January 22, 2005

Blizzard Pre-Bloggin'

So, it’s said there is a blizzard on the way. If it’s bad, we get to look back on it in years to come and say “Remember the blizzard of ought-five? No? You were only a little whippersnapper back then.”

The town is already abuzz, along with the whole northeast…

Why Ask Why?

Why pre-blog the blizzard? Because I likely won’t be able to blog during, that’s why. If the blizzard does hit, the chances of losing electricity are very good. And we don’t have a generator. Actually, I may queue up a blog post or two on the laptop, but no posting unless there is power for the cable modem.

I was out by midmorning to do some errands while the girls tried to sell more cookies. Let me say that a the only thing more dangerous than a blizzard is being trapped inside during a blizzard with boxes and boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that have not yet been sold. The horror. The calories. The horror.

The supermarket was already jammed full of people. I saw the people fighting for eggs. If you know anything about snowstorms, you must get as many eggs as possible in the house. It’s an imperative. I already have 2 dozen in the house from my last shopping trip. If I’m going to be stuck in, I’m going to experiment with cooking. Even if the power is out I’ll be cooking away ‘cause “I’m cookin’ with gas!” Though my newfangled oven won’t work. Damn, that means no bread. Only cooktop action.

Meals On Ice

Now is the time to start looking at your freezer and thinking “What’s in there that I can eat?” Power loss means slow refrigeration loss. The good thing about winter, of course, is that it has a built-in refrigeration backup plan. Bags of snow, or packing a large cooler with snow every few hours.

If you’re brave enough to put your frozen food outside, good luck fighting off the raccoons, rats, coyotes, skunks, cats and such. Better to eat the stuff yourself than to feed the local scavenger ecosystem. Unless you go into full mountain man mode and just lure the critters in for the freshest possible meat. In that case, you’ll want to stock up on ammo for your 2nd-amendment-ensured varmint gun.

Back at the supermarket, people are all abuzz. The blizzard is coming! The blizzard is coming! Buy milk, flour, sugar and eggs because there’s nothing a visiting blizzard likes more than a big ‘ol birthday cake.

Thanks, Dad

I figured I’d better get some ice melt, too, and a spare shovel. After that, I stopped by Dad’s house where he was also caught up in preparedness fever. “Do you have lamps?”

“Huh?” I brainily replied. Why is he asking about my lighting needs? I told him we have flashlights and plenty of batteries. I resisted the urge to pronounce it “batch-rees” instead of “bat-er-ees.” I have no idea where that came from.

Of course he was asking about hurricane lamps. As we looked over his array of flashlights at the ready should we lose power (so that’s where I get that from). He presented me with one of his lamps. Seeing its purple coat of paint, I mumbled a suggestion that this thing was only for decoration. When he said we were going to test it out I htought “Who am I to argue!” We filled the thing with lamp oil and it worked like a charm. Except for the leaking. So, if we lose power, fear not — I have a leaky hurricane lamp for light.1

Once back home, I started thawing steak from the freezer. I’m eating in style.

Prep Work

Now, there is just the waiting. Final preparations include:

  • Blizzard safety kit, placed in the charge of my eldest daughter. Contains heavy plastic and duct tape in the event of radioactive “dirty” chemical or biologically hazardous snow.
  • Move wood close to the house, and bring some wood inside in case we lose heat.
  • Cover the wood pile with a tarp. Hope the wind doesn’t blow it off.
  • In the case of heavy snow, certain things might be covered and difficult to find, especially in the dark. Use the GPS to mark waypoints for the locations of:
    • My car
    • The woodpile
    • The bathroom
    • All the flashlights in the house
    • The nearest package store
  • Begin to panic because the only lime I have in the house is over a month old and the only non-flat tonic water is diet!
  • Charge camcorder battery and camera batteries to capture blizzard hijinks later on.

I’m sure there are other things I ought to do to prepare. But I refuse to start drinking until the girls are tucked in bed, so that will have to wait.

If we don’t lose power, I’ll see you later. Otherwise, see you on the other side.


1 To test the safety of the leaky oil lamp, I held a lit match to the part of the lamp that was dripping. Try as I might, I couldn’t get the dripping oil to ignite. Then I drained the lamp down below the neck of the fill hole, which the instructions specify. As long as you don’t tip this baby over, it’s golden. But you still can’t post to the internet by its light. Not bright enough.

Posted by James at January 22, 2005 3:57 PM
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By the way, that's not a picture of me. I got it off a royalty free picture website. Look for the link next Friday in my Shotgun Post.

Posted by: James at January 22, 2005 8:42 PM

Excellent observations. Good to see someone is preparin in style. Down here in North Carolina we git 1" of snow and some black ice and it is a state of emergency

Posted by: Fritz at January 22, 2005 8:44 PM

Oh, believe me, for some people up here 1" and black ice is a state of emergency as well. You see, they forget their winter driving skills every summer.

Or maybe they just never learn winter driving skills in the first place, but I am at least giving them the benefit of the doubt on that one. A little.

But you're one-up on Massachusetts already if people don't crowd the supermarket's dairy aisle when an inch of snow is forecast. Forecasted. Er, whatever.

Posted by: James at January 22, 2005 8:50 PM

I got a call at about 10am telling me not to go to work tomorrow. Hooray!

Posted by: woneffe at January 23, 2005 3:40 PM

Great blizzard pre-post James! Or maybe it's because I'm at work at 3am, but I laughed quite a bit. :)

Posted by: briwei at January 24, 2005 7:31 AM

It's even funnier while you're eating eggs.

Posted by: James at January 24, 2005 10:47 AM

I had a very long and irritating commute today, involving the Commuter Rail to the Red Line. Long and tiring, and now I get to do it all over again this afternoon.

Is 9:56 A.M. too early to begin cocktailing?

Posted by: Patti M. at January 24, 2005 10:56 AM

I had a Moxie & VO at 10 AM. I don't see what difference four minutes would make. :)

Posted by: Julie at January 24, 2005 5:38 PM

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