“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Monday, December 11, 2017

Snowed in. But at least the power is on.

Monday morning here. It's coming up on eleven a.m. and the outside temperature is up to 29.

The power is on, so other than the fact that we are snowed in solid, life is pretty normal at this point.
Lots of people haven't been so fortunate. I listened to the scanners last night, and I'd say parts of the county are still in bad shape.  The Sheriff's Deputies are having to walk in to places like mine, they drive up the secondary roads as far as they can, then they have to hike in the rest of the way.  They are doing lots of welfare checks. Some elderly person lives out in the woods, up a "possum trail", and the phones are out, so their grown kids call the Sheriff and ask for a Deputy to go out and check on them.

Last night, one of the Deputies walked in over a mile to a place. When he got there, nobody answered the door. He busted in, and there was a man (65 years old) laying on the floor in the kitchen. He had been laying there for 16 hours, no heat, and in severe pain from cramps.  The Deputy called on his hand held radio, and the Fire Department sent two of it's people out in one of those Gator things , the off road vehicle with a little cab, huge tires, and a bed. They had to haul him out to the road.

That's the  type of event older people dread out here. If the phones go, how can you call for help? And if you do, can they get in to you?  Most of the calls wound up with the older people being home, but no heat, and the Fire Department evaced them and their little dogs to town, where relatives picked them up, or they went to a motel, or to one of the churches. The churches here fill in a lot of the social needs, including opening up and providing cots , heat, food, and sanitary facilities to people who need them when this kind of thing happens.

This is very heavy, wet snow. There are trees down everywhere, and I had some big limbs crashing down right around the house. One I had to pull of the roof of the apartment with a rope.  It looks pretty but it's the kiss of death for a county where the power and phone lines are virtually all overheaded.  Maybe our EMC could have buried more of the main lines, if they hadn't spent millions on their plush new headquarters, with fine carpets and mahogany furniture.

You can't walk in this stuff.  It's deeper in the forest, and after the first night, the bottom was ice and the top was heavy, clinging snow. We had temperatures in the teens at night, and up into the twenties by day.

My generator went down almost immediately.  I am pretty sure it was bad fuel.  I store a lot of diesel, and I put stabilizers in it, but if you don't use it up, it can still go bad. I think this time around, I tried to squeezer just a little extra time out of it and failed.  The moral of the story is to store less fuel, so this doesn't happen again.  Typically, 7 or 8 days is about as long as even the worst power failure lasts here, so I really only need to keep that much fuel on hand, plus an expendable reserve.

Losing the generator has more of a psychological effect than anything else. No generator, no satellite television, no internet.  That leaves satellite radio, which isn't much good for local events, and the weather radios. Those were all so overwhelmed with static that they were almost useless. The weather radio is broadcast from the top of a mountain up here. When it snows, the repeater fails when the battery goes dead. So then they send it from some place in North Carolina and the signal is so weak it's useless.

We had plenty of water. I keep about 300 gallons stored all the time. So water for cooking ,washing dishes, the bathrooms, and the animals was not a problem. We had plenty of food for everybody. We heat with a propane system that doesn't need electricity, so heating in the main house and the apartment was not an issue. I had the heat the barn and shop with kerosene heaters, but I had 30 gallons of that, enough for more than a week.

Our county has that new system we bought for sending out messages in an emergency, so from time to time we would get one of those, until our cell phones ran out of power.  Without the generator, we couldn't recharge them, so no text messages. I need to buy something that stores power and lets you charge your cell phone. Ours are old, they won't recharge off a USB port, they have to have a regular ac plug in. Must be something out there like that.

The radio stations (there are two local ones I can get now) were useless. No information, just their regular program. Not one word of useful information over the whole three days.

Today we are just waiting to see if the back roads, and especially the Jeep trail down the mountain, will melt off enough for us to get out at some point in the near future.  


Thought for the Day:

Being snowed in is not all bad:

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Well, that didn't work out like it was supposed to.

The snow storm turned out to be a little bit more than we figured on. About six inches here on the mountain, and temperatures in the mid teens at night. So it's all frozen solid, no way down the mountain. The power went out at 1:00 in the afternoon on Friday, and came back on at 10:00 this morning (Sunday).

I have a few things to do to get back up and running normally. I took some pictures I'll post here in a little bit when I am caught up, and I'll go back and answer the comments. Sorry they stacked up, I had no phones, no internet, pretty much nothing.  The diesel generator quit, which has not happened before, but all in all things went ok considering.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Snow. It wasn't supposed to happen this early.

The weather outfits on the Atlanta stations told everyone yesterday that there were  three models, and nobody knew which one was going to happen. The scenario where we actually got snow for two days was judged to be the least probable. So, nobody went to the store.  But it snowed hard last night in North Georgia. The scanners are full of people who tried to make it to town this morning,  went over the embankment, went across the median, hit trees down across the road.  The Sheriff's Department is out rescueing the elderly who are stuck along the road in their cars. There are many of them. A lot of the people who moved up here from Florida still aren't quite with the program when the word comes down it may snow here.

