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Bloviating Zeppelin: Hope It Doesn't Get Cold

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hope It Doesn't Get Cold

There it is, in all its glory -- my house last winter, after just a touch of snow has fallen from the steeply-pitched, very slippery metal roof onto the brand new Trex deck below. Ah, the joys and freedoms of shoveling wet Sierrra Cement with a plastic Grain Hog (see vertical object stuck in said cement). Ah, the joys of having vast clumps of cement cascade down one's open neck from the verdant pines above.

But Shirley, I jest. In truth, there's nothing finer than snuggling with one's honey in the living room, the vaulted ceiling above, with a crackling fire in the stove adjacent the rock wall, cup of cocoa in one hand, watching the flakes fall outside, with a nice blanket covering you both. Aaaaah. It really doesn't get any better.

Except when the bill arrives. My electricity is supplied by PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric, for non-Left Coasties) so, of course, I don't heat with juice; I primarily use propane augmented with the wood stove. And yes, I can still burn real wood in my county, and let that horrible smoke curl up into the pristine atmosphere like the Neanderthal I am -- unlike some of you other oppressed people whose councils and supervisors have banned, banned I tell you, the burning of trees. Trees! Primitive! Aborigine! Philistine!

So here comes the propane truck to fill the tank on my property -- my, ahem, 500 gallon tank. Aha! Greedy white man, raper of wilderness, horrific consumer of energy! Get over it, Bub. I just don't like to run out of heat.

Used to be, years ago, when we cracked oil for gas the resulting propane was simply vented into the blue. Now it's darned near every bit the commodity that gasoline is. So this winter, says the Associated Press:

Winter heating bills will be a third to a half higher for most families across the country, with the sharpest increases expected for those who heat with natural gas, the Energy Department forecast Wednesday.

The department said natural gas users can expect to pay an average of $350 more during the upcoming winter compared to last year, an increase of 48 percent. Those who heat their homes with fuel oil will pay $378 more, or 32 percent higher than last winter.

Propane users can expect a percentage jump in their bills similar to those of fuel oil users. In its winter fuels outlooks report, DOE's Energy Information Administration assumed a normal winter and steady progress in restoring oil and natural gas production and refinery output from the damage inflicted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"Should colder weather prevail, expenditures will be significantly higher," the EIA said.

Once again, looks like my pregnant cat will have to go without shoes for a few months. I'll work some overtime, teach some extra classes, and then I'll get over it.

In the meantime -- wow. What a view from the living room!


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