“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A new storm and probably the worst yet.

Tomorrow afternoon (Monday) we are supposed to start getting snow. Then, through Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the prognosis is snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, all jumbled together.

I am planning on losing power, and will run the generator on a dummy load in the morning to make sure I am good on that end.  Freezing rain here is the kiss of death, as all our power lines are above ground and many run through pine forests. They won't survive freezing rain intact.

I'll also go to town to pick up a few things.  I use kerosene heaters in the shop and apartment as heat backup systems.  Kerosene now sell for $5.00 a gallon here. Hope I don't have to use it but I need 25 gallons on hand in case I do. Shop heaters use a lot more kerosene than the little space heaters.

I'm not even going to try to leave a vehicle down by the county road because I'm not driving on ice. I'll just stay home until the sun comes out and melts the ice.  I don't know when that will be, because the weather forecasts for Thursday and Friday vary wildly, depending on who you read or listen to on the weather pages.

Tokyo got a big snow for the first time in 13 years.   75% of the Great Lakes are frozen over, as opposed to a normal of between 25% and 50%.   The weather is certainly not conforming to the norm this year.

35 comments:

  1. Ya we got what they called "Light snow" this afternoon and evening. About 3 to 4 inches of it :)

    Entering more sub-zero temps tonight but they are saying upper 40's by Thursday and the long range forecast looks promising. Hope it's not too late for my bees though.

    I switched all my heaters that I could from Kerosene to diesel because the kerosene is getting too expensive and hard to find here now.

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  2. Only one place left in the whole county that sells it now. But I have these heaters I've had for years. They can heat the shop and apartment when the power goes out. Guess when I can't buy kerosene anymore I'll have to dump them.

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  3. That's too bad you're getting hit again! We got dusted with snow on Saturday. It was just really light. My husband went out, and pushed it off the driveway with a push broom instead of shoveling it. We did notice that the neighbors power line is resting on a tree branch. I wish they'll just get rid of that tree already. It sits right by our property. All the leaves fall in our driveway, and the branches are so close to all the power lines.

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    1. Alissa, it's so much better not to have neighbors. It's hard enough to keep the ship on an even keel with just yourselves to worry about. When you have to take into account other people's foibles it becomes an insurmountable problem. Unless you are a patient person, and that's not one of my attributes.

      This is going to be a bad one. I went out on the porch a little while ago, and there are very heavy low clouds covering the mountain top. That's usually a bad sign in terms of getting a lot of snow. The more snow and ice, the longer I have to wait until I can get out again.

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  4. Stay safe, Hope your power stays on. Looking forward to a update after it clears out.

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    1. Our worthless powe company spends it's money on huge buildings for the administrators, and only a pittance on improving out system. It's still essentially the same system that was put in during the late 1930's as part of the rural electrification program. But the EMC has a a palatial building with thick red carpets and mahogany furniture.

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  5. What's with the availability of kerosene in your neck of the woods? I seldom use it but keep five gallons for my lamps. There are several locations to buy it here.

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    1. I can still get it from hardware stores and Wal-Mart. For like some ungodly amount per gallon. Can't get it at the gas stations anymore though so it isn;t worth buying for more than the lamp fuel storage.

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    2. There used to be five or six places in the county to buy kerosene. But they were mom and pop gas stations. As Valero and other chains came in and bought them up, the kerosene pumps vanished one after the other. Now there is only one place left. I went there today and they were out of kerosene.

      Walmart sells it for $29.00 a gallon here in fancy little containers, but as you say, PP, I'm not buying that. I need it to keep heat in the climate controlled parts of the barn, and in the shop and apartment when the power goes out. I have five jugs, each holds five gallons, but the big shop heaters I use hold a full gallon and run for eight hours before needing to be refueled. Since I am in the part of the county that they just don't worry about restoring power to, that puts me at risk in an event like this one, which is supposed to last three full days. I buy lamp fuel by the case, it's more highly refined and doesn't smoke. But I could burn K1 in the lamps if I had to.

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  6. That was our storm(s). I'm sending it your way ; ) Sorry. It has been a nice warm rain here. I nice break from freezing temps every night with everything dried out. Nothing compared to what you have been getting, but hey Jack!, for us that's cold!

    Hey, have you read Si Robertson's book? I read it a few months ago. You might like it. It talked quite a bit about his time in the service. It's a VERY fast read. I really enjoyed it.
    Kimberly

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    1. Kim, I'd be ok with a warm rain, but this snow, ice and then freezing rain sequences promises to be a real tough one for our county. I should be ok though, I'll just ride it out.

      I have not heard of that author, but I will google him and see about the book. I appreciate the suggestion. I hope all the animal babies at your place are doing well.

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    2. He is Uncle Si on Duck Dynasty.

