Once upon a time…

I lived in a location with excellent utilities.  Now…. not so much.  Did I move?  Nope.   The utility companies just keep increasing and increasing their rates, while the service they provide declines at a rapidly alarming rate.

For years when I was a kid and young adult, the electricity might go out up here…. 2 times a year or so.  Now it’s typically 2 or 3 times a month, or more.  It was so bad awhile back that my husband joked that he felt like he was back in Iraq where they ration out electricity for certain hours of the day.

It didn’t used to be this way.  AEP (American Electric Power) used to maintain the lines.  Now they don’t.  So every time the wind blows or a tiny storm rolls through, stuff falls on the lines and takes out the power. The company has openly admitted that they don’t maintain the lines anymore like they used to – preferring to deal with outages as they occur instead of investing the money on keeping them safely clear.  The problem with this is that then when we have a real storm – like last winter – we end up with massive outages, and massive needs for repair.  Creating a situation where the local crews cannot handle all of the work and they have to bring in out of state workers – which costs a bundle.  Then they use each of these occurances as an excuse to apply to the Public Service Commission for another rate increase.  Dragging in BIG profits, and whining about how they spent all this money on big storm XYZ, and now they need another great big rate increase.  Yet, if they had simply done their job (the way they used to) maintaining line clearance, there wouldn’t have been nearly as much damage that needed fixed.   And of course the Public Service Commission approves the rate increase.  It screams of a scam to me.  And I don’t know who the Public Service Commission is working for – but I’m fairly certain it isn’t “the public”.

For someone with breathing issues like me, a power outage can be life threatening.  So it is a lot more serious than a simple inconvenience.

Anyway…. so far the power has only flickered during the storms we are having today.  But lots of friends above & below us are out.  And our phone is all messed up again.  (Third time this week.)  The phone service has been horrible for the past 2 years.  Verizon was trying to get out of providing land line service here (working on getting a deal approved for Frontier to take over – which they have now done).  So they were (in my opinion) doing the bare minimum in terms of repairs.  Which means the phone goes out – a lot.  A new development this month, is that it rings when it rains.

The rings are either super short or really long, and there is never a caller on the other end.  Then the phone goes out all together.  The last time this happened a large percentage of us up here ended up without any phone service at all.  So I suspect that is what is about to happen again.

What is amusing about this, is our 11 month old who is just toddling about is both fascinated and confused by the frequent, oddly ringing phone with no real call coming through.

She keeps toddling over in the direction of the phone saying, “I get it!  I get it!”

Which comes out more like, “I gettit!  I gettit!”   LOL

It is particularly amusing when combined with her awkward toddling, and the fact that when she reaches out – she looses her balance and plops down on her diapered butt.

Let’s just say the way things are going I think there are a lot more, “I gettits” in our future.    LOL

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