Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Vote Is In






Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh, That's Where I Parked My Car!

Dear God,

Well, I had planned not to pray here until after the vote, seeing as how tension is high and no one is laughing at much. But darn, God, something has come up that I thought I should confide to you.

I know I've alluded in my prayers to gambling problems among the staff at Vermont Yankee. For example, in a prayer of January 8, 2009 I wrote:

Miss Fake-Rob's Guide to Excrutiatingly Correct
Nuclear Power Plant Behavior
in Relation to Our Employee Gambling-Slash-Working Way Too Much Overtime Problem


My husband works at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vermont. He tells me that gambling problems are rife among employees at the plant and that the pervasiveness of the gambling culture is endangering safety. Employees who have stifled their feelings about routinely risking the lives of their friends and families go on desperation-fueled gambling binges, lose big, and then need to work double shifts to cover their losses. The result: scheduling is whacky and risky. People are working in geyser-like bursts, and as a result some are in danger of being asleep at the wheel. What does etiquette demand that I do with the information my husband has given me about the culture at a facility that can reasonably be said to hold our fate in its hands?


Miss Fake-Rob is sympathetic with your concerns about going up in flames and all of that. But you are a fuddy duddy. I wish you a boring life, and I hope your husband leaves you soon.

Have I also mentioned to you our drinking problems? Well, it seems that I've got one, anyway. 'Cause I recently went with my friends down to Atlantic City on a drinking and gambling binge, and when I came back I couldn't remember where I parked my car.

Guess what? Apparently, I parked my Cobalt in standing water in the advanced off-gas piping tunnel. Silly of me. And funny that Chevrolet would name one of its coupes after an element that the CDC says can be very dangerous to health.



Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thinking of You

Dear God,

Can you hear my thoughts? I have been praying privately, not here. Matters have become critical; laughter is no longer fun. So much depends on the outcome of Wednesday's legislative vote.

Please keep your eye on the ball.



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Was Vermont Yankee

Dear God,

Click the image to see it larger.

Someone took down the I Am VY site! So I had to improvise.



Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Iceman Cometh

Dear God,

Do you in your all remembering-ness remember the Eugene O'Neil play "The Iceman Cometh"? A colorful assortment of impractical, deluded men and women hang out in Harry Hope's bar, bolstering themselves with booze and "pipe dreams"—ideas of the honest folk they will become, not today, but someday. Tomorrow. Meanwhile, in the more immediate future, they're looking forward to the loads of fun they'll have "once Hickey gets here." Hickey is a traveling salesman. He sells ice. He always buys drinks. He'll come any day now. Any minute. Maybe that's him.

And then Hickey comes, but he's not the loveable drunk he's always been. He's sobered up, and with him he brings a message about facing up to the truth. He tells his truth. A few years back, he murdered his wife. But, as he explains, he did it out of love for her. Apparently, his whore-mongering had always driven her to tears, so, with noblesse oblige, he'd relieved her of her misery. Or that was his story, anyway. As the play progresses it turns out that even that story is a lie. He'd killed her because she'd cheated on him, too. No nobility to be found, not anywhere, in what Hickey has done. As he reveals his story, other characters reveal theirs.

They're all poseurs.

Ok, so there we've got a story about people doing harm to others by enmeshing themselves in fantasy rather than acknowledging their motivations and their actions. And when they come clean, there's no real cleanliness to it. That's us, right God? Lies on top of lies on top of lies. Then there's the "pipe dream" analogy that could be drawn between O'Neil's play and the last few weeks at Vermont Yankee. But don't make me say more about that. It's all so painful. Maybe I can pray about it someday. Tomorrow. I'll do it tomorrow. Anyway, I am sorry we mis-communicated about those pipes. Won't happen again.

Lord, I've become weepy and unnerved. Things are unraveling here. Our fantasies are being pierced, and our hopes are only confusing us now. And guess what? The most awful thing has happened.

The iceman cometh.

Really. A guy delivered ice, and he didn't get stopped at the checkpoint.

We must kill the fantasy of tomorrow and face the realities of today. So said Eugene O'Neil. So say the activists. So say the media. So say Governor Douglas and David O'Brien. So say the legislators, even Paul Hodes from New Hampshire. So says my conscience.

But my conscience I can quiet. Always have.

Hey, Lord, this all reminds me of a good joke:

Husband says to his wife, "Honey, has the iceman come yet?"

Wife says, "No, dear, but he's breathing hard."



Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Meek Won't Inherit the Earth

Dear God,

"Yours is the earth," says a video narrated by Curt L. Hébert Jr., executive vice president for external affairs at Entergy. The video is his gift to people of the energy industry. So, apparently, is the earth. (He's actually just reciting Rudyard Kipling's "If," but in the context of the debate about safety at Vermont Yankee, "If" has acquired a heckuva lot of unanticipated depth.)

Hébert has been asked by Entergy CEO J. Wayne Leonard to head a team of company senior staff handling Vermont Yankee matters.

Pleaes don't take my word for it about "If"'s new depth, God, or about what the video reveals about Carl Hébert. Follow the link. I'd put the whole video right here but I can't; on YouTube this particular video has embedding disabled.

In Carl We Trust. Wow.



UPDATE: In his Vermont Daily Briefing, Philip Baruth has also commented on Carl Hébert's rendition of "If." Oh! So did VT Digger.