PSE&G has the Route 1 corridor territory for electrical service in NJ. They support from the NY border in Bergen down to the Philly burbs in South Jersey.

And they are probably a lot better than Jersey Central Power and Light.

As so many did here in town, we lost power around lunchtime Tuesday due to the fast-moving tropical storm. We are on the south side and are usually sort of lucky. We didn’t lose power with most of the major storms, including Sandy.

Our luck ran out.

We were restored after 25 hours. Which given the number of outages and people affected is not bad. It is one of the few perks of living in a populated area as opposed to a rural one: PSE&G can restore hundreds of homes by fixing a downed wire as opposed to, say, two rural customers with the same amount of work and resources.

For that, I am happy with PSE&G. Sandy and Irene’s effect on the north side of town were more due to the older technology of their infrastructure and the low-lying riverside substation that got submerged. PSE&G has made progress on those issues, especially the raising of the substation.

But here’s the gripe. I get it that PSE&G doesn’t want to be flooded with calls and texts about Estimated Time to Restore. So when reporting the outage to them on Tuesday, they sent a status of an ETR of Wed Aug 5th @ 6:15 AM. By keeping our fridge and freezers closed, we should be able to handle that. So we toughed it out. We don’t have a generator as we have only needed it once every three years or so for less than a day each occurrence.

Then there was a status change late Tuesday – Now Thursday, August 6th @ 11 PM. Uh, oh.

So, thankfully, a friend who didn’t lose power offered to lend us their generator. It took us a while to set it up, but we got it running for the first time in eight years and we were in business. We even had Fios service. So besides A/C, we were back to normal but with electrical cords going all over the place.

And three hours later we got power back.

Which is great. But with a less pessimistic estimate we could have saved a lot of time and angst and would not have inconvenienced a friend.

So the request to PSE&G is: It’s okay to pad the ETR. You don’t want angry customers, I get it. But ludicrous estimates can hurt too. For one, I don’t trust them and two, if I do, then I waste a lot of time and effort where I could have just waited it out. If the ETR was tonight at 6? We probably would have just bought bags of ice and placed them in the fridge. Done.

I am having trouble updating the links on the right hand side of the page. WordPress is updating stuff and I have to figure it out.

Til then, here is a link to the USGS with Rahway River data in Kenilworth:

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=01394620

I donate blood regularly – at least three or four times a year. I have O positive, which is almost the “regular unleaded” of blood (O negative is), but it is useful for other O positive and any A, B or AB positives.

I figure it helps others and it helps me – if forces my bone marrow to do some work.

But what is getting old is the way New York/New Jersey Blood Services pounces on me as soon as I am eligible. Literally the day. “It’s a critical shortage!” they will say in their email, and their text, and their personal phone call, often within hours.

I get it. I do. I even went to the Scotch Plains donation center a couple of weeks ago to donate, it was the first place I had driven to in weeks.

But in the pre-donation questionnaire there are dozens of questions, all looking for a disqualifier -which is fine, you don’t want someone who is ill or on meds that could affect a patient when the blood is transfused.

But wide swaths of the population are eliminated outright. Former military members are excluded. Why? I could maybe understand active service or recently in the Middle East due to their vaccinations and those exposed to potential pathogens. But Gulf War vets? Why?

If you have been in Europe for more that three months from 1996 and earlier? You’re out. Because 300 people globally get Mad Cow (CJD) disease annually? This restriction has been in place for over 20 years. My spouse can’t donate because of that restriction. A multi-gallon blood donor. Why?

A friend of mine who came out can no longer give. Despite him being monogamous, he’s out.  I get the need to prevent HIV from being in donations, but with new once-a-year treatments and screening techniques, is it still the deal breaker that it was?

It’d be nice if Blood Services can modernize something besides its social media outreach.

 

As of today, we have another month of lockdown – until June 6th and school is distance-based for the rest of the year.

What are the main takeaways (for me, at least) thus far?

