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February 25, 2010

Power outage
Posted by Patrick at 07:38 PM *

On our little block of Brooklyn. Presumably as an effect of the endless slushy snowfall. The Con Ed website registers the outage and estimates that it’ll be fixed tomorrow morning. Oh joy.

Our phones still have some battery power, but we’re likely to be off the net pretty soon. I understand that reverting to a state of pre-civilization savagery is next.

UPDATE, 11:30 the next morning: Our neighbors remain uneaten, but the power’s still out. Con Ed, whose outage map first estimated it would be restored at 7 AM, later changed it to 11 AM, and now they say 3 PM. I suspect the map increments these estimates foward in four-hour chunks.

Given what a slow-moving mess this storm is becoming, for all I know our lights won’t go back on for days. If we have to do another evening of stumbling around by candlelight, though, I may run mad.

UPDATED UPDATE, 3:30 PM. We have power, hooray.

Comments on Power outage:
#1 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 07:48 PM:

Our snow. You has it.

(Seriously, the rain in Maine goes plainly down the drain, or something. Ground is bare and saturated; good thing it's been warm and the river ice is rotten enough to break rather than jamming up again. It's going to be an interesting few days up here.)

#2 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 08:04 PM:

When you start venturing out into the streets looking for neighbors to eat, let us know. We may have some ideas for preparation.

#3 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 08:07 PM:

Now don't you wish you were getting all those PublishAmerica books to use to cook the neighbors?

#4 ::: Madeline Ashby ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 08:25 PM:

On the way home through the tiny, stinging flakes tonight, I remarked to my husband that I would only believe the "hundred words for snow" meme if corroborating evidence confirmed that all the words were expletives.

Good luck.

#5 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 08:30 PM:

Have fun storming the surviving outposts of civilization!

#6 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 08:31 PM:

Ah, but you have two years of food stored!

Oh wait.

Well...you won't run out of jam, at any rate!

#7 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 08:32 PM:

On the other hand, DC was finally missed by one of this season's storms, giving me a fighting chance of having a clear driveway by Spring.

#8 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 08:44 PM:

They said this might happen.

Many sympathies.

We are hoping that This doesn't happen here, however, as we went off to hold class today, Vaquero asked me if I knew where the candles and matches were, 'Just in case."

Of course I do.

My worry is that we don't have enough candles. Used to be candles were for sale at discounted prices everywhere. Like so much else in the last two years, discounted anything has disappeared, particularly candles, and like so much else, the prices have inflated.

Still, our power lines are underground, here in lower Manhattan. But the grid that provides is elsewhere ....

This stuff is so wet its weight is heavy, and now, as the temps begin to drop to freezing and below, which all day the temps held above, who knows?

Love, C.

#9 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 09:34 PM:

Sympathy. I suggest that you wrap up in furs and pack your notebooks and phones out to a Starbucks or similar outpost a few blocks away.

#10 ::: Roy G. Ovrebo ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 09:44 PM:

It's snowing here too. (Southwestern coast of Norway.) We haven't had this much snow for years and years. Perversely, the temperature is above the freezing point.

#11 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 10:17 PM:

Brings a new meaning to the 'slushkiller' thread...

#12 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 10:18 PM:

Tom @3 Oh, they'd never burn hot enough to cook anything properly. And the fumes!

Though they might do as sidewalk lanterns. For a minute or so.

#13 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 10:25 PM:

pericat @ 12 ...
I'm sure that compressing enough of them into bricks might have the same general effect as using dung for fuel...

#14 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 10:27 PM:

Patrick... Presumably as an effect of the endless slushy snowfall

...or of the abiveld?

#15 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 10:29 PM:

We have oil lamps. Sufficient that a neighbor asked, last time we had a power out, if we had some sort of special generator because our house was bright but he couldn't hear the generator. (We DO have a neighbor that has one, when the power is out it is extremely loud.)

I'm making a note to self on my LJ to have a lamp roundup/cleaning once it gets in the least bit warm. Storm season is coming, I have no shortage of good buckets to use (cat litter buckets).

#16 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 11:11 PM:

Madeline Ashby #4: tiny, stinging flakes

Crystallized acid rain?

#17 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 11:22 PM:

Where I am (northwest Philly) we're getting snow, rather than slush, being blown about by strong winds and then sticking to things.

