TMP — The Heat Is On and the Power Is Off

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. Today’s peeve is about equipment failure.

When my wife and I moved to the East Bay from San Francisco two and a half years ago, we knew three things. (1) It gets very, very hot in the East Bay. (2) There often are rolling blackouts due to the demand for electricity to power air conditioning units. (3) The area is prone to wildfires. But, we would be closer to our grandchildren, so….

After dealing with four or five power outages in the summer of 2020 in which the air conditioning went off during 100° temperatures and all the food in our freezer thawed, we decided install a whole house generator that automatically kicks in when there is a power failure and keeps everything — including air conditioning and the refrigerator-freezer — going until the power is restored.

The generator was installed in September 2020. We had four power outages last summer and the generator kicked in and worked like a champ last year. It was well worth the investment for us.

Yesterday morning at around 8:15, our power went out. The generator kicked on almost instantly and it was all good…until at around 8:30, when the generator sputtered and stalled. It tried to restart three times before just crapping out altogether. Fortunately, power was restored by around noon, just before it started to get unbearably hot.

A few hours ago a technician came out to troubleshoot the generator. The guy futzed around for a few hours and then informed me that the main generator control board (like the motherboard in a computer), had failed and he needs to order and install a new control board. He said it should be in within a week.

The good news is that the part and labor are covered under the warranty. So there will be no out-of-pocket cost to me to fix the generator. Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there will be no power outages between now and when the new control board is installed.

Blogging Insights — One Click Away

It’s Monday and Dr. Tanya is back with her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. She provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and asks us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from Canadian-American economist, Alex Tabarrok

The first thing you learn when you’re blogging is that people are one click away from leaving you. So you’ve got to get to the point, you can’t waste people’s time, you’ve got to give them some value for their limited attention span.

The author of this quote is an economist, so I’m pretty sure he’s talking about commercial blogging and what it takes to get and keep readers reading their business blogs in order to generate some revenue. That said, I tend to agree with him with respect to personal blogs.

Unfortunately this wasn’t the first thing I learned when I first started blogging back in 2005. I used to write long (1,000 or more words on average), meandering posts. And my blog traffic reflected it, with few views and comments. It took me a while to embrace brevity and to write more concise posts. But these days my average post word count is just under 240 words.

I do attempt to come up with catchy titles that might motivate a reader to take a peek. And I appreciate that many bloggers have time constraints and, like me, have “limited attention spans.” So I definitely don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Hence, in addition to keeping my posts relatively short, I try to write in an engaging way, sprinkled with humor, so as to keep the reader’s attention.

Bottom line, I think there’s merit to the quote, even for personal bloggers. I know that some bloggers tend write longer posts, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t well written or add value. So, hey, they’re their blogs and, you know, whatever floats their boats, right?

Share Your World — 08/22/2022

Share Your World

Di (Pensitivity101) is still pinch hitting for Melanie (Sparks From a Combustible Mind) for the Share Your World prompt. So let’s just jump right in.

1. Do you have family photographs on display in your main living room?

We have a few family photos in our living/family room, but most family photos adorn the walls on both sides of the hall that runs from the kitchen/living room/dining room (open concept) back to the bedrooms wing of the house.

2. What was the best vehicle you owned?
This could be a pushbike as a kid, your first car, a motor cycle, or something else.

I’ve had so, so many cars in my lifetime, but I’d say that my favorite was a 1967 Austin Healey Mk III roadster exactly like the one pictured below. I loved that car!

3. Did you pass your driving test first time?

I passed my regular driver’s licence test (written and road test) the first time. However, while I passed the written part of my motorcycle licence test the first time, I failed the motorcycle road test when I wiped out riding the traffic cone course. It was a mortifying experience. If you’re at all interested, you can read about it here in a post I wrote last year at this time.

4. Does loud music from a neighbor or passing cars annoy you?

Yes it does. And I’m hard of hearing! Why people have to turn the volume up to eleven when they’re listening to music is beyond me. When it’s that loud, it comes out mostly as distorted noise.

Gratitude question: What has made you smile over the last seven days?

To be honest, not much. 🙁

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #181

Welcome to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenging bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

The image below is unattributed.

For the visually challenged writer, the image shows two men walking in opposite directions in the middle of a downpour.

If this week’s image inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post. I hope it will generate some great posts.

Please create a pingback to this post or manually add your link in the comments.

FOWC with Fandango — Affront


It’s August 22, 2022. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “affront.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.