I feel like Winter is saying, “To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee”
Herman Melville, btw
Some commentators wrote that they wouldn't save any energy because they heat their house with electric and so the waste heat from incandescent bulbs saves their furnace from working that little extra-bit. I think they are absolutely correct, but very few homes are heated that way because electricity is much more expensive than gas or oil on a btu basis. Electric heaters cost a lot less to install than furnaces and the associated plumbing or duct-work, so even though inefficient, plenty were built. In fact, our house in Vermont originally had a wood stove and electric heat as a back-up. The owners before us must have found the effort to heat with wood tiresome and the cost of electricity burdensome, because they installed an oil furnace. In the four years we were there, we heated almost totally with wood.
Getting to the point: Lots of houses and most new construction are made to heat with natural gas, as is our current home. We also cook with a gas stove. In the winter, any heat given off by the cooking stove will save the gas furnace that amount. So in the Winter cooking is for free. The summer is another matter: Got to pay for the gas to cook with and then pay again for the electric energy to pump that heat outside.
In Vermont, we used the inverse calculation: If the wood stove was running, we would use it for cooking and save some electricity.
The paramedics were probably on the way to a house where an old lady fell-down and couldn't get up, but to an 11 year old girl the world if filled only with other 11 year old girls. I think.
The cause of this "lock-down" you ask? Ah, someone found an EMPTY firearm cartridge in the hallway. Now I suppose it could be harmful if a student happened to have: A bullet, powder, a primer, a reloading press, the correct reloading dies, and oh yes--a gun!
Okay, I know; I am being a little playful here. When you fire any kind of automatic weapon, it spits-out the used shell. So, if you see a shell on the floor, maybe there has been gun-play. Of course when guns go off, they often make a certain very loud noise, technically called a bang!
Maybe there was someone there with a gun, and he dropped the empty. Yes, that is very reasonable. I know that if I want to go to the range and do some shooting, I am sure to bring lots of empty shells along.
This is way out there, but just stick with me on this. Maybe some kid picked-up an empty shell from home, or found it on the ground and brought it in to show around or just forgot that it was in his pocket? I know this seems very unlikely. It probably really was the night time janitors doing target practice in the hallways and they forgot to pick-up one of the shells and who knows? Maybe they left their rifles laying around too. Or a gunman came to the school to shoot-up the place, but somehow just brought empty shells with him.
I would be willing to bet it was a parade shell: In our 4th of July parade there are always troops (mostly re-enacters) who fire volleys and kids pick-up the empty brass blanks left in the street. I know Dahlia did this and then her sisters weren't happy till they found shells too. You can tell these shells from regular ones because the blanks are crimped at the top. This keeps the powder from spilling out, since there is no bullet to block the end.
UPDATE: My daughter is home now and added this detail: They had to gather together in one corner of the classroom for around an hour. So the school blew some 600 student-hours of learning, all for no reason.
UPDATE 2: Coincidence edition: Dahlia, who goes to the grade school, came home from school and presented me with a rock that she thinks looks like a bullet...
1. Keep tabs on Meenah
2. Go for a long run
3. Roast some coffee
Quite frankly, I will be happy if I accomplish task 1.
A cute little hand-full...
UPDATE; Coffee roasted. Kenyan AA and Mexican Turquesa, had the African coffee with breakfast. Meenah, still alive...developing.
UPDATE 2: Got in a long run. Un-timed due to not being able to find running watch--probably left it at work. Good that it was un-timed since I had no enthusiasm today and was very slow.
Vast experience has shown this to be true. Today I learned a corollary to that bit of truth: Oldish potatoes might still explode if poked in the normal way.
Today I baked 5 potatoes and they were fine, no sprouts or anything like that. They were a little old though and had that slightly dessicated, shrunken look and feel to them. I poked each of them 4 times with a fork and baked at 375F for an hour. At the end of the hour, two had burst so I got out a knife to poke the other three. The first one I poked blew-up real good. The other two I was more gentle with and they gasped out a puff of steam, but held.
Next time: Good deep piercings with a knife before baking. Now to clean the oven.
A favorite blogger posted some provocative pictures which inspired me to write an (uninspiring) Haiku.
Gone to tilted green
by a crooked shadow-path
Or the straight sidewalk
A lot of her commenters are very clever and I was hoping to get the ball rolling poetry-wise. It didn't work, the comments section found its own path...
In the last week or so I have been complaining that Spring doesn't seem to want to come here to New England. Well, yesterday I saw the first sprout of Spring.
This is the rhubarb coming back to life.