Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm not built for cold!!!

The cold is arriving. The weather people say today is the beginning of a very cold stretch in our area. Temperatures today won’t approach the magic 32 degree mark in the daylight hours. But they’ll start out near it. When I got up an hour ago, the temperature on my weather station was 29 degrees. The weather guy on TV said the weather really was close to that. He did promise, however, that the cold air was already arriving and the 34 or so recorded shortly after midnight would be the day’s high.

Now, an hour later, my station has already dropped to 24, five degrees in an hour, and still dropping rapidly. The wind chill here is bouncing around 8 degrees. At least we don’t have any snow out there to shovel or otherwise move. A storm earlier predicted for tomorrow in our area has now become rather iffy as the front causing it will move out to sea well below Maine.

But the temperatures tomorrow and especially Friday will be brutal. I’m not looking forward to them.

The station, which has its sensors on the roof, continues to drop. The wind chill fluctuates, but it continues to get colder with the incoming wind and cold front. This is not going to be a nice three or four days.

I sort of feel sorry for a work crew due here this morning to replace a couple of garage door openers. It’ll be very cold out in the garage. Our garage has two doors. The opener that runs Gator Wife’s door is in real bad shape. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t.

We’ve replaced the battery in the transmitter but that didn’t change anything. Probably the receiver could use a little TLC, but we think the unit also has a short circuit in it as it will blow out replaced light bulbs within an hour. Is it worth repair? It’s probably in the neighborhood 20 to 25 years old.

The device on my door isn’t quite so bad, but it does like to occasionally stop about two feet off the floor. That probably means there’s something in the track, but I haven’t been able to find it. It’s the twin of the other one, so both are being replaced at the same time.

The last time I had to replace a door opener was in our previous home. I performed that operation myself and would like to be able to do it this time, too. But age and some certain conditions cause me to hire out an expert. It’ll be worth it.

Because of my age, a couple years ago I had to make a choice between taking all my IRA money , schedule disbursements, or at the very least, minimum annual withdrawals. I chose the latter. My IRA was the type that was pre-tax. In other words, the income tax was deferred until I collected.

I got a letter this week reminding me that because of the stock market situation, we disbursement collectors could skip this year with no penalty. It’s a minor quandary. Do I accept the money this year and pay the taxes or do I cancel disbursement this year and save the taxes? Either way, the government will eventually get what it says is its portion.

If I defer, it will reduce my income by a few pennies. It’s a fascinating situation. If I take the deferment, will the market recover enough to rebuild all that I’ve lost? Certainly not in one year, and my “one” years are numbered. Interesting, isn’t it? Of course if I defer, whatever money is left won’t be lost as it will go to Gator Wife. I love making my mind have to do some work.

I wonder if people honestly believe that change is always a good thing. I believe that change just for change sake is a lousy idea. I really don’t know if the sports web site ESPN really thought it had a good idea or not, but I do know I think the change was a huge step backward.

Until the very recent change took place, I spent many minutes on that web site getting caught up on sports news. They had news of virtually every sport easily available. And the first page was chock full of interesting sports news. Now there appears to this eye that fullness has disappeared. What I used to easily spend up to a half hour or more being informed takes only a couple minutes now. Too bad. Their advertisers don’t get me long enough to hawk their wares anymore.

I just glanced at my weather station again and it’s now in the 22 degree range with the tenths of degrees dropping with every cycle. The wind chill has dropped into the 7’s. This isn’t going to be a nice day.


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