SOOT IN THE FLUES


| March/April 1979



George White 25 HP

Charlie Mitchell

Hi -- Dear ones of I.M.A. Family --hope the year is being good to you and you are being good to everyone -- I suppose you are very busy either getting ready for the upcoming shows or basking in the memories of the past year's get-together.

Before I get on to the letters I have an Aesop story to pass on to you -- maybe some of you do not care for these items -- if so, just skip over these next few paragraphs -- I know some of you like these little tidbits-- because you have written me that you do -- This one is called Buried Treasure: A farmer on his deathbed summoned his four sons and told them that he was leaving his farm to them in four equal parts. 'I have very little ready cash, but you will find the greater part of my wealth is buried somewhere in the ground, about a foot and a half from the surface. I have forgotten precisely where.' Then he died.

The four sons set to work on the fields and dug up every inch of them, searching for the treasure the father had buried. They found nothing. But they decided that so long as they dug up all the ground, they might as well sow a crop and reap a good harvest.

That autumn, after an abundant harvest, the four boys again began digging in search of the buried treasure; as a consequence their farm was turned over more thoroughly than any other farm in the area. And of course again they reaped a fine harvest. After they had repeated this procedure for several more years, the four sons finally realized what their father had meant when he told them that his wealth was buried in the ground. (From Wellsprings of Wisdom by Ralph L. Woods.)

Now on to the letters and comments:

DENNIS GILBERTS, 17 South 1st Street, Apt. 1605, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401: 'I work for Northern States Power Company here in Minneapolis and I would like to report to your readers that steam is still alive and well and living in your utility's power plants. For example, over 90% of the electricity we produce at NSP is generated by steam. About half of that comes from coal burning boilers and the other half from the heat produced by splitting uranium atoms in a nuclear reactor. Some of the old timers might have liked to thresh grain with power like this. Two of our turbines operate with 2400 psi at the throttle, a steam temperature of 1000 degrees and each develops 950,000 horsepower. Another operates at 3600 psi. They have quite an appetite for fuel as you might expect -- our annual bill comes to about $100,000,000.