The number of inches of snow forecast is always for our airfield. That's in a valley. If you live another 400 or 500 feet up, you are going to get more snow. There are still plenty of people who don't realize this and then wind up appalled when they get a lot more snow than they planned on.  Not to mention the fact that the weather forecasts here are almost always way off the mark.

 So far Atlanta has snow but it's not sticking. We have maybe three inches or so outside.  Our problem in this county is that we have two 1960's era dump trucks and not much else to cope with snow.  The wreckers are making a fortune today.

We aren't planning on going anywhere til this melts off, which is supposed to be on Monday.  The power has already been going in and out, from the scanners it seems the main problem is that this is wet, heavy snow and it's pulling trees down on the power lines. That's par for the course.

By dark this evening, Atlanta is going to be in bad shape.  The "Snowmeggedon" event of 2014 caused some changes down there, and they have more salt and more snow plows, but people here just don't do well in snow.  I'm glad I'm not going to be involved in that.

It's tough when it snows in Atlanta:

Should be a fairly calm weekend, since we can't get out.  Unless, of course, the power goes down and stays down, then we'll have to go on the generator.  That is not fun.  The racket it makes drives me crazy, and the stink seems to get in the house , no matter what.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pearl Harbor Day

Pearl Harbor happened because we didn't believe an enemy could attack our homeland.  We underestimated the enemy , largely on a  racial basis.  Our civilian government and military made appalling miscalculations and did a "head in the sand" about the potential for the attack.

Sound familiar?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Atlanta has more problems. North Georgia mountains video.

Atlanta hasn't had a white mayor since 1969.  The normal routine is that Atlanta elects a black mayor, who then gets all his cronies plum jobs, especially involving the stores and kiosks at the airport. Then the Mayor and his cronies go to jail on federal racketeering charges, usually over kickbacks from the airport.  The current mayor, Kasim Reed,  "the great elephant who fertilizes the earth with his dung", is adhering to this tradition and it seems he  will soon be checking into Club Fed once the federals wind up their investigations down there.

So, in the election for a new mayor yesterday, there were two candidates. One was a black woman, Keisha Bottoms, who used her connections to avoid paying her water bill for years (this sounds trivial but in Atlanta that's a really big deal). She drew two city  salaries at the same time, both big dollar amounts, and she is close (just what that means I wouldn't care to say) to the current Mayor.

The other was a white woman named Mary Norwood. Norwood is a kind of strange independent, neither fish nor fowl. She is, for all that, respectable and nobody has linked her with criminals or fraud, etc.

After the election,  the count was  Bottoms: 46,464 and Norwood 45,705, giving bottoms an alleged (and highly suspicious) margin of just over 700 votes.  Although no military absentee ballots have been counted yet, Bottoms gave a victory speech and said the election is over.  The Atlanta political establishment is trying to gloss over the failure to count absentee votes and other "irregularities."

The city government is black. The polling is largely conducted by individuals who are black. I wait with great interest to see how this works out.  Maybe they should fly in some advisers from Rhodesia and Liberia  to help make sure the election isn't rigged.

Looking at the more mundane, M is supposed to be home today.  I'm going over the mountain to pick her up and bring her home this afternoon. I hope that's what happens, anyway.

Lots of rain the past couple of days, and now it's cold and foggy.  I like this kind of weather, and I especially like the fact that the mountains are largely deserted now.

We're supposed to get some snow this Friday , starting after dark. I doubt there will be much of it, we don't usually get heavy snow until January, but you never know. The weather hasn't been "normal" here these past few years.

I found this video on Youtube . I recognize Mount Yonah and some of the other places in the film. Gives a pretty good idea of what our area is like. 

The new "Off Grid" is out , at least, the digital version is.  I haven't been able to find it on the news stands yet.  Mykel Hawke's is the subject of the main article in this months edition.  He did a few one off specials for the Discovery Channel some years ago, and a two season program called "Man, Woman, Wild" as well.  He strikes me as one of those guys who are handy to have around in a tight spot but not somebody you'd want to be around much otherwise.  

We found a company that transports horses, so Seamus is taken care of.  It wasn't as expensive as I had anticipated, $400 to move him from Cincinnati to Nashville, or $870 to move him from Cincinnati to Jacksonville, Florida.  So that's one item checked off the planning list for the kids relocation.  Seamus is 22 years old, so we can't be sure, if we gave him to a petting zoo or something of that nature, that they wouldn't sell him to the "killers' i.e. the dog food people.  So he'll have to live out his life in luxury and die of natural causes. 


Thought for the Day:

Christmas is almost here.