Mountain Lake Resort Concerns: Propane & Postal

propane

Mountain lake resort living is different from normal urban life or even normal rural living because it comes with its unique challenges.

One of those challenges is integrating to a different pace of life and to the odd little adjustments most people have never had to think about.

Propane Pains

Now you know GG has bit**ed about the utility issues before but this week I’ve been getting an earful about the propane nazis down here in the desert.

It seems that service providers of many of the utility companies forget that customer service is the cornerstone of good public relations but since they don’t have any competition, some of them don’t really give a rat’s a**.

Last week a desert neighbor called the propane company for a fill because they were at about 20% of tank capacity. Calling on a Thursday, they were told fills were “only” done on Fridays AND that the deadline for calls for the same week delivery was on Tuesday.

Since the neighbor travels extensively, he didn’t really care about their rules and regulations, simply about getting the product he needed, when he needed it.

If he runs out of propane, it means having to relight every pilot throughout the home and going without hot water for a bit.

Now it isn’t the first time this company has been a pain in the butt and he has called the national headquarters to complain.

Here in Fawnskin, some people have natural gas service while other have propane. I found it right in alignment with the desert issue when I opened my in box and got a note related to propane from a part-time Fawnskin resident.

When they returned to their cabin recently:

…All the gas pilots in the house were out, creating a very strong gas odor. Have you heard of this happening? The only way we think it could happen is if someone turned off the gas at the propane tank, and then turned it back on without access to relight the pilots…

Actually I have heard of a similar problem. There are a couple of things to check.

First, your appliances might be the problem. My neighbor had a stove on natural gas whose pilots kept going out. They were not sure if it was a breeze through the old cabin or another issue but after they replaced the old appliance, it never was a problem again.

Second, propane is an odourless gas and an added odorant allows you to detect the presence of the gas in case there is a leak. It stinks, to say the least, but in many cases you can smell the odorant as the level in your propane tank gets low.

So make sure that your valves are set correctly and that your level of propane remains consistent. If you ran out of propane and then got a fill, perhaps that could have been the issue. Hard to tell.

There are some resources online about propane such as this Propane FAQ and how to use propane safely shows you how to check your hardnose connector. You might also want to check out this propane leak tutorial.

From your note, I’d first ponder your appliances.

BTW some people turn off their cabin propane for safety purpose while their cabin sits vacant and then just relight everything upon their return. But to be safe, check with your propane company for their recommendations.

If you suspect theft, it would be a good idea to keep a log of where your tank level is upon your departure and then check it agin upon your return. Keep a log and if the level is dropping abnormally, you might have to take some security precautions.

Be sure to let us know what you find out since inquiring minds are curious.

Plus, next time you are up you should invite me up for a cup of coffee since I often hike up that way and might be able to serve as an extra pair of eyes.

Postal Pains

Here in Fawnskin we do not have street delivery and so people are concerned about the proposed post office closures.

First, I think that would be odd because some sort of option would need to be offered as an answer and the change would tax the already overburdened other post offices in the valley.

We’ve been having big discussions over this down here in the desert too.

The general consensus of opinion is the biggest problem is over compensation in the benefits, wages and pensions (a model based on seniority and longevity rather than productivity) and performance along with lease payments and other non-savvy business operations.

A lot of people are wondering if it should just be privatized.

Personally, I try to go into our post office and make my purchases on Saturdays but the truth is that I seldom use USPS for mail service these days since much of my communications are now electronic.

In fact, I don’t really get that much mail any more as a result. I pay for a business drawer in Fawnskin and happily don’t get a lot of junk mail (hate it BTW) and so only get a few trade journals…and some of those I’ve already switched over to digital editions.

This is a trend that has been increasing and so there is a need to revamp and redirect operations.

Having said that, a few archaic companies require that I have to mail in bill payments and I do send out special correspondence and ship gifts or large items but have found that the shipping sometimes costs more than the gift!

My personal experience reflects what is happening nationally. BTW a recent article in the Washington Post said,

The 500 sites closing by June include about 400 locations that suspended operations due to weather or fire damage, environmental concerns or a lack of business. Most of the sites haven’t been operational in about a year, but some haven’t operated in almost three decades, said Dean Granholm, vice president of delivery and post office operations.

Even so, people are concerned. Post Master Mike could probably tell you the fact of the matter and if Fawnskin is on the closure list if you ask him.
If you want to write in about this process you can direct your letters to:
The Honorable Patrick Donahoe
Postmaster General
U.S. Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-0010

Finally, you might have heard that Ron Seymour had a small stroke last week. He has been down at St. Bernardine’s for tests and was moved yesterday into a rehabilitation facility to get his strength back.



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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 and is filed under Mountain Lake Resort, Small Town Living.

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