Showing posts with label power. Show all posts
Showing posts with label power. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Electronic Jinx Virus



          Marilyn lives at the top of the street.  I am using her actual name as she will personally never read this.  Not only is she computer illiterate, but she tends to give off vibes that work against electronics.

          She does volunteer work at the library.  Regular patrons have learned to never request her assistance with the computers.  If they have questions - even if it's not computer or program related - they know they have to ask somebody else - for if Marilyn gets within four feet of the computers, they all start going haywire.

          I was laughing as she was sharing her experiences with me.  But it's no laughing matter.  She is serious about setting off bad electronic vibes - and I think I may have caught her virus.

          Recently I got a new computer.  I did not get a new monitor the one I have seems to be working fine - or at least it did.  Lately, whenever the computer gets shut off or just the monitor itself, well, it takes great effort to get the two to communicate.  It's sad, really.  Pulling the chord out, stuffing it back in.  Unplugging the chord.  Hitting the reset button.  Often times it still won't work for me.  Oh, but it wouldn't dare flare up for Roland's magic fingers.



          Today I drove to the big city of Roseburg by myself.  I had to do this without the GPS as the Garmin wouldn't turn on.  Are you kidding me?  Did I catch an electronic jinx virus from Marilyn?  We've already established that the touch screen phone is too hard for me to handle.  I make screens disappear.  I take 90 burst shots instead of just one photo - or none at all.  It is just so much easier to hand the phone to Jenna and tell her what to find.  She can usually find things in less than four seconds.  I have timed her.

          I think I would rather be an electronic geek than a jinx.  I want access to my monitor and Garmin again.  I don't wish to be frustrated or scared.  Any suggestions? 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Surely the Drivers in Oregon are Better


         I don’t recall having seen a car accident the entire time that we were in Oregon.  That doesn’t mean they didn’t exist.  I did see one patrol card on the side of the road had pulled someone over.  I saw one other police car.  But that was it.

         Someone had burned down the High School in Albany the night before we arrived.  We didn’t see the High School.  We just heard about it.

        Exactly one week ago, when I took Jenna to school, the sun was so bright in the morning.  I generally stay in the parking lot an additional 30 – 40 minutes allowing the sun the rise further up in the sky before I get back on the road.

         There is no normal in my routine as I haven’t been driving for that long and had forgotten how I did things a year and a half ago. Having spent spring break in Oregon had actually thrown me off remembering anything really. So I turned onto the main road instead of going around – not even thinking about it one way or the other – not until I approached the intersection and saw what looked like the rear end of a fire truck.  Perhaps I was wrong.  I just saw traffic at a stand still.  Many impatient drivers turned around – including me. 

         If I had thought about it, I would have just stayed put.  I really wasn’t in a hurry.  I just don’t care for traffic.  I’d rather spend an extra 20 – 40 minutes taking a less traveled route than to be bumper to bumper waiting to move.  But my decision caused me to slow for two different school zones.

         When I had gone to elementary school, students were given the opportunity to patrol – not only at the school but at the crosswalks as well.  I haven’t seen students as crossing guards for quite a number of years.  I saw it that day.  One school had students patrolling the neighborhood streets.  I wouldn’t want my student out there!

         When I passed the street with plugged intersection, I saw a ROAD WORK sign.  I questioned whether I had seen a fire truck or not – or was that a utility truck I saw that carries the poly cones?  Is my eyesight getting so bad that I can’t even tell the difference?  But then I was never actually that close to it to examine the details.  There had been several cars in my way.

         Shortly after I returned home, the Internet went out.  It was a pretty off chance that the road work/accident would be related.  I had no way of looking it up to find out – though I considered going to the library to see if service was working there.

         Several years ago (long before marriage – still in high school) I remember listening to the radio in another county.  The power flickered and I remember the DJ announcing the freakish outburst of power surge. 

         “That’s a coincidence, “ I thought.

         Really, power outage from one intersection to another seems rare – but from one county to another?  No way.  Turns out that the power outage had affected the entire state of Utah, some parts of Nevada and Wyoming.  I had never heard of that before, and yet I was around when it happened. (article about it can be found here and here )

         My aunt and uncle had tickets to see “Annie” that night.  Of course it was cancelled and they didn’t get to see it. 

         My brother, Patrick, picked up a newspaper and announced, “I am going to read my horoscope just for the fun of it”

         I don’t actually know anyone who puts faith in horoscopes – though I know there are people who do. We just don’t happen to take the entire zodiac thing seriously.

