination, an architect.)

Back to the porch lights.   There are switches–many of them.   All I wanted was an on/off switch.  You know the binary thing–1 and 0.  It’s on.  It’s off.  You want the light on, switch up.   You want the light off, switch down.  Both of the lights at the same time–on, off–easy peasy.   But the system architect designed this very complex array of switches that allows the porch lights to come on at dawn and off at dusk, or vice versa.   And the determination of dawn and dusk apparently has nothing to do with the actual rising or setting of the sun.  And there’s no internal clock in those little chips–so you can’t set the time, day and night, and have the lights come on or off based on the clock.    The porch lights just come on or turn off arbitrarily.   It’s spooky, really.   

Then there’s the motion-sensitive feature.  For this to work, the switch in the house (that governs the porch lights) would have to be on, all the time, right?  And then, in theory,  if someone or something came into the designated range of the porch light, IF it was night (and dark)–then the light would come on.   Right? Nope.  Not true.  Not so.  False.   Those little suckers have a mind of their own. You can dance a jig and wave your arms two inches from the lamp and nothing happens.  Nothing.    But turn your back and the damn light comes on–slowly.   I mean slowly.   And don’t tell me it’s the energy-saving light bulb causing the slow progression from dark to light.   It’s not, because I don’t have energy-saving light bulbs in the lamps.   It’s a ghost or something.  And I think she or he is pissed.   I would be too if someone drew a picture of me and entitled it nomenclature.  

Glenda Kotchish

© April 5, 2016