Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ugly Part I

Why do we put up with an ugly sky like in the photo above? How did it happen that we evolved or devolved to the point where can pass under this sort of shit every day and not even see it and worse yet not be totally outraged by it?

I can’t tell you how many times a year my power goes out because of trees knocking down the power lines during a wind storm. So the power company sends out a crew of five or ten workers, who replace the lines and utility poles. It usually takes a couple hours. The last storm it took a crew of 10 over 14 hours. This happens a couple times a year. How much would it cost and how much could they save by running the lines underground? Our phone lines run underground, and we always have phone service.

Above ground utilities are ugly and dangerous. And if you think I’m pissed about this bit of ugliness, wait until you see tomorrows post.


Blogger Sharon said...

I thought I was the only one that this really, really bothered.

I used to live in a neighborhood that had underground utilities. We went through ice storms, tornadoes and all sorts of weather and never had power outages. When I bought my first home, that was one of the deal breakers. Utilities had to be buried.

Then I moved to the country and I have to look at ugly power lines and utility poles in the middle of flower beds now.

Sometimes, I think it would be really nice to just go outside and commune with the sky, but then when I do I see this kind of crap and it makes me sad that we've come to accept this as normal.

It's really detrimental to the soul. I think the absence of power lines and man's touch is why the desert appeals to me so. It's so peaceful.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

God, me too...I thought I was alone. K won't let me forget that I passed on buying some land several years ago because of the power lines that ran through it. She just doesn't get it.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

How far does your (evil) influence extend? I was reading your post and our power went off. Weird.
I'm afraid to read tomorrow's post.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Since I've started using a digital camera and taking so many pictures, I've really noticed this also. I'm out in the boonies, and it's hard to find an uncluttered view even on a gravel road, on horseback.

Then you have your vapor trails all over the sky, left by jet planes.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

When I saw the "tunaskank" comment on Melanies page I knew I had to come over here.

Glad I did.

My sister lives in Orange County and it's illegal to have any wires showing anywhere. ALL of them have to be buried. Also, no billboards, etc. So nice.

8:54 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Jenny, Tunaskank was coined by Mel. She was once defending the honor of another blogger and called someone a tunaskank. Melinor is a very crafty word smith.

And for the rest of everyone's comments, if you've ever seen the movie about R. Crumb, he talks about this and has an illustration of a home in the country that gets its surroundings developed over the years. There is so much blight out there and it is accepted as progress.

Crumb actually photographs utility poles before drawing those scenes because his imagination, he says, is pale compared to reality.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

You sound just like my hub...he's been complaining about this very thing for as long as I've known him.

11:15 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Trish, are you sayin he and I should get togethere for a session of Kumbiaya ; )

11:46 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

The cost of burying the lines is 5-15 times as much as putting them overhead. Maintenance is also more expensive. Underground lines are prone to flood damage. Outages with underground lines are harder to diagnose and repair, so what would be a brief outage with overhead lines could be several times as long with buried lines (days, rather than hours).

We have overhead lines in my neighborhood and the slightly newer neighborhood behind us has buried lines. Whenever we have a brief power outage the neighborhood behind us is out for longer. We can hear their generators running, which many of them purchased due to the lengthy outages. In the aftermath of a major storm where millions lost power in the state our power was out for about 8 hours. The neighborhood behind us had no power for 3 or 4 days.

Yes, overhead lines are ugly, but unless you want higher bills you'll probably have to deal with it. I imagine the cost of retrofitting from overhead to underground would be even more costly than an initial install underground.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Moosehead said...

Or perhaps some transcendental drumming?? Kumbiaya...that was pretty nasty Guy.

3:08 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Iron Moose, I wasn't being snotty. Didn't you see my smile wink character at the end of my statement?

Rich, I'm sure you're right. Tesla had a way of delivering electricity through the air, the only problem was there was no way to meter it.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Moosehead said...

Okay - all I get is a semi colon and a bracket at the end of the sentence. I must be blogger challenged - or maybe semi colon, bracket is blogger for smile wink.Really, I didn't think you were being snotty - just maybe trying to toughen up Trish.

4:13 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I'm not worried about Trish. She strikes me as someone who could be handy with a knife. It's her sister CyberBoo7 who needs some thick skin. But lets be kind, she's having a hard week, even though she's not telling anyone.

Love ya Boo!

4:43 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

Speaking of Telsa:
Not too long ago I toured the Ford Museum in Michigen and they had one of the first electric metering devices on display.
Outside of your house, there was a box that your incoming electricity flowed through.
The box was full of an acidic liquid.
Every month, the meter reader opened the box, pulled an ingot out of the box and weighted it.
Then he would replace the ingot, sprinkle in some zinc dust, and charge you relitive to the amount of weight gained.
The more juice that you used, the more the ingot would become zinc plated proportionatly.
It worked, but you want to talk about a lame way of doing things??!!!!!!

5:43 PM  
Blogger Boo7 said...

Hey I saw that....sheeeeeeesh don't leave a comment for a day or two and look what happens....peeps talking 'bout me...trying to toughen me up all over da place!!! But, couldn't come from a nicer Guy...:) **wink**

8:18 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

I guess going solar and getting off the grid is pretty much out around our neck of the woods...

11:32 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

It is getting better as technology advances. I started small last year just with a solar electric fence, but the pannel was too small to do the job. It might have worked in Texas. This year I will expand and I'm considering solar hot water.

6:07 AM  

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