I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 292 - An Inconvenient Utility Bill

Daily Kup (My Life by Programmable Thermostat)
My home has the original furnace and it works fairly well, except for being incredibly inefficient and therefore expensive to operate. When running, it sounds like two squirrels rubbing sticks together.

The water heater is relatively new, which means the seller was forced by city safety statutes to replace the old, exploding one when I bought the house sixteen years ago.

We struggle to be green and to tread lightly on the earth. We've put a blanket around the water heater and lowered the temperature on the burner. This last move was as popular with Mr. T, king of the 45 minute shower, as the threat of back hair waxing.

Through a combination of hibernation planning for the servers, switches on vampire energy-using devices, replacing incandescent bulbs, and crazed screaming at those who leave lights and appliances on, we've reduced our electricity usage by almost 20 percent.

We use our programmable thermostat and set the nighttime temperature low enough to keep the children in bed and the cats really fluffy.

I'm thinking that Al Gore should be proud of us right now.

CenterPoint Energy, our local supplier of the natural gas used by our furnace, oven, water heater, clothes dryer, and stovetop, begs to differ. They've instituted a new program to punish the 20% of their customers whom they consider to be high energy consumers by making them pay significantly more per unit of energy. It's a tiered program where I'm paying $0.363 per therm for the initial bit of gas that's about enough to run the pilot light and then the fee eventually goes up by steps to $0.756 per therm.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently published this story (see link) describing the strategy and results. I'm all for conservation and even personal sacrifice for the good of society but I'm pretty much out of ways to conserve more natural gas than we are doing now unless I can start knitting a new furnace out of steel wool.

Wouldn't that be the ultimate craft project? But then what would those two squirrels do for a living?

Ways to Lower Your Heating Bills
Keep the humidity high by flooding the basement.
Three words: Calisthenics on commercials
Wear a bathrobe of live cats.
Use husband as source of methane.
Get in the refrigerator -- it's warmer!
Decree Snugglies worn at all times.
Break out the dilithium crystals.


Corsair, The Mostly Harmless said...

Oh, I get NASTY letters from the power company. You;d think they didn't WANT me to use their services or something. According to the last letter-O-shame, out of my nearest 100 neighbors, I am the Number One user of energy around.

Cool! What did I win?

All this despite my early adoption of CFLs, and now LED lights. I am assuming it is due to the computational cluster I am running in the basement. Don't I get any good-human points for doing protein folding to find a cure for cancer? AIDS? You'd think that should count for something..

Burning Khrome said...

I hope you all chanted loudly, "WE'RE NUMBER ONE! WE'RE NUMBER ONE!"

I like the colored line charts and pie charts on our nasty letter. It's only a matter of time before we receive "eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles
and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one."

Your good works will surely count for something ... in heaven ... where gas is only 0.437 per therm.

Corsair, The Mostly Harmless said...

Ta' heck with Heaven.. I'm trying to help find a cure to keep folk THIS side of the veil.. Thus far, I've contributed 76 years of computational power to the cause. Seems like there should be SOME way I can write the power and equipment used off on my taxes...

Burning Khrome said...

In my universe, your offer seems extremely fair.

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