I gather further north in Connecticut and Boston, they're just getting rain.

It's an odd distribution, this storm. I'm still planning on getting to a meeting in Princeton, NJ tomorrow; we'll see what it's like on the way (or if "on the way" is passable).

#18 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2010, 11:53 PM:

This reminds me how glad I am to live right next door to the NY Presbyterian / Allen Pavilion hospital. Our power is pretty stable.

My condolences on the loss of civilization as you knew it.

#19 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 02:14 AM:

Madeline Ashby @4: A phrase that pops into my mind when I am out in weather like this is: "Flakes of ice in the eyes; what's not to like?"

I have no idea where this came from. I think because I can't avoid the snow when it arrives, my brain is trying to convince me that it's fun (stupid brain).

#20 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 02:35 AM:

I look at ConEd's map a few hours ago, and there was an outage marked about two-thirds of a mile east of us, scheduled to be fixed tomorrow, but now it's already gone. (I don't remember when tomorrow, but I think it was much later than now.) So it may get fixed earlier than they're currently saying. Of course, if you're reading this, it's probably already been fixed!

The outage in your area is labeled as a "Manhole Problem" at one zoom level. (The icons and labels change as you zoom.)

#21 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 02:54 AM:

Serge @14:

No, we had great weather while we were there. Sunny, mostly, and above freezing the whole time. It rained on the last day (Tuesday).

The problem, you see, is that I then left, and my magic trick of breaking the winter weather left with me.

#22 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 07:12 AM:

I hope civilisation is restored before too many of your neighbours are eaten.

#23 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 07:55 AM:

Constance @ #8:

I've taken advantage of the (relatively) cheap IKEA candles and tealights. I have something along the lines of 60 candles and 80 tealights on the shelf (numbers approximated from having bought 100-packs), so I should be set for at least one not-too-long outage.

#24 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 08:17 AM:

Are you guys all set for flint spears? I think you can order them on Amaz--

Oh. Wait.

#25 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 08:21 AM:

abi @ 21... The problem, you see, is that I then left

I'd conclude that America is trying to tell you something.

#26 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 08:28 AM:

Serge @25:
I'd conclude that America is trying to tell you something.

Well, yeah, but the weather back in the Netherlands was monstrous bad while we were gone, and only improved on our return.

#27 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 08:31 AM:

So BOTH America AND Europe are telling you they want you. This surprises me not at all, though continents are seldom so individually solicitous.

#28 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 10:27 AM:

Waugh! My sympathies. I must do shopping on the way home from work, because all our cans of soups have converted to split pea with ham. I think this would be a good weekend to do something in the crockpot that's full of protein and spices.

(I have trudged into the office, using Soren's cane with an ice claw at the bottom, since he's staying home, and am even thinking about going to an art exhibit this afternoon/evening. Clearly, I have the common sense of a fig bar.)

#29 ::: twif ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 10:35 AM:

don't forget to stock up on milk and eggs!

#30 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 10:52 AM:

you know, l.e.d. flashlights are now so cheap and battery-efficient that you could get just about as much light, for as long, for the same money, by buying cheap l.e.d. flashlights as by buying tea-candles or oil-lamps. and no risk of fire or carbon-monoxide; easier to read in bed; easier to give to the kids; advantages on and on.

no, i don't retail them, but i do have a ridiculous number of them at home. it's worse, actually--i buy the expensive, cutting edge ones which then become dime-store commodities a year later. if i just waited a year, i could have as much light for pennies on the dollar. but someone has to buy the latest gadgets!

#31 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 11:45 AM:

kid bitzer (#30): Seconded. I keep one within reach in bed, another (rechargeable) one hanging from a wall socket, and a pair of small keyring flashlights. I've used all of them except the rechargeable at least once. (I bought that one after my last power outage, and haven't had an outage since. I don't presume causation, but I'm not complaining about the correlation either.)

#32 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 11:46 AM:

LED flashlights are great. I've got a pair of them that get their batteries changed every year -- I use them for going out to get wood at night in the winter and because of that, I know where they are and that they still work.

We've also got a bunch of little moon lights, 3 leds, 3 AAA batteries. A couple of those is enough to light a room to a level that's probably a little dim for reading, but well enough for emergency use. It's amazing how efficient these things are, really.

