And Yet Another Power Outage

I was at work when one of my co-workers told me that his power was out at his place, and he decided to arrive at work early. His home is not to far from mine, about 5km away, and my shift was about to end for the night, the odds were very good my place was out too. Sure as ice one the road, when I drove through my neighbourhood, it was lights out, and by the temperature of my home when I walked through the door, the power had been out for some time. I was greeted with an outside temperature of minus 10, and an inside temperature of plus 4. Without electricity, what do you do?

I am fortunate to have a propane oven and range, plus a small propane heater that is built in to my home, but these only heat a very small area. This was my lifesaver, other than the twenty candles I placed around the house. Anything that generated heat without electricity was my friend.

After a couple hours without power, I managed to get my living room area up to 12 to 13C, but nowhere near that comfort level to be happy. I decided to stay up until the power was switched back on. I sat on my recliner chair, and placed two heavy blankets around me, and read some books. Sick and sore from lack of sleep to begin with from the flu, I knew that this was going to add more misery to the days ahead, as I needed to be at work. I already took two sick days from last week, so money in the future is going be tight as it is.

Around 4:00am the power came back on. I kept my heaters going, along with the candles, until the room temperature climbed back up to comfy levels. But then again, I have been psyched from time to time by BC Hydro, when the power came back on, then suddenly, it gets switched back off for a few more hours, before it is switched on for good. I just left everything the way it was until I sure that the power was stable enough put everything away, and I could get some sleep.   

New Year. Do I Need My Emergency Kit?

Looking back, most of the day was spent without Internet, Cable, Phone and access to my street as five cars that could not make it up the hill, huddled in front of my driveway. It was not the snow, but drivers that made my day a stay-at-home one. The power lines were lined with trees that were leaning up against them from the weight of the snow. Last night’s snow fall was nearly 14cm according to my measurements on my patio. Up until 10:00pm, I was so grateful that the power held, although at multiple times my lights dimmed and flickered wildly for several minutes, until it finally switched off for four hours. However, my Internet was connecting for a few hours at a time, I did have partial contact with the world.

The highlight of the day was listening to the trees bend and break through the early morning. When I walking outside, I was awestruck at the sight I saw: winter. The night before, I took some night shots of the forest, and saw huge green flashes of light, as trees were touching the power lines. But even during the daylight hours, I saw one flash that almost made me jump out of my clothes. Then it struck me: we are not done yet with this weather.

It seems that most weather forecasters get it wrong for my area. When they say I should see 5C, I often get ether something higher, or a lot lower. So when the Snow Warnings were issued, and temps were forecasted, my area was deemed minimal, more inline with the City of Vancouver. Even Abbotsford, the city to my East, was given higher values than what I received, so I had a misguided sense of security with my environment. So I got more snow, and it was far colder then what I thought we would get. Sure, I dealt with it, but under protest.

Tomorrow, the forecast says were are going to have clear skies, but with wind. WIND! Oh, great, there goes the power for sure. Trees bent over from snow, and temperatures well before freezing, now being mixed with wind; all for a recipe for power outages, bad roads, and a long night sleep. I am thinking I should have my Emergency Kit handy–better safe than sorry.

Happy New Year 2017!

In just a few hours from now the new year will kick in, and with it, a three day long weekend! Now that is something to celebrate! The very end of 2016 has been (or still is), well, shitty for me, to say the least. I am ending the year off with the worse flu I have had in years. I even took time off from work becuase of it–that is how bad. I am not going to let that dampen my mood tonight as the old year draws to a close, and we switch over to 2017, I will stay up and celebrate it!

The only worry I have tonight is that we are being told to watch out for some bad weather. It is snowing at the moment, and it should start to clear up tomorrow, but then stay well below freezing for the next ten days or so. All should be good if the roads are free of snow before the freeze starts. If not, then we will have ice everywhere after that. And so much for the heating bill too.

I am planning on staying home, like the last five years, to celebrate the New Year moment. I will watch my clock as it moves from 2016 to 2017, and then wait for the neighbourhood to erupt with fire works (gun shots) and horns to mark the calendar change. Then slip quietly back into bed. Actually, last year, if I remember correctly, I think I just stayed in bed: woke to the noise, then fell right back to sleep.

ADDED:

It is about 9:30pm now, and the snow has not let off. There is one thing worse than having to deal with 15cm of snow, and that is power outages. Already, since 7:00pm, I have had 5 short outages, caused by trees touching the power lines. Luckily none have lasted longer than 10 seconds. The forest sounds like a war zone from the branches breaking from the weight of the snow. No doubt it will get worse as the night goes on. I think I am OK as far as a tree breaking on my home though, but I do have large ones not to far away from me. Tomorrow we are expecting to be well below freezing, so if the power does go out, it will be a chilly one.