         Patrick read his horoscope out loud.  It said that he would be experimenting problems with electricity today.  We all laughed and then the lights came on.  The lights came on in our neighborhood.  We had been listening to a transistor radio for updates.  According to the announcer, the state was still without power.  But we had power!  I don’t know how many people on our street or in our neighborhood.  But some of us had power.  I don’t know why.  That entire event was just so odd.

         When I left the house to pick up Jenna, we were still without Internet service.  I passed an accident in the lanes going the opposite direction as I. At least two cars were involved.  One had tried turning left (or so it appears) There were no signs of whatever incident took place in the next intersection that morning.

         Jenna and I stopped at the library.  The internet was working there.  Our house was without for almost ten hours.  We had called on it more than once.  We were told that it was the area we were in and that they were working on it. I would like an explanation on why it had gone down for so long.
 
         A few more people now know that we are moving to Oregon.  Jenna is excited to have a yard sale.  We haven’t much time, really.  I have actually wondered if the neighbors from across the street moved while we were gone.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thank you Rocky Mountain Power (and What Devastation)




            I didn’t realize that Jenna viewed the crab apple tree as a friend.  A good friend at that.  True, it often did provide shade over her trampoline.  She also got bonked by tree branches when she jumped too high.  And she was always having to sweep debris off the tarp – mostly from crab apples and leaves.

            There was a crab apple tree in the front yard of the house that I grew up in.  Beautiful pink blossoms filled the tree in spring.  Several of us spent hours climbing the trunk and branches.  I suppose it provided shade.  I didn’t dislike the tree, but I certainly didn’t love it.

I never got why anyone would purposely plant a tree that produced such horrible fruit.  What is the point of crab apples anyway?  Thousands of cherry-sized “apples” covered our lawn.  I am guessing that is why it never came up lush green.  The grass didn’t like crab apples either.

            The crab apple tree on our WV property was located at the end of the yard behind the house.  It had grown wild and needed pruning.  It seemed like I was always cutting branches whenever I’d hang clothes.  For the most part it was the only time I’d really take notice of the tree.

            The tree had been planted beneath power lines – both electrical and telephone lines.  A March wind had sent some branches to rub against the power lines earlier this year.  My neighbors said there were sparks.  I called RMP the next day.  I was told someone would be out at the beginning of summer.

            Summer came and went.  I never saw anybody.  But RMP had also had pressing challenges with the elements creating fires or floods and a lot of power outages.  The company had more than its fill, I’m sure.   I had only that one report of sparks flying.  Still . . . if a power outage were to happen, I wanted to be able to say that I had called and made a report that the tree had grown around the lines.

            I was told that someone had come out and looked at the tree and didn’t foresee a problem, but that they’d send someone out again.  On Thursday I was told that there were nine lines going through the tree and that someone would be out later that afternoon or else yesterday morning.  I knew I wouldn’t be home Thursday night and had left a note.  Whether they came last night or not, I don’t know.  But they were waiting for me when I got home yesterday morning.


            I had left the same note with a couple of changes.  I said I would be back between 9:00 and 9:30.  I arrived at 8:50.  At first I thought the city had sent a crew to repave the road when I saw a work sign and polycones paved on one side.  A truck was parked in front of my neighbor’s house.  It was a tree truck.  They must have been waiting.  I forgot to ask how long.


           




 I don’t know why it is I find I need to take so many pictures of transformation, but I do.  I like to see how this 









went to this 



 or this 


to this.  


 Or this 

to this.   

And I take a lot more pictures than I really need (although I don’t necessarily NEED any of them) but I like to have a variety to pick from – in case I need to use illustrations because my words just can’t seem to capture what the camera does.

            I thought the crew did a marvelous job.  One man said that what could be seen above was worse than what we predicted from the ground.  If we had had a worse wind, we could have had a fire.  There would have definitely been a power outage to who knows how many people would have been affected.  We have been blessed that we didn’t have to deal with that.  We’ve been blessed in many ways, actually.

            I think the removal of the tree is a good thing.  Roland agrees – though he’s always seen the tree as a catch 22.  But Jenna has been crying over the tree – literally. She liked the blossoms.  Yes, like I’m going to keep a tree just for two weeks of blossoms.  (They have never made it to three full weeks)


            I’m so sorry for your loss, Jenna, but you need to understand - the danger was more severe than we had imagined.  I am told the elements would have killed the tree eventually and the damage would have been much more severe.

            Thank you RMP for keeping us safe and for doing such a great job and for sparing me for having any feelings of guilt had there been a power outage or fire . . . even though I had nothing to do with the existence of the tree.









            Someday Jenna may understand.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Some Examples on Gifts of the Holy Ghost


           Lola gave the lesson yesterday on the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She asked for participation – though the first example that came to mind took more time to explain than I thought was appropriate.  As I listened to her lesson, I came up with a few examples from my own life.