#33 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 12:05 PM:

It's pretty easy to get hand-cranked/charges from USB/long storage battery LED flashlights; disposables are cheaper and smaller, but it depends on how paranoid you're feeling.

I have such a flashlight, and a similar radio, that happens to also be a flashlight; three separate good (=machined aluminum body, O-ring seals, etc.) LED flashlights with rechargeable batteries, one of which I am never without, 2 semi-disposable watch-battery LED lights, one of which I am never without, an LED headlamp, 24 hour beeswax candle, beeswax tea lights, several dozen regular candles, a large battery with inverter (mostly for the benefit of the freezer), and two hurricane lanterns with 20 L of kerosene.

If I ever need any of it, I'm going to feel prepared.

Toronto is getting snow; since we're somewhere around a third of the snowfall of a normal year, and it's not much -- forecast said 15cm last night, doesn't look like we're getting that -- I suspect the empty cubicles at work are due to it being Friday in combination with the snow being worse north of here.

#34 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 12:15 PM:

Re #30-32: Agreed. Here's part of our flashlight collection; usually they're scattered all over the house, but there was a concentration of them in the den for a while. And yes, most of them are LED-style, because they give so much more light than an incandescent.

That said, candles do have one attribute that flashlights don't -- they provide (at least some) heat as well as light, which could be significant when your power is out due to snow and ice.

#35 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 12:53 PM:

In DC, at the slightest threat of a storm, the supermarkets are stripped of milk, eggs and toilet paper by the panicked citizenry. Shopping carts are piled high with 24-packs of the stuff.

Does cabin fever cause diarrhea?

#36 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 01:25 PM:

35: even if it did, you'd think all those eggs would counteract it.

#37 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 01:28 PM:

I'm another fan of the hand-charged LED ones for emergencies, and to keep in the car - nice to know that if broken down somewhere, you'll have light (and yes, I know to have a candle for keeping the car warm, but the flashlight would enable me to find the candle and matches).

We've got a hand-cranked LED "lantern" as well, which gives diffuse light over a whole room.

#38 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 01:37 PM:

Theophylact, #35: You forgot bread. I have long been convinced that this is a form of sympathetic magic; people buy "white stuff" in the hopes that it will keep the weather-related white stuff away!

#39 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 01:37 PM:

Theophylact @ 35: You can blame Johnny Carson for the TP hoarding, I think. Ever since his Tonight Show joke about a toilet paper shortage (the December 19, 1973, show according to my limited Google-fu), toilet paper has become one of those things folks think will disappear soonest from store shelves during any kind of crisis...so it does.

#40 ::: caffeine ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 01:47 PM:

Theophylact @35, I think toilet paper is just one of those things you wouldn't want to run out of.

During the last big DC storm (dubbed Snowmageddon), the cashiers at Shoppers supermarket said the most common purchases besides the milk-eggs-bread-toilet paper standards were frozen pizza and wine.

One of the writers at consumerist.com wrote an entire post ridiculing DC-area residents for stripping grocery store shelves before a snowstorm. With the wee two-inch snowstorms we normally get, that might be overreaction, but when they're calling for two feet of snow, making fun of people for stocking up is uncalled for. I was pretty angry about it at the time.

We were stuck in our house for a week, although thankfully we never lost power. The milk ran out, then the eggs. Had we run out of cheese and tortillas, we really would have been in dire straits.

#41 ::: caffeine ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 01:49 PM:

dcb @37, will a single candle really keep a car warm? I'm about to revamp our car emergency kits. Maybe I should add a candle and matchbox.

#42 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 02:06 PM:

@41--

i dunno about the car as a whole, but so far as keeping yourself warm, i'd say it's better to curse the darkness than to light a candle.

you'll probably do better expending the calories with some vigorous aerobic imprecations, and you don't have to worry about carbon monoxide.

(i have serious doubts that a car could be well-enough ventilated to make the candle non-suicidal, from a carbon-monoxide standpoint, without being drafty enough to make it pointless from a warmth-retention standpoint. candles are good things! by all means carry some in your car, or on your person! but fire and co poisoning are serious issues. if you want to stay warm, stash a warm balaclava or two somewhere and keep that head warm).