I just looked outside to check on the falling snow, and it is still falling at a fast rate. No matter what, I am staying inside tonight; staying far, far, far away from driving on the roads today. OK, signing off. See you next year…

The Rush, the Rude and the Screwed

As promised from one of my earlier posts this month, I compiled a list of moments when acts of rudeness (only becuase these surpassed acts of kindness), and not surprising, most were motor vehicle related. With the Holidays, everyone here in the Lower Mainland and Metro Vancouver were out rushing about to get shopping done, preparing themselves for those lavish family dinners, and stocking up on general stuff. The big box stores were packed, and most Malls too, as people crammed the last minute shopping for gifts. But then there are screwed, like myself who was stuck in bed with a bad flu, which seemed to make the whole thing mute as I had no enjoyment for the next three days.

Acts of rudeness. By far, and way ahead of the rest, the number one spot on my list of rudeness happened back on December 15, when a woman, in her 30’s tried to hold a Handy Cap parking stall for here husband, while a legitimate Handy Cap driver was trying to park in it. In the Walmart parking lot, front parking stalls are always sought after, simply becuase you do not have to walk far to the store. I brushed up on my Handy Cap permits in British Columbia knowledge a while back, and have learned how to tell the difference between the fake ones. The fellow who was trying park had a legitimate permit. However, the woman refused to surrender the stall. Even I told her that she cannot hold a parking stall like this, “it is first come first serve.” She ignored me, and the rest of the passer bys as well. Finally, when I saw what her husband was driving, a rather large black SUV, he had no Handy Cap permit! His truck was to big to properly fit in the parking stall anyway. Maybe this was poetic justice?

The rest of my list is just small stuff; I will type not out a comprehensive list here. There is just no point to do that. I will just point out the highlights. Drivers driving to fast, or trying to cut in front of other cars to “get there first.” Leaving garbage in front of your driveway, or as in one case with a friend, in the back of his pick-up. Stopping in the middle of an aisle in a busy shopping store to talk on your cell phone, while others are also trying to shop down that same aisle. How rude. Coughing straight into the air, or into a crowed of people in a public place, with out covering your mouth. Leaving your shopping buggy right in the middle of the parking stall becuase your are to lazy to return it back to the special shopping cart drop-off centre. The list goes on and on, but I will stop here.

Then there is me, the Screwed. I caught it on Friday. When  I got home from work. It had progressed into the full-blown symptoms of a flu. I already felt like I wanted dive right into bed when I walked in the door. So far, this is on nasty little bug. I have a full chest infection, and my whole body is going through the chill, and fever cycles every couple of hours. The worst; the coughing. I cannot sleep becuase it. I think next week will be hell if I cannot rid myself of this.

Taking Time Off

Loving the idea of having the next tree days from everything, is nice, but I am starting to develop what seems to be a full blown flu bug. Is there some cosmic joke playing at me, taunting me with 72 hours of bliss, and I get the flu right at the start of it? Right now I have the stuffed nose, congested lungs and a headache that comes and goes when it feel likes. Right now, talking is difficult becuase of the coughing. Some are enjoying my silence, but once it passes, I will talk up a storm to appease them. (Grin)

The Sun came out, but that only meant that it was bitterly cold out. I think it was -4C when I took these shots. The weather prognosticators are suggesting that we will be getting more snow for tomorrow, and possibly the day after. Great, more snow. I guess no bargain hunting shopping this week–staying home if it snows too much.

Yeah, I just rechecked my patio thermometer again, and it is showing -4C out.

Funny, the above shot seems like it is nice and warm day out, but it is not. There are icicles in this shot. Time to stay inside where it is warm, and drain my nose.

Happy Solstice!

Happy Solstice! Another astrological event is upon us, the shortest day of the year, or longest night of the year, marking the start of winter, yay (or not). But look at it this way, all we have to do is survive through the next three months of this, and then it will be spring. You just have to hang in there; it will fly by fast, I guarantee it. But anyway, we get about 8:11 hours of daylight here in Vancouver today, which is quite a bit compared to, say, Terrace, British Columbia, which will get 7:16 hours. The good news, each day will get a little bit better each time from here on in. I can see you smiling already.

As for the weather, well, here it is quite cool. In fact, we still have snow on the grown from the storm last week before the week and a half long freeze up, but it is raining as the temperature is hovering above the freezing mark.

A side note: I did get my water back on line. The water line finally thawed out enough. I am not taking any chances now–heat tape on the water line–and I am leaving the water run just a little bit to make sure the line does not freeze up again. Life without running water–sucks.

OK, now I am going to do a little cat nap. So tired. I love the holidays! 🙂

Snowing, Snowed, Snow… Then Rain, Then Brown.

Surprise, it snowed! Then it kept snowing, then snowed some more, then the snow seemed to stop. Since then, about lunch time, high noon, it started up again, but it got eerily warmer, and then the snow changed to a fine type of snow, then finally as of now, rain. It is now raining out as of 7:00pm. So, all of this might be gone very soon. Yes, there is a smile on my face while I typed that last bit out. The snow will be all gone: and warmer too, to boot!

