Ah, winter

Some lessons learned during the last 44 hours, some 28 of them without electricity:

  • Being home is better than being at work, unless work has heat, and lights, and power to charge your battery, and coffee, and bandwidth. And plumbing. Don’t forget the plumbing.
  • Starting a woodstove with 80 mph gusts coming down the pipe is hard enough: don’t make it harder by using the slick-paper ad insert instead of newsprint.
  • That big fat candle? It’s not big enough.
  • If the power comes back on, use it quickly, before it goes off again.
  • When you see power lines laying on the ground beside the road, and a pole broken off at the ground hung up in the trees, and there’s not a single power company employee around, even though the tree that fell across the road and brought the lines down has been cut away hours ago? That means it’s going to be a long time before your power is back on.
  • Laptop battery life matters, even if you don’t travel.
  • That phone company that you abuse mercilessly? The one that hasn’t had a single interruption while the power goes off every five minutes? They might not be so bad after all. Ditto the ISP.


Comment by Mark A. Hershberger #
2002-12-16 12:39:03

Sounds like it’s time for something like Telco Powered Products (http://www.sandman.com/telco.html). They even have an adaptor to use for charging your laptop.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2002-12-16 12:58:05

I’m getting a telco powered portable defibrillator for sure: you know how often you’re ranting about the incompetant power company letting your power go out again, and at the height of your rant you have a heart attack? No more waiting for the ambulance for me!

Comment by Adam Kalsey #
2002-12-17 10:57:57

I grew up with woodstoves as my only way of heating the house. So here’s a tip that comes from 18-cords-of-wood-per-year experience:

In high winds, close the flue to get the fire lit. Of course, you need to open it before the smoke gets too heavy.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2002-12-17 11:52:48

Ah, if I only had a damper. The genius who installed the stove must have decided that it would get in the way of the heat going up the flue, so he didn’t bother with a damper, so its either roaring or dead, so I don’t use it often, so I don’t bother putting in a damper, and back around in a circle.

Trackback by Couchblog #
2002-12-16 02:48:09


Ok. We had ”BLITZICE” today over here. Can’t believe that that’s a big problem, but it was! Aniran, my girlfriend

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