#43 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 02:09 PM:

@42--
i read what i just wrote, and i think:
you know what, pal? you really have no basis for pontificating. it's not your area of expertise.

so forget i said that. this blog has the advantage of jim macdonald and other people with bona fide emergency/search and rescue experience.
so listen to them, not to cranky old academics who don't know from ambulances.

#44 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 02:25 PM:

I've read in several places (can't remember where) that a single candle will (at least at the temperatures we get down to in the UK) help keep the car warm enough that you don't freeze.

Hopefully Jim Macdonald or someone will be able to add more information and confirm this or say it's a myth.

#45 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 02:26 PM:

Dunno about cars, but a single candle can do a lot for a snow shelter.

Most houses are not air-tight enough for CO buildup to be a problem, and your carbon monoxide detectors *do* run on batteries (changed twice annually with the time change, just like your smoke alarm batteries), don't they? So for a house, it's not likely to be harmful.

And, hey, if you need distraction, making toast over a candle, or, even better, toasted cheese, is plenty distracting.

#46 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 02:29 PM:

caffeine @ #40: Actually we have two BioBidet washlets in our house, so our toilet paper usage is pretty minimal. If we had sprung for the fancy version with hot air, it could have been zero.

#47 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 02:31 PM:

(Of course, the hot air version requires electric power, so all in all we're better off in case of a blizzard.)

#48 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 02:58 PM:

The thing about buying milk and eggs is, if the power fails so does your refrigeration. Last power failure down here, I boiled up my eggs on the gas stove. Of course, I also bundled my freezer contents into a tub on the front lawnsnowbank, which might not work too well in NYC. (As it happened, I only lost power for a few hours; Mom and my sister were out for days.)

#49 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 03:02 PM:

PS: Charlottesville is mostly melted by now, except where it was piled up.

#50 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 03:03 PM:

#49--

yup. same here in macarthur park.

i don't think that i can take it.

#51 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 03:10 PM:

The temps here have been above freezing a few times since the Snowpocalypse started, but not above refrigerator-setting temperature; if our power had failed (which it likely won't, given the children's hospital up the hill), we could have quite conveniently kept all our cold food perfectly cold.

Liam and I call this kind of thing a French Toast Emergency: bread, milk, eggs...

#52 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 03:16 PM:

If I were in the market for that category of luxury item, I'd get an industrial-strength hot air hand dryer. The ones they have in a theater near me were impressive, and actually worked well without a "dry hands on pants" follow-up procedure needed at all.

#53 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 03:26 PM:

Graydon #45: your carbon monoxide detectors *do* run on batteries (changed twice annually with the time change, just like your smoke alarm batteries)

The last time I changed my smoke alarm battery, I stuck a Post-It note to the wall next to it, with the date of the change written on it.

I also stood on a chair to reach the durned thing and tried to change the battery while it was still on the wall (dumb, dumb, dumb), not realizing, at the time, that I should have just knocked it off the wall with my cane and caught it, changed the battery, and had a tall friend put it back up for me later. At least I didn't fall off the chair.

#54 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 03:28 PM:

Eggs will keep for quite a long time at room temperature, as long as they are not cracked. Milk, though, won't.

There are some very cool wind-up flashlight/radio combinations that claim that they'll also charge a cell phone. I keep thinking about buying one.

#55 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 03:29 PM:

Well, power tends to corrupt anyway.

#56 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 03:47 PM:

"If we have to do another evening of stumbling around by candlelight, though, I may run mad. "

How many hours 'til running mad?
Three-score and ten.
Can I stumble there by candle-light?
Yes, there and back again.
If your heels are heavy and tight,
You will stumble there by candle-light.

#57 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 03:50 PM:

Kip W at 55: Nice one!

Glad your power has returned. Out here in the Bay Area (SF Bay) we don't do snow but there have been years -- this appears not to be one -- when we lose power frequently during the winter rains.
And then, we also have earthquakes...

I have LED and fluorescent lamps tucked strategically around my house so that when the power goes I have a little light. Fortunately, my heat and my cooking stove work on natural gas, so I won't freeze or starve.

Things I stock up on: dog and cat food.

