Truth.

"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."

Ariel Durant

Friday, January 22, 2016

They said this was going to be a big storm. They didn't lie.


It's four twenty one in the morning.  I've already gone to bed twice tonight, but the wind and the sleet beating on the house are keeping me awake. This looks like a bad storm.  Made a quick run to town for a few last minute items and just to get out. When we have freezing rain, it may be several days before I can get out after the storm passes.

I put the Jeep down at the hard surface road.  It's a good walk from here but the sun will clear the roads after the storm. My trail down the mountain is always in shadow and it can stay iced over for a long while until  the air heats up enough to melt it. That's about all the "preparation" I can do.

It's a bad night for the Sheriff's Department. What is it about snow storms that make the old demented people feel like they have to wander around outside and get lost? I've heard two of those tonight. Maybe the people taking care of them are just sick of it, and put the geezers outside so they will freeze to death?

Stranger things happen.


Roads closed, but people go around the signs, get stuck, and have to be rescued. They know the weather is bad but they still drive out in it, in big luxury passenger cars. If I were the police I'd let them be. They got themselves into it, I'd let them get themselves out of it.




It anybody is moronic enough to be up on the Appalachian Trail tonight, they're history. I don't care how good a tent they have, this wind with freezing rain in it is brutal. I've got my GMRS base cycling through the frequencies and haven't heard anything, so maybe we got lucky this time and nobody will freeze up there.

I wish you could hear the wind outside. It sounds like a freight train.  Doubtless the power will go out. I went out to test run my generator, no joy. That's the first time that's ever happened to me. I just ran it last week.  But it's been sitting outside in near zero temps at night for five days now, and I think it's just too cold. Wouldn't start even with diesel starting fluid. I only have one generator.  I can get by without it if the grid goes but it wont' be in the style I am accustomed to!

Well, the sun will be up in three hours. Then I'll go outside and see how things look.



31 comments:

  1. Batten down the hatches and stay safe :)

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    1. Even with the generator down, I'm in good shape. My heat is not tied to the grid. I have enough water stored up here to last a month, and plenty of good food and drink. I have plenty of animal feed for everybody. My satellite radio and my hf radios don't need power from the grid to operate.

      Just as well because my scanners indicate there are power outages all over the county now as pine trees are getting iced up and falling on the power lines. I had several outages last night, but tonight promises to be a bad one for freezing rain. That probably means the power will go in the entire county.

      I'll get by, but I may not be able to get off this mountain top for awhile.

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  2. Stay safe, I hope you don't lose power.

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    1. Went out last night, on and off, all night. Worked on the generator today but essentially it's just frozen solid. The Russians have the right idea. In winter , in Siberia, they never turn off their diesel equipment. They just keep putting fuel in the trucks, generators, etc and don't ever turn them off. I can't do that with my truck or generator, and the cold has gotten them. It has been extraordinarily cold here this year.

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  3. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I think on your generator the oil was getting cold and maybe a few other freak things were happening to cause failure. I have seen all kinds of crazy cold start issues. I guess the only thing that will work is to build a serperate generator hut that is kinda heated and if power fails, the engine is a a few degrees above freezing and the battery is warm.

    I saw a video on youtube where a small group of RV'ers left the warm South Texas area a few days ago and headed west towards Quartzite, Arizona where its warmer than we are. Sounds like a good idea.
    A cold north wind blew through yesterday and its supposed to have wind chills in the upper 90's this morning but the full sun will be coming out and warming things up in later today.

    One of the reasons I moved down here was to stay warm in the winter. I would rather bake to death than freeze to death (or not die all together acutally would be nice) but being hot is so much more hospitable to being cold.

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    1. CC, I could try to do like the Germans in WW2, and build a fire under my diesel equipment to start it, but I would burn down the house.

      This is going to be a bad one. We are getting pounded. Last night I kept hearing this noise like somebody crinkling up gift wrap paper. It took me a long time figure out the wind was blowing sleet up against the bedroom window.

