Archive for the ‘Frustration’ Category

Technical Problems

August 9, 2010

Due to some technical problems it will probably be several days before I am able to post a new entry.  I will do my best to keep up with you while I’m waiting to be able to post again.

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A New Day

May 21, 2009
Rose New Day, Fairfield Glade.  May 20, 2009.

Rose New Day, Fairfield Glade. May 20, 2009.

Wednesday was an absolutely beautiful day up here on the Plateau — the sky was blue and the sun was shining.  It was almost too warm in the afternoon to work in the yard, but that didn’t stop me.  I thoroughly enjoy working in the yard even if that includes mowing, which I finished up early in the afternoon.

The most enjoyable chore I had to do was plant our last new rose.  I had to replace one that we lost during the winter.  So now our rose garden is complete — we have 48 rose bushes.  That’s about all that we can handle without getting a larger yard!

The picture above is another of new roses this year — New Day.  It is slightly fragrant as well as being very pretty.  I have more trouble with yellow roses than any other color — they seem to be a favorite of just about every bug that likes to chew of rose bushes!  However, we’re hoping that I can keep this one healthy.

A Windy Day on the Plateau

December 10, 2008
The flag at our house in the wind.  December 9, 2008.

The flag at our house in the wind. December 9, 2008.

Yesterday was very windy up here on the Plateau.  We had been warned that an approaching front would bring wind and (hopefully) some rain.  We could definitely use the rain.

The wind arrived in the early morning, as you can tell from the photo above.  We could hear the wind chimes clanging and every once in a while there was a ‘thump’ as something hit the house.  But we were taking everything is stride until suddenly the power went out.

Fortunately it was light enough in the living room for us to do our daily devotions without any electricity.  Surely the power would be back on by the time we finished.  We finished our devotions, but the power was still off.  I don’t think we realize how much we depend on electricity until we lose it.  Fortunately I love to read and that doesn’t require electricity as long as it’s light enough.

After about an hour the power came back on, so we powered up the computers and printers and reset all the digital clocks, the coffee maker, microwave, etc.  Things went well for about 20 minutes when the power went out again!

This time it was off for only about a minute — just long enough for us to have to power up the computers and  printers and reset all the digital clocks, the coffee maker, microwave, etc.  Soon we were back in business  — and after about five minutes the power went out for a third time!  It was only out for about a minute — just long enough for us to have to power up the computers and  printers and reset all the digital clocks, the coffee maker, microwave, etc.

Fortunately the power remained on for the rest of the day and the wind has now died down.  Now if we would only get some of that rain!

Stupid Switch!

November 26, 2008

switch

I mentioned on Saturday that we lost electricity in our computer room Friday night.  Even after unplugging everything from the outlets the circuit breaker kept tripping.

Betsy’s creativity with extension cords kept us  online, but we knew we had to get the problem fixed.  We just hoped the repair wouldn’t be too extensive or too expensive.

The circuit that failed is strange — it includes the outlets and ceiling light in the computer room, a mirror light in a bath room, and a lamppost light in the front yard.  I suspected that the problem might be related to the front yard light which hadn’t worked for a couple of years.

When the electrician arrived he quickly determined that we had a dead short someplace along the circuit.  The wiring in the lamppost  was properly tied off and insulated.  It was possible the  problem could be along the buried wire leading to the lamppost or in the walls of the room.  How could we find it?  While we were talking the electrician pointed to a switch and asked what it was.  We had to think for a moment but replied that it was a switch to the yard  light.

The switch position indicated that the light was off, but the electrician tested it and the switch was on!  He flipped the switch, reset the circuit breaker, and we had power in the computer room!

Duh!  To prevent a recurrence we had the electrician completely disable the switch.  We’ll put a solar light on the lamppost.

There’s Nothing I Can Add

October 6, 2008
Dodgers fans celebrating the elimination of the Cubs from the playoffs.  October 4, 2008.

Dodgers fans celebrating the elimination of the Cubs from the playoffs. October 4, 2008.

Hope Springs Eternal … And the Wait Has Been That Long!

October 3, 2008

You have no idea how frustrating it is to be a Chicago Cub fan.  I remember listening to the Cubs on radio while as a young boy in Northern Indiana.  When we got a television I watched the games.  Ernie Banks was my favorite player — he was wonderful even when the Cubs weren’t.  Each Spring started out with hope and optimism, but they all ended the same way — ‘Wait ’til next year!’.

Cub fans have waited for next year a long time — it’s been 100 years since they won a World Series.  I sure hope we won’t have to wait another 100 years.

During the regular season this year the Cubs were absolutely great — they were probably the best team in baseball.  So what happens in the post-season?  They blow the first game.  Can anyone remember the last time the Cubs won a post-season game?

As I write this the second post-season game hasn’t begun.  I’m almost afraid to tune in when the game starts.

Will the Cubs win this series?  Can they go all the way?  I don’t know — I certainly hope so.  But if not, ‘Wait ’til next year!’.

P.S.  Since I wrote this the Cubbies lost another game.   AAAUGHHHHHHH!

Bailing Out on the Bailout

September 30, 2008

Unless you were on another planet yesterday, you know that the House of Representatives voted down the bailout plan that was supposed to save us from economic disaster.  You also know that the Dow lost 777 points yesterday.  And you know that the political recriminations started before the final vote was announced.

