A Poor Excuse

In Stave One of Charles Dickens’ novella “A Christmas Carol” the case is made for the premise that Ebenezer Scrooge had reached an impasse in his personal development. One piece of evidence to this effect can be found in his relationship with his ill treated employee Bob Cratchit. Specifically, Mr. Cratchit asks his employer if he could take Christmas Day off from work to spend with his family. Mr. Scrooge reacts with annoyance and self-righteousness. He exclaims,

[I]t’s not fair.  If I was to stop half-a-crown for it, you’d think yourself ill-used, I’ll be bound … And yet … you don’t think me ill-used, when I pay a day’s wages for no work… A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!

It is true that Mr. Cratchit should be grateful for his employment with Mr. Scrooge. Certainly, Mr. Scrooge is not obligated to employ Mr. Cratchit and presumably Mr. Cratchit is free to find other employment if such an opportunity exists. At this period of history it is probably not the case that Mr. Cratchit need fear his position be outsourced to an IT support Austin. This is especially true considering the fact that the story takes place in London, England.

On the other hand, expecting one day off a year does not seem to be too much to expect. I do not know exactly how much business would be transacted on Christmas Day in London in the year 1843. It may be the case that Christmas Day at that time was very much like are own era and most people took the day off to spend time with their families. It is even conceivable that even a business providing IT support Austin would take the day off. Accordingly, it remains to be seen whether within the context of the story whether Mr. Scrooge was being unreasonable but the assumption I make is that he was.

Fellow Passengers to the Grave

In Stave One of Charles Dickens’ novella “A Christmas Carol” Ebenezer Scrooge is confronted by his nephew Fred who comes to his office on Christmas Eve to invite him to dinner at his house on Christmas Day. Mr. Scrooge rebuffs his nephew’s invitation rudely expressing his opinion that Christmas is a “humbug” or something not worthy of his attention. In reaction, Fred embarks on a diatribe expressing his opinion to the contrary. Specifically he says,

… I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.  And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!

It goes without saying that Mr. Scrooge remained unconvinced by Fred’s argument that Christmas was in fact worthy of his uncle’s attention. Scrooge would have none of it. Fred might as well have been trying to convince his uncle to join Scentsy.

After some back and forth Fred eventually left his uncle’s office unsuccessful in his attempt to get him to accept his invitation. He left, however, in a state of good humor which is of course Fred’s nature. Later, Mr. Scrooge leaves his office for his home where he will eventually have a date with destiny. No gentle reader, he does not join Scentsy but he just might end up joining the human race.

The Ghost of an Idea

In Stave One of Charles Dickens’ novella “A Christmas Carol” the author goes through great lengths to establish the fact that Jacob Marley (Scrooges ex-business partner) was dead. Specifically he writes:

Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Mind!  I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail.  I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade.  But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for.  You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

I have often wondered in my capacity as a reader why Mr. Dickens thought it was necessary to expend the sheer number of words to articulate this fact that Jacob Marley was in fact dead. I suspect the phrase, “Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail” was a phrase that popped into his head and became the starting point from which the story was created.

This is the way it often goes with the creative process. There is one initial nugget such as the line about Old Marley. From this nugget comes forth a deluge of ideas that does not cause water damage Utah but rather begins to coalesce into a story.

Another way to look at the creative process (particularly with writing) is to see the story as already existing. In this way it is the job of the author or content creator to uncover the story. In other words the story reveals itself to the author as he or she writes it. In this way the initial nugget about Old Marley does not so much cause a deluge of ideas (not causing water damage Utah) but rather it is the initial outcropping that the author then proceeds to excavate.

The Lack of Electricity in the Age of Ebenezer Scrooge

At the time Charles Dickens penned his famous novella “A Christmas Carol” electricity was not a going concern. Interior and exterior lighting were all accomplished through the use of candles and the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas. Certainly there was no electrician Ogden to call to fix an electrical problem for the obvious reason that there existed at the time no electrical infrastructure that required servicing.

“A Christmas Carol” is divided into five “Staves” or chapters. The word “Stave” is an Old English word for Chapter. The casual reader of Dickens’ book might be curious as to why Mr. Dickens chose to use the word stave instead of chapter. One possible reason is to give the story a veneer of antiquity. Obviously, the story appears as an antique to the modern reader (as is evidenced by the lack of electrical infrastructure for example) but to the reader at the time the story was originally published (1843) I suspect the details seemed contemporaneous with the average reader. Accordingly, the use of the word stave instead of chapter was perhaps intended to give the story a poetic feel even to the reader who existed at the time Mr. Dickens set pen to paper.