  1. Cranford’s cases and deaths are skewed due to the nursing homes and rehab centers here in town. We have a lot for a town our sized and sadly we lost some people who were not in the homes as well. The infection rate is inching towards 2%, but hasn’t mushroomed at all. Especially since I have no daily contact with someone vulnerable, I am not worried about it. I wear a mask when I am out because I don’t want to be yelled at; not out of caution or fear.
  2. We have a much clearer idea who the “Karens” and who would join the American version of the Stasi if they get one ramped up. I have heard people muttering “assholes” after passing others that they thought committed some infraction, and the Facebook groups – sigh.
  3. Maybe it’s the libertarian in me, but I don’t care if people aren’t following the arrows or social distancing if the parties not distancing have no issues. How do you know that they are not family or cohabitants? I don’t bother social distancing with my immediate family because if the germs are in our house, they’re probably everywhere.
  4. Work from home is here to stay. Thankfully our household has been extremely lucky in that we have been able to work from home this whole time. We are getting our work done and delivering what we have to deliver.  If fact, I recently completed a meat-grinder of a project. Everyone I needed things from was accessible and delivered and they were all working from home as well in NJ, Ireland, England, and India (although they have had some problems with power outages). If I never have to go back to NYC for work I would not be upset. I don’t think I am alone.
  5. Since my spouse and I commuted into NYC at least occasionally until mid-March, and rode the germ-infested subways and PATH trains, I wouldn’t be surprised if we had it already and were asymptomatic. When tests are ubiquitous, we’ll know for sure.
  6. Expect an NYC exodus. That should help home values here in the next few years.
  7. Governor Murphy has come across as less of a drooling idiot than his record indicates he is, but there are plenty of missteps that can be pointed out. The fact is, the state is essentially an epicenter and we’re kind of stuck.
  8. The poor kids. In our house the adjustment went well. Some neighbors and friends are less lucky. I would have liked for school to resume at least some time in June to give the kids some closure and the seniors a proper send-off. The kids in this situation have taken a lot of the consequences. The kids have dealt with it reasonably well.
  9. “Stay Safe” will be the new “Have a Nice Day!”

I’m sure there will be more takeaways given that we’re housebound for another month. I hope for the sake of hourly and furloughed workers, they are insulated from this, and of course, for as few people to contract this as possible.

Stay Safe!

The Corona virus – aka the (not rascist because it’s where it’s stinking from) Wuhan Virus, has wreaked havoc on life in the Metro NYC area with mass cancellations and people behaving irrationally.

It has hit home a bit, with colleagues at both my and spouse’s business having come down with it. To restore confidence, the property management companies have taken the step of closing a floor for cleaning at my job and steam cleaning the elevators at my spouse’s. Who knows if that will make a difference?

Today we were notified of cancellations all over the place – school tomorrow, plays, sporting events and all but one event we had planned for this month are cancelled.

So without any means of procrastination available, it looks like we will get our . basement and yard in order. Finally. I can do those things at a safe distance from everybody.

Which lately I want to keep.

Going on Facebook has been a mood killer. Especially the Cranford groups. I can scroll past the meme bomb throwing by people who don’t even live in town (how are they members of a Cranford group again?).

But what is most draining are the repetitive and useless arguments about politics between people I sort of know. And it is sad. And I have to disengage because there is no point in trying to derail (or, more accurately, re-rail) those arguments. All I can say is that I lost a lot of respect for a substantial number of people who are horribly misinformed and incredibly closed-minded.

I think I know where the toilet paper hoarders come from.

 

I was a little surprised that the Cranford Police Department posted this, as getting accurate crime statistics for the town has been a challenge, and the police blotter on Facebook and the Westfield Leader is pretty much useless info about people driving through town with excessive window tinting and drug paraphernalia.

http://www.communitycrimemap.com/?address=cranford%2Cnj&fbclid=IwAR3IQGFsh993xwPi5FOygUKDe12NaqD2kyezGfb-5pkUoU6naQ5HEMUAoLk

Taking a look, there are a fair number of thefts in the past year, but overall, Cranford is still a pretty safe town.

There have been a few videos in the past week or so of people popping in an “Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself” where it was not expected.

https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=98ogH_1573072151

https://preview.msn.com/en-gb/entertainment/celebrity/alabama-student-drops-epstein-conspiracy-theory-while-on-msnbc-news/vi-BBWy8rJ

If it continues, it will be like a RickRoll, popping up when you don’t expect it.

