Salute to propane
Or more precisely a salute to preparedness.
For some reason the electricity has failed three times in the last couple of weeks. We've had some wind, some lightning and a lot of heat, but the failures weren't directly
caused by any of those. Apparently transformers were weakened by lightning and failed secondarily.
During the outages, my little propane stove has served faithfully. I bought it after the 4-day blackout of the 1996 icestorm, and it has come in mighty handy down here, Bub.
One of the blackouts must have started with a surge, because it also blew out the Comcast cable box. I've been doing without TV for a week, and found it didn't make all that much difference. Would have been a real loss 5 years ago. At that time TV still had a few programs I enjoyed. By now most of my entertainment is found on the Web, and sanity is improved by zeroing out my exposure to the Propaganda Factories.
(The BP fraud was the last straw. All the Propaganda Factories from CNN to Fox carried the same vicious toxic lies, the same manufactured panic, about the extent and effects of "damage" from the "poisonous oil". CNN and Fox pushed the lie for different reasons: CNN wants to destroy America, Fox wants to destroy Obama. The goal doesn't matter, it's all crime.)
So I've cancelled the cable and switched to antenna for local news. Should save about $50 a month, plus an incalculable increase in sanity.
And this simplification led in turn to examining other bills; realized I've been paying twice as much as needed for phone service. Reducing to basic local phone will save another $20 a month. The real shocker came when I multiplied out this wasted $20/mo over the last 18 years: I could have lived for six months
on the total!