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.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, November 3. 2012
A few notes:
- Hardware store is out of lamp oil
- LBJ's federal flood insurance is a perfect example of unintended consequences. The perverse incentive was to encourage people to build on flood plains and coastal areas. Yes, flood insurance is subsidized by you.
- Said by Newt on the radio today: "Barack Obama is a show horse, not a work horse."
- Threw out everything in both fridges and freezers today. Bummer. However, I cooked the bacon hoping for the best, and made bacon and tomato sandwiches. Delicious. I even used the warm mayo from the fridge. And I am still fine.
- Pupette evacuated from NYC decided that living in the cold and dark was getting old, so finagled a trip to San Francisco.
- None of the computer systems I have had access to can do what my own can. Quite annoying to be off all the grids.
- Received this email today from our occasional contributor Bulldog in New Jersey. It begins here, more below the fold with some of my comments:
To our friend Bulldog:
Welcome to the club. Lots of us are cold and in the dark literally and figuratively. It's not all that bad, really, justr uncomfortable and highly inconvenient. At least we don't live in a flood plain and have our house float away. A nasty Nor'easter or hurricane or whatever it turned into. However, we should not be surprised. These things happen regularly, and the Northeast has a long history of highly-annoying storms. We cannot expect government or power companies to fix everything right away. It's a huge mess to deal with, with many moving parts. My road is littered with broken utility poles and fallen trees, but low-density areas come last on the list. FEMA has nothing to do with this, nor does Obama. It's a local task, mainly, and even the Gov can't do much. Heck, Florida has these things all the time. We used to have them all the time in New England, at least annually, but in the past decade we had a reprieve.
My advice: burn that green wood. Get a good hot fire going and it will burn just fine. That's what I am doing. Esp. the White Pine, but anything else. I get the heat up in there by throwing in a couple of charcoal briquets. I don't stoke the fireplaces at night, since it's only getting down to the low 40s now. My parents are in their 80s and have been without heat or power since Monday, and don't seem to mind it all that much. My Mom calls me on her cell phone worried about whether I'm cold! She's thankful no tree fell on their house.
Winter underwear and long johns are great for bedtime. I have woken up many mornings at the uninsulated farm with snow on my blankets, blown in through cracks in the old windowsills, and felt fine as long as I stayed under the covers.
Whence am I posting this? Public library today. They are extending their hours too until 9 pm. It has heat, light, and plenty of broadband machines (albeit there are lines to use them). When I think about our storm challenges, I feel grateful that these are our worst difficulties.
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My best and my prayers to all those in the storm's path.
What we in Florida have learned is that you have to be able to depend on yourself for a week or so. That means food, water, medicine stored, and filling the tub with water before the storm strikes. The tub water can be used to flush the toilet. Learn what the most likely disaster you will face will be, and prepare for it.
The second thing we've learned is that the local government has to be forced to make hard decisions. My small city finally buried all of the electric cables - the result was that during the four hurricanes and one tropical storm that hit in 2004, my power was out a total of 15-minutes.
Lamp oil=kerosene=diesel fuel from the tractor. Problem solved.
Maybe a little stinky, but usable,
You can use your cooking oils as lamp oil. Vegetable oil works fine, so does olive oil and the smell better than diesel.
Wear outdoor clothes indoors.
Sleep with a dog. They run about 100.5 degrees.
Bird Dog/Bulldog - hey, two BD's!! Never noticed that before.
I've been thinking good thoughts and hoping for the best. I have some good friends and relatives in Mystic/Pawcatuck/Westerly RI area and was just able to get in touch with them yesterday. They sent me some cell phone pics of the storm damage - damn amazing. There's one home out at Watch Hill which was just finished being renovated - in fact, right before we moved down to SC. It's in ruins now. Unbelievable.
Keep the faith guys. I wish I was up there to help.
Watch Hill has a history
The Hurricane of 1938 caught Watch Hill by surprise and took a terrible toll. On Fort Road, which connected Watch Hill to the old Fort Mansfield, all the 39 houses, the Yacht and Beach Clubs, as well as the bathing pavilion were destroyed. Fifteen people were killed there alone and others survived by clinging to wreckage as they were swept across the bay to Connecticut.
My Mother was a USCG SPAR radio operator and was sent to Watch Hill USCG station as it was the only operating USCG radio station on the East Coast. She, and her crew, spent three weeks there living with a family until USCG Cape Cod was repaired and running.
She spent the rest of her time in the USCG at USCG Cape Cod until 1945 and the end of the European campaign.
"I even used the warm mayo from the fridge"
When I worked in Germany in the summer of 65 there was no refrigerator in the workers' dorm. Mayo came in a large squeeze tube, eggs from the nearby farm came rolled up in a tube of newspaper, and I'd keep both on a shelf. The lack of refrigeration made me nervous, but there was never a problem. I think we are a bit spoiled by modern appliances.
I have stayed in Guatemala at a place at around 5000 feet altitude, with daily highs from 65-75 depending on the season. No refrigeration. The pot of beans did OK the next day without refrigeration, as did those who ate next day beans.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you who are still coping with this aftermath. Especially hope things will be running by Tuesday in time for the election AND the nor'easter.
The only good news on the horizon is no news. When I emailed Bulldog back, I worried about the impending nor'easter and the accompanying plummet in temp. However, I just now checked the 10-day forecast and, while it appears some rain is on the way, the temp is actually going to rise a bit, from the current mid-40's to the mid-50's. So at least Bulldog & family have that going for them.
Best article I've read on the storm is here.
Genuine mayonnaise is actually a very safe food, as the high acidity makes it impossible for bacteria to grow. Still, I wouldn't push that too far.