“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

This is no longer fun and interesting.

Living on top of a mountain has a lot of advantages, but there is a downside now and then. One of these is the fact that it gets a lot colder here than down at the airfield. This matters because the weather people get their data from the airfield. It was supposed to be about minus 10 last night but got down to minus 16 on my front porch by midnight.

I slept in the apartment last night.  My wife stayed down at the house. I needed to run some water out there to keep the apartment and shop pipes from freezing.  When you have a pump, you can't just leave the water running. That kicks your pump on and off intermittently all night and the result can be a burned out pump. So I had to run the water manually about every hour.  Temperature in the apartment was only 55 degrees. I can usually keep it comfortable, but in the ordinary course of events the mid to low twenties is all we have to deal with here. Today it is supposed to be reach 22 at the airfield. I doubt we will hit twenty.

The locks on the outbuildings are frozen. I just leave them unlocked, not that I have much choice til it warms up. The cars are still encased in ice, so even through the trail and roads are not bad, we're not mobile. Inside, we are able to keep the house comfortable at the cost of using a lot of propane.  In this weather, fuel consumption is a secondary consideration. A lot of people will be spending a lot more money for heat than they budgeted because of this cold snap.

Still, today is supposed to be the last really cold day, and it is going to start warming up Wednesday.  There's a marathon of "Sara's House" on television, where some lady rennovates houses.  My wife likes it so she is happy. I plan on staying inside as much as possible and staying warm.

All in all, unless something dreadful happens today, we will have come through this extraordinary cold snap pretty well.

16 comments:

  1. Could you put in a shut off for those pipes and just drain em and leave em empty for situations like that? Back when we had a well and pump my dad used to do that for the barn section when really cold temps were forecast.

    Slowly warming up here. Now the repair, digging out and adjusting begins. Not to mention more firewood harvesting as soon as conditions allow.

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    1. I could . The shop and barn are both fitted with valves for draining out the water in times like these. The problem is that I have significant amounts of food, water and ammunition stored out there. I "combat load" my supplies between three buildings and six individual store rooms.

      Today is still cold, a high of 22. But the forecast is for one more miserable cold night and then back to more normal temps for this season. I have already found some light damage I'll have to repair. It's been so cold that the fluorescent light bulbs I use won't light outside. I bring them in and warm them up, plug them back in, and just leave them on. My energy costs from this week are going to be very high.

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  2. You're apparently experiencing the coldest winter in 20 years, and since yesterday we've had 85mm of rain - in a winter rainfall area.

    No global warming...?

    Stay warm - at least you have power LOL. Our 5 year old Cotek inverter just died...

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    1. Dani, we have been exceptionally fortunate in terms of the power. Our system here is not configured for these temps. I do have the generator rigged and ready to take over if the power goes. I have kerosene heaters for backup out in the shop, apartment and barn but haven't had to go that route yet.

      Sorry your inverter went down. I hope it doesn't cost you a lot to fix.

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  3. Stay warm. It's better here today than it was yesterday.

    I used to live in Atlanta, GA. I heard that everything is shut down there. It's 22. They are such wimps! LOL I remember living there, and they had a slight dusting of snow. Again everything was shut down.

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    1. Alissa, nobody in Georgia is set up for these temps, not even in the mountains. As you say, once things get like this most people just fort up and try to wait it out. The big danger here is people who live in trailers, have electric heat and no backup. In 1988 I think it was, there was a blizzard here and a number of older people just froze to death in their trailers. The National Guard came with M113 tracked armored personnel carriers, and they were the only ones who could move on the roads, which were under about three feet of snow.

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  4. Glad to hear from you Harry. I cant imagine being that cold, think I will stick with our hot conditions. Our heat has set a record too with 2013 being the hottest year since records began :)

    Stay safe and warm.

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    1. Tania, I just saw a news story on Australia, about how hot it is there, and the fires. Seems odd, you are having excessively hot weather and we are having far colder than average weather. Both of them are hard to cope with.

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  5. I think we all are sick of winter already, we have a long way to go. Glad its going to warm up some over the next few days.

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    1. I am wondering if the cold artic air is going to get down here again.

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  6. Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    Too bad you have to run the well water every hour. Can you just shut the pump off. Drain (or purge the pipes) the and live without running water for a short period of time???

    On the beach down here, its too cold to walk down the beach. Nice to look at from my heated office (Ice Station Zebra) or from a truck with the heater blasting.

    By the way....

    Some bad news. Get ready for another Artic Blast maybe by the end of the month. This ain't over until the fat lady at the Opera freezes to death!

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    1. I could be it's easier to just sleep in the apartment and run some water every few hours.

      Well, if we get another blast like the last one at least this time around I will have a routine established to deal with it.

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  7. Growing up without running water meant we had to keep the pump house from freezing, usually via a 60 watt bulb left on all winter. In really cold times we had an electric space heater as backup.

    Now I keep a propane heater (indoor safe) in case there is a power outage and it's cold. It was -9 and then up to 54, looks to be in the 40's the rest of the week.

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    1. My pump house is under ground, so the pump itself is ok. The problem is the water lines. The ones going up to the apartment are only about 9 inches down, which is fine for our normal weather. But I was concerned that with this degree of cold, they'd freeze and split. That would have been a real pain to fix.

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  8. Things in my part of Louisiana are cold but not amazingly crazy. Monday and Tuesday mornings were 22 and 18 respectively by my car's thermometer. Too bloody cold to do the usual Army gaggle for 20 minutes in the morning thing.

    It seems to be warming up here.

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    1. Today is normal and pretty warm. We were getting down to 16 below here, which is unheard of. I've had below zero weather before but not that cold. Sometimes the extra elevation and nice views can have a downside up here.

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