Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Icy Fracture

What you don't like to see the morning after the power goes

out during an ice storm. A corner pole in back of this one
also was broken off near the ground.
14,000 houses were affected in the county, we for four days. Fortunately we had heat with a Canadian fireplace insert which uses outside air for combustion and inside logs for heat; of course the fan didn't work and heat was mostly by convection. Cooked on a coleman stove with window cracked for a little ventilation (these stoves are still not ready for prime time, in my opinion!). Light by candle in every room (carry matches), reading with kerosene lamp (keep fresh kerosene) and a coleman lamp hanging outside the window from the deck roof. Enough for some scrabble with light shining through the dining room window.
Note to self: get one of those 1.6 gallon flush toilets---carrying water from the lake in 5 gallon buckets to flush the john gets real old.
The main survival problem was keeping the tropical-fish warm. A normal 75°F water temperature quickly fell to 60° and would have continued down had I not added warm water and heated the tank front with the campstove. Still, 62° is chilly if you are a fish and used to waters off the coast of malaysia. Thus: three fish (lost one through PTSD I suspect), four ducks, five pigeons, two dogs, one cat, and two souls, depending on how you define "souls", survived for another day.
So now its cleanup time with nary a tree unaffected. Broken branches everywhere including still up in the trees. Natural pruning; we'll see what results.
Nearby local town of 14,000 decides to burn its branches rather than the logical solution of chipping the stuff up for mulch and recycling. Well: we never claimed to be ahead of the curve environmentally here in midwest U.S. . . . In fact we don't claim to be ahead of the curve environmentally here in U.S. , for the most part. What canya do?