Do I believe he killed himself? He was in a situation where the institutional incompetence was so great, that it is believable that he was there for that very reason, plus the failed suicide attempt days earlier. There are a LOT of people who would prefer him dead. So yes, put me in the believer camp, but with an asterisk that I know government incompetence is deeper than can easily be imagined.

Whether he did or didn’t is not that relevant at this point (besides the plus of bringing a murderer to justice). What is relevant is that the people who preferred him dead should be brought to light.

The light should shine on this. And this type of repeated awareness building will help.

I can’t wait for a nationally televised basketball game in the heartland. A chant begins.

“I!”, Crowd: “I!”

“I Believe!”, Crowd” “I Believe!”

“Epstein Did Not Kill Himself!”

I wonder how fast CBS would cut away from that.

 

Bramnick and Munoz held on.

For Cranford, I shamelessly pilfered from the Star-Ledger, which doesn’t have the Vote By Mail, so I updated with the totals from TV35 (UPDATE: The totals are all frigged up. Bottom Line: The last I saw O’Connor and Prunty have won. What the totals are, who the hell knows.)

TOWNSHIP OF CRANFORD

MEMBERS OF THE TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE – 29 of 30 districts reporting

Two 3-year terms

Brian Andrews (D) – 3,388

Kathleen Miller Prunty (D) – 4,093

Mary O’Connor (R) – 3,867

Philip Siliato (R) – 3,335

SCHOOL BOARD — 29 of 30 districts reporting

Vote for three

Brian McCarthy – 2,428

Nicole Sherrin-Kessler – 3,176

Brian M. Lopez – 1,472

Brett Dreyer – 3,848

Patrick Lynch – 2,714

Veronica Doyle – 2,508

 

Congratulations to the winners.

Prediction: Taxes will go up.

 

I will admit that my enthusiasm for the election tomorrow is low. I am looking at it more like it being sweet relief.

The hard fought battle for Board of Education spots is more than I have ever seen in the nearly two decades living in town. And after all I have read I have come to a conclusion:

I don’t really like anybody.

Granted, there was plenty of well-poisoning in the Cranford Facebook groups with accusations and innuendo. Nobody was spared. And I am not convinced any candidates will really wade in and do the things that need to be done (like union contract negotiation toughness). Because those things are deliberately made difficult. We didn’t get into this mess due to a few corrupt apples. It is all institutionalized and traditional at this point, so it would be tough for anyone to try and break the cycle.

The busing plan appears to be dead, but like 750 Walnut, we’re still at least a reel and a half away from the end of this horror movie. The killer/monster will look dead at least two more times and slowly get up to chase us again.

It’s not over

But it is good to see people step up for the punching bag jobs like the Board of Ed and Town Council. They care enough about Cranford to put themselves out there, and I appreciate that.

The State Assembly fight is more lively than usual. Will it matter who wins? Pretty much only to the candidates. The fix is in on the state level regardless.

But I will miss the Gunderman / Mandelblatt ads. Regardless of whether I agree with them, the one ad where they are talking to residents is hilarious. If they wanted to come across as hectoring neighbors they totally succeeded. If you notice in other candidate ads the meeting with resident scenes always have voice overs and more smiles, not this ninny-style lecturing. Whomever their campaign consultants were, I would stop payment on that check. Especially if they lose.

C’mon Wednesday!

 

As my laptop was at Dell for warranty service, I missed a timely opportunity to note the anniversary.

Several times this year I have visited downtown NY and made my way through the Oculus to the WTC plaza. It is so different now.

And I am remembering little things like the granite pavers they used in the old plaza and how crazy slippery they would be when it was raining. And how the wind would bounce off the towers and whip down and be like a mini-hurricane. If you made your way across the plaza from Church Street towards the Hudson River (to go to Moran’s where opportunistic young ladies would flip your tie over to see what brand it was and if worthy, would continue to talk to you), there was an entrance to the walkway that would be nearly impossible to open because of the downward force of whatever wind there was and the pressure differences between the plaza and the walkway.

So long ago.

I am encouraged that others still see fit to mark the occasion. I understand if the ones who were not born yet don’t get it so much, and I am disappointed at the efforts by some to minimize it, but their political ends require it as it is one of their goals.

But I will remember until I remember nothing.

 

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From My NYC Apartment Window