Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meteorological Update From Dymphna

Snow January 2010 #2

We are in the midst of a Winter Weather Warning (also known as Crystallized Climate Change) here at Schloss Bodissey. That means I am watching big, fat flakes accumulating on everything — though the driveway is still clear. Prior to that, we awoke this morning to heavy rains. It is our good fortune that there was never any period of transitional ice. Thank heavens!

Why am I talking about the weather, you ask? Because this heavy wet snow may well eventuate in a power outage. Should that happen we would have no way to tell you why when, once again, no one seems to be home.

If the power does go out, I’m confident it won’t be for long. Our rural electric cooperative is exceptionally good at handling these kinds of weather ‘events’; if we do go out, it won’t be for long. And thanks to the generosity of our donors several years ago, we installed a gas cook stove so we can cook and have — thank heavens, again — hot coffee during the outage.

Yes, we are careful regarding the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning if we were to use the stove for heat. However, given how leaky our storm windows are, I’m not worried.

Here’s what NOAA says:

... Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 1 am EST Friday...

  • Hazard types... heavy wet snow.
  • Accumulations... snow accumulation of 3 to 6 inches.
  • Timing... late this afternoon and evening.
  • Impacts... hazardous driving conditions due to snowfall.
  • Power outages also possible due to the heavy snow.
  • Winds... north 5 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.
  • Temperatures... falling into the lower 30s by evening.

This Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow will
cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and
limited visibilities... and use caution while driving.

The public is encouraged to report snowfall amounts to the
National Weather Service via email at rnk.Skywarn@noaa.Gov

Oh me. I do wish there were a way to magically bring back my grown-up children to the time when they were all about ten years old. What excitement! Lashings of hot cocoa. Wet snow suits and parkas everywhere! Loud laughter at the recall of sleds bouncing over the hidden bumps.

Somehow I’ll bet mothers with children of a certain age aren’t in any such fantasy land as I’ve just constructed. Instead, they’re wondering how long it will be before the roads are plowed and everyone is safely on the road back to their regular routines. And they would be right — I really only want that trip in The Way Back Machine to last for a few hours. I don’t want the extra laundry or the bored bickering, or the wet drippings all over the front hall…yet the memories remain…


Anonymous said...

Yours being Löbel Bastion for more than just the two of you, isn't it time for some special contribution from fans and readers to fund a good power generator and a sturdy server with its own surge protect/power supply?

Maybe if we had a budget, fund raising could start with one of those mercury thermometers on the web page, showing amount raised vs. goal.
Takuan Seiyo

Dymphna said...

that's a lovely idea, Takuan. But I priced those generators back when the Baron was working - the kind the elec. company installs and upkeeps, not the portable kind which we don't have room to store and which the Baron doesnt have time or temperament to tend. Those installed ones were pricey when he was fully employed. I can imagine they've gone up.

We would need one to keep the heat on, the refrigerator humming (maybe optional there), and enough juice for one computer. I think the first two: generation of heat and cold are probably the most expensive.

But it couldn't hurt to ask for prices now and find out how much it costs additionally for regular servicing.

I mention that because of our experience with a regular service check-up contract with our heat pump company. Time before last, the man found a part that was about to bite the dust. In its weakened state it was already driving down our heating efficiency. The replacement part was 900.00 dollars (no I don't remember what it was) but the manufacturer had to eat that one because it was still under warranty...I can't remember feeling that relieved in a long time.

I would imagine these generators are similar re upkeep?? I mean they're designed for middle-class folks who can't bear to be outside their comfort zone and I don't blame them. But we're not there anymore; *we* can't afford the accoutrements that go with being in that class. That's not a complaint; we like our low-level consumption even though it throws a spanner into the wheel sometimes.

I love our heat pump/AC. Great for my asthma. But I've learned to keep the heat at 64 and down to 60 at night. As long as one dresses for it, that level feels fine. The heat is harder to manage but so far so good.

What I'd really love is a hand pump for the well. So when the electricity goes out, we'd have water no matter what. Then I wouldn't mind being off the grid. That requires a separate dig-out I think. For one thing, it's much shallower.

Does anyone remember that great photoshop image of the man in India using his bike to pedal madly to generate enough juice for his laptop? Boy, that would really be to speak.

Papa Whiskey said...

…yet the memories remain…

Yes, indeed ... sitting with our ears glued to the plastic table-top radio in Minnesota, hoping, hoping to hear our school listed as closed for a "snow day."

Dymphna said...

Papa Whiskey-

I forgot about that part! Yes, it was the same in New England. "Snow Days" - and parents hoped there wouldn't be too many of them or the extras would have to be tacked onto the end of the regular school year. Some *very* unhappy kids come June...

Anonymous said...

I am talking state of the art, refrigerator-sized generator on wheels. Several thousand dollars, but should be funded from contributions. For water I like the other extreme: a hand pump. But a good stainless one wouldn't be cheap either: probably close to $1k.