“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Friday, January 22, 2016

Sitting it out.



This was the scene before the second storm rolled in.  I took this from upslope. It's the back of the apartment and the shop.  That looks like snow but it has a frozen crust of ice over it. The wind blew so hard last night that I heard sleet pattering on the windows of the bedroom. Can't remember that happening before.


The chickens congregate anywhere they can get out of the wind.  Solar panels will serve that purpose as well as anything else in their estimation.


The buildings are bedecked with icicles.  As this continues, they'll get bigger every day, as the snow melts, runs down the icicles, and then refreezes at dark.



The woods look pretty enough with this kind of weather. They're dangerous though.  Lots of these trees have been weakened by the very wet, hot summer. Let them get a good coating of ice, and they'll fall.

Last night I heard one coming down . It was loud enough to wake me up. You can't really tell how far out they are, so you just have to wait til they are down to see if they are going to hit the house and maybe hit you.

Essentially, it's like artillery fire. There isn't much you can do about it by the time you realize what's going on, and it's entirely a matter of luck wheter it lights on the spot you happen to be occupying at the time.







One of my propane tanks.  Because my heating system and kitchen appliances run on propane, I can still cook if need be. If I lost those for some reason, I have my 1889 wood burning stove in the kitchen. One way or the other, I'll get by.



The view from the front porch.  My wife and I put that metal roof on, all by ourselves. Not bad for two older people who are not particularly handy with tools.

I never thought about those icicles

building up when I was building it, but I don't suppose it hurts anything.

The dog house is on the front porch this year. It keeps more of the wind off of them than the spot we usually build the winter hundehutte out by the barn.

I feel more comfortable with them on the porch anyway. It's the only access to the house I haven't closed off .



 I have two completely independent satellite systems. If one goes, the other should remain unaffected. However, just a little frozen snow puts them out of commission.  You have to go out and either brush the stuff off the dish, or if it's frozen on, pour some boiling water on it.




Nobody is driving out of here down the mountain for awhile.

39 comments:

  1. Hey Harry they call that shorts weather here in Maine. We had one of those flurries last Saturday, it was about 10 degrees F, and when I went to get gas there was a fellow wearing shorts and Tevas filling up next to me. For a second there I thought perhaps Captain Crunch had come to visit Maine. Looks like we will be dodging the big one this time the weenies in Philly and DC can have it all to themselves.

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    1. R.E. the guy in shorts. I see that you folks up there also have to deal with the mentally ill! I went out on the porch this morning to pour boiling water in the dog water bowl. I was only going to be out for "a second"so I just wore the flip flops I keep by the door. My toes like to have frozen as soon as I hit the cold air! The rest of the day I have put on my jacket and a pair of boots no matter how "short" the time I would be out.

      We got hammered. I watched the news and Washington was getting blasted. Good luck to them, the first little storm that went through the day before yesterday only put down a little snow and they were shut down. Now they are really getting it.

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  2. Just a suggestion regarding snow build-up on your antennae-- next time it's above freezing, spray their faces with WD40 or PAM spray. It works for us up in MI.

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    1. Silicone spray also works well, and doesn't dry up like WD-40 does.

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    2. I have a whole carton of WD 40, haven't seen silicone spray before but I will get some at Home Depot next time I am in town. WD-40 is kind of the be all and end all of lubricants, though I don't use it on my weapons. Mostly things like tools and the gate.

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    3. Silicone spray is good as it doesn't make things clump up the same like WD40

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    4. Kev, I am going to get some and put it on the shelf with all my other "fix it" supplies. Haven't had a chance to get into town but I think I might be able to get out tomorrow.

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  3. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    Looks cold alright,

    Sounds like your pretty well setup for any extreme. There was very cold breeze coming through today out of the north. Weather that we are not used to. It would be nice at some point to move closer to the equator where it is warm year round.
    I don't know if I will be able to pull that one off. Maybe if I win the Powerball somehow?

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    1. I hear there is some really nasty virus spreading up from South and Central America that mosquitos give you. I guess with my luck I'd get everything that came down the pike if I moved down there. On the other hand, we have a whole lot of nasty bugs in Georgia now that we didn't have even ten years ago. Some of them can live here now because it's warmer and wetter. Some got in through human stupidity. We have the Tiger termite because after Katrina, an "entrepreneur" got the bright idea to haul a bunch of that wooden mulch they made out of town down houses up here. Guess what came along for the ride from Louisiana, where the Tiger termite thrived after it came into the U.S. from S.E.A on ships?