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  4. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    One thing I just remembered. Check the movie out, 'Sicario"

    Yeah' that's about right as per border problems go. A few things in the movie were a bit far fetched but I admire one charactor's ruthlessness's. That character took 'No Half Measures" to the extreme.
    I really liked the movie overall. I give it a solid "8" on the 1 through 10 meter.
    Im sure this movie shocked more than a few people and if Hollywood did movies like real life in real rat holes like Beirut, Uganda, etc. Audiences would be walking out the door vomiting and seeking therapy.
    Real life is hard and real life is even harder in less developed countries.

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    1. Yes, I saw that. It was interesting. Certainly not your typical hollywood production.

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  5. Harry,

    Hope all is well at your place and that you get through the storm will little or no damage. At least you are prepared for these type of events, most people aren't, even when they have been warned over and over again. I'm not looking forward to the day when the big melt down happens.

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    1. Jim, this is not going to be a fun experience, but I will be ok up here. My diesel generator went down, I couldn't start it when I went out to test it. I think the extreme cold here, several nights of single digits, has done it in until it thaws out some. I tried diesel starter fluid, no joy. Just too cold.

      I've got everything I need though. The heat in the house is not reliant on grid power, all the controls are analog and the propane heaters don't need any electricity. I have backup heat for the shop, barn and apartment so that's alright. Mainly, I am going to be stuck up here for several days after the storm ends, but I don't go much of anywhere, so it doesn't matter.

      As you say, these events are good shake downs to test your planning. The radio here is telling people not to try to leave the house without an emergency kit in the car. I know from listening to the scanners though that a good many folks, mostly elderly, are not paying attention and are going on when it's a dead certainty they are going to get stuck or go off the road. This is the mountains, lots of steep grades and sharp turns.

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  6. Hope you get that gen set up and running. I think it will be an ice event Saturday morning. throw a tarp over the genny and warm it with a heater.

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    1. I just tested the damn thing last week no problem. It's installed in a rack next to the side of the house, on the ground level. So it's completely shielded from rain, etc but that doesn't help the cold. It's a big generator, in a metal rack, so it would be pretty hard to try to heat it with a heater. I think I might partially enclose it, so I could heat all the space around it, after this is over.

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  7. Replies
    1. I'll be warm enough but I'm going to be mighty bored if the grid goes out. Which it surely will.

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  8. Hey Harry...

    It's been bad here too. Lots of Ice and snow. We are worried about the overnight when everything re freezes. Stay warm and Safe over there my friend..

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    1. I wondered how you were making out over there. Looks like, from the radar, that you are getting your share of the ice and snow. I went out just before dark to check around the place and everything was frozen solid and glazed with ice from last night. The trail down the mountain is like glass.
      No telling what will happen tonight. It's snowing again just now, big heavy wet flakes.

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  9. Hope all goes well for you, the worst part of the storms are the winds and the destruction they can cause. Hope you stocked up and filled your wine cellar, one has to have ones priorities.

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    1. Oh, I'm good on the amenities. I expect I'll be here a lot longer than just the actual storm though. Checked my trail going down the mountain, and it will be awhile in thawing out.

      Seems you are in the cross hairs of this storm from looking at the radar. Hope everything holds up for you there. Lots of power outages already and the storm is just getting a hold of everybody.

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  10. At the very least, if the power does go out, then you can test the preps, and seee if any more improvements can be made. I always learn a thing or two...

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    1. You never know. I usually don't even bother with the generator unless it looks like the power will be out for half a day or more. This time around that's a safe bet but I'm set up for life without the grid or the generator. I just plan on doing a lot of reading. I can still cook and stay warm, and light is not a problem.

