Thursday, March 5, 2009

Two steps forward, three steps back

Ok, ok, so I'm quoting lyrics from a Paula Abdul song.  It was a great video merging her dance and an animated wolf.

But, the dance is not unlike the Dow Jones Industrials.  All were hopeful that Wednesday's 150 point gain might harbinger the end of the stock market's downward free fall.  But of course, we learned today that it was not to be as we not only lost the gains of Wednesday but retreated all but another 150 points.  We're now flirting with a 6500 Dow.  Seems the current administration is not the only one who cannot deliver on promised plans and details.  China revealed it didn't have a stimulus plan for its own economy.  And we started holding a conference on how to reform healthcare in America.

This whole ordeal is so bad, New York stock brokers are cold calling us in the midwest with very low key introductions to ask if they can call us back when they have a line on some good investment opportunities.  Yes, I got one of these calls.  And I checked them out.  All true.  They are lining up new investors once they believe a bottom has occurred.

Interesting in this conversation, I mentioned I was looking for alternative energy companies that tailor to residential, not utility customers.  This broker stated that was going to be hot.  Well, aside from the line of bovine scantology he just fed me, I would hope he is right beyond our wildest dreams.

If you get a chance, check out the video sort of explaining the great new Smart Grid on the GE website

Sounds great, right?  Central control of all electrical outlets and appliances so less energy is used or demanded and therefore keeping costs down.  It will be joyous on that day in July or August as we who have home offices pleasantly work away on our computers and office equipment, maintaining a comfortable temperature in our home office.  Then, our UPS battery backup systems alert us that power has been lowered or cutoff.  We power down our equipment and notice that the air conditioner is not running.  Check the thermostat and it now says it is set to maintain 85º, we thinking for sure in the fact we had it set for 78º or 80º.  We check the breaker box for a tripped breaker.  All circuits are intact.  We get creative and dig out our AC meter.  No reading.  None.  No lights.  Ah, but I'm a trained engineer and have a multimeter (or several).  Hmm.  Outlet dead as a power outage in a December ice storm.  But not all circuits are out.   Freezer and Refrigerator are still in good working order.  Then, about 6pm, after about 3 hours of deciding to take in some sun and a beer on the deck since working was interrupted, the air conditioner kicks back on and sure enough, the UPS says it has line power again.

Thank you there Big Brother for keeping me from earning a living for 1/2 a day and making it harder to afford to pay for that electricity you are "saving".  And for saving our planet!  Bless you.

Cinch down the safety belts folks.  Its going to be a wild ride.  We just don't know when the checkered flag will wave and we can relax for awhile.....

But I promise, my solution is coming.  Humble as it will be and it is only one opinion.  But it starts with one idea being published.  Then talked about.  Perhaps even debated.  And who knows, perhaps an idea can then be perfected by other ideas and real change takes place.

I don't know about you, but this change ushered in by our new President seems intensely familiar.  Well, like climate change, any difference can be defined as change I suppose.  But like the current climate, Washington looks awful normal to me.

Russ Wojtkiewicz

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