Praise The Lord, I Saw The Light

With due credit to the words of the old gospel hymn by the same name, there is no better way to describe my reaction to the return of electricity to my home last Saturday evening around 6:00 p.m. I have endured some trying periods in my life but the 9 days preceding the reconnection of power to my house has to rank near the top. Not only were we without electricity, we were without water for the first 3 days and we were required to boil our water for several days after it returned.

One of the most difficult things involved was the fact that the cable was out also and I was unable to watch the UNC-Wisconsin game. Considering the outcome, that might have been a blessing. Comcast set up generators throughout Richmond, but 30 of them were stolen. My Tar Heel buddy invited me over to his house to watch the game since he never lost power as did 95% in the metropolitan Richmond service area, but I didn't want to battle the traffic with most traffic lights out. There are still close to 100,000 customers in Richmond without power today but maybe that will be remedied by the time this article appears since I write several days in advance of posting.

Mrs. RamFanatic, Leroy and I made it through the first 3 days pretty good, but on the fourth day, my nephew who is also my web master brought us a generator up from North Carolina unannounced along with water and food. I had no previous experience with a generator, but I can tell you right much about the one I had for 6 days.

First of all, oil is as important to a generator as gasoline. The one I had cut off several times because the level of oil had dropped below the required level. The first time it happened, I thought the engine had locked up like an automobile engine does when it doesn't have enough oil but that is not the case. I am told there is a sensor that cuts the motor off when the oil level reaches a dangerously low level. It's difficult to start the engine unless the oil level is high even if it was not low enough to shut the motor off. Pouring gasoline into the tank from a full 6 gallon receptacle is fun if you have the muscles of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but needless to say, I am not so endowed.

Generators give off more carbon monoxide than automobiles, so one has to be careful where they place it even outside. A drift into the house can easily occur. They are also very noisy.

Enough about Isabel. The state of the UNC football team is foremost on my mind, and I must admit I don't see much that encourages me for the rest of the season. At the Florida State game I heard the old familiar cry of "Wait until basketball season." Seemed like old times.

Anyone who spends much time on the message boards have heard all the arguments about what is wrong with the defense and what it will take to correct it. Goodwill is declining towards Bunting and I sincerely hope he can give Carolina fans something positive before too long. Human nature being what it is dictates that fans will find someone to blame the current situation on and patience is in pretty short supply. If we don't do better in the next game, life will not be very pleasant for Tar Heels up here in the Commonwealth. I'm trying to keep the faith but it is getting more difficult each week.

This is not a commercial but those of you who attend home games may want to check out the Italian Ices at a little stand in front of Wilson Library. I've almost gotten addicted to them and the people who operate the stand are local and very nice. This is their second year and they say they do very well when the weather is good but the first game they worked, there was a downpour and business wasn't so hot. Miami of Ohio game last year, I believe.

I'm working on an article that will appear soon on Research Universities and the possible influence of research on the future of UNC. A friend of mine who worked in the UNC administration told me in the early 70s that he could foresee the day when UNC would not have undergraduates students, only post graduate and professional schools such as Law and Medicine. I laughed at the time, but I'm not laughing anymore.