Being “set off” and Reading


Has one little thing—you tripped over something, you get an annoying phone call, or an outrageous bill—really set you off? Well, that’s what happened to me.

The other day I received my RG&E bill in the mail. $324.27!!! I mean, it isn’t like I run around the house in shorts and a tee all winter.  And it isn’t like I have a huge house to heat either. And it wasn’t because I read the meters wrong. Well, okay, maybe I did add a thousand kilowatt hours to my electric reading.

But let’s talk about their meters a minute here.  Excuse my ignorance, but why do we have to read five—FIVE!—microscopic dials to tell RG&E how many kilowatt hours we used? And one dial you have to read has the numbers going clockwise, the next you read counter clockwise, etc. Back and forth for all of them. My electric meter is also set nice and high for Big Foot to read and I’m more like Mr. Magoo.

When RG&E installed new gas meters, they asked me if I wanted it inside again or outside. I thought outside would be easier for them to read and I wouldn’t have to struggle every month or let someone through my kitchen with muddy boots. Turns out, they only installed the gas meter outside (not the electric meter) and they not only put it in front of the house (that part I had agreed to–my only outside option), but those tiny dials on the meter are exactly 20 inches from the ground! So even I have to practically lie on my belly to read them.

I suppose their meter readers have some electronic device with which to do the reading, so they just have to reach down with the scanner to get the information.  So much for customer satisfaction!

Now for my latest book. “Cell 8,” which I mentioned in last week’s blog, was written by Anders Roslund, an award-winning journalist, and Börge Hellström, an ex-criminal. Together, whatever their respective contributions were, they have written a dynamic story. Their research, particularly the medical stuff, was very impressive, based on the evidence in the novel. The whole story was full of detail, lots of characters, which were somewhat confusing at first, but as I continued to read, each character became more familiar and recognizable.

The settings are basically our state of Ohio and the country of Sweden. Ohio is pro-death penalty and Sweden is very anti-death penalty.  So, given that Cell 8 is on Death Row in a tough Ohio penitentiary and Sweden is death against (pun intended) executions, you know there will somehow be a strong connection. It is done very well. The writing is compelling (as are the diametric opinions) and I was completely drawn in—until the ending. I may have read the last few pages too fast and missed some little clue, but I was disappointed at the end. However, I highly recommend this read!

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