Friday, July 17, 2015

4071 Central Hudson is ripping me off

July 17, 2015

"The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly', meaning 'many',
and the word 'ticks', meaning 'blood sucking parasites'."
--Larry Hardiman:--


I had one of those incredibly frustrating phone calls today.

The electric company at the country house (Central Hudson) has me on a "budget plan", you know, one of those deals where you pay a set amount every month based on your past and projected usage.  The budget amount is refigured in July every year. 

Their bill is a mystery, not the least bit intuitive.  See if you can figure out what any of this means:
Budget installment for June .......................  $164.00
Total charges to date...................................  $632.26
Total installments billed to date..................  $1,808.97 
Total payments to date................................  -$1,647.92
Account balance.........................................  -$1,015.66
Total amount due now................................  $164.00
Late charges added after July 14, 2015

Pay particular attention to the negative numbers up there.  Those are credits to my account.  

I have used $632.26 worth of electricity since July of last year, for which they have billed me $1,808.97, I have paid $1,647.92, and I have a credit in my account of $1,015.66.   (Even those numbers I don't understand, since at the end of the budget cycle last year I had about $750 credit, which was then used to make the first few payments of this budget cycle, and I don't know how that fits into those figures up there.)

Now, they want me to pay the $164.00 for June, EVEN THOUGH I have a credit of $1,015.66.

So I called.   

Well, according to Central Hudson, I have to pay the budget amount every month because that's the way the budget system works.  No, they can't take it from the credit this cycle.  They can use it when the next cycle begins.  Oh, and by the way, I will owe a late charge for this month since it's past the payment date.

LATE CHARGE????!!!!  When I have a credit over a thousand dollars????  On which, may I point out, you are keeping, earning interest on, and not paying ME interest????!!!!  And the budget amount is ridiculous anyway.  The electric usage at that house hasn't changed significantly in at least two years, so I don't know what you based the budget amount on.  Last year I ended up with a huge credit, too, which I repeat, you did't pay me interest for.

So, later this month, when the "invitation" to go on another budget plan arrives, I will call and ask to be taken off budget.  I want to pay for my actual usage.  (Um, no, I can't go off the budget plan now, I have to wait for this cycle to end.)  Lord, save me from bureaucrats!

That "actual usage" is another sore point.

They read the meter every two months, so every other bill has a chart with bars showing usage.  A white bar indicates an estimated (not actual) reading, and a black bar shows an actual reading, and it covers a year, and includes a comparison to the previous year.  I call BS on that "actual reading" crap!    The meter reader has to go around the garage and down the side of the house to get to the meter.  There was snow there all winter, and there were NO footprints in the snow.  None.  I had asked the Hairless Hunk to check, and he said nope.  But the bill shows actual for every one of the readings.

Second point of BS, the fluctuations in readings - down in the winter, and way up in the summer, exactly as if A/C were in play.  But until two weeks ago, that house did not have A/C.  With 4 nightlights and a refrigerator which is not being opened being the only things running when I'm not there, that's simply not believable.  Even when I am there, there's one light on at a time (I don't leave lights on when I'm not using them), the furnace fan, the TV, and my notebook, minimal use of the microwave, and the refrigerator opened maybe four times a day.  Some increase is expected, but the major boost in usage between winter and summer just isn't believable.  I do not believe they're really reading my meter.  Not as often as they claim, anyway.

Just another reason to go off budget and start paying as I use.
And start reading the meter myself to check their numbers.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

4070 Hairy legs!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

"At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice
and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity: idealism, dogmatism
and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political ideas."
--Aldous Huxley--


I hadn't noticed how much Jasper rubs against my legs.

I've been wearing "travel knit" pants almost constantly for many years now.  They are kind of like spandex, but loose and drapey, and very comfortable.  And they don't hold cat fur.  Or much of anything, for that matter.  

The past few days I've been wearing leggings (with long, loose tunics or caftan-like tops).  The leggings have a matte finish.

This afternoon as I was heading out the door to go to the store, I happened to glance in the mirror and was shocked to find that my supposed-to-be black legs were gray from mid-calf down!

They were LOADED with fur.

Since then, I've been conscious of Jasper loving me.  When I walk, he walks right next to me, leaning into the side of my leg.  When I stop, he coils around the front of my legs, then around the back, then the front, and so on until I start moving again.  If I've been out, when I come back in the door, he rubs against front and back, and I've unconsciously developed the habit of standing still just inside the door until he's finished, before moving down the hall, with him leaning against my side.

I never really noticed, because he never impedes my steps. He's never in front of my step. He's very gentle and subtle about it.


He's very good about stairs, though.  He gives me a good rub before I start up and then he's beside me but not rubbing me as we go up (although he always meows at me as we go up).  Going down, he again gives a good rub before I start down (I've learned to pause before the first step), and then he runs several steps ahead of me to the bottom.  

I wonder if he's "marking" me as his, or attempting to guide me, or guard me, or petting himself. 

What's really weird is that he doesn't shed much anywhere but against my legs. 

(And no, he hates being combed or brushed.)  I'm going to have to start brushing me.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

4069 Bloody attack by a dragon!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; 
it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."
--Sidney J. Harris--


I am trying to be very careful about caring for my 1.5 kidneys, drinking lots of water, watching carbs and protein, and avoiding excesses of minerals.

This morning, as usual, when I got up I went straight to the bathroom to piddle.

I was horrified to find the toilet full of blood!  Scared me half to death!

Then I remembered that the evening before I had eaten a half a dragon fruit, the red kind.  I went straight downstairs and looked it up on the internet.  Yeah, it's known to color your urine.

So, maybe the red was a good thing.  Maybe it shows my kidneys are doing their job.


That was my first dragon fruit.  I'd heard people rave about them.  I dunno, maybe I got a stale one or something, 'cause it didn't taste like anything, very blah.  Less flavorful even than watermelon.  I ate only half because they have a lot of calcium and potassium, which I need to be careful of, so the other half is still sitting in the refrigerator.  

Ever try dragon fruit?  Did I get a flavorless one?  Or is this blahness a usual taste reaction?