2/19/06

Electricity. What a concept.

Living in the sticks, we have a well. The well has a pump. For the purposes of this discussion we will call him Mr. Pump. Normally, Mr. Pump is extremely happy to feel useful and needed by bringing water from 350 feet down in the ground and placing it directly behind the valves of all my faucets. But Mr. Pump needs his friend, Mr. Power, to accomplish this seemingly simple task. The bad news is, Mr. Power has decided to just say eff it, and take a week-long vacation.

As a result, Mr. Pump has nothing to do all day but sit there sulking, playing solitaire and smoking unfiltered camels.

Due to the freaky windstorm we had, there are currently about 80,000 people in this area with no power. As you have accurately deduced, we are included in that number. We just got our phones back, so at least I have two hours of battery life on the old laptop, which is how I'm writing this right now.

It took me almost two hours to actually get to my house on Friday, and I felt like a bug trying to get away from a sadistic kid. Every street I turned down, eventually I would get to a fire truck or National Grid truck blocking traffic because some wire or tree was down. I never saw so many snapped off telephone poles, wires all over the street and downed trees in my life. It was like an obstacle course just to get home. After the fourth time I got shut down a few miles from my street, I just sat there and started laughing. Laugh or cry. Those were the choices. I was an inch away from just abandoning my car on a back road and walking home.

Anyway, I would just like to say to National Grid that moving electrons are the tits, and I would like to have some moving in my direction again very soon if it's all the same to you. They are now saying it's looking like Wednesday. Apparently, they have over 700 trucks from as far away as Mass and Canada coming in to fix this mess up.

Here are the two major things that suck about having no power:

1. Washing yourself in a bucket.
2. Flushing toilets.

At first glance, number one might seem to be simple, but really there's a lot of thought that needs to go into the process. You need to know the correct order to wash things in, for instance. First, you heat the water on the stove (luckily, we have propane to cook with) Then you wash your face, then you wash your hair, then the major body surfaces, and then the rest of the dangly bits, finishing off with your feet. You might want to reverse the last two -- I haven't worked out the "best practices" on that yet. If my feet start to smell like ass, a correction may be in order. Although the reverse of that probably isn't good for anyone either.

Since no power means no water, number two on the list becomes a giant pain in the ass. We have a 55 gallon drum of water in the basement with a hand pump on it. This is supposed to be for drinking water, but we've been using it to flush toilets, since the only alternative is to walk a few hundred feet outside in the below zero weather carrying a bucket and get water from the hand pump on the other well. An average toilet flush is about 3 gallons. So that means you spend a lot of time either running up and down the basement stairs with pans and buckets, or freezing your ass off hauling water from the outside well. So between the water and the firewood, I feel like I'm training for the olympics or something.

I have also come to a few other conclusions, one of which is that we humans are not happy unless we are fighting the natural order of things.

Consider this: It's 2 below zero outside, and I have a freezer full of food inside that is slowly thawing. I also have a 500 gallon hot tub outside that is slowly freezing. I'm not sure what's wrong with that picture, but something definitely is.

Also, my new electronic drum set has sounded like real shit for the last few days.

OK, I'm off to try to figure out how to McGuyver up some coffee.

13 comments:

  1. Sounds like somebody needs to add "generator" to his Christmas list this year.

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  2. Makes you appreciate what life was like before we had widespread electricity. Think of all the exercise you are getting. I do feel for you though, the adventure stops feeling fun after an afternoon or so.

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  3. oh man, I knew you were probably out but I figured you had a generator. Sorry, JV.

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  4. Yeah, I have a generator, but the well pump is 220, and I don't have it wired into the house yet. So I have an extension cord running the fridge.

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  5. You need a thunderpot.

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  6. That's basically what I had.

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  7. Can you explain, to those of us with common sense, why you haven't drained your pipes and gone to stay with your Father?

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  8. I almost came knocking on YOUR door.

    We have power now. Something in the hot tub froze and blew out the heater, so that's draining into the backyard quite nicely. On the plus side, my electric bill should be a lot better.

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  9. What an adventure! We've had our power go out, but it didn't affect the water, and it has never been for over 24 hours. We did have to shut off our water to re-do our bathroom. That took a whole day. Water is way more important than electricity!!

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  10. Maybe if you'd peed in the hottub it might have been ok.

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  11. I was going to suggest moving the contents of the freezer into the freezing hot tub but if you've been peeing in it, maybe not

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  12. I can sympathize. We were out of power in Troy, NY for eight days. But the furnace required electricity and so we had to leave the house after a while. Then, in what is referred to as an "unrelated incident," my husband's grandmother died.

    All in all, not a fun-filled period of time.

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  13. I just hooked up my generator to the house with a little help from cheesecakepot's dad. It's not too bad I can tell you where to get all the goods to do it for cheap.

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