      All of our animals our doing fine. I haven't gotten to do a post as planned. We had many uneventful things happen, keeping us very busy. Hopefully I will get something together soon with all the pictures I have taken.
      Kimberly

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    3. You know, I have never seen that show, but I followed all the controversy about the one fellow speaking his mind. I feel like he had the right to say what he thought without being pilloried to please special interest groups.

      I look forward to your post, Kim. I like your photos and I find your posts interesting.

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  7. Crikey Harry,

    Is this the beginning of the next ice age they kept telling us was just around the corner back in the 70,s?? Of course that fad was soon overtaken by the Global Warming/Climate Change fraud because there is a lot more money to be made out of that particular con compliments of gullible politicians in most of the western nations (the Chinese are just sitting back and laughing while they build ever more coal fired powere stations). Send some cold wet stuff down here, it's been a long hot summer and I am really looking forward to winter this year (only 3 more months).

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    1. You know, Sgt, I've started to wonder what's going on. I'm not a believer in the "global warming" snake dance but on the other hand, the climate does change periodically and apparently there have been times when it happens pretty quickly. I'm hoping this is just a fluke. Because, if this was the norm every winter, I'm not sure I'd stay up here.

      I know you folks have been roasting down there in Australia. Tania told me about a brush fire right near her house that sounded pretty awful. I told her if I was there I would be right in the tree line hauling out the Koala's!

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  8. Hang in there shipmate, like I have said before, you have the knowledge and experience to brush this off your shoulder. You know if you need some help, there are us here to help.

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    1. Senior Chief, I'm good unless something unforeseen happens. Those are the things that do you in. A fire in one of the outbuildings, the freezing rain bringing down one of the big oaks or poplars on the house, who knows? I expect I'll get through it ok and what I can do, I've done.

      The only thing I didn't get around to was building a capsule to hook up to a helium balloon so that if we go under here the ferrets could escape and float down to Florida. ;-)

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  9. Years ago I walked into Home Depot and found a pyramid of five-gallon-cans of kerosene piled up in the middle of one the aisles. Closeout. $4.99/5-gal...yes, one dollar per gallon. Bought all I could and called my buddies to buy the rest. Still have it all tucked away with my kerosene heaters.

    For us generator newbies, could you detail this 'dummy load' test and expalin what you do, why you do it, etc?

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    1. You can't just turn on your generator, have it fire up, and say "oh, good, I'm ready to go." You have to run it pulling a load. I have one of those big electric heaters that works by heating oil in a radiator. I hook that up to the generator and turn the heater on to draw 3KW. If the generator runs smoothly, doesn't pour out smoke, and the heater comes on line and functions properly, I'm good. I let that run for half an hour or so to be sure. If, on the other hand, the generator motor runs "up" and "down" , or makes smoke, or both, or the heater isn't coming on line, something is messed up. Then it's time to get the old fuel out, put in new fuel, check the fuel lines, and look for anything else that could be messing you up. The time to find out the generator won't hold a load is not in pitch black darkness with snow falling and your nose and ears freezing. I guess the bottom line is that turning on the generator and having it sit there and run doesn't mean doodley squat. It has to hold a load for you.

      I read on another blog where a guy had a bunch of kerosene stored in metal cans, sitting on a cement floor, and he went out one day, and they had corroded and leaked. Have you seen any sign of that? I keep my kerosene in big 5 gallon jugs marked "kerosene". I'm really careful to use red for gasoline, yellow for diesel, blue for kerosene. That's because I'm so likely to get preoccupied, put the wrong fuel in a device, and either run it or blow myself up.

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  10. We are getting some snow but the freezing rain is not really normal for this part of Idaho. I'm happy because the inversion and fog are gone and I catch a glimpse of the sun from time to time. Got a couple of days that are supposed to be 40-45 degrees and I can get out and get the gas for the car and get a few things from the shopping list.

    Read about a few folks having a panic attack and cleaning out store shelves because a storm might make for bad travel or power outages for two day! I't just like when Atlanta got it's storm, Hey I lived in Augusta and I know people can't drive in snow and they will freak out. Heck we got plenty of transplants here in Idaho that seem to lose there minds if it snows or get cold.

    Here is a ZANY idea, instead of waiting on the government to tell you if it safe or unsafe perhaps you folks could take a few minutes and evaluate the situation for yourself! Of course I'm preaching to the choir here!

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    1. I watched some of Fox 5 (Atlanta's fox station) when they were covering the Atlanta debacle and I was really embarrassed. Granted, those were city people, but still...

      I think it was just panic. My brother Terry lives out in Oregon. They had a big snow here recently, and lots of people got stuck and were trying to walk along the roads. He didn't stop and help anybody. He said he just didn't make eye contact with anyone. Terry is a lone wolf, he's a good husband and father, but after so many years as a policeman he is even less social than I am, if that's possible. So even in Oregon, where it snows routinely, there are still people who don't feel like they need to think ahead or take care of themselves.

