Monday, December 10, 2007

Notes from the Winter Wonderland

An exciting ice filled weekend, eh? The good news is there’s more to come! A few random thoughts and observations:

I had been expecting the power outages that always come with these things, but we didn’t lose power until last night and only then once for just a second and then again for about 3 minutes. We did lose our cable (and therefore our phones and internet) for about an hour as well. All in all, not too bad. Other parts of the city I guess weren’t as lucky. Mrs. TEH spent the day yesterday in Pleasant Plains and she said they lost power several times there. Of course, when we used to live there, it power seemed to go off anytime someone as much as sneezed in the direction of a power line.

In the post below, commenters Tracy (who needs her own blog judging by the quality and quantity of her comment) and JP (who already has his own blog) pass on their weather adventures over the weekend.

I was out and about several times this weekend and the streets were in pretty god shape for the most part, thanks to the street crews.

One survival tactic: when one of these ice storms approaches, turn up your heat. That way if the power does go off, it will take longer to cool off without the heat. That will buy you more warm time before power is restored.

Speaking of heat, I find it silly that when the electricity goes out my gas furnace become useless because there is no power for the blower. There’s all that potential heat (the natural gas) but it’s useless without the blower. Should gas furnaces come equipped with a backup source of power that could run the blower? How much energy can it take? Couldn’t it be run off of a battery for short intervals to get heat into the house while the electricity is off?

Last year when we had that ice storm, we lost power for most of a day and our only heat source was our gas fireplace that emitted almost no heat. This year I converted the fireplace into a wood burner. Now we can get heat from that in an emergency.

It was kind of fun walking around the backyard yesterday. Very loud and crunchy. It reminded me of the sound you here in your head when eating a crunchy cereal.

And finally, when I was outside yesterday clearing some ice, my 4 year-old son came to the back door dressed in nothing but a long-sleeved shirt. (Sometimes he likes to go natural around the house; I’m hoping he grows out of it soon.) He opened the door as if to come out and then went back in. I assumed he got the point that it was too cold to be outside with almost nothing on. A few minutes later he returned. This time he came out but had on his shirt and his snow boots and nothing else. He had determined that his feet would get cold on the ice. Problem solved.

1 comment:

JeromeProphet said...

Good post. I realize that the advantages which SUVs have in the snow are not present (despite the ABS, the computer controlled traction system, and AWD). However, I am feeling safer in the bigger vehicle.

While I've found myself at various points during this ice onslaught driving 20, to 30 miles an hour I have been very cautious.

But I see others speeding in their SUVs like they were flying on magic carpets or something.

The other night I had a SUV tailgating me - tail gating me on dark ice covered roads.

We finally got to a point where the road split up into several lanes and he races past me - to show his impatience. The light changed to red and this moron nearly slid through the intersection.

A Yugo with tire chains has better traction on ice than an SUV.

So the key here is to slow down.