August 3, 2008

I don't know WHY I have been so busy lately, but I find myself unable to get even half the things done that I need to get done!  What is the deal with that?

A friend sent me this.  Had to share...there's a lot of truth to it!

A Modern Parable

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (General Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River.   Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.
On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat.  A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.
Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages. TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US .  The last quarter's results:  TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.  Ford folks are still scratching their heads.


August 10, 2008

It's hard to believe, but it feels like fall is in the air.  A couple of days ago, it was over 100 degrees.  I was watering the lawn for the first time in 2 summers because our rain had finally stopped and it had gotten hot.  Yesterday, the rain started and the temperatures dropped with the water falling from the sky.  It rained HARD!  We had flash flood warnings (maybe still do...more rain is on the way).  The lawn is squishy again and it's actually cool outside.  It feels like fall instead of the end of summer.  And it makes me sad.  The gloomy sky gets me feels like it's sitting on my head and weighing on me.  The darkness depresses me.  I'm not ready for the end of summer.  Time is going to fast!


August 16, 2008

This has been the weirdest August.  It has been unseasonably cool...even down in the low 70's a lot of the time...and it's been rainy or cloudy for days on end.  Not making a good case for global warming here.  In fact, just the opposite.  August is supposed to be really hot.  We should still have 100 degree days.  The sun should be bright.  It's really rather disconcerting!

I've taken off a few Fridays to have repair people come to my house.  That is always SUCH a pleasure, don't you think?  Yet another thing that is disconcerting in my life as of late.  The first Friday I took off, I waited all day for the alarm repair people to show up.  They never did.  So they PROMISED I would be first on the list when I rescheduled.  They did show up the next Friday, but not until after lunch, which makes me wonder when they actually start their day since I was first on that list of theirs.  Took them about 10 minutes to relieve me of $110 dollars, which just added insult to injury, as the saying goes.  This past Friday, I got my washing machine fixed.  I was hoping to get an outside light repaired too, but that turned out to be a bit more expensive of a project than I had planned, so it will have to wait for another day.  After the plumber.  Yep, that toilet that broke back in March is feeling kind of loose at the floor.  Has me worried.  And since I know from previous experience that the water can't be shut off with the valve behind the toilet, I'm even more concerned than I would be otherwise.

The thing that is especially frustrating about all of this is that my house isn't that old...only about 5-1/2 years, in fact.  One of the reasons I wanted a new house is because I didn't want to have to deal with repair people all the time.  Unfortunately, those sub-contractors the builder uses didn't take much pride in their work.  It's a sad commentary on our world, the way I see it.  Or maybe this gloomy weather is just getting to me...I don't know.  A little bit of sunshine sure would be nice...


  August 17, 2008

Here are some pictures that will give you an idea of the kind of August we've had so far.  Today, we had a little sunshine.  But even on days when it hasn't rained, we've had a lot of cloudy, gloomy weather.  Like I said...weird!!!!

It isn't night in any of these pictures above.  But the dark clouds have really been rolling in and chasing away the sunshine.  We've had some really ugly storms!


August 24, 2008

I got my electric bill yesterday...ZOWIE!  It was $141.41!!!!!!  Maybe this doesn't seem like a lot to you, but I have 6" walls with extra R19 insulation...they provide an insulation value of R23 with the brick exterior.  The ceiling is rated R32.  I have kept my thermostat on 80 degrees ALL SUMMER.  So this bill is insanely high, considering.  I just don't get it...truly I don't.