         The first example I thought of was one of Warning  
      
         I was 17 and hadn’t had my driver’s license for long.  I hadn’t learned to drive a stick and thus drove the family station wagon (since it was automatic).



         My brother, Patrick, and I both worked at Snelgroves Ice Cream Store – approximately a 15 minute drive from where we lived.
I had asked Patrick if he would move the Honda, which was behind.  Patrick was only 15, but he had a lot more experience with the cars than I did.  He told me that if I wanted to drive the Honda to work, he would work the stick for me and tell me when to clutch.  I thought it would be good experience and decided to take him up on that.



         We were less than 2 blocks from Snelgroves when I tried to slow down using the brake, but was stepping on the clutch and not slowing down.  We rounded a corner going about 35 mph and I veered from the right lane into the left lane, went over a curb and came only a few feet short of hitting the store that sold organs. 

         Patrick’s eyes bugged out of his head, but he never said anything.  I have always admired him for that.  We were both somewhat shaken when we got to work.  I was determined NOT to drive home. 

         At that time the store closed its doors at 10:00 or 11:00.  Clean-up took a couple of hours – depending on what job task we were given.  That particular night we didn’t get out until well after 1:00.  The next day was Sunday.  Church started at 8:00 a.m.

         I handed the keys to Patrick and said, “If you want to get home, you’ll have to drive because I’m not driving.  We’ll say a prayer first.”

         Patrick was nervous, as he knew what the consequences were involved if we were pulled over and he was found behind the wheel.  At the same time I think he may have had a secret desire to “test his wings” so to say. 

I swore him to secrecy that he was never to tell anyone about this until he was interviewed by the bishop for his mission.

         During Sacrament meeting, my mom turns to me and says, “Did Patrick drive the car home last night?”

         You think that would have surprised me, but I was actually quite offended that she would even think such a thing.

         “Why would you even ask me that?” I let her know that I was offended. 

         “I don’t know”

         She asked me two more times in the process of arguing with herself – or rather questioning the promptings of the Spirit.  It finally came out that “Yes – Patrick had driven the car.”

         I think that she was in greater shock than how I felt offended. 

         It turned out that I had broken the rims of the wheels – probably all four of them.  And if my dad had taken the Honda to work the next day, it may have landed him in an unnecessary accident. 

         Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had inadvertently asked for that blessing before Patrick and I had left the Snelgrove’s parking lot the night prior. God does answer prayers – often in ways you don’t expect.

         The next example that came to mind was a time when Sunny was preparing for a primary sharing time on the subject of the Holy Ghost and the gifts we can receive.

         She had pondered all month about her approach.  On Saturday night (12 or so hours before the sharing time message was to be shared) she had a dream about a video she really had seen in real life.  She felt that was the message she was to share.

         She had gone to the Church early enough to reserve the video.  However it couldn’t be found in that library, but Sunny knew she had seen it before – at a stake activity.  So the stake center library was called, but they didn’t have the video either.  Sunny was frantic.
         She went into the primary room and got on her knees and poured her heart out as the tears fell.

         Meanwhile, a sister (I’ll call her Pat) who was in her same stake, was walking passed the Church when she felt a prompting to go inside and find the primary room.  She thought it strange as the ward she attended did not even meet in that particular building.  Fortunately she followed the prompting and went inside.

         She found Sunny in the primary room crying and asked if she could help.  Sunny blubbered her thoughts and described the video in detail. 

         Pat knew what video Sunny was talking about.  It was one that Pat had in her personal collection.  She went home to get the video for Sunny to share with her primary children.  But it wasn’t so much the video that Sunny had to share – it was more to relate the experience she had had in obtaining it.

         Translation          One of the first primary baptisms I had attended in this stake was one conducted by the Spanish ward – which then was just a branch.

         The first speaker gave a talk on baptism.  She spoke in English, but there was a brother there who translated her words into Spanish (as there was a youth from the Spanish ward being baptized that day) The second speaker spoke in Spanish about the gifts of the Holy Ghost and the same brother translated in English.

         The English Speaker paused after every sentence or two to allow the brother to translate, but the Spanish speaker didn’t seem to allow much for translation. 
         I remember one part in particular as she was rattling on, I thought, “Give that poor man the opportunity to translate.”

         And when he got up (I don’t remember the exact quote) he said that one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost is the power to translate.  Let me demonstrate as I finish my talk and let Bro. Hill translate what I say.  But he will be translating by the Spirit  . . . “

         Wow!  That demonstration was so powerful.  I really did understand the message that was brought by the Spirit.

