Archive for the 'oil' Category

Preferring the flaw

October 9, 2012

We got an oil delivery today.  The truck pulled up as I was pulling out of the driveway — it took me a minute to realize he was waiting for me to leave the driveway so he could pull up and park blocking it.

When I got back a few hours later, the card was in the mailbox and I was not surprised by the price per gallon ($3.99) but I was pleasantly surprised by how few gallons the tank took — the first delivery in the fall is usually bigger, is my recollection.  We have tankless hot water that runs off the furnace, so we do use oil all year long, but obviously not very much during the summer months.  I think we must have gotten a delivery later into the spring than many other years, but still, I figured I should check the tank gauge just to make sure the tank got filled.

I was putting away the documents I had needed that morning and doing other stuff, so I was a little distracted.  When I started heading for the basement door to go down to check the oil tank, I heard a nudge to go back and grab my eyeglasses so I would be able to read the gauge — I can’t get very close to it and I have to climb up on a chair and lean at a funny angle, so distance glasses eliminate as least some of the difficulty reading the gauge.

Part of me reacted with a sense that I actually would have preferred to go down, clamber up on the chair, open the little door, peer in, and then realize I needed my glasses, and run back upstairs to get them.  I would have preferred the inefficiency and feeling that being distracted was okay and that it didn’t really matter if I had to go back upstairs and then return to try again.

I don’t usually feel that way, I usually want more efficiency because I usually have too many small tasks to do (I prefer one big intensive one, but that’s not how my life has worked out).  But somehow, forgetting the glasses would have been a warmer and more comfortable experience, I would have liked it better, at least for today.

But I did enjoy the contrast and feeling that preference for the flawed version of events and for my own flaws as a human being.  I don’t think I’ve ever really felt that affection for the flawedness of humanness before.

Degree days

November 9, 2011

If turning back thermostats is such an energy-saver, why isn’t whether or not one does, and if so, by how much, part of the oil company’s algorithm for determining with their computer program when to schedule the next oil delivery?