Sunday, February 28, 2010

Power Outage

It's not exactly The Shining, but we've been without power up here in NH since midnight Thursday.   

"Kid Dynamite, " you ask, "How are you blogging if you don't have power?"  

I have found a small bar  in my town that has wi-fi, and more importantly - the Olympic men's gold medal hockey game (USA vs Canada.)   Come Monday, I'll likely head to the town library to get my internet fix and feel like I'm still in the information flow.  At some point this week, I want to write blog posts about Wynn's earnings call transcript, and the Berkshire Hathaway letter to shareholders - both of which are now available on the internet, but neither of which I have seen yet,

So anyway, I wanted to bail and head to either my mom or dad's house 80 minutes away outside of Boston, but my wife took the "Captain must go down with the ship" mentality and insisted we stay and keep the house warm so that the pipes don't freeze.   Upon hearing that there were downed trees all over our neighborhood (although not on our property) blocking the roads, my in-laws took it as a personal challenge and trekked out through a blizzard to come visit us from Albany.   They brought candles, a chainsaw and a small generator, which we eventually hooked up to one of our refrigerators to try to salvage Oscar's frozen raw food and the few steaks and burgers we had that were worth saving.  Unfortunately, I wasn't ready to let my father-in-law cob-job a manual hookup for our well pump or furnace, so we were still without water and heat.  Without major practical uses for the generator, we put it to pleasurable use:  hooking it up to the TV/DVD player and watching Fletch, which my in-laws had never seen.

As far as being without power goes, this isn't exactly the toughest situation in the world, but it's more than enough to rattle a city boy like me who's addicted to the internet.  I wake up in the middle of the night shivering from withdrawal, wondering what sort of discussion is going on the blogosphere, and what is happening in the real world.   Temperatures have been in the upper 30's, so we don't need to worry about extreme cold, although we've been burning a fire in our fireplace non-stop to try to keep the temperature in the house hovering around 60 degrees and ensure that there is no chance of frozen pipe issues.  We just got our fireplace lined last week, and have a problem with smoke billowing back into the room.  My father-in-law rigged up a sort of smoke barrier to deflect the smoke back up the chimney using a piece of stove pipe we'd bought to make into a smokestack for our maple syrup evaporator, and sealed off the ends with cut up lasagna pans.  So far, it's doing well as a fix -  the premium debarked wood that he provided us with is burning very fast and furious and cranking out heat.  My wife remarked that the 75 degrees we managed to attain at full fire last night was warmer than she'd been able to get me to crank up the oil furnace to.  We've gone through most of the face-cord that we had stacked in the barn, which necessitated a practical solution:

Today, I demo'd the chain-saw that my in-laws brought for us - cutting down a 30 foot tall dead maple in my yard, and dicing it into pieces to alleviate our wood shortage.  It was quite the Daniel Boone moment, but carried another consequence - I haven't showered since Thursday morning, and I played soccer Thursday night but didn't shower before the power went out.  After working up a sweat cutting down the tree, cutting it up, and lugging the pieces to the house, I smelled like a dirty diaper.  The hardest thing about being without power, considering that it was 35 degrees and not 15 degrees outside, is the lack of water.  We'd been taking 5-gallon buckets of water out of our hot tub and using it to flush our toilets, but the tub is getting down near tail ends.  If and when we run out of water, I'll either have to go to Dunkin'Donuts to take a dump, or grab a tree and squat in the woods.  I took a "bath" in the hot tub today, sitting in a hip deep pool of lukewarm water.  Luxurious.

Hopefully I'll get online for a while tomorrow and get caught up with the stories of the past few days, but I won't be as timely as usual in responding to comments or emails.

All work and no play makes KD a dull boy. All work and no play makes KD a dull boy.  All work and no play makes KD a dull boy.



rjs said...

i figured thats what happened to you...

i went thru a few of those three day outages before i broke down and bought a 4500 KW generator...

to prepare for an outage where the temps are closer to zero and you'd want your oil burner running, install an outlet on your furnace circuit...then get two extension cords, cut the female ends off both, and connect the cut ends together, making an extension cord with two male ends...then when your power goes off, cut the furnace breaker (you dont want power line feedback) and plug one end into the furnace outlet, and the other into your generator...

getyourselfconnected said...

I left a comment on the last post on this. Me, the wife, the pug dog, and the 78 year old mother in law had to get rooms at a hotel to wait it out. Irony is we had scheduled a natural gas generator installation for 2 weeks from now, go figure.

Glad you are well.

But What do I Know? said...

Heeeeere's Johnny!!!!

Seriously, good luck with the power outage, KD. Makes the idea of those Bloom boxes a little more interesting, no?

Kid Dynamite said...

my power is back!