Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Talkin' 'bout my g-g-generator....!

The darkness is winning


Most of my readers are local, I think, and are suffering right along with me. All except for one club member who high-tailed it for Florida to pick out his white shoes and matching belt.

On Day 6, we were without power and have run out of hotel options and bunked at Chez Shane.

On Day 7, I caved in to mounting stress and the impending weather forcast and had a generator installed. My service guy was terrific, working late and facilitating the whole process.

I could tell you the whole litany, the delays, the long hours waiting in a cold and dark house, lit only by candles and firelight. The boiler leak, the forgotten parking passes, the carbon monoxide detectors going off, the round-trips to Nashua. Fact is, I'm just too damn tired.

We just got a forecast for 6-12 inches of snow Friday into Saturday. If the power is not restored, at least I know I can keep the house warm and the pipes from freezing. Without water in the house, I've given in to more rustic bathroom breaks. At times like this, it's good to have the proper equipment.

I'd love to compare notes with all of you when this is all done. For now, I could use a warm shower and a nap.

I'll wave at you later,

Joe Rocket

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ice, Ice, baby…

December 14, 2008 – Dateline Amherst, NH

We’re deep into Day 3 of the Ice Storm of 2008. The power went out shortly after midnight on Thursday and we rolled over and went back to sleep. Deep under covers, little did I know how truly bad the situation was. That became evident on Friday, once we were outside the house. I saw several large limbs down and lots of smaller branches. But nothing major or threatening. The ice had already turned back into rain and I stood getting soaked, to get a chance to speak with my neighbor. His damage was more extensive with bigger trees split or topped by ice. But no damage to either’s home.

A drive provided a better idea of what took place. Large trees were down everywhere and many roads impassable. The roads out of our neighborhood were beset by downed lines and large roadblocks.

With no heat or water, we found refuge in a hotel Friday night. On Saturday, we returned home to build fires and attempt to heat the house. It was @ 50 degrees indoors at Noon on Saturday. The afternoon passed quickly as I tried to keep two fireplaces stoked and burning efficiently. I’ve come to the conclusion that the living room fireplace is mostly for “show” as it burns terribly, filling the room with more smoke than heat. Add to that the problem caused by the draft of the larger family room fireplace.

Saturday evening was approaching quickly with no resolution of lost power and we frantically called around for a hotel room. The closest was all the way down in Woburn, MA, which missed the brunt of the storm. We had a nice dinner at American Joe’s, followed by the movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still (DESS). I won’t give it away here and I confess I am not sure if it followed the original story.

By Sunday morning, we had an offer from friends to crash at their house. With this in our back pocket, we headed back towards home, to check on the house. Still no power, and still very cold. It was now down to 41 degrees indoors and it felt colder. You could see your breath inside. Not fun.

I lit the main fireplace and said “to hell with the other one”, which is just a waste of wood. If you know me at all, you know I had to waste good wood… ;-)

Speaking of wood, I have to say thanks to my neighbor for providing me with two carloads of seasoned wood, after putting in his pellet stove. Ironically, he couldn’t use it during the power outage because it needs an electrically powered blower motor.

Anyway, this weekend did not turn out the way I had planned. Mother Nature is a bitch and cares little about the best laid plans of mice and men.

Off to the pub for a little beer and dessert. Hope you are in a warm and safe place and that we all get through this very quickly.

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket

Day 4 Update: I managed a car bomb and a beer on my birthday at the Peddler's Daughter. Not quite my plan but we were in excellent company with the Shanes.

Still in a hotel. Not having any fun. I'd almost rather be at work...