I’ll admit that I have mixed feelings about the bailout plan.  If the politicians and bureaucrats are right, the bailout is (was) the only way to avoid an economic catastrophe.  But aren’t these the same politicians and bureaucrats who were telling us just a few months ago that everything was fine and there was no problem?  And aren’t these the same people who passed the laws and made the regulations that allowed us to get into this mess in the first place?  Why should I believe what they are telling me now?

Perhaps something dramatic needs to be done, but I don’t really like many of the ideas that have been proposed.  Betsy and I have tried to be prudent — we saved for a sizable down payment on our house and only bought what we could afford.  If something like the the proposed bailout plan passes I think one of two things will happen to Betsy and me.  Either our taxes will go way up to pay for the bailout or inflation will go way up and eat away at the money we’ve saved for our retirement.  (Of course both of those things could happen at the same time, but I don’t want to think about that!).

Sometimes I feel that I was foolish to try my best to make prudent decisions.  Perhaps I should have just enjoyed myself and then yelled for someone to bail me out when things got bad.

I don’t know what is going to happen in the next few days as far as the economy is concerned, but things should be interesting.

No Wonder We Think Government Is Broken II

August 23, 2008
The Cumberland County Courthouse

The Cumberland County Courthouse

A week or so ago I wrote about the school situation here in Cumberland Country.  You can read the entire post HERE, but in a nut shell the Board of Education decided to delay the start of school because the budget for the year had not been approved.

The latest news when I wrote that first post was that the county mayor had filed two lawsuits against the Board of Education, the second claiming that the board had violated Tennessee’s Sunshine Law at the meeting during which the opening of school was delayed.

Yesterday the Chancery Court judge hearing the second lawsuit ruled that both special-called meetings held by the Cumberland Country Board of Education were held in violation of the Sunshine Law and are considered void.  The judge said there was not enough adequate notice for the public for those meetings, and the subject of the first meeting differed from what was on the agenda.

The judge then ruled that Cumberland County schools must be open on or by Wednesday, August 27.

Of course, the judge’s ruling does not solve the money problem.  The Board of Education is facing a five million dollar shortfall for the coming year.  Among steps being considered to close that gap:  elimination of the entire transportation budget (no school buses),  cut the Security Coordinator position (there was a shooting in a Knoxville high school yesterday), dropping all advanced placement and honors courses in the high schools (that should help us compete in this high-tech world), and potentially eliminate all extra-curricular activities.

Schools may open next week, but I don’t think the problems have been solved!

No Wonder We Think Government Is Broken

August 16, 2008
Cumberland County Commissioners  meeting, August 12, 2008.

Cumberland County Commissioners meeting, August 12, 2008.

If you live in Tennessee, you’ve probably heard about the mess we have here in Cumberland County.  School was supposed to start here on Monday, August 11 (which seems entirely too early, but that’s another story).  On Friday, August 8, the Board of Education delayed the opening of schools because the budget hasn’t been finalized.  Betsy wrote a good blog about the issues involved, if you haven’t read it, click HERE.

Since then things have really gotten interesting.  For several days county football teams and bands practiced on the courthouse lawn.  Three compromise budget resolutions were voted down at a County Commission meeting.  As you can imagine, the discussions at that meeting were very heated with much more shouting than calm debate.  Even the Knoxville television stations covered that meeting!

Then our county mayor sued the Board of Education, claiming that the Board had violated Tennessee’s Sunshine Law.  The lawsuit claims that the August 8 meeting was called by the Director of Schools instead of the Chair of the Board of Education as required by law.

The next day a member of the Board of Education resigned, saying he didn’t think that the school was holding the director of schools accountable or putting the students first.

Then the county mayor filed a second suit against the board, asking a judge to schedule a hearing to consider an injunction ordering the schools to start immediately.

I can hardly wait to see what happens next — aren’t we setting a great example for our children?!?

Questions I’d Like Answered

July 17, 2008

We made our weekly trip into town to do our grocery shopping today and I noticed that a gallon of gas now costs more than $4 here on the Plateau.  I know the price is higher in other parts of the country, but now the pain has come home.

For the past couple of weeks the airwaves have been filled with people talking about the energy crisis,  There has been lots of talk, but very little discussion.  I have some questions I would like to see answered.

Some people say drilling will do no good because it will take 5 – 7 years for the oil to become available.  When will alternative fuels (hydrogen, fuel cell or all-electric) become available? And by available I mean available enough that I can drive the 650 miles necessary to visit my children.

If we don’t begin new drilling now and the new alternatives aren’t available in 5 – 7 years, what do we do?

The United States pioneered nuclear power for generating electricity.  Both France and Norway now get a higher percentage of their electricity from nuclear power than we do, and they manage the nuclear waste problem by re-processing uranium.  Why can’t we help the environment by replacing at least some coal- and oil-fired power plants with nuclear power plants?

It is said that the oil companies have leases on 68 million acres, but are not drilling on any of them.  Why?  How many of those acres are tied up in law suits or other challenges?

Wind power is touted as an energy source of the future.  One of the largest wind farms in the country is planned off the coast of Cape Cod, but is being challenged because it would destroy the view.  What do we do if more alternative energy sources are blocked and no petroleum sources are available?

As I said, I’ve heard a lot of speeches about energy, but have not heard any answers to these questions.  And unfortunately I’ll probably have even more questions before the problem is solved.

One more question for now:  Is hot air an energy resource?