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  11. That moaning groan the wind makes is rather horrible! It is really windy here today, one window is leaking snow. Can't really say its a flaw....the wind is blowing straight on the window from the North at about 35mph+.
    People here seem ready for the storm and smart for the most part. No traffic to speak of and only the neighbor with his fancy snow mobile screaming by the house on the highway [ok one idiot out there]. Our radio interviewed and EMT and he said they will NOT come out to get you food or cigarettes! And our ducks like snow baths! Stay Safe and warm!

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    1. Our emergency services are shut down as well. The only people out working in this are the power crews, trying to restore power in the part of the county known as "bare knuckle alley". Poor infrastructure there anyway. I'm just going to sit out.

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  12. Harry, I am probably preaching to the crowd, but around here folks with diesel truck engines "plug them in" at night (unless of course, they come with glow plugs).The freeze point for diesel makes it a necessity. My understanding is it "gels" up inside the engine. Maybe you can bring the generator in the house for a few hours and just let it sit and then see what happens when you take it back outside and crank on it. Sounds like you already tried the fluid that prevents it from "gelling", is that right? --Troy

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    1. troy
      we used to live in manitoba. asked the mechanic here to wire these cars for plug in like you do up there.
      he couldn't find the kits.
      do you have a source?
      thanks
      deb h.

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    2. Deborah, I have seen these on amazon:

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PWQ57OQ/ref=s9_simh_gw_g263_i3_r?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-1&pf_rd_r=0DWVBJ5F721CF45AMD53&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=2079475242&pf_rd_i=desktop

      Of course, it depends on your particular make/model truck. Should have instructions with it. --Troy

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    3. Troy, My old truck has an electric heater for the engine, and if I plan on using the truck I plug it into an extension cord run down from the shop. But this time of year, I only use the truck maybe six times a month tops, for short runs to Home Depot, the Farmers Depot, or the dump. So sometimes I get caught where I want to use it but the heater has to run quite awhile to warm it up enough to start.

      My generator is pretty big, and really too heavy for me to drag around. That's why I moved it up from ground level to the 2nd level of the house, onto the porch. I also have to get an electrician to come lengthen the big heavy wire he built to hook it to the transfer switch so I can put it where I really want it.

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  13. Hey Harry, hope you still have power. I think that diesel fuel gels below a certain temperature, unless you use some sort of additive. Enclosing the generator might be a good idea, as even a few strategically placed 100 watt bulbs might be enough. Here in the DC area we have 4 1/2 inches or so, supposed to snow for the next 24 hours, and hard to boot. The radio and Teevee folks are having hysterics about people driving around... Its 4 1/2 inches... Get over it. I am riding it out in the shop. I rent the entire building, and have beds upstairs, so am in good shape. Testing how all the preps work. It is supposed to get windy, but so far no big deal, have power, food books, and can always work on a gun or two when I get tired of screwing around with cars. Hope the sun shines on you and yours soon.

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    1. I'm thinking I should build some kind of shed, like I did for my gasoline storage. I hate the noise the damn generator makes, and on the porch it's rediculous. I tried making a muffler for it with an old car muffler but it didn't work. I know you can do it somehow because I used to see the engineers putting a home made muffler made out of oil drugs on the old PU-670's they set up every time we went to the field.

      When I first got the generator in 1999, it was in the shop, on a rocker mounted pallet and it was vented through the wall to the outside. But the first time we fired it up we all like to have choked to death, the fumes were everywhere. So between the noise and the fumes I either have to move it further from the house, or find a way to kill the noise and just vent the fumes out of some kind of shed.

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  14. Have you put Howes Diesel Treat in your diesel. It is great for diesel Equiptment and I used it in my Farm Tractor and my Cummins in 40 below weather.

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    1. Fiona, I put the same diesel conditioner in it that I get at the auto parts store, for my truck. But I never heard of Howes Diesel Treat. I will go the farmers depot and ask them if they have it or can get it. Thanks for the tip.

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  15. Harry,

    The weather people finally got it right, LOL.....
    Stay warm up there on the mountain, and safe.
    Don't do too much shoveling!!

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