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    2. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      That virus I think your talking about affects pregnant women and that's something I don't have to worry about.
      If it ain't one thing, its another.

      I wish there was a virus that thrived on meth addicts and that caused them to die quickly. That would cause a noticeable population decline in 'all southern states' I think and it would not hurt my feelings in the least and get rid of the 'mobile meth lab' in my area. I hope that RV burns down like a roman candle and the meth cook is left standing outside in his underwear:)

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    3. Only thing I heard about it was a quick CBS news article, and it was mostly about Chakra's disease spreading like hell in the U.S. (thanks, illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America.)

      CBS said everybody can get it, but it's particularly dangerous for pregnant women because it usually kills the baby before it's born. They said it can mess up infants and the very young children pretty badly as well. The last thing I need is another disease going around that whacks old people, and I suspect this one will soon be declared one of those as well.

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  4. It does sound like you are set up pretty good.

    Smart chickens under the solar panels. What breed are they or are they a mix? Nice looking birds.

    Stay safe and warm.

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    1. I ought to be, this is my third decade up here on the mountain. ;-)

      Yet it's still a trial when the weather is this bad.

      The chickens were once pure blooded English fighting chickens. When I was getting ready for Y2K, a friend at work gave me two roosters and 3 hens. She did not fight the chickens, but they were prized for their hardiness and because they are good layers. Then one day a black bantam hen showed up here, out of the blue. She had many progeny so now my flock is mixed breed. I had about 50 chickens last time I checked, but some of them went off into the woods this past summer and never came back. So I would guess I have about half that now.

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  5. Everything looks so pretty. However, ice is so dangerous. Next to tornados, I think ice storms are the worse, especially when you live in the woods. Stay safe. Jana

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    1. Jana, ice is bad news. Some years back my dogs came running down off the meadow, after an ice storm. They tried to stop on a parking pad where I was standing. They slid and ran right over me, knocked me over and I broke three ribs.

      It's also really bad about pulling down trees, which can be really bad if they come down across the trail or even worse, if one falls on a vehicle or a building.

      Even if none of that happens, it can take a long time for the ice to melt off my trail down the mountain because the sun never touches the trail in winter.

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  6. The crunchy snow! I know what you mean, sometimes you can almost walk on top of it and then it cracks and your feet break through. After our snow the other day, not deep but icy and slick, we ventured out after the sun warmed up the roads. We saw a guy walking up the side of the road in shorts and a light jacket. Not a jogger either. I don't get it.

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    1. Michael was telling me about another guy like that, who was buying gas in ten degree weather in shorts. I think there are some people who do that for attention, and others who are either not very intelligent or have an exaggerated opinion of the ability of bare skin to handle severe cold.

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  7. Harry, Glad your ok, staying safe and warm is half the battle. These folks that panic at a dusting of snow are not going to do very well at all this time around.

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    1. I think it's a matter of experience. Those that are accustomed to severe storms in winter will probably do ok as they have the experience and their county or city has the supplies and equipment to handle it.

      But as you say, in those places where snow is rare, neither the necessary supplies and equipment will be there, nor will the know how to deal with it.

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  8. What do your solar panels run? Did you do them yourself? I'm interested in doing a particular solar project but as much as I keep reading it still confuses me. No one is going anywhere here. Lots of digging out to do. The kids probably won't go to school for a week...

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    1. Well, that's a sad tale. In 1999 I was getting all ready for Y2K. There was a financial adviser named Gary North who published a monthly newsletter just on Y2K, starting about 1997 as I recall. I believed every word and I started getting ready like a wild man.

      I hired a company from Spartanburg, South Carolina to come put in a solar system. I had six large, purpose built solar power system batteries, a very expensive and sophisticated inverter, an excellent diesel generator, German solar panels, and I put in two 500 gallon above ground tanks for diesel, and had it all wired together. It cost a fortune.

      What I got for my money was a generator that worked. There was hardly enough sunlight on my mountain side location in summer to charge the batteries. They wouldn't charge hardly at all in winter, no sun. Even with a full charge on the batteries, and very careful management of the load being drawn, I couldn't run the house all night on the batteries. I bought a Sunfrost low energy refrigerator, but it drained the batteries anyway. So in the end, I took the batteries to a recycling center when they wore out. I let the inverter just sit on the wall in the shop, where it sits now. I let the solar panels just sit there in the rack.

      And then Y2k was a complete bust.

      We are snowed in here. Deep snow, covered with ice from frozen rain. The power was iffy yesterday but has been steady today.

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    2. Hey Harry,

      I use to read Gary North (I was seriously on the Y2K bandwagon back in the day) and before him Howard Ruff. It's my opinion now that those two were and are full of bologna.