      Atlanta has a huge population of very poor people, and I guess they have to wait til the last minute because they cant' afford to spend any money needlessly. That contributes to it.

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  11. Be careful out there, Old Man Winter is being a real bastard this year, he isn't taking any prisoners. I'm sure a whole lot of people will be much happier once Spring is sprung.

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    1. I know I will be. It's ironic because this past summer was really wet and humid here, and I can remember writing posts saying I wish winter would come on. Be careful what you wish for.....

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  12. Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    We are getting a front in later today. It wont be too bad, Pacific front.

    I tested my generator weeks ago. I have it mainly for hurricanes. I think this year I will pick up a small 'plug in' window size unit in case power goes out and its 107 degrees outside with 95 percent humidity. I will mount that unit if powers out for an extended time.
    We are gearing up now for Spring Break. It will be complete mayhem. Years back we had one beach nearby that had an estimated 200.000 people on it in one day. At work now are are making plans, etc.
    Stores are getting in Bikini's, boardshorts, t-shirts, beer, beer bongs, Condoms, (lots of Condoms),suntan lotion, sunscreen, beach towels.
    The fun part is all the law enforcement down here will be nuts, I bet there will be more security down here than at the Olympics in Sochi. Our state troopers will be down here by the hundreds and hell we may even fly in some "Spatnaz" from Russia (bet those guys will be using the beer and condoms)
    We would send in an Marine amphimbius division from a gator freighter, but they would be worthless. The Marines would finally meet a beachhead they could "not" advance on (they would not want to leave with all the college girls)

    Hey that would have been a good defense for Saddam Hussien in Gulf War one (Desert Storm)
    If Saddam would have gotten tens of thousands of good looking naked women for his Republican Guard, and thousands of tons of Ice Cold American Beer, That would have stopped our "blitzkrieg advance" across the desert in its tracks and gulf war 2.0 would have never happened. Hell' I think Stormin' Norman Swarztkopf would have come out of his 'command and control' for that one. God knows that if Iraq had lots and lots of good looking women and beer, Saddam would have been killed by his own people a long time ago for being a 'party pooper'

    I had to talk about something other than the cold, bad winter we had. Unless your in Nova Scotia, spring is around the corner (Nova Scotia I think still has Glaciers and penguins in July)

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    1. Well, that's a unique view of alternate history. There may be a novel in that.....

      I'm going to Tybee island this summer if it kills me. I miss the beach, and I really like Tybee. You can rent a nice condo right on the beach at a very reasonable price. I'll have to take the ferrets, though. Better start looking for some tiny surf boards.

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  13. Here on the Keweenaw Peninsula in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan we have as of today 230 inches of snow so far this season with 45 inches on the ground. Today's high was -4 degrees. You guys sure do whine a lot. Sound like a bunch of sissies. See www.pasty.com/snow/

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    1. Well, it's that we aren't accustomed to this. If upper Michigan got temperatures over 100 degrees and 97 % humidity, it would probably be a source of concern to the folks there. For us, with none of the snow removal equipment you have, none of your experience in driving in snow, no chains, no snow shovels, no salt, no cinders, no sand, snow is terrible when it sticks on the roads. The worst thing is that , for reasons that I don't quite understand, everybody hits the roads, especially in our cities, and the result is utter chaos.

      It's like the real estate people say . "Location, location, locations"

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    2. Heh I was doing a job up at Houghton Lake back about 2000 during the first half of June and you wanna talk about whiners. They were walking around with their tongues hanging out complaining about the heat and it wasn't but 80 degrees out tops.

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    3. People fuss about anything out of the ordinary. I do.

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  14. You are right about the climate changing periodically, there are definite cycles to our climate. When i was a kid back in the 60's I remember more than one Christmas day where I was wearing a jumper because it was rainy & Cold (normal Christmas temp is in the 90's). I also remember winter mornings in Sydney so cold I had to go and break the ice on the dog's water bucket and the frost was so thick it looked like snow and crunched under your feet on the walk to school.

    The Koal's are ok but you have to watch out for the "Drop Bears"!

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    1. If the US is entering a period of wetter, more humid summers and colder, snowy winters I'm moving to Tahiti.

      What are Drop Bears? I never heard of them.

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    2. Having a joke with you Harry, If you are out in the bush somewhere with some tourists, preferably Pommies you warn them about "Drop Bears" which can leap out of trees onto their backs at anytime. They are described as a sort of mutant killer Koala Bear! Usually works as most tourists have already been reading about how everything that walks, crawls or swims can kill you in Australia!

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    3. Oh, they're like Sea Bats. Same thing, only they pull it on new sailors.

      Australia has lots of nasty fauna, like the crocodiles. Seems like crocodiles are always gobbling somebody up in the rivers there. I wonder why people swim in them? I sure as hell wouldn't.

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  15. Sounds like it will hit here tomorrow. Should be interesting. I have an eye doctor appointment, which is suppose will need to be rescheduled.

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