Sunday, October 19, 2008

No Consensus

It finally got cold enough this morning for me to turn the heat on, to just take the chill out. I was sold on holding off on the heat as long as I could, if possible until the new furnace comes in about a month from now, but I figured it would just ease the house into fall.

Not too bad, actually, that it's past the October midpoint. We've been kind of spoiled, I guess, with the warm weather last weekend and then the week before I was in Nashville where it was around 85 degrees when I left. Even most of this past week it was nice.

The hard part about turning on the heat, as it will be for many folks, is, how will this affect my bottom line? I was quite surprised to open my gas bill and find it had been lowered almost $20, which I don't quite buy. I've heard gas and delivery charges are both going up, so how can they lower my bill another $20 a month? Hm.

As fall comes on, we are in the worst economic condition in history. I'm girding myself for all kinds of swings in expenses, from utilities to groceries. Fuel prices are down at the moment, but after the election there's no telling what will happen. Nobody can agree on how all this happened, nobody can agree on what to do to move forward, nobody can seem to come to any consensus. Until it stops being a blame game nothing will change.

I was hoping to find a recording to share with you of a song I heard at IBMA by a band I had not had a chance to hear before, Special Consensus. This band started out in 1975 in another favorite town of mine, Chicago, under the leadership of banjo player Greg Cahill, the current volunteer president of IBMA. The song is called "Our Little Town" and I hope you'll go out and check it out; it's all about the uncertainty of these times and what will happen not just to individual families, but entire communities like the one where I grew up. And it will happen while Washington is trying to execute its big bailout strategy, just the same old "trickle down" economics in a different suit. It will take months before people and businesses in places like Smithfield Ohio see any help from that.

But finding this video of "Special C" at this year's Nashcamp event at least took the chill off for my morning and reminded me that there will be a time when this is behind us, one way or another. If there is a heaven, for me, it would be like this: folks gathered on a warm June night to play and hear live music on the porch -- complete with birdsong. It's how I hope to spend my summer evenings someday when we get through this and other train wrecks. Hope this warms you up and brings you a smile wherever you are.

Ten Mile Tennessee

3 Comments:

At October 21, 2008 7:54 AM, Blogger DrDon said...

Your gas bill went down because of reductions in the price of oil. It's dropped so dramatically that the gas companies decided that their predictions of Winter costs were inflated so they lowered everyone's bill, at least those on the budget plan as I am. I know, I know. Hard to believe there's not a catch somewhere and I'm sure there will be. I don't think it's coincidence that after they agreed to lower bills, the PUCO agreed to let them raise delivery charges. It's all a game. Just laugh, that's all you can do.

 
At October 21, 2008 5:43 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Well, I know, but it makes me irritable! I mean, get real, there's no way I'm going to be able to maintain that budget amount, even with a new furnace. Ok, I can't say that until the furnace is in, but I'm guessin'.

I love the fact, though, that you and I have to pay the same delivery charge as someone heating a 3,000 SF home. So does a little old lady in a one-room apartment (me in 40 years). It's always an honor to support those who can and do help themselves!

 
At October 22, 2008 7:58 AM, Blogger DrDon said...

Well, I've turned over a new leaf thanks to Jim so I'm trying not to get riled up about this stuff. But here's the thing that would have riled up my former self. Our politicians, particularly Republicans, are never in favor of "socialism" when it benefits the individual but they're always in favor of it benefitting the wealthy or corporate America.

How is this delivery charge increase not the same as "spreading the wealth?" You're making people who use much less gas pay the same delivery charge as someone who uses more. It may sound correct intuitively since the gas company says they have to maintain delivery infrastructure no matter how much you use but it seems like someone using more is putting more of a strain on the system.

And isn't this supposed to be a "free market economy?" I actually might post about this one because I truly don't understand it. Price fixing is not free market.

Oh well, I'm just going to take Jim, and George Carlin's, advice and laugh while this country circles the drain. There really is nothing else I can do.

 

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