Print Story hooray, the lights are back on!
Diary
By clover kicker (Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 06:32:01 AM EST) (all tags)
Power was off for 16 hours this weekend, haven't had one of those for a few years.

Some comments, and a poll:



  1. When I picked out my new toilet I chose a low-flow model specifically for times like this. If you've never been on a well, when the power is off the pump doesn't work and there's no manual backup. So when you're filling the toilet tank from buckets of water (hoarded in the basement specifically for this purpose) the difference between a 5 gpf toilet and a 1.6 gpf toilet adds up REALLY FAST for a family of 4.
  2. Some people obsess over cars. Some people overclock their PCs, although lately that seems passé and you're supposed to fetishize your cell phone. Some people love guns, and spend their evening slowly polishing and stroking the barrel. I have an unnatural, perverse love for my woodstove. Half-day power outages are part of the reason. I don't exactly enjoy getting up at 3AM and loading in more wood, but it's better then waking up freezing at 6AM.
  3. The house is amazingly quiet with no power. It's amazing how many humming and buzzing things there are, I'd completely tuned them out.
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hooray, the lights are back on! | 20 comments (20 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
7 days, after a hurricane. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 06:59:36 AM EST
Summer, thank the FSM, so the showers were lukewarm. Did all my cooking on a charcoal grill.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 07:06:35 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



[ Parent ]
everyday camping by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 07:40:32 AM EST
I'm sure if you were used to it and prepared for it that would be just fine, but I'm a spoiled modern who appreciates running water and refrigeration.

There's no harm in having our luxuries interrupted once in a while, reminds us how lucky we are.

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 07:44:31 AM EST

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how do you prepare for that kind of outage? by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 07:36:41 AM EST
Hoard a couple days worth of food+water and hope something will be available after that?

The nice thing about cold-weather outages is that it's easier to keep stuff in my fridge/freezer edible.

And in a pinch I can melt snow for washing, flushing toilet etc. It's actually quite annoying to do that, it takes a surprising amount of heat to melt my big stockpot full of snow.

[ Parent ]
Power was available for the municipal water. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 09:02:08 AM EST
So we had water pressure. Bought bags of ice to keep the fridge cold, and cooked and ate everything in the freezer before it went bad. Had plenty of other food in the pantry. It's not hard to boil water for pasta on a weber grill, or heat up the sauce.

The really nice thing about summer outages is that you don't need AC to survive the summer. No heat in the winter is much more problematic.

a surprising amount of heat to melt my big stockpot full of snow.
It takes 1 calorie to heat 1 cc of snow from 0°C to 1°C. So, yeah, melting a gallon of snow would require quite a bit of heat...

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Plus... by ana (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 09:35:56 AM EST
80 calories per gram to melt the ice. And then one calorie per gram per degree C to heat the meltwater.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
I know that intellectually by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #20 Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 06:44:56 AM EST
But I was still surprised at the reality of how long it took to melt ice, even on a stove running so hot you could hardly stay in the room.

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:15:29 AM EST

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[ Parent ]
the ones who really get boned in the winter by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:19:11 AM EST
are the apartment dwellers.

[ Parent ]
Another reason to get married by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #13 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:22:19 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Plus it's not like they pop up out of nowhere. by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:10:14 AM EST
You know pretty well in advance when a hurricane is going to hit you.  I always find it amusing when people ask how I can live down here with the constant "threat" of hurricanes... I know they are on the way and can prepare myself in advance, unlike places that are hit with tornados and earthquakes.  Those things would freak me the heck out.

Like wiredog said tho, water is only a problem if you live rurally and need power to run a pump.  In town, I've never lost water.  When I was young and lived in the country, well... have a collection barrell.  You're in a hurricane, the water is pouring from the sky.  And food is canned/dried goods.

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
[ Parent ]
the thing about snowstorms by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:18:20 AM EST
is that any big one is a threat to lose power, but few of 'em do, so it's easy to get complacent.

2 winters ago we had 3 separate 3 foot snowfalls, and didn't lose power all winter.

I stockpile my water in the fall now, just to be sure.

Some people fill the tub before every storm, but that's less practical with kids.

[ Parent ]
Yup. I remember those days. by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:34:01 AM EST
Fill the tub and clean out a barrell for "toilet water" during the storm and fill a bunch of jugs for drinking water.

I'm a city dweller now tho, and working at a hospital I've been caged in at work for most of the hurricanes of  the last decade.  Generators. Cafeteria. Internet.  The only downside is I'm stuck at work. =P

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
[ Parent ]
Around six hours personally by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 08:08:57 AM EST
though we got lucky on the huge ice storm 19 years ago, our apartment didn't lose power, but many people lost it for about a week, including my parents and my inlaws and work.


Ah yes, the '91 ice storm by lolwhat (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 02:29:47 PM EST
RG&E took a whole week to get power back on in our part of town. Municipal water didn't work either. Bailing out the sump pit got pretty fucking tiresome.
--
If cigarette packs are required to have pictures of diseased lungs, college brochures should be required to have photos of grads working at Starbucks.
[ Parent ]
I should always have water by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 02:33:59 PM EST
with one reservoir right behind and above my house, unless gravity fails, in which case we have bigger problems.

I don't think Henrietta lost water, since my parents just stayed at there house and toughed it out without power.


[ Parent ]
Aww by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:59:38 AM EST
It's diaries like this that make me wish we'd have another ice storm here, so I can be all "yo, I gots cred!"

I was in Montreal for the Toronto power outage and Toronto for the Montreal ice storm. I miss all the fun. I'm like some sort of anti-bad-weather talisman.


--
Vive le Montréal libre.

Wichita had an ice storm by jayhawk88 (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 11:25:44 AM EST
A few years back, where Jenn and I's old house was without power for close to 3 days. Parts of the city were out for a week or more, they were bringing in line crews from as far away as Texas from what I heard to try and get things back up and running. Of course we managed to score a hotel room so that doesn't really count.

When I was probably about 10 or 11 my hometown of Canton got hit with a big blizzard/ice storm that knocked out power for better than a week. We had a wood burning stove that heated the house, I can remember my mom making soup/chili on it, and grandpa coming over in the mornings to heat up his coffee on it.

I can always tell when the power is out. by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #19 Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 05:49:45 PM EST
I wish I had a woodstove.  We had one as a kid and well it was hot for sure, but damn was it nice when it was really cold.


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hooray, the lights are back on! | 20 comments (20 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback