You are so right, Michael. Dan would have loved to talk about the why’s and wherefore’s of our electric bill.
I have to admit that Dan is probably one of the reasons our electric bill is as low as it is. So many of our discussions were instrumental in helping me make decisions on the house. We used some kind of spray-in, foam insulation stuff that he had been researching (and talking about) for years that has worked wonders at keeping the wind out despite the fact that we are located in the middle of a wind tunnel. The appliances that were chosen, the light fixtures, even the habit of wandering around and turning off lights after the children, Dan was very much a part of all that.
I defined a problem the other day. When it gets too cold to run outside to the mailbox without a coat (and there’s no snow to encourage the older ones to play outside), it is often difficult to get the mail. The act of putting on a coat and shoes alerts the kids to my momentary absence and well, . . . it’s not a pretty sight. Some days I can squeeze it in or convince someone else to get it for me, but there was a time frame there where I’m sure the mail lady thought we had gone on vacation.
Problem: Getting the mail in cold weather
Solution: =) here’s where Dan comes into play again. Dan and Leigh (Dan’s best friend) and I came up with the idea of motorized mailboxes that drive to the post office, or at least up to the door, way back the first year we were married. It got totally elaborate and crazy at the time and of course no one bothered to even put it on paper much less create one. So this problem reminds me of that previous conversation and the gears start turning.
Motor is good. Got to keep it out of the weather. Wheels no good in the snow. Wire good. Do it via “air mail”. Simple pulley system would work fine. Got to keep the wires out of the way of big trucks driving through the yard. Don’t want the kids strangling themselves, etc. Easier to plow around if there is no post. Wonder what the mail lady would think. The laundry line seems to work fine in cold weather. The biggest problem would be getting the line high enough that it doesn’t interfere with the yard (the house is at least a thousand yards higher up the hill).
Could do an air suction system underground like those tubes at the bank. =) Would need to dig a trench in the yard, but that’s normal, why break tradition. Wonder what that would cost. A break anywhere and you lose suction. Would probably need to be encased in concrete. Makes things a bit difficult to work on. Easier to mow, etc. Still have your traditional looking post. Push button . . electric involved somewhere? That’s a long trip . . lots of suction power needed. Different size and type of container needed which would change the size and shape of the tube and the power of suction needed.
Next problem: =) Convincing my Dad to build me one. =)
Probably be easier to just miss a few days of getting the mail until the kids get a little older. =)
(Giggling) I can hear that conversation with Dan. . . It was so much fun to dream up, scheme, and work through the glitches on stuff like that.