As previously mentioned there was no electrical infrastructure at the time Mr. Scrooge walked the earth (and as such there was no need for an electrician Ogden to fix the non existent electrical problems). We can see evidence of this in that Scrooge lit his office by candle light, heated his office through the use of a coal fireplace and the lamp posts on the street outside his office were lit by natural gas. Moreover, when Mr. Scrooge returns to his house on that eventful evening he navigated the darkness through the use of a candle.

Interesting Historical Anecdotes Related to the Heat Trace

The heat trace has its origins in the early 1930s along with the burgeoning technology known as insulated cables. In that innocent age insulated cables were specifically designed to run at very high electrical current densities. Running at these high current densities predictably produced an excess of heat. Because of this excess heat production control equipment was required to be adapted from still other existent applications.

In the 1950s the technology known as the mineral insulated resistance heating cable was introduced for public consumption. Along with the mineral insulated resistance heating cable came the technology known as  parallel type heating cables that could be cut to length in the field also became available for public consumption.

In 1971 self-limiting thermoplastic cables were marketed. Although this advent was well known in electrical circles it was understandably less well known in the dark and thumping discos which were popular at the time. Interestingly, a decade later the bumper sticker which read “disco sucks” became popular whereas the bumper sticker reading “self-limiting thermoplastic cables suck” did not reach any appreciable level of popularity.

Control systems for heat trace systems developed. The trace heating systems developed first from equipment know at the time as “capillary filled-bulb thermostats” and contactors. These items were readily available in the 1970s. Over time this equipment evolved  into what became known as “networked computerized controls.” This occurred in the 1990s and existed in large systems that required the centralized control and monitoring to ensure their proper operation.

Many academic papers have been written on this very subject. One paper in particular happened to project that between the year 2000 and the year 2010 the technology known as trace heating would account for one hundred megawatts of any connected load whereas trace heating along with insulation would therefore account for up to seven hundred million dollars of capital investment in the Alberta oil sands region of Canada.


Holiday Road Safety

When the readers of the Down Town Frame Up blog are on the road over the holidays they know that they must adhere to all safety laws in order to avoid ending up in an auto body repair Salt Lake City shop. This is especially true in the region surrounding Salt Lake City. Logically, it becomes increasingly less true the farther away from Salt Lake City the reader of the Down Town Frame Up Blog happens to be. This proposition may make immediate sense to some and perhaps less sense to others depending upon how aware they are regarding the rules of spatial dynamics.

Not only should the readers of the Down Town Frame Up Blog adhere to all safety laws, they must also take all reasonable safety related precautions in order to avoid an unwanted visit to an auto body repair Salt Lake City establishment. These precautions might include but are by no means limited to the avoidance of consuming alcohol before or while driving, the avoidance of ingesting narcotics or other drugs that impact the ability of safely operating a vehicle before or while driving as well as making sure that the driver is properly rested before driving.

Simply adhering to these very important safety measures will ensure that any road trip is a safe one. This is true regardless of whether the road trip passes through the Salt Lake City metro area or anywhere else in the United States of America. The alternative is certainly unwanted. No one wants to spend time in an auto repair shop when they could be singing carols around a Christmas tree or menorah, sledding down a snowy hill, opening presents, eating turkey dinners with family, drinking eggnog, sitting by the fire, making a snowman or spending time with family members of all kinds.

State Regulation of Concealed Carry

Many readers of the Down Town Frame Up Blog are interested in the various regulations regarding the carrying of a concealed firearm among the several United State of America. It is for this expressed interest (as is evidenced by the amount of mail receive on a weekly basis regarding this subject) that the editorial board of the Down Town Frame Up Blog decided to write the blog post that you are now reading. In particular (interestingly enough) many of our readers are interested in the regulations as to the state of Texas license to carry.

A comprehensive overview of all the states’ various regulations is clearly beyond the scope of a three hundred word blog post. However, what can be done within these rhetorical constraints is provide an ever so brief thumb nail sketch of a certain aspect of these regulations. For example, the authorities who issue a license to carry a firearm are prohibited from denying a license arbitrarily in 39 of the 50 United States of America. Nine states require the applicant to demonstrate specific need to carry a firearm. These nine states vary as to how strict they are in issuing a license. Two states (Alaska and Vermont) allow adults without felony criminal records to carry a concealed weapon as a matter of right.

