Saturday, December 30, 2006

Efficiency? Not part of my vocabulary!

BUSHISM: "Over the long term, the most effective way to conserve energy is by using energy more efficiently." (Radio address: May 12, 2001 - for January 9, 2006)
and also, the next in line for January 10, 2006 is this gem: "Columbia carried in its payroll classroom experiements from some of our students in America." (Bethesda, Maryland, February 3, 2003)

Ok, now you're thinking what the heck is she going to come up with that apply to either of these lovely Bushism statements? Well, in truth, probably nothing of substance. Just my own weird way of reading his lovely quotes and thinking of other things around me that may or may not apply, depending on how one looks at 'em!

Conserving energy? Now there's a topic I rarely want to touch simply because my first thought has to do with how much money it costs to provide the "energy" -aka fuel oil - to heat this old barn of a house! Don't even want to go there simply because it strikes me as another method of companies breaking my own private little bank - which holds only maybe 10 pennies most of the time anyway - if that!

I will be the first in line to state here and now that I have no clue as to how the oil companies come up with their prices for gasoline, fuel oil, kerosene, etc., all the enable us to go from point a to point d or z and back again or how to possibly cut back on the amount of fuel oil we use to keep this place warm enough that it is "comfortable" but not chilly in here! I freeze easily - or so it seems anyway - so it's a difficult thing to find a temperature setting on the old thermostat that keeps a reasonable level of heat here without making it necessary to go take out a small business loan to pay for the oil to heat the joint! I cousin of mine told me last week in her pre-Christmas phone call that the week earlier, she and her husband had to drive into Pittsburgh for a doctor's appointment for him and they had stopped to get gas in their car before leaving home. I forget now what price the gas was when they filled their tank before going into the city, but he noticed on the way home - in just a mere matter of about 2, maybe 3 hours time max, that the fuel price had jumped almost 10 cents a gallon over what they had paid earlier in the day! Now, tell me that prices, the economy, inflation -all those things I find too difficult to comprehend 95% of the time, had increased that much in that period of time. Gee whiz, where they anticipating a huge increase in salaries, coverage of Christmas bonus checks, the outlay for the company Christmas party or what in that time span? You figure that one out, cause it's truly way over my comprehension level!

Now, there are however other methods of conservation of energy that I can expound on here that don't involve the type of "energy" GWB is referring to - or I don't think he is anyway.

This is the type of conservation of energy I try to get across to my 15-year-old granddaughter, now and again, to my daughter and used to preach this all the time to the kids I worked with - back in the good old days when I was still able to be among the "employed" of the world!

My theory has always been, still is -when my memory stays with me long enough to remember what the other things were I planned to combine here - don't make two trips (or more) if only one will do the trick! Used to try to get that message across to waitresses I was trying to train that if you carried the coffee pot with you, virtually like it was glued to your hand, to go around and coffee customers, you could also, as you moved along, pick up dirty dishes from the table and deposit them in the dishpan cart on your way around. Saves time -and energy- to only have to clean two coffee cups and two teaspoons at times when people leave as opposed to having the whole table a bit mess of condiment containers, salad bowls, dessert dishes, and a whole raft of other things customers tend to toss to the side while dining - and wanting, of course, more coffee! Because I was a good bit older than the majority of the folks I was working with, I told them I did it because my legs were too damned old and rickety to make that many trips. Well, that was partially true. But I just found by doing two things, sometimes even more than that, I could keep up with the overall work load much better and not wear myself out in the first hour but rather, could last the whole doggone shift that way! They didn't believe me when I told them their legs would start to give out on 'em in short order if they didn't try to treat them with as much kindness as possible - and thus, conserve energy!

