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We’re Getting Closer to the Kindle Fire Giveaway, Reader(s)!

February 19, 2014

Just kidding about the (s). I know there’s only one of you out there. HI MOM!


This morning on my back porch, there was a bill for heating oil indicating that oil had been delivered at 9:00 AM. This was suspicious for three reasons: first, I was home at 9:00 AM and didn’t hear the oil truck; second, I got an oil delivery at the beginning of December and while getting another delivery ten weeks later isn’t that unusual, this one was because third, the delivery was for 220 gallons, which is about 50 gallons more than I usually get and more pertinently is going to cost me $1020 dollars, less the $8 dollar discount I get for paying within ten days because the oil company is a real sport. Oh, and fourth, I usually keep the thermostat at 66 degrees, although I will sometimes turn it up to 68 degrees, if I’m feeling particularly reckless. And frankly, I don’t think I should ever have a heating bill that’s more than $1000 if I’m keeping my winter body temperature at 66 degrees. Possibly I don’t understand how body temperature works. But never mind that part.

I stared at the bill for a full fifteen minutes, coming up with several displeasing possibilities, all of them dependent on the the oil delivery man being an idiot. I went outside, opened up the oil tank, determined that it was indeed completely full, said hello to my neighbor, Nearly Naked Man, who was in his backyard being less naked than usual but still more naked than I would prefer, and then went back into my house to stare at the bill some more. After that, I considered that perhaps this has been a colder than normal winter, and I tried to find out whether that was in fact the case, but the internet was unhelpful in that regard, so now I feel like I’m paying too much for internet as well. Since the oil company bases its delivery schedule on a complex algorithm involving average daily temperature, the customer’s typical oil usage, and whether they feel like coming out to your house that day, I briefly considered calling them up and asking what the deal was, but then realized the only outcome that I would find satisfactory would have been if the person on the other end of the phone said, “oh, we’ve obviously made a terrible mistake, and I will immediately credit $1020 to your account.” Weighing the likelihood that it would happen that way, I instead just paid the bill and then watched YouTube videos of birds taking baths until I felt better about things.


In a related vein, we’re getting further away from the Kindle Fire Giveaway. Sorry, mom! I’ll bring you some magazines from the office!


I would ask if everyone is enjoying the Olympics but NBC’s terrible coverage has made that impossible. This guy sums it up pretty well:

I’ve watched very little this year, mainly because I’m only interested in short track speed skating, which NBC has decided to show once a week in ten-minute segments once every hour over four hours, but only the races that they feel like showing, and they don’t feel like showing any of the heats, many of the semifinals, or any of the B-finals. Nonetheless, you might get to see one of those races, if Bob Costas’s pinkeye is flaring up hard that day and they have time to fill, but you shouldn’t count on it.

I watched a little of the figure skating, which used to be one of favorite winter Olympic sports, but all of the emphasis on doing quad jumps has really ruined it for me even though, historically, I have enjoyed watching people fall down. Additionally, the dramatic faces seem extra dramatic this year, to the point where I can’t even look at some of these people. It’s like being at a Clay Aiken concert. Fortunately, N linked to this today, which made the few minutes I did watch worthwhile.

I also watched the opening ceremonies. If you missed it, allow me to recap: mostly functioning light show, the complete history of Russia minus the atrocities (estimated running time: 8 minutes), dancing jellyfish, Parade of Nations accompanied by the Oprah Winfrey Dance Troupe, and finally the lighting of the torch, the controversy over which notwithstanding, was still boring to me because I was really hoping that the torch would be lit by a shirtless Putin being shot out of a cannon directly into the Olympic cauldron. Sadly, that didn’t happen, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll take his shirt off and wrestle a moose at the closing ceremonies.


My furnace just came on, so I’m going to go sit in front of the heat register now and weep bitter tears.

  1. February 19, 2014 7:28 PM

    Gat DAYUM, that’s some expensive heat you got there. For $1020, I’d expect to be sweating profusely at all times.

    I typically use about 400 gallons a year, so having half of that delivered at one time was kind of suspicious, but being a saver of all paperwork, I went back through my last few years of bills and it turns out this isn’t unprecedented. I mostly just like to assume the worst of anyone who wants me to give them money, and then complain about it on my blog where it’s most ineffectual.