I am betting that by tomorrow, all the roads will be awesome, and all the slushy white stuff will be gone. Well, only if the temperature shoots up to 10C. The above photo, I shot just around 6:00pm using a long exposure technique becuase it gets quite dark out this time of day. But the photo below clearly shows the snow storm at its hight around noon today. I say, about 8cm fell here at my place today, so far.

Just as a point of interest, I did use my 4X4 mode to get back into my driveway today after I picked up my mail at the Post Office. I usually like to back in, so I kind of spun out when I was getting to the high part of my driveway.

I still do not have running water. My lines are still frozen. I am not going to go through the effort of unthawing them when I know the warmer weather will kick in tonight. I will let nature unfreeze them for me.

Well, we will see what new weather the Weather Gods will bring us tomorrow. Hopefully it is all good, and not something that will keep me home from work tomorrow. 

Frozen Solid – Period!

Sigh… It has been a frozen week for us Lower Mainlanders who are not use to this level of cold. My home did not fair well, as I have no running water due to frozen waterlines. Sleeping at night have been very uncomfortable, especially when the temperatures at night had hit minus 11 and 12 yesterday and the day before. The good news is, we are going to bounce back to our normal weather starting tonight, but the bad news in all this, we start off with a snow storm before the (welcomed) glorious plus 9C kicks in for Monday. I am currently not a happy camper.

Tonight should be a lot warmer than the last five days have been. I am so looking forward to this. My heating bill will be huge come next month becuase of this, and I hope I can take is easy on my furnace the next week or so. I really do not care if we get a metre of snow, it will all start to melt by the time Monday gets here with highs well above freezing. Life in my tin box, as I call it–my trailer, has been tough as of late. This place has been very hard to keep warm and comfortable becuase it was never designed to be out in -15C weather. So I have resorted to just keeping one section nice and warm, while keeping the rest of it as warm as possible without freezing, especially at night when I am sleeping.

Frozen water pipes is not fun either. Fortunately I have a water cooler that holds quite a bit of water, so I have plenty of drinking water, but bathing and laundry, it will get tricky dealing with those chores.  I just bought a new water bottle for the cooler, so I have nice supply of water until my pipes thaw out. I am hoping to have running water as early as tomorrow, but Monday looks like the time when things really warm up to work on it. Either way I have plans in place, so I will not smell bad ether way. I will have clean clothes and a shower is close at hand. 🙂

 

Frozen – Solid, and More to Come

As the deep-freeze rages onward down here in Southern British Columbia, the thought of anther week of this Arctic Vortex (as the media calls it) is not sitting well with me. I am cold, and getting sick of it. Trailer living in the middle of a -11C night, does not make for a very comfy sleep with two heaters and the furnace cranked up to maximum, when this time last year we were enjoying plus 12C with sunshine! And to think, there is another week to go of this (@$%#$!@ weather) according to Environment Canada’s Website. (As I removed another icicle from the tip of my nose becuase of post nasal drip).

Yes, this is one bitchy Canadian who will not lie about life in the great White North, eh! If I could embrace El Niño and speed up Global Warming and Climate Change today, I would do it, just for spite. Hey, I am only miserable becuase my butt is freezing. Of course, this can change with moving into a proper house (if I had a million dollars).

Looking at the weather forecast, I see next Wednesday, and Thursday as being the coldest days to come with night time lows of -8 and -11 predicted. The good news, no wind or snow in the forecast.

The snow from Friday’s storm is still on the roads, and in some places it is pure ice where the Sun does not shine. For the most part, the roads are in awesome conditions in spite of the freezing temps. Even my Pathfinder is running great, starting up every morning without the block heater plugged in. I owe a lot to my investment of tires I put on the truck last year and the tune-up I gave it a month ago. The tires work better than expected on the snow and ice, and the engine has lots of antifreeze in it. 🙂

Trying to keep my water lines from freezing up is another worry. I have above ground water lines, only becuase that is how the water is hooked up by my Land Lord plug in system. My trailer is only “temporary parked,” so the water line is just a hose that plugs in to the main waterline. Sadly, this is a bit of a nightmare from nights when the temperature drops below freezing. Every year, except last year, I have had at least one day where my water froze. I am hoping to go two years on a row without my water lines freezing.

Minding the Melt: Don’t Step In the Slush

It is like soup out there. The snow, from the Snowmageddon event, has left its fury all over the place, and now the clean-up begins. The result, slush everywhere. Small lakes of water pooling up where it can’t run off, but only trapped in the melting snow. The joke, it is going to freeze tonight making for little ice rinks where the water has pooled. Shovelling will make way to chipping it away. Ho joy.

Am I worried? No. Sooner or latter it will all melt away, so why put the effort into it. Only paths, and perhaps the driveway, but not the whole area of the driveway. I just don’t see the point to it. “Leave it,” I say, “let nature take care of the rest.”