#58 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 04:00 PM:

Heresiarch #56: Ouch! ;-)

#59 ::: LDR ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 04:07 PM:

I believe I just heard someone on the news say that NYC doesn't get power outages, because all the power lines are underground.

I had my doubts, even before reading this.

#60 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 04:29 PM:

To those commenters who think that living near a hospital means they won't lose power, I'd check out if said hospital has it's own power plant and they don't use the local utility or if they depend on back up generators for outages. Do not assume that being near a hospital means you won't have outages. Even though my housing development has its own power plant for heat, hot water and electricity we have had the odd outage. I have a bunch of flashlights just in case they are needed.

#61 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 04:30 PM:

IIRC, an "average" human being at rest puts out about 100W of heat. I ran a back-of-the-envelope calculation a couple of years ago and concluded that the IKEA candlesticks I had -- based on claimed burning time, estimated weight, and guessed-at composition -- put out about 16W, i.e. about 1/6 as much as that "average" human. Candles vary widely, of course, as do humans.

#62 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 04:55 PM:

David Harmon @48:

The thing about buying milk and eggs is, if the power fails so does your refrigeration.

That's true, but it only really matters for milk; eggs will easily keep unrefrigerated for a week or more (and, in fact, eggs are often stored unrefrigerated outside the US.) I wouldn't eat them raw after that length of time, but they'd be fine cooked. Besides, as you allude to, if the power fails due to ice and snow, cold is likely not to be something you're short of; even if you're in an apartment so snowbanks are not convenient, put a bucket full of snow in the refrigerator and it'll stay cool. (This is less useful in the case of summer power failures, but eggs still don't need to be refrigerated).

#63 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 04:59 PM:

Joel Polowin @61: So obviously you're better off keeping an extra human in the car.

#64 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 05:31 PM:

Jacque @63: That also answers the question of what to do when the food runs out.

#65 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 05:47 PM:

Lee@38:
I have long been convinced that this is a form of sympathetic magic; people buy "white stuff" in the hopes that it will keep the weather-related white stuff away!

It took me a second to realize you were talking about flour. I've gotten so used to baking with wheat flour that I've mentally switched over to flour=brown.

Which, now that I'm thinking about it, does anyone know the name for that phenomenon when you mentally remap a common association because it has changed over time?

#66 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 06:10 PM:

twolumps.net has been cartooning the power outage (IIRC, the authors are in Dallas, but in any case it's somewhere that lost power due to snow.) Starts at http://twolumps.net/d/20100214.html , and the cats are relatively grumpy by one or two strips later.

#67 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 06:38 PM:

Those "Two Lumps" strips specifically mention being in Dallas, in fact.

#68 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 06:44 PM:

Yay for the power being back on!

They...have...THE POWER!!!11!e/mc²!

#69 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 06:53 PM:

Theophylact @ 35:

I suspect many of those people hoarding toilet paper are sh*theads.

#70 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 07:00 PM:

About 10 years ago I got tired of constantly replacing flashlights because they were crap designs using crap material and crap manufacturing techniques, and even the waterproof ones (which in western Oregon are the only ones that make sense, since it's usually wet here) were crap. So I paid a lot more money and bought a couple of Maglites for the house and one for the car. They're still working fine; rather than replace them with new LED flashlights I bought LED conversion kits for them.

#71 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 07:31 PM:

#23 ::: Ingvar M

Alas, IKEA is a bus ride to another state from Manhattan.

I need to better than this anyway, like with those hand powered lanterns or something. And one of those radios too.

Love, C.

#72 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 07:37 PM:

Constance: There is an Ikea in Brooklyn. From downtown Manhattan you can get a water taxi that goes right to the Ikea grounds. Or take subway and a bus. The bus stops right at the store. No need to go to NJ.

#73 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 07:39 PM:

Hooray! I will put To Serve Man back on the cookbook shelf for now.

#74 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 07:41 PM:

Since we tend to shop weekly for a week's worth of meals we usually are pretty well stocked. But perishables, not so much, by the end of the week.

Also I've been wanting desperately to perform a deep cleaning on our refrigator's freezer (uh, yes, even auto defrost freezers need to be CLEANED sometimes, at least if you are a refrigerator that is under my control). So I've been not re-stocking in hopes of doing this.

