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?


  1. We generally don't get that kind of weather here in NJ, but occasionally up in NW PA where we have a log cabin and where we intend to retire in about 6 years. I may change my mind after reading your post. I hope you at full wattage soon.

  2. Wow. Those Ice Storms awe me, I'm so sorry about your trees.

    Your post has info I might need, in the near future. Here, where I live on the Island, power might go off at the most for a day.

    When I move North, however, I expect I will grow accustomed to power outages and such; I will have to make sure I am prepared.

    I'm sure glad your power is back, I know what it's like to try and keep a tank warm enough for the tropical fish. I will have to give my Cichlid away; he's five years old now and would never make the trip.

    I hope you have a very happy and healthy 2008, Goatman!

  3. Wow! These storms are truly beautiful but gosh the damage and problems that arise can be very serious especially for the elderly. Glad to know you are safe and sound though.
    Best wishes to you in this year 2008 Goatman!

  4. we don't know what we have until we lose it... i'm glad things are ok with you and things are returning to normal.
    best wishes for 2008!

  5. I remember living in the Midwest and getting that weather. So far we haven't seen that here, but it is an awful thing.

  6. so sorry for the losses :-(

    yes, 62 degree is considered chilly in Malaysia.

  7. Now all you need is a Victrola and you are all set.
    We had a snapped telephone pole in Nyack near our house yesterday but it was a vehicle that snapped it.

  8. I've only ever experienced one ice storm. Pretty. But when everything started melting and dropping off, look out! Hey, thanks for dropping in on Moi's blob and best of luck with your new pup!

  9. Goatman,

    When I start to feel a bit anxious about having six pets, I find a bit of comfort in knowing that you're out there raising a brood, too.

    It sounds to me like you were really roughing it! Abraham Lincoln would have been proud, all that reading by candlelight, and all. Seems you know how to make it in a worst-case scenario. I don't know what I would've done; maybe I would have panicked!

  10. The idea of being stuck without power for an extended period of time kinda scares me! Especially during times of extreme weather.

    Glad to see the power is up, and that your household survive mostly unscathed.
    Thanks for dropping in on my blog. :)

  11. Yikes! Sounds brutal. But wasn't it beautiful?
    You first shot is gorgeous.
    Poor fishies.

  12. Wow! Well, you had a sort of adventure anyway! Yah! A Canadian device eased your worries! We've had 3 major dumps of snow before Christmas!

  13. Weather can really be dramatic--makes me think of how our ancestors coped , and what if a baby wished to be born at the height of this storm.

  14. that's how nature works, hope everyone is safe ;0)

  15. Goatman, I have been wonderin about your place, looks like a real nokiddin ice storm! Haven't seen one here like that since 1980, it was pretty severe as yours was, killed most all small trees and bushes, only now are some coming back very abreviated.

    I'm glad you used the smarts in burning those camping devices in the house, they can be dangerous. We have the lanterns and stoves on hand, but no fuel, probably should get some handy.

    I keep some oil for the oil lamps tho, bout out of it.

    I hope you don't get any worse this winter, maybe it will stay mild now! Take care of the family, all them critters and you people!

    PS: I think S. is maybe getting some good advice from somewhere, I hope so.

    See you later Goatman.

  16. Amazing fury of nature. I have a friend who lives in Iowa and they had massive ice storms there this winter also. Sounds like you were prepared to deal with it. The images of the frozen trees are beautiful although sad. I grew up in the North country of NY and remember a few icestorms as a child. The beauty of the frozen world is unbelievable. Do you have any other photos?