We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Friday, March 19. 2010
Many friends in town still without power etc. At some point, it gets a little old. A hot shower is one heck of a fine thing. A few more of my storm photos were posted earlier today. A few observations -
- You can get the phone co. to forward your regular phone to your cell phone on an emergency basis. That's a good service. Problem is, it pretty much wears out your cell battery while trying to get through to them.
- The power of nature is a majestic, frightening, unpredictable, glorious, exciting, humbling thing.
- Throwing out everything in your freezers is a bummer. Furthermore, the smelly garbage draws raccoons from all surrounding counties, who spill and drag it all around. Lovely. Thanks, fellas.
- It might be time to spring for a Home Depot generator like Gwynnie has. I am always the last person to have the techy thing.
- Memo to self: "Call your mother." Don't wait for an 80-something lady to call to see how you are doing. She said "Oh, we're fine. Your Pop and I are having quite an adventure with candlelight and the fireplace and the wood stove all going strong. We keep eachother warm. No stove though, so your Pop keeps sending me out five miles to Dunkin Donuts for coffee."
- The importance of fortunate timing: the BD pupette spent this week skiing in Utah with college pals - Deer Valley, where they offer you a hankie and a VSOP or glass of sherry on the lift line - instead of chilling here in the dark. Nice life to be a BD kid. I'd be happy to be one myself right now, around 20 years old with what I know now.
- No government was needed to get New England back up and running. All it took was neighborliness, dutiful utility companies, and tree companies from all over. The guys clearing our roads came down from NH and Quebec. I believe we also had every cherry-picker truck in Mt. Airy, NC, up here.
- No distractions: When you have no radio, TV, internet, phone, or power, you are pretty much stuck with your own thoughts. Sometimes that is interesting; sometimes it is living hell with memories, regrets, remorse, pain, etc. Dr. Bliss posted on this in A New Way to be Insane and in Try turning off the radio: Obsessions, Distractions and Diversions.
- My preferred living temperature is between 60 and 64 F. Keeps me alert, and comfortable in the proper dress code.
- All fossil fuel is just stored solar power. So is firewood. These things are solar power batteries. "Organic," too.
- It is said that fireplaces draw heat from a house. Perhaps that is true - but not in an unheated house. In an unheated house, a fireplace will radiate fairly well. Of course, a Franklin stove will do a much better job of that while burning less wood. Ol' Ben was quite a fellow, even if he was a jerk in some ways.
- Sheesh, Mr. Bruce Kesler! Now I see why people complain about the cheesecake on Maggie's. Every time I stopped by the library to check my email (they had power) and to see how Maggie's was holding up, out popped that seductive St. Paddy's leprechaun for all the world to see. I have to consider my reputation! However, she is one pleasant leprechaun.
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Glad you got your power back....it is a blessing.
Did you know that Mt Airy is Andy Griffith's home town and the model for Mayberry?
Yes, way in the back of my mind I did recall that.
What a wonderful TV show. Only know it from re-runs, tho. My folks would not permit TV in the house.
You got to live in the house? We kids had to ask permission to just huddle in the chicken coops when it was raining. Despite your lax and liberal upbringing, you appear to have turned out okay.
What is TV?
Bird Dog ... So very GLAD that you are back among the Internet enabled. As a veteran of many power outages due to hurricanes and other pesky stuff, please let me offer some thoughts about insulating yourself from the worst effects.
A generator is a wonderful, lovesome thing, God wot [to paraphrase a well known verse]. We have had a small Honda generator to power our greenhouse fans during summer hurricanes, and it serves to power a fridge and some lights for the house during outages. We have a water heater powered by natural gas all the time, so that is helpful -- immensely helpful, because our stovetop is gas powered too, even though our ovens are electric. Both serenely continue to do their jobs while everything else doesn't. But just as you have had no heat, if our power goes out in summer during a hurricane, we have no cooling from air conditioning. Down here that means days and nights of hot breathless weather in the 90s. We are now considering getting a generator powerful enough to give us power for the whole house, and connect it to the natural gas supply, which most houses in Houston have. Could be a $8000--$10,000 investment, but it would mean not having to count on the electric company to be on the ball repairing things. And the last time [Hurricane Ike] it took them 12 days to get the power back on here in the center of the city. But it does make one pretty well impervious to Mother Nature, unless she gets really pi$$ed and drops a tree limb on you.