      I watched The X Files last night. It's was fun to see Fox and Scully in action again; although Fox looked like he might have been rode hard and put up wet a few times through the years.

      -Moe

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    3. Moe, Gary North made good sense to me. And I was already leaning towards ramping up my survivalist planning. Then nothing he said turned out to be true. I have always wondered if he was an earnest person who believed what he wrote, or a charlatan. I guess I'll never know.


      My daughter said that "Fox" had clearly lived a hard life since the end of the series , and should have left the drugs alone.

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  9. Fun to see your place. Your woods remind me of the ones on my property in New Jersey, thick with trees as I remember. Stay warm. I was stuck in the house for a while too, but due to deep mud. We put some gravel out and will get more. It really helps.

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    1. Inger, I wondered how all the rain coming in down there in Southern California would effect you out on your place. I'm glad it was no worse than it was. You and the dogs have such a nice place to walk. I walked in the woods with my dogs, though not as much as I used to. My old dog Tuggy is getting a bit like me, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We both wear out and exasperate the younger dog who wants to just keep on going.

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  10. That same cold front is why I am sitting out high winds and small craft advisories.

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    1. You are wise. The wind the last two days has been hellish, and I was seriously worried about my buildings and my vehicles.

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  11. Harry,

    I cannot even imagine what it must be like to have so much snow fall and to be so cold!! Down here we have been having a hot wet stormy summer, temps have ranged from 106F to 77F, with rain, minor flooding and very humid. I am even more determined to head away from the coast when I retire to western NSW where the summers are hot & dry, no humidity. Hope you don't have to shovel too much snow.

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    1. Sgt, I don't do much shoveling because that can bring on a heart attack. Usually I just wait for it melt away. This is Tuesday the 26th now, about dusk. Some of the snow has melted where ever the sun touches, and it's raining now. Lots of snow still out there but if the rain keeps up it should be gone by tomorrow.

      Humidity is tough. We have very high humidity here and very hot days in summer.

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  12. This year we have had more wind than I can remember in 20 years. Every couple of days a wind warning. Higher temps, though and now we have 2 feet of slush, then it freezes at night. I was around for the blizzard of '47...4 feet dumped overnight. As a kid I thought it was heaven; my folks not so much, lol. Hang in there, Harry....snowy winters bring beautiful Springs.

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    1. For those who make it though the winter, Spring is nice, I agree.

      These past few days have not been a lot of fun. In particular, taking care of the animals is so much harder.

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  13. Harry - Thought of you when I read this...

    http://interestingengineering.com/colorado-teenager-designs-a-smart-gun-that-uses-a-fingerprint-sensor-to-fire/

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    1. Dani, I wouldn't buy one of those on a bet. The last thing I would want is a weapon dependent on computer chip technology. Our Moron in Chief wants the army to look at using these guns, because he thinks that would make it attractive for manufacturers to build them, and then he could outlaw guns that don't use this technology. I have to wonder what kind of an idiot would send soldiers into battle with a weapon that another soldier couldn't pick up at need and use. The other issue is the fact that it wouldn't take even a third world enemy long to figure out how to disable the mechanism with a guided burst of energy like an overhead tactical nuke or even just some sort of low tech energy directed weapon. These guns have been around since the 1980's, at least. There was a whole hour long series on the concept on a special documentary even back then. But it's a political issue, not a matter of practicality.

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  14. Harry,

    Great pictures of your place. I say because of the snow, start a nice warm fire, put on a pot coffee (or multiple pots), and just relax while the snow eventually melts. Stay warm and safe :-)

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    1. Dani, I have, perforce, been resting but it gets very agitating when you can't get out at all. There are things I need to do, but I can't because of the weather. The snow is not coming down today, but it's raining. More snow supposed to come in here Wednesday and Thursday.

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  15. Watch those icicles....my father got 17 stitches in his head when a small one fell off the side of the barn and whacked him on the head.

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    1. They can be really dangerous. They're a lot heavier than they look when you pick on up.

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  16. It's nice to read your blog and know that pretty much what ever comes your way you'll be safe. Another couple of years and I should get there!

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    1. Kev, the worst danger to me is my own impatience and short temper. I know there are things that need doing, and sometimes I make bad judgment calls and get myself into a bad situation , especially in times like this when I'm basically marooned up here. I just need to wait it out. You are making very good progress with your planning and execution. As long as nothing happens where law and order breaks down, you should be fine even if there's some Black Swan event there. I worry about my English friends if things get out of hand, though.

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