Archive for Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Heat has everyone crabby

And, as usual, Baldwin’s utilities top the list

August 30, 2000

All right, already. I've heard the last complaint about "Around Town" being absent. I won't bore you with time constraints. I'm baaaack.

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  • This heat is miserable. It makes everyone crabby. I'm crabby, too.

How hot has it been? It's been so hot the thermometers are overheating. Just Sunday, I checked the bank gauge downtown and it said 106 degrees. Several blocks north and east and maybe a minute later, the bank gauge at Sixth and the highway said 114 degrees.

Eight degrees different? I don't think so. But, as I've long said and I'm sure you'll agree, once it's at 100, there's no sense quibbling about a few degrees. It's hot. Too hot.

But that's not all. It's been dry. Incredibly dry. When you start measuring rainfall in amount of drops, you know you're in trouble. I think we had 12 drops Saturday.

What I've also always said is everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.

What have you done to change this brutal stretch? I washed my car Saturday and "suggested" that my son wash his truck, too. It rained 12 drops. That's a start. Let's all wash our vehicles.

The old standby of watering the flowers hasn't paid off, either. The wife's still at it, although I actually heard her say she thought she'd give up. Can't believe that. Carol Taul was watering trees Saturday. That brought rain, too. We can do it.

If I don't miss my guess, with the Baldwin High School football opener and the first-ever "Bulldog Bash" scheduled outside Friday, that chance of rain carrot that's been dangled in front of us for so long may come true.

Let's all go Friday. And if it rains, let's dance in it and rejoice.

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  • Of course that watering thing is another one people have been hammering on me with complaints ... and I couldn't agree more.

Why is it that the sewer charge is based on water usage? Because it's easy to compute. Is it right? Of course not.

The only time our water usage goes up is in the summer when we're watering the scads of flowers the wife puts out. Is that going in the sewer. No, it's going in the ground. Why are we charged for it? Easy money.

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  • And then there's electricity. Oh, boy, have I been getting pounded with that one ... again.

There haven't been nearly the outages that we experienced last year at this time, but when they do happen, people are quick to draw arms. Especially in my neighborhood.

Of course, we're the real lucky ones. Baldwin proper has only had a few outages this summer. For 10 lucky patrons in our neighborhood, we've had our own set of blackouts, unbeknownst to the rest of you. Did you have power last Wednesday? We didn't. How about the week before that? Nope, it was just us again.

A friend and neighbor came screaming over last Wednesday when we were blacked out ... again. Not only were we without power, but he had been treated rudely by a city employee when he called to report it. Talk about adding insult to injury. But, another employee came by later that evening and apologized. That was nice.

Of course the bottom line is we're overloading the system. We keep blowing our fuse. Go figure. We expect to be able to use as much of the high-priced power as we want. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. It could happen to you, too.

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  • But then let's look at the biggest casualty in Baldwin's ongoing power problems. A stately 180-year-old Oak tree lost its life to the city chainsaws recently. It had a limb that broke and knocked the whole city out two Sundays ago. Most of us were back online within an hour. Those around the area near the Scout Cabin were blacked out for about six hours.

"We need to do some tree trimming," was the answer for that one from the city about curing outages.

Cutting down an Oak of that stature it had witnessed Baldwin and Baker grow up together seems a bit excessive.

But, then again, maybe this heat just has everyone a bit crabby.

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