Archive for August, 2010

Small Town

August 31, 2010

My daughter, Erin, is playing soccer this year in an instructional league.  She’s having fun, and expending some of that boundless energy of youth.  What I like about this league is that it’s been around for many years; in fact, I played soccer in this league twenty eight or so years ago.  That seems like a long time, but it’s something that gives me a little sense of place and history as a person.  This is where I grew up and learned and now I am passing some of that to the next generation.

Another thing that it brings up is the comfort level I have with things that are familiar, and the familiarity I enjoy with so many of the things around me.  I live in the same town I grew up in.  My kids will go to the same middle and high schools that I attended.  I never think of my house as particularly old, but it was built in 1954, the same time and in much the same design as the house my parents have owned for forty years.  I used to hang out in the same bar in which my parents met as twenty-somethings.  The beach, the playgrounds, the town hall, the stores, all part of my past and my future as well.

This is not to say that I haven’t explored the area a little.  I’ve been in the city more in the last two years than I probably was from 1990 until 2008.  My friends are a little more spread out, and I don’t get lost anywhere north of Blasdell. I never moved away, I never moved back, I don’t have the frame of reference that some people have who have lived in a huge city or a hundred miles from nowhere.  Some people would say that my lack of experience with other areas, other paces and styles of life, is why I love Western New York so much.  Somehow, I don’t think so.  I like seasons, lakes, twenty minutes to everywhere, and running into someone I know all the time.  Maybe I’m missing out on somewhere else, but I don’t think so.  Right here seems just fine with me.  Sure there’s parts that I don’t like: politics, taxes, sparse job market.  But I think I’d rather take my chances with that, than start fresh somewhere else.  That’s my opinion, and that’s all it is…

Hot Air

August 11, 2010

It looks like I made the paper again; this time, in an article about electric costs and air conditioning.  It’s been interesting to look at my usage this summer, especially once I saw that my bill went up something like 59% from July to August.  Also interesting, and something I plan to take more advantage of, is that the utility companies have a lot of information on your usage that you can actually download into a spreadsheet and analyze at your convenience.  I plan to do this more, especially with the electric and natural gas bills.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to go about this, or if there’s any software out there to help track this stuff, let me know.  hopefully some analysis and conservation will save me some cash for more fun things…like mortgage payments!

So