December 17, 1999
The author of the following bit of whimsy is unknown. The piece came to me from a good friend via e-mail. That's all I know about it, but perhaps we can relate to some of the ideas expressed here. At least you may find a line or two that provokes a chuckle. Here 'tis:
You know you are in a small town when...
Every sport is played on dirt.
Third street is on the edge of town.
The runway of the airport is terraced.
You are run off Main Street by a combine.
The biggest business in town sells farm machinery.
The polka is more popular than disco on Saturday night.
You miss a Sunday at church and receive get-well cards.
You dial a wrong number and talk for 15 minutes anyway.
You write a check on the wrong bank and it covers for you.
The pickups on Main Street outnumber the cars three to one.
You don't use your signals because everyone knows where you are going.
You can't walk for exercise because every car that passes offers you a ride.
You drive in a ditch five miles out of town and word gets back to town before you do.
You are born on June 15 and your family receives gifts from the local merchants because you are the first baby of the year.
Someone asks how you feel, then listens to what you say.
Thank God for small towns ... and the people who live in them.
Switching subjects, and gears, here is something a bit more serious that merits our attention:
Geothermal heat pumps, used with underground installations pioneered by the Charles Machine Works, Inc., are an integral part of an energy-saving program selected by the U.S. Energy Department for federal installations. Five companies have been selected by the department to finance and manage contracts valued at as much as $500 million to install the devices at military bases and other federal locations. A detailed story about the selection recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal and was passed along to me by Phil Albertson, a retired CMW executive who remains active in the underground water source heat pump program.
Savings of up to 40% are projected at each site. The program hopes to cut some of the federal government's $8 billion annual energy bill and to reduce pollutants. "For every $1 these contractors receive, the government will receive $2 over the term of the contracts," according to Bill Richardson, secretary of the Department of Energy. The heat pumps can heat or cool, based on the difference between underground and surface temperatures. They would often replace outmoded steam boilers used at many federal installations. We have just been reading about the concerns over outdated seals on some of this state's boilers, and that problem exists wherever such systems are used. All this is good news for those who have been promoting the geothermal systems for years.