My step-granddaughter seems to be of the belief that if she picks up one item that can go in the trash and trot it to the garbage can, then go back to the living room, get another item, repeat the exercise, several times over, that because she is taking a long time to do something she won't be responsible then for possibly getting instructions to do something else when she is done. Thus, in her mnd, she is "conserving energy." Well, the truth of the matter there often is that by gathering as many things as possible that need to go in the trash on the first trip, often it also eliminates the NEED for people to see other things that maybe should be done too - because gee, it got done in the first trip! Imagine that! And, the sooner or faster you finish a small task, the sooner you can sit down, like a big lump on the sofa and kick back and watch tv, in peace, with no one badgering you about finishing your chores too! Gives you more free time to play! Or sleep -or whatever it is that is on your list of things you want to do - not necessarily the cruddy things we all HAVE to do!

And this brings me to yet another thing - pertaining to saving energy - and I'm sure you'll think I have really gone bonkers to include this in here. But, my friend Barb, over at Skittle's Place, had a little "Quickie" question (something she posts frequently on her blog - and today, the "quickie" question was on the topic of what a long-drawn out process it is to her to try to find a new pocket book and does anyone else have a similar problem with that task!

Now, to me - this is perhaps one of the world's worst "chores" necessary to women from time to time. I hate looking for a new purse! Hate it worse than I hate trying to buy new underwear! Of course, the issue of buying new underwear often focuses on how much larger size I may have to purchase this time around because of the influx of more fat cells in all parts of my body. I am firmly convinced that the fat cells I was born with liked the comfy coziness apparently so much of my body that they wrote home and invited not only their parents and siblings to come live with them in various parts of my body, but they sent out APB's to their entire extended family as well as all fat cells they know, the world over, and told them all to come here and camp out and be happy! Not a lick of danger that this person will get a notion to go on a diet and thus try to starve out some few of those cells. No way indeed that will ever happen with me! Dieting takes a lot of work, which expends a lot of energy that could be better used finding ways to do more than one thing at a time! And that's just for openers there!

But now I digress - I was talking about looking for a new purse, or handbag, tote, clutch - whatever type it might be that is just the ticket you - or I - need to have to complete a truly wonderous fashion statement! Well, that alone is just plain bullpucky! What I would need to present a spectacular fashion statement would involve getting rid of all the extra family and friends of all my fat cells -for openers - and then, a major overall with plastic surgery to correct all the other little areas of my being (exterior here, not interior) that would be necessary too. Plus then, I'd have to find the extra ton or half-ton, at the very least, of money to be able to afford to just walk into a store and shop, try on, get disgusted and depressed and toss many outfits aside for the simple reason that it still made me look like a stuffed sausage or the color isn't quite right to accent my lovely blue but usually somewhat bloodshot eyes from the eyestrain of needing new glasses or it shows off too much of the grey blotches in my hair - or cheeks too at times -or I don't like the design or print of the material used or the basic style of the basic black go-everywhere dress! There's a million and one excuses one can find at the drop of a hat that all can come together then to make the selection of one simple little handbag akin to the problems every president has had with the peace conferences that have been held over the years at Camp David to try to get the world leaders to come together, shake hand, kiss and makeup and agree to something. Usually it seems they just agree to disagree. And that is usually what happens to me when I go shopping for a handbag too! I agree to disagree to the clerk -if I am in a store that actually employs people to assist you with major purchases of this nature. What that does to me really is to send me back out the door without considering anything any further at all because if they have the volume of sales that allows them to employ a person strictly to assist me in my purchase of one simple handbag, then the price on that simple handbag is going to be way, way, WAY out of line to my budget and thus, eliminates the need right then and there for me to purchase anything from their product lines! The check would be bouncing before it even got ripped out of my checkbook you see!

So, when it comes to the need to select a new handbag, I generally really do conserve lots and lots of energy there! I simply find ways to try to hide any marks, rips, tears, bad straps, whatever it is on the purse I have been using for the past decade, determine it isn't all that bad afterall, I know where the holes are in the zipper compartments inside, know how much it will hold too in the way of junk I feel I must carry with me at all times and therefore, this purse is just fine and dandy, will last at least another decade, maybe even two and that's my way of conserving energy!

I just don't go shopping in the first place! And by not doing that, I have saved probably several gallons of gasoline, wear and tear on the tires of my car, the need to change the oil sooner than I might have had to do had I ventured out in the first place.

Now see - wasn't that an easy way to conserve energy?

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