         At the time Jenna was baptized, it was also the Spanish ward that was conducting.  Each speaker had brought his/her own translator.  The second translator seemed to miss much in translation.  But oh, you could so feel the speaker’s spirit, and that was more powerful than any words that were spoken.

         As Lola concluded her lesson, she focused on the Holy Ghost acting as a comforter. I know I have more recent experiences, but this is the one that pressed most on my mind.

         I was working for a privately owned business in which communication was just not that great.  Only five people were involved.  The owner (Thomas) his wife (Penny) her mother (who was co-owner) Charity (my co-worker) and me.
In frustration, Charity and I decided to put in our notice.  Penny seemed quite understanding about it, but Tom did not seem so understanding.  Charity and I were both in tears when her mom came to pick her up. 

It sounds unprofessional that Charity’s mom was acting as the mediator on our behalf – but I know that if Tom didn’t understand us when we were speaking clearly, there was no way he was going to understand our blubbering noises.

My mom called me just as we were wrapping things up.  She was wondering why I hadn’t gone to a tithing settlement I had signed up for.  In all that had happened, I had forgotten, but was told I could drive to the church to meet with the bishop as soon as I was done.

At the conclusion of my tithing settlement, my bishop asked if there was anything that I needed.  Still in tears and upset with the prior situation, I asked if I could have a blessing and explained a bit about the events that had taken place. 

At that point I didn’t care if I still had a job or not, I just wanted to feel some peace.  And I did.  Immediately.  It was awesome.

For me it is easier to write about the past than to post something I consider sacred right now.  Perhaps I will share more at a later time.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rambling Thoughts


            Last week I purchased bus passes for Jenna and me as Minerva (our neighbor who has been taking Jenna to school) said that her son wanted to start riding the bus again.  I am okay either way.  Morning commute’s not so bad – at least going to school.  Road painting caused delays on the return.

            I was returning from the library the other day when a man at the bus stop insisted on talking to me.  I was far more interested in the book I was holding than in anything that he was saying and actually annoyed with his ignorance that I was trying to read.  He said he was looking for a job. Taking baths in the Jordan Canal is getting too cold.  He used to live in those apartments over there.  He still knows people. 

            He hadn’t shaved because he doesn’t have a razor.  He didn’t look homeless, but he didn’t seem dressed for hire. .I don’t know what kind of work he was looking for.  He was wearing camouflage coveralls.  They looked as if though they had been recently removed from a sales rack. 

            He soon tired of waiting for the bus, just as I tired of what I thought might be endless talk on his part.  Another guy got off the train and asked how soon the bus would come.  I told him that it shouldn’t be long any how UTA had just changed most all of the buss schedules (I mean, after all,  it has been a grand total of four months since the last change) to accommodate for meeting TRAX on schedule – yeah, like that’s really going to happen.  Perhaps if they schedule buses to run every ten minutes they will have a fighting chance.  But some of the routes are schedule to run only every thirty.  The train can always run on time, but I don’t think UTA has taken in consideration of UDOT traffic on the road. 

            When I mentioned the construction, the guy gets a less-than-thrilled look on his face and says, “Oh, yeah, I forgot about that.”

            How could you forget?  The orange barrels and polycones are a sign that spring has officially started – though there is usually 3-7 days of cold wet weather which takes place right after the cones are in place.

            The other night the wind was blowing hard.  I usually don’t hear it from my bedroom – but it was loud enough outside my bedroom door that I wondered what it was. 

After I got up, I could hear the wind blowing outside.  I saw flashes of lightening – what I thought was lightening anyway.  Turns out that it was really sparks from the power lines.  Our backyard neighbor mentioned it in Church.  He said the wind was blowing so hard that our tree was knocking into the power lines.  Fortunately it did not knock them down.  Today I called Rocky Mountain Power to make them aware. And hopefully they will be able to cut it down to where it’s either tamed or null (though I think I’d actually prefer the latter)

            Since we have moved to West Valley, I can only remember the power going out just once – well, just one time in our neighborhood.  I’ve been affected by West Valley Power outages when I was driving.  I’m evidently on a different transformer than the surrounding areas which have been affected.

When we lived in Kearns, it seemed we were without power almost as often as we had power – slight exaggeration perhaps.  But I remember not having power many a time.  I remember meeting in the cultural hall of the church because somebody thought it would let in the strongest amount of light.  Only one meeting was held.

            I have many thoughts in my head that remain unsorted.  Posts won’t write themselves and often I am too lazy to do it.  Or my thoughts just don’t seem to flow together and flow smoothly.  Take this post for instance.  Not flowing.  Jumbled.  Boring.  You don’t have to read it.  So why are you?