Down Town Frame Up Blog readers are well aware that the Texas license to carry regulations are among the least strict in the nation. It is for this reason that the readers of the Down Town Frame Up Blog (who originally came from Utah and moved to Vancouver because of the water damage inflicted upon them) have traveled to Texas to obtain a license to carry a firearm. The reason being that the regulations regarding the concealed carry of a firearm in the state of Washington are considerably more strict.


The Mystery of Life

The Down Town Frame Up Blog readers have read the signs and banners foretelling them of the impending disaster. The impending disaster came with untold swiftness. In the aftermath of the disaster the Down Town Frame Up Blog readers who survived picked themselves up and moved from their original home in Utah to the city on the hill called Vancouver. Once in Vancouver the surviving population encountered the indigenous population. Many of these people were members of the mysterious cult. This cult was attractive to the ex-Utah survivors because they felt insecure as a result of the trauma they had suffered in their place of origin.

As a result, some of the survivors joined the cult but many did not. Those who joined the cult soon learned that although they no longer felt insecure about impending water damage they now encountered a new form of insecurity. This time the insecurity revolved around the prospect of being outsourced to some other cult. Understandably this does not make a lot of sense but our information is based upon fragmentary sources. Those who did not join the cult created an SEO company located in Salt Lake City that they remotely controlled from Vancouver.

The SEO company hired a content creator for whom they wrote a bio for the company’s website wherein the content creator’s name was purposefully spelled incorrectly. The content creator tried to rectify this situation to no avail. For some unknown reason as mysterious as the cult itself the content creator’s name had to be spelled incorrectly and the reason for this misspelling also had to remain a mystery. There are no signs and banners on the wall explaining the purpose of this. Nor will there ever be. The underlying point behind all these installments of this story is that there remains a certain mystery to life always.

The Importance of the ASVAB

Let us take a break from our narrative to discuss what happens when a person seeks to become a candidate for enlistment in the U. S. Armed Services. Specifically, all candidates for enlistment in the U. S. Armed Services must take a test called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery which is also known as the ASVAB for short. All candidates for enlistment in the U. S. Armed Services are required to sit for the ASVAB regardless of whether the candidate seeks to enlist in the U. S. Army, the U. S. Navy, the U. S. Air Force, the U. S. Marines Corps, the U. S. National Guard or the U. S. Coast Guard.

The ASVAB consists of two sections including (1) a standardized multiple choice portion and (2) a written portion. Both sections include questions covering the following 10 subject areas including (1)  general science, (2) arithmetic reasoning, (3) word knowledge, (4) paragraph comprehension, (5) numerical operations, (6) coding speed, (7) auto and shop information, (8) mathematics knowledge, (9) mechanical comprehension and (10) electronics information.

The best way to properly prepare for the ASVAB is to take an ASVAB practice test. By taking a practice version of the ASVAB the candidate for enlistment will gain two important insights. First, the candidate for enlistment will become familiar with the test format of the ASVAB. Second, the candidate for enlistment will learn what areas of study will require further study in order to perform well on the exam.

A career in the U. S. Armed Services can be an exciting experience for any young man or woman. For this reason it is important for the candidate for enlistment to perform well on this very important test. Success on the ASVAB practice test will determine whether the candidate is qualified to enlist and also to determine what occupations within the U. S. Armed Services will best fit his or her skill set.

When Content Creators and Maid Services Agree

It all started in Utah. The Down Town Frame Up Blog readers lived a an austere but by all accounts happy life there for generations. Like all happy times, they remain happy until suddenly they are no longer happy. This is what happened when the great flood caused untold water damage and forced them to relocate to the city of Vancouver. Once in this new location the population felt safe but always remembered the trauma they had suffered and remained in a state of heightened vigilance to guard against another similar tragedy.

It was then that the Down Town Frame Up Blog readers who were aliens in a new land encountered the strange and mysterious cult of Scentsy. Some chose to join this cult as a means of dealing with their existential angst. Other chose to remain outside (as it were) and embrace the uncertainty. But it came to be known that those who had joined the cult found a new form of uncertainty to contend with in the form of the fear of being outsourced to another cult. Those that remained on the outside formed an SEO company located in Salt Lake City that they remotely operated from Vancouver. The company itself was located in a building that required cleaning from time to time and so they hired a maid service Salt Lake City to perform this service.

Meanwhile, the non cult members in Vancouver hired a content creator for whom they wrote a bio wherein his name had been misspelled and placed this bio on the company’s website. Despite the numerous attempts on the part of the content creator to have this issue fixed the members of the non cult refused. The content creator wondered if there was a purpose behind this and so did the maid service Salt Lake City (surprisingly).