Digging out and wandering around…

Odds and ends from a marginally disrupted daisyfae…

– Power was back on at my new place by noon on Monday (storm was through our area Sunday afternoon/evening).  i was lucky.  Four days later there are still hundreds of thousands of people in the region in the dark. 

– My old house is still seriously dead.  Since that neighborhood is on well water, no electricity means no water.  Which means i’ve invited a few of my old neighbors over to my new place to shower*…  And there’s a potential impact to the repairs on the old place – can’t really install a new chimney if there’s no water for mortar.

– Cable TV Dependency:  More than just “Project Runway” withdrawal…  Those of us who have “bundled service” (cable tv, landline phone and internet connectivity) are fucked.  There was apparently much damage to the infrastructure, and restoration of service has been slow.  At first i was pissed off at my neighbor**, and was tempted to knock on his door to tell him to reboot his fucking system, but then realized that there is simply no internet connectivity.  Ugh.

– Television stations are annoying as all fuck.  No one has power.  Stations are constantly broadcasting “tune in for storm recovery updates”.  Better yet?  They are sending people to their website for information.  Hello?  If we ain’t got power, we ain’t got the TV-tubes.  And even if we DO have power, we’re all roaming the city, seeking active WiFi connections… Because regional cable/internet is wounded.

– Roving Bands of Wireless Pirates:  We’re starting to recognize each other.  The look.  Backpacks full of gear, desperation in our eyes.  Looking for a fix.  Going from cafe to bookstore to Starbucks… seeking connection.  Some of these people smelllook as though they haven’t showered for a couple days.  You’d think that would be a higher priority than the interweb.  Passing tips: “Panera is still dead, but i heard that Barnes and Noble is back up and wired…”.  Whining about having to pay $10 for a 24 hour pass at the local Starfucks***.

– Sad: As is always the case, the people who are the hardest hit?  The people who have the least options.  Those folks who have been squeaking by paycheck-to-paycheck are completely hosed.  Fewer resources mean fewer options for escape.  At least the state has offered to replace Food Stamps for those who have lost everything in their refrigerators and freezers due to power outages.  But it will take a week.  In the meantime?  The food banks are pretty bare…

– Resourcefulness:  A good reminder for me not to throw out my camping gear as i purge belongings.  i’ve got a gas powered generator, propane stove, non-electric can openers and all sorts of ‘gear’ that can come in handy in such circumstances.  And i can make a fire.  What i intend to add to the collection?  Chainsaw.  [grunt, scratch].  Bow saw just doesn’t cut it….

– Smells Like Disaster:  Driving through the old neighborhood, i was hit with a powerful smell.  Combination of wood chips, smoke and fresh autumn air.  Sounds?  The occasional generator humming in a back yard, chainsaws, wood chippers… If it weren’t such a pain in the ass…

– Usefulness:  A local church has been offering free hot meals every evening between 5pm – 7pm.  If that isn’t the most useful thing a church can do, then i don’t know what is.  Let’s hear it for the Methodists – and those lovely ladies who can whip up a jello-salad to feed hundreds!

Lucky: Yep.  That’s me.  This could have been SO MUCH WORSE – had we gotten the rain.  instead?  Gorgeous autumn weather!  High pressure blue skies, not a cloud to be seen…  If water had been pouring through all of those punctured homes?  Ouch. 


* No.  Not like that.  We were close, but no exchanges of bodily fluids.

** The source of my bootlegged internet connection.  Mine had just been set up – but wasn’t quite operational yet when the power crashed.

*** Which is where i am now…  Annoyed to the point that i am refusing to buy their goddamned $5 coffee.

19 thoughts on “Digging out and wandering around…

  1. Your timing is perfect. Just when I was about to start whining about the lack of mod cons, I read your post. Lucky doesn’t even begin to cover it.

    As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. It’s amazing how much we take for granted and don’t realize how dependent we are on things like water, coffee, electricity, coffee, internet, coffee …

  2. I was confused a few days earlier when lil’ sis posted on Facebook that she still had no power.

    “Um, how can you update your status at home with no electricity?”

    Apparently, her modem/router has an emergency battery pack on it for backup power. How clever is that?

