Thursday, July 30, 2020

Housing prices in Utah

It is amazing how much houses are selling for in Utah. Not just new or nearly new houses. Some older houses that I had looked at and rejected are selling for $250K to $300K. My old three-bedroom house built in 1939, the same year The Wizard of Oz came out, which I paid $120K for, is now estimated at $476K. I didn't even like this house. It was too old and had too many problems.

I would not be able to afford to move back to Utah.


Friday, July 24, 2020

Power outage

An equipment failure caused the power to go out in part of Columbus, Indiana last night. I was in the middle of a chess game online with a friend from Indianapolis when the power went out at 6:45 PM. Within 5 minutes I got a text from the power company saying that the power was out and that it was estimated to be fixed by 9:30 PM.

It is a weird feeling because I couldn't do hardly anything. My only access to the world was my iPhone. I couldn't cook anything so I ate chips with salsa. I took a short drive because I was curious about how extensive the power outage was. It seemed to affect a large area. The local radio station was not broadcasting.

Then I did yard work until it was close to dark.

It gets more creepy when things get dark. You feel helpless. I took a shower using a LED flashlight as my only source of light. My thermostat, which has a battery, showed that my house had warmed by 3 degrees. At 9:30 PM I got another text from the power company saying that the estimated time of completion was now 11:30 PM. I was worried that if this were out to go all night that my large stockpile of food in my fridge would go bad.

Fortunately, at 11:01 PM the power came back on. There have been other power outages in the past, but they didn't last more than an hour.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Personal "air conditioners" aren't what they seem

I had a swamp cooler in my first house in Salt Lake City. It worked very poorly and my house would get unbearably hot, which is why I installed central air. I wouldn't dream of using a swamp cooler in my current home Indiana where the humidity is already at unpleasant levels.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020


Historically, 1980 was a very interesting year. Technology was almost non-existent by today's standards. Some 8-bit computers were available, but they were exorbitantly expensive, infinitely underpowered, and not very useful. Only a few electronic hobbyists would have any interest in computers, which certainly included me, but I would not be able to afford a computer until 2 to 3 years later.

Microwave ovens and VCRs were not yet affordable and very few people had them. In terms of technology, people were more interested in CB radios.

Arcade videogames were just beginning to take off. Although still primitive, in terms of gaming they were significantly better than what could be done on a computer or on one of the very primitive overpriced home consoles available at the time.

The country as a whole was in a serious malaise. The economy did not do well in the 1970s and took a big downturn during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. Inflation was high, unemployment was up, economic growth was almost non-existent, and interest rates along with energy costs were at record levels. Consequently, most people were just trying to get by.

On the international scene, things did not look good. The Soviet Union appeared aggressive by invading Afghanistan. Iran was making the U.S. look bad with the hostage crisis. Opec controlled the world's energy supply.

With the election of Ronald Reagan in November, I had high hopes that things would change for the better, but it would take a long time for things to turn around.

Best wishes,

John Coffey