So we had to shop madly upon arriving home the day before this predicted mess's arrival.

I'm glad we did ....

Love, C.

#75 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 08:14 PM:

#72 ::: PurpleGirl

Thank you for that information.

How did I miss that there was an IKEA in Brooklyn?

Thinking too much about places in other parts of the world, no doubt.

Love, c.

#76 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 08:56 PM:

My current experiment with perishables involves turning down the temperature of the refrigerator a notch to see if I can reasonably consume a gallon of milk before it goes bad (using 1 cup a day with my Cheerios).

#77 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 09:04 PM:

Snow and fog here in Cleveland. On the bright side, the next-door neighbors hired a guy with a snowblower to clear their driveway and sidewalk, and he cleared our sidewalk too while he was at it. (Hubby had already cleared most of the driveway.)

#78 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 09:36 PM:

Keith Kisser @65: [..] does anyone know the name for that phenomenon when you mentally remap a common association because it has changed over time?

Probably not the word you're looking for, but how about 'adaptation'?

#79 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 09:58 PM:

Reframing?

#80 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 10:23 PM:

Earl Cooley III , #53, I can get the battery out of the smoke alarm with my reacher, but I have to have someone else stand on the stepstool to put the new one in. Except my nephew, who can do it from standing.

I have three hand-cranked LED flashlights -- one in the van, one in my desk, one in a drawer under my bed. I also have a hand-cranked charger for my cellphone since I no longer have a landline.

#81 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2010, 10:50 PM:

In my sophomore year of college there was an (unprecedented) ice storm. The Ad Building apparently housed the city's internet backbone at the time, so it still had power. The Honors Program house was apparently on the same source, as opposed to most of the rest of the campus, so everybody in the program, and their friends, and a kitten, converged on the house and had a grand old time. (It was not a residential house, FWIW.)

"Grand old time" mostly consisted of video watching, actually, but it was very much a party atmosphere. ("No, really, [director], I couldn't tell you if there were any alcohol involved...")

#82 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2010, 09:25 AM:

re 80: The Williamson/Wingate Giant Breeding Program is beginning to show results. #1 son can now stand flat-footed on the floor and touch his palm to the ceiling in our house.

#83 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2010, 12:33 PM:

What may be the best source for purchasing these hand-cranked l.e.d. flashlights?

Love, C.

#84 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2010, 01:35 PM:

@83 LL Bean's has 'em but they can be a little pricey.

#85 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2010, 02:03 PM:

ton of new snow here.
went out early to clear the driveway. got about 1/4 way through when the snow-blower ran out of gas.
no problem--have gas can by back wall of garage. or maybe by woodpiles near property line.
problem. ton of new snow here. everything covered. esp. gas can.

after half-hour of probing drifts for a 2.5 gallon bright red plastic monstrosity, i gave up.

next time, i'm attaching a a very tall fiberglass whip to my gas can.
or perhaps an avalanche beacon.

#86 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2010, 02:12 PM:

kid bitzer @ 85 ...
How about a nice 9' tall flag ?

#87 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2010, 02:25 PM:

@87--perfect!
now that i know where to buy the flag, all i need is to find the gas can so i can put it on.

#88 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2010, 02:27 PM:

@87--
sorry--my "increment" call isn't working.

#89 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2010, 07:28 PM:

Constance, #83, I got mine from Amazon because they were cheapest there, but you probably don't want to buy there. Maybe others have better places.

#90 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2010, 09:56 PM:

Meanwhile, over here on the other side of the world, we're just emerging from the traditional end-of-(official)-summer heatwave. 40C plus temperatures for about three days running (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) and nights where it didn't cool down much either. Hell if you don't have airconditioning (we don't) and not particularly comfortable even if you do.

I will cheerfully package up some Western Australian heat to send to anyone who's willing to swap me some North American coolth.

(Of course, on the bright side, it does mean the little lizards in the garden are a lot more active, and I get to see them running about).

#91 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2010, 04:01 PM:

Keith Kisser @ 65: "does anyone know the name for that phenomenon when you mentally remap a common association because it has changed over time?"

Semantic change?

#92 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2010, 05:12 PM:

#89 Constance:

Radio Shack sells 'em at a better price than Amazon can manage.

Choose:
Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
Even larger type, with serifs

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