The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

2010.10.06 Scared of the dark? Buying a lamp might be scarier

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

They just don’t make lamps like they used to. At least I’m having a hard time finding a reliable one. Not only that, the warranty instructions to my new one are downright scary.

A couple of weeks ago, my reading lamp, which is actually a desk lamp placed on a high end table, stopped working. I assumed the problem was the bulb, one of those weird, “four-pin” compact fluorescents. I had a similar lamp a few years ago and couldn’t find replacement bulbs anywhere when it burned out. The company itself sold them, but I was able to buy a whole new lamp for less than the price of the replacement bulb.

This time, however, the bulb wasn’t the problem. I also own a floor lamp that takes the same type of bulb. Its bulb wouldn’t work in the desk lamp, but the desk lamp bulb worked fine in the floor lamp. Obviously, there was some sort of internal problem in the lamp. I’m not aware of anyone who still does small appliance repair, so it was time to go lamp shopping.

The first acceptable one I found cost $40, about double what I paid for the last one. But the store also had an old-fashioned high-intensity clip-on desk lamp with a 40-watt bulb. Not exactly what I was looking for, but marked down from eight dollars to a mere five bucks. If nothing else, it would bridge the gap until I found a lamp I really liked.

It actually worked extremely well as a reading lamp, but its light was concentrated in such a small spot that I still needed a better lamp to help light the rest of the room. The fine print on its instructions was entertaining, though, and reminded me of a long-ago purchase.

Among the various warnings was one that stated “Because small electrical appliances do not lend themselves to normal repair procedures, the consumer should not attempt such repairs.” Instead, if the lamp failed within the first two years, they wanted me to return it at my expense to be fixed, along with including an extra $10 for “handling costs.”

Add in the postage cost and I would be paying $15 to $20 to get a replacement for an eight dollar lamp that cost me five dollars. Suddenly, it seemed like 1983 again.

I had just rented my first apartment and among other furnishing purchases, I bought a stereo at the Adrian Mall Sears store for $99. A few weeks later, I got a call from someone at the store wanting to sell me an extended service contract. For only $139, they would do any needed repairs for three years. When I passed on the offer, they asked me why.

I explained that with the money I saved by not buying the contract, I could throw out the stereo if it broke, buy a new one, and have money left to buy some record albums or cassettes. They never called me back after that. Twenty-one years later, it was still working fine, but didn’t make the cut when I moved to Fayette. Sometimes, I wish I had kept it. But back to the present day...

A store in Adrian recently advertised a desk lamp similar to my broken one for $22. I bought it and have been happy with it so far. The box claims that the full spectrum bulb simulates natural sunlight. Wasn’t that the type of lamp they were prescribing a few years ago for people with depression? It’s a lot cheaper to buy a $22 lamp than Zoloft or Prozac or whatever the current pill is.

Then again, the lamp’s warranty includes depression-inducing words like execute, wrongdoing and suspect. For instance, “This lighting product will execute its illumination function when properly assembled.” How about just saying it’s guaranteed to work if put together correctly?

And the lamp’s warranty does not cover “negligence, wrongdoing or improper care.” What exactly do they mean by wrongdoing in this context?

If your purchase fails to work within two years and you are somehow able to prove absence of wrongdoing, then it’s acceptable to return it as long as you remember that “suspect units must be properly packed.” I guess your lamp is suspected of being operable until proven to be broken by the manufacturer.

Do you suppose someone at the factory threatens returned “suspect” lamps, maybe with a rubber hose? “We know you’re not broken! Now turn on!” Maybe not. But those sure are odd instructions. Next time a lamp fails, I just might buy a bunch of candles instead.

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