Anyway, it's wonderfu that you are back.
well, shucks, thank you, MM.
However, our coverage was doing such a good job I considered retiring on my excellent Maggie's pension.
Hang in there....we did 11 days once. I did fine but wife wanted to hit me with an axe before it was over.
Missouri...today mid 60s, tonight dropping into 30s and winter storm warning says we could get over a foot...and tuesday next it is predicted to be 70.
Wild Turkeys will be dizzy by opening day.
GOOD NEWS BD now that you have been in a natural disaster - you don't have to pay for health care!
Isn't the government great!
(if you missed it - watch Brett Baer interview the chosen one)
Sez BD, No distractions: When you have no radio, TV, internet, phone, or power, you are pretty much stuck with your own thoughts. Sometimes that is interesting; sometimes it is living hell with memories, regrets, remorse, pain, etc.
--man, talk about --in no time you're back on that 8th grade football game, "if only i'd cut behind that guy..." and then whoosh to "jeez how'd i get so old" to "where's the Jim Beam?" to "oh god what a horrible example i set for the kids" to...
...then the power comes back on and you get to be a happy distracted semi-moronic electron sink again, whistling a merry tune in the blue glow!
Problem is, it pretty much wears out your cell battery while trying to get through to them.
Next chance you get, go to the automotive section of any Walgreens, Rite Aid, Wallyworld, etc., and find a "vehicle power inverter." Should cost you $20-$25. Plugs into the accessory socket (also known to fogeys as "the cigarette lighter socket") and outputs 120v AC. Thereafter, as long as you have a working car you have a small emergency generator. Won't run anything heavy, but it's enough to run a laptop or charge your cellphone.
(It'll also run chargers for NiMH batteries and even most digital camera battery packs.)
We are on our second whole house generator, and this one is the charm. The first we bought on the web and then had trouble getting it hooked up perfectly, particularly linking it to the propane heating system. It was an early Generac and kind of loud. The new Generac is very powerful, relatively quiet and runs like a top. Bought it from an electrical contractor who also installed it. Totally worth the minimal difference in price for the superb service. We are kind of the beaten track here, and our power is regularly interrupted often for periods up to six hours, and much more, of course, if there is wind or heavy snow.
I remember when hurricane Carol came through and we were without power for two weeks. No power for the well, we had to put a handle on the pump pulley to get drinking water and fill up the toilets water carried up from the lake out back. We had a hybrid propane and kerosene stove, so no problem cooking. Of course, it was warmer...
I was too young to remember Carol, and we were on vacation when Diane hit the next year, but from what I recall about the elders talking, Diane was worse, at least in terms of flooding. I remember being told where the flood waters of Diane rose above the creek/river running by our house ( I would estimate a five- ten foot rise), but recall no such information given about Carol. Nor do I recall any such rise from another hurricane.
We went through several weeks without power in the height of summer after a hurricane once, in Houston. Never again! Now we have a generator and a propane tank, not to mention a very large cistern.
If you are running a generator during a power outage you need to remember to disconnect your connection to the utility company's lines so your power is not feeding out on downed lines that others may come in contact with.
In some places the utility company will install a switch you can throw to insure there will be no leakage back onto their lines though the installation cost will be put on your tab.
We were out for a week over Christmas in 2004 after a huge ice storm, when the temperature never got above 0F.
1. That saved the freezer food. Just put it on back porch.
2. Open the cellar door and the cellar floor heats the house just fine. The house stays around 50F.
3. You still need a generator to run the sump pump occasionally.
4. A Doberman runs around 101F and keeps the bed quite comfortable.