  2. February 19, 2014 8:38 PM

    Isn’t that what a blog is for? Hmmm, I must be doing it wrong.

    As long as you don’t have an audio sidebar widget entitled, “THIS IS MY JAM,” that automatically plays crappy alt rock when I click on your blog, then you’re doing it right.

  3. February 20, 2014 5:52 PM

    Gee, my family traded our oil-burning furnace for natural gas in the 1960’s and it paid for itself in one year. Between your furnace and your ineffectual use of garbage disposals, I’m thinking you are stuck in the wrong century.

    One of my hobbies is whining about how I want to live in the country. Until this year, when I realized I would have been snowbound and held financial hostage by the suspicious shortage of liquid propane.

    This is the first year I can remember so much Olympic coverage of the cross country skiing events. Huzzah!

    I don’t know what natural gas prices are like where you are, but here, there’s not a huge difference in the cost of running a gas vs. oil furnace. Also, I wouldn’t say my use of garbage disposals is ineffective, so much as it is non-existent due to the fact that garbage disposals are disgusting.

    It does seem like there’s more skiing this year than usual. There also seem to to be a more figure skating events, although possibly there are the same number of events and just more people making strange faces.

  4. February 21, 2014 5:56 AM

    That was great. I watched the figure skating live on my iPad using NBC’s mobile app; I enjoyed that. But like you, I haven’t particularly enjoyed the prime time coverage. Plus it’s all tape-delayed and when you can live-stream events on the Internet, it’s a letdown to watch it on tape, half a day after it all occurred in real life. And you already know the outcome. Although I suppose it’s hard to fire up live events on the Internet for those who work in a cubicle…that wouldn’t look very dedicated, would it?

    Yes, the coverage is so splintered now, I think partly because a lot of it is online, but also because NBC shows different events on their different networks. The last time there was decent prime-time coverage was Torino and that was … 2006? I also really miss seeing the medal ceremonies, and that commercial with clips of athletes biting their medals interspersed with regular people biting into Chicken McNuggets only makes it worse.

  5. Marius permalink
    February 26, 2014 5:44 PM

    I’m afraid I don’t have anything clever or witty to say as I know nothing of heating oil or the Olympics. But I wanted you to know I’m here…admittedly terribly late (as I’m about to explain on my blog, assuming I can get all the dust out of The Corner). Meerkat!

    You know, as I was writing this I actually thought about how you know nothing about heating oil and how that makes me feel a DEEP ABIDING ENVY. I am consoling my non-tropical climate dwelling self with the fact that at least our bugs are mostly crawlers rather than flyers. It’s not much, but I do what I can.

  6. Marius permalink
    February 27, 2014 10:33 AM

    True, you don’t have to contend with prehistoric monsters on a daily basis. :-)

    Well, except for Marco Rubio. He’s more of a national problem these days.

  7. February 27, 2014 12:49 PM

    I watched the women’s bobsledding event, for the first time ever. My cousin is an increasingly bigwig sports agent, and one of the bobsledders is her client. Her team won a bronze medal. It was kind of vicariously exciting for me. And now I know more about bobsledding than I really need to.

    I wonder if I would know the difference between bobsledding, luge, and skeleton. Probably not. If whichever network gets the broadcast rights after NBC does a good enough job that I’d be inclined to watch more, I’ll probably have to write a little chart on my hand.

    “What event is this?”
    [sees 1 person, face up, feet first; consults chart] “Luge!”

  8. March 1, 2014 10:30 AM

    When the Olympics approached, I went online to find a message about verifying my account. I dutifully entered my provider account number, but it would not work. I contacted my internet provider, who told me that I couldn’t watch TV online unless I had cable TV. “If I had cable TV, I wouldn’t want to watch it online,” I said. Right? I don’t understand anything. Get off my lawn.

    I don’t get it either, but I think this is the direction streaming TV is headed now. I’ll only watch something online if I missed it when it aired, but the last time I tried an ABC show, I got a screen asking me who my cable provider was with no option for “Antenna TV, Like An Animal.” Fortunately, some copyright violator put the whole thing on YouTube so I didn’t have to read a book or go for a walk or anything.

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