Monday, July 24, 2006

Breaking Point

I have always been a conscientious user of energy. In part, because it's a limited resource and I'm a hippie, tree-hugging liberal and conservation is generally the right thing to do. But mostly, because I am cheap. And while electricity is inexpensive these days (adjusted for inflation and relative to other consumer goods), I don't relish the thought of paying my local utility more than $40 a month for the privilege of artificial lighting, the ability to re-charge my iPod and more hours with my laptop than I care to admit. As a result, I hold out as long as possible before turning on the air conditioning. But this weekend, I hit my breaking point and finally succumbed to the evil that is electricity-sucking window AC units from the Carter administration.

It was 110 in Sacramento.

Mind you, I still don't use the AC with reckless abandon. I run it as little as possible to keep the house at a manageable temperature. Which means I can comfortably wear shorts and a tank top, so...probably 85 or so. And, a little extra AC overnight to aid with the sleeping. Invariably I wake up with stiff neck and shoulder muscles -- an indication that they're not accustomed to such polar climes.

Today was a hellish day at work. One of those days where by 7 pm I feel like I've been run over by a truck, and I want nothing more than to go home and relax and watch some completely not-taxing-to-the-brain TV. (This, people, is why I have cable. So I can watch strangers buy a house or sell a house or redecorate a house. Any time of day or night.)

This plan worked well for approximately eight minutes. And then the power went out. (Commence with the laughing.)

I conferred with the neighbors, dutifully called my electric utility to report the outage, then devolved into a fit of hysterics.

(Ok, not really, but if hysterics and smelling salts were still in fashion for young women, I probably would have.)

Being the resourceful type (and unable to stand the thought of having to somehow entertain myself in a half-dark, 90 degree house) I ventured out to a local coffee/sandwich/crepe shop with a modicum of air conditioning, but wonderful, glorious wireless internet access with which to pass the time. The easy access to wine helped, too.

And now, I'm getting reports that the power has been restored to the neighborhood, so I'm headed home. Again. *Sigh.* Tomorrow is another day.


At Mon Aug 07, 11:36:00 AM PDT, Anonymous clk said...

$40! Try $100 (on average). You know I practically live in the dark! Ah, the brillance of the Texas Leg (SB 7) and the PUCT continues...


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