Saturday, February 08, 2014

Freeze, storm, snow, thaw

the thing about a winter storm is that it has four faces, each with its charms and each with its hazards.

At the first freeze, you worry that your car may freeze up. Thankfully, you have kept up your radiator antifreeze to the point where the radiator is protected to sub-zero temperatures. So, havig spent two nights with a lamp with a 60 watt bulb under the hood, you're confident that you have over-reacted.

Second phase .. the storm!

After a while, the Winter storms come. Hail, sleet, and eventually snow ... you're comfortable until you realize that the snow is over a foot deep, and you HAVE to go to the store because you're fast running out of consumables, such as Milk and Cigarettes!

So it takes you a few seconds to rock your car back and forth in he deep drifts, and then that four-wheel drive just floats you out of your drive way and on your way to the grocery.

The snow: The next day the snow is even deeper, but you know that it's a "Dry Cold", and the increasing drifts are just powder. You can DO this! A trip to the store is "No Big Thing"m, and besides the last time you endured such a snow stormn (in 1968 ... so much for Climate Change!) you were driving a 1963 Corvair Spyder Convertible, and you made it though the Mean Streets of Winter okay. Besides, your worst problem in that rear-engine car was steering. So you threw a couple of sandbags in the front trunk, and kept on trucking.1965 ir 2914 ,,, LESS THAN 50 years, and you're still The Man!

The next day, the weatherman speaks of freezing rain, thawing, and "possible power outage". No big deal. Who needs electricity?

I do.

My bed is an electrically heated water bed. IU have candles and a TON of oil lamps, but it gets cold by morning.

And youknow what> The Thaw is not the best thing that can happen,

What is is that the trees have accumulated snow and ice for three days, and then The Thaw makes the ice start to melt. But not evenly. Eventually, the boughs bend, and then they break, and the boughs that hang over power lines?

They break the lines.

That's what happened a half hour ago, and now I'm on UPS power (which lasts about 75 minutes, so I'm typing as fast as I can!

We actually had a major power outage this afternoon. It lasted 82 minutes. But was in the daytime, when the Linemen For The County could see. Now it's dark, and deep, and they have promises to keep. I have no confidence that they can find and repair the breaks in the Main Line before my UPS dies, so I'm typing as fast as I can. (Which is none too fast, considering that the coal-oil lamp doesn't put out enough light for me to see the individual keys on the keyboard; my touch-typing is good, but not THAT GOOD! So I must type slowly, carefully, and use my flashlight when I have typos.)

Am I inconvenienced? Yes, I am. But I wouldn't have it anyother way. Calf-deep snow, freezing cold, power outages ... it sounds funny to say, must sound really weird to read ... but life can become too easy, and we stagnate.

Man needs a challenge from time to time. He NEEDS to understand that life is not without challenges, even if they are only petty inconveniences. I have food, water, air and life. How much more it is appreciated when the conveniences are not available!


Last night I found it difficult to go to sleep, because the college students a the end of the block were standing in the street talking loudly. In sub-zero temperatures. At first it was annoying, and then I realized that they were actually enjoying the challenge of the weather! For a while, I thought to join then Then I realized: That's stupid!


Anonymous said...

Just as long as your frozen body isn't found in a snow drift in the morning. You folks that live in the big snow country defy death just making it through the average winter with all your fingers and toes.

Anonymous said...

The joys of global warming

Rivrdog said...

You need to beef up that UPS. Open 'er up and you will find its either a 6 or a 12 volt battery in there. Using crimp-on circuit splitter, bring a pair of power wires outside the case, and put a Flat Two plug on the pair. Make up a cable of appropriate length terminating in another Flat Two. Triple check to get the polarity right. From BiMart, get a Group 24 RV battery. Make yourself a cigar lighter set up to charge the battery, and you're good to go through those power outages. A cheapo battery maintainer completes the setup.

I made one using a 37-amp hour wheelchair battery, and it fits nicely in a plastic 50 cal ammo can, along with all the gear and cables. Photos on email request.

Anonymous said...

Don't fear the snow.