Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Living in 2022?


…and feeling like a Pioneer!

Okay, I am exaggerating. When our well pump “crapped out” on us a couple of days ago, well, it has truly been an experience!

Last week I had a problem with our electric account, and I wanted our meter checked. Unknown beforehand (to me), that meant that a tech had to come out and replace the existing one. While he was here, I talked with him, and he was helpful enough to make some suggestions about what energy we use; he mentioned items that use more than the standard household appliances.

One of the things he mentioned was to have our well pump and septic checked periodically. I looked at him like he had just landed from out-of-space! Until three and a half years ago, we had always lived in places with municipal water supplies and municipal sewage. His response to me was “Well, you’re a country girl now.”

We are connected to a power supply company, obviously we are NOT living “off the grid.” I was told a while ago, by one of my neighbors, to have the septic serviced/emptied periodically, so that was not particularly surprising. I also knew that because we have our own well and the water is conveniently pumped into our home, that if the power went out, so would our water supply. But…

Anyway, my husband quickly called our favorite plumber (this scope of plumbing is one of the few household maintenance projects he would not think of tackling). The plumber came by and told us that the pump was “on its way out” and needed replacing. The repair was scheduled for five days later. Since I already knew about losing water during a power failure, I had prepped a few gallons of water to keep under each sink (we purchase spring water for drinking, our stomachs do not do well with the high mineral count; neither does the cats).

We were not doing anything to tax the system over the weekend… and then WE HAD A POWER FAILURE that affected our area! We have a gas-powered generator, but we figured we would give it a while before revving it up, eventually we had to and used only the absolute necessary appliances (like our freezer and refrigerator). Several hours later the power came back on, and hubs flipped the electrical panel switches to ON; then the power went out again a few hours later. This time though I barely had time to do more than turn on our battery-operated lantern when again the power came on.

But we had a SURPRISE! The well pump NO LONGER WORKED! So, we have NO WATER coming into our home. The stored water is being used sparingly, and, as I said before, we have a supply of spring water for drinking and cooking. As luck worked out, we already had the plumber here and he ordered the part so hopefully, by the time you are reading this, we will be catching up on laundry and dishes (our dishwasher is filling rapidly). I am looking so forward to a hot shower instead of managing with sponge baths from our precious stored water.

A lot of serious preppers would be laughing at us now at how inept we feel without the convenience of tap water. This “Now-Country-Girl” is coping the best she can.

So, folks, even in 2022…




* a quick update... We have a NEW Well Pump!!!!!  Total heaven!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

An Inhuman World…


My goodness, this automated world is truly unbelievable!

Everything is automated in some form or other… and what is not yet seems to be headed in that direction. From do-it-yourself checkouts to RECORDED customer service assistance! Hey, if I knew what help I needed, I would not be calling customer service!!!!!

I just spent 20-minutes on the phone with my utility company’s automated response system pushing buttons to make selections to try and get some answers about my bill. Some of the questions far into it did accept YES or NO answers. The next message said that if I wanted to wait to speak to a LIVE (maybe?????) customer service rep to press one if I wanted a call back (in 1.5 to 3 hours!) or two if I wanted to wait on the phone (for 1.5 to 3 hours!) … and then the message said, “if you have a rotary phone, please stay on the line and a customer service representative will help you”.

So, yes, I do have a touchtone, which is obviously how I even got to the point I did, but I decided not to push any buttons HOPING for a human voice. Less than 15-seconds later I got the same automated message about pushing one or two! If you wanted a call back, you were told to leave your call back number after the beep. I finally pushed 1 AND I WAS DISCONNECTED! (I did have hope that MAYBE they would use caller ID to get back to me, so here it is 4-hours later and after their business hours and still no response).

I did send an email through their website’s “contact form” – I wonder how many computers it will take to decipher my request?

The other day the hubs and I took a drive to meet up with family at a restaurant and we had a toll bridge to cross. We do have EZ-Pass so, really, no worries there. But as we are nearing the entrance to the bridge, where toll booths once sat, was a big sign reassuring motorists that “If you don’t have EZ-Pass we will just bill you”. NO PEOPLE, just scanners (for the EZ-Pass) and overhead cameras to read your license plates! Aside from the fact that this system has effectively done away with jobs that some once depended on, the thought that your movements are being tracked is a bit upsetting.

Yes, I do have an ALEXA on my desk, which I use to set reminders… and it is very convenient when those reminders pop up on my cell phone or ALEXA’s voice tells me “In person” when I am sitting here. But I will NEVER, EVER put her in my bedroom because SHE LISTENS! And I have found out that she actually “cooperates” with other AI systems. And in ALEXA’s own words, she “is rather partial to all AI systems”. By the way, I also write the reminders on my paper desk calendar!

What a world we are living in where robotic devices are controlling our moves, recording our lives, and replacing human beings who not only did their jobs and got paid for it, but also found time to say a kind word here and there! Just watch any Sci-Fi movie with a plot where there is no more power, or where robots have taken over and it is scary to realize JUST HOW SCREWED WE ALL WOULD BE!

Okay, I have to go now… ALEXA just told me it was time to go fix dinner.