            After I walked Jenna to school I went to a few stores in search of Vick’s VapoSyrup because my throat has been dry the last couple of days, and VapSsyrup works.  I don’t recall where I even got it last time.  Three stores and none of them had even an empty space for it.  I need something that will work for me.  I need to feel better and stop being tired and get back on track.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Blessed with Power



On 8 January 1981, prisoners on a work assignment burning trash and debris at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah, accidentally caused a major power failure when something they were burning exploded, causing a fireball that shorted out transmission lines above them. 1.5 million people lost power, in almost all of Utah, as well as parts of southeastern Idaho and southwestern Wyoming* and I believe parts of Nevada as well.  
 

I was listening to a radio station from another county when the power first started to flicker.  The DJ had made some comment about the power going off. 
“Wow.  Ours just went off, too” I thought, never imagining that the outage was created by the same source.  

I remember finding a transistor radio looking for something that would give us some kind of indication as to why the power went off.  We were on a different transformer or power unit than our neighbors across the street.  Usually when side was without power, the other side still had it.  It was rare for both sides to be without power.  I would have never imagined ithe same power outage would affect the entire state.
I remember Aunt Alice telling me that she and Uncle Lynn had tickets to see “Annie” at the Capitol Theatre but it was cancelled.  Everything was cancelled.  Everything was dark.

I remember Patrick holding up a newspaper announcing, “I am going to read my horoscope – just fof the fun of it”

It said something along the lines of having to experiencing problems with electricity.  We all laughed.  And then the power came back on.  Well, it did at our house and surrounding houses.  I don’t know why.  It seemed like Utah was still without power.  We joked that we must have it because we were a Celestial Ward.  It was 4-6 hours before others would start to regain power.  Freaky.

 

I actually hadn’t thought about that for years.  I just remembered this morning when a friend and I were discussing the power outage that had taken place last night.
Roland returned home from work and commented that we still had power.  I found that puzzling.  But I turned on the news to see what the deal was.  

Apparently a transformer was knocked down.  It kicked off the power to over 3,000 homes and businesses.  The major intersection which surrounds our homes.  How is it that we had power when the businesses right behind us did not? 

I feel blessed.

* from Wikipedia List of Power Outages

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Power of Music




          Paul Cardall must have been 15 at the time he had worked at the ice cream store. They didn’t hire younger than high school.  But he seemed to have such a junior high awkwardness about him.  But he may have lacked in social skills because of his heart and hospitalization and being in and out of the doctors all of the time.  But I don’t know.  I didn’t really have a whole lot of interaction with him.  I’m sure our difference in age and maturity contributed to that.

          Whenever Paul had been assigned to dishes and was able to listen to music – his music – some wholesome music even – the twerpy kid would disappear and he would actually turn into a regular human being.

          Corey said he had had some nice conversations with Paul regarding music.  I would have never dreamed that he would one day perform his music and record albums and become a name in many households.   

          I don’t know where he had been performing when Sunny had taken my mom to see it.  Mom tells it a little differently each time.  But one thing’s for certain – he did request for my mom to come stand by him on the stage as his picture was being taken by various people.

          Mom still has it on the mirror in her new room at assisted living.  And she can tell you about why she has it and how surprised she had been.  But she knew Paul from the ice cream store.  We all did.  Apparently some of us better than others.

          Today there was a program at the community where mom now lives.  Some of my family members were there when we arrived.  We took her by the hand and forced her to sit down. 

          “What’s going on?” she asked.

          “We are listening to someone who is playing the piano.  But it’s not Paul Cardall.”

          She related the story again.  This time she hadn’t known anyone else in the room.  Nor did he.

          In my entire life I had never seen the enthusiasm that mom displayed today – for the first seven or eight songs anyway.  Seems in the past she has always tuned music out so it wasn’t even a background sound.  But today she sang along with the player.  It was so awesome to see that – until Roland got up to escort Jenna out of the building and then panic set in.  She stood up to once again ask why she was there and why none of us would be taking her home.  But for a brief moment there was a vibrant thrill that had been awakened with mom.  And it was great to see her enjoying herself and singing along.

          Jenna had also chimed in with the few songs that she knew.  I love listening to my daughter singing.  She was singing with MercyMe in the car.  I wasn’t aware that she had even known the words to the song.  And I loved that she is so in tune and focused on the music that I like.

          Music can change our mood.  It can uplift our spirits and rejuvenate the soul.  It can also bring us down when dark tunes and lyrics are played.  I prefer being uplifted and invigorated.

          I love that we have so many varieties of music and how it is a language that each of us can understand.