    Her fridge did not, however, so she packed up all of her and her neighbor’s perishables and took them to Mom’s (which randomly still had power). By the time she got back, her power was on.


  3. Project Runway…haha my addiction too. Hey, but missing Joe’s outfit this week would have been worth no cable. It wasn’t exactly to die for–more like would die if you were caught in it! Poor kid. Hopefully you’ll be back to speed soon!

  4. i don’t know why, but i got this mental picture of you being the little kid in ‘Oliver!’ – – – “please sir, may i have another hour of internet”

    when you start pushing little old ladies, with their lace covered laptops, out of the way to get the strongest signal, i’ll know you’ve gone over the edge!

    good luck recovering!

  5. I laughed out loud at this: – Roving Bands of Wireless Pirates: We’re starting to recognize each other. The look. Backpacks full of gear, desperation in our eyes. I can just picture that in my mind’s eye.

    Regarding Resourcefulness: Annie just finished reading Kunstler’s World Made By Hand. At one point when we were reading in bed she turned and said to me, “You are going to be in big demand after the oil runs out.”

    The resourceful amongst us, the ones that can do and make do with what’s at hand need not worry about the future. It’s the ones that can do nothing to help themselves that will be seriously fucked.

    This whole event is yet another harbinger of what awaits us in the not too distant future. It’s a stark reminder of how thin the veneer of our civilized society, our technology, our civilization really is.

    Glad to hear you’re coming through this little episode with flying colours.

  6. Glad you’re surviving. Rob is such a comfort with his cheerful, upbeat view of things. NOT. Except that unfortunately, I share his pessimism. Hopefully, I will face the inevitable before that time comes. If not, I will drive Epona out to a tree where I won’t be found for a while. They’ll need the food for the youngsters. Tibetan sky burial, anyone?
    Not to worry folks, I can knit and crochet. I know how to sew clothes, and can probably do it on a treadle machine. I know how to can food, and I know a lot of other stuff folks might need me to teach them in those times.

  7. tNb – Many folks are taking this all in stride, but many more are whining, complaining about slow restoration of power, etc. Unreal. They don’t seem to grasp the enormity of the problem. MILLIONS of people without power. Sorry folks, but you’re not going to be watching NASCAR til next weekend…

    bob – the back up power? good plan. so long as your ISP doesn’t go wankers up. which is what most of us are dealing with at the moment… my ‘berry (work) has been fine, and i’ve been able to to minimal surfage there as needed for info…

    archie – Good plan, at least in your corner of the world! Bring Your Own Electrons!

    uncle keith – you are SUCH a sweet talker. how about a chainsaw that is powered by hardwood?

    paisley – i do have a tendency to [grunt, scratch] and sometimes when feeling particularly macho, will [grunt, scratch, spit]…

    unbearable banishment – agree. we got a 6 hour blow job. dry. no looting, minimal casualties. great sociological experiment…

    awalkabout – not a true addiction, but The Girl got me wired into it… just wanna whack those kids with a curling iron sometimes, don’t you?

    gnu – not quite beating up on old ladies, but i’ve got the timing down at the Starbucks. i know when to get here to get the best table… ya snooze ya looze, old dudes!

    heartbreaktown – imagine if he really could invent such a generator? the Playboy Mansion would be visible from space!

    rob – it really is pretty funny. seeing the same folks when i do my “fix” every day around lunchtime… and agree that the resourceful shall inherit the next version of earth. i’m not “deck building, concrete-pouring” resourceful, but i could survive in the woods for many days without much on hand. Campers rock…

    silverstar – while not a total paranoid, i am convinced that there will be more such days ahead. and those folks putting cash in mattresses would be better served learning to can food, build fires, and make clothing…

    nm – but can you put on a corset in the dark? that’s what we’ll all need to survive!

    alex – yes, that’s what it looks like! we’re all over twon… shuffling our feet, trying to pay our interent! 😉

    cat – about the LAST words i ever thought i’d utter were “thank god for starbucks”. you nailed it… can’t stand their over priced coffee, and hate paying for internet, but it’s much more tolerable here… i’ll hit the library over the weekend… crowded, most likely…

  8. We don’t really have natural disasters here. All ours are man made. Except for evaporation. In Africa our cars and all kinda goods just evaporate never to be seen again.

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