Well, we survived the Ice Storm of ’07. This one wasn’t much as ice storms go — the Storm of ’94, which was almost exactly thirteen years ago, was devastating beyond description. We lost about seven acres of pine trees from that one, felled as if by a scythe. This one only did a little damage here and there, but for some reason it knocked out electric power for a lot of people in our part of Virginia.
The photo at the top illustrates the futility of all human effort. Two big branches came down from the pine tree and pwned the wheelbarrow. You can’t see them, but four or five of Dymphna’s azalea bushes are under those branches, too.
A pine tree fell down into the yard from the area where pine trees always fall into the yard — at least the fourth one to fall through the forsythia bush and land in this spot. They seem to send out a new suicide tree after each storm, just waiting for the next one.
And before one of you wags asks the obvious question: no, that’s not Schloss Bodissey in the background.
It’s the gardener’s quarters.
– – – – – – – – – –
I had to cut my way past this tree to get up the driveway. There was another one down further along, but I could drive through the field to get around it.
Three days with no internet! And reading by candlelight is a bitch. But I managed to get through two collections of Elmore Leonard westerns and half of Mark Steyn’s latest book, so the time wasn’t completely wasted.
It’s a good thing that the power came back on in the middle of the night last night — the temperature was about 14°F (-10°C) when I got up this morning. Our house was warm enough with no electricity, thanks to the Carbon Monoxide Special, but the pump in the pump house would surely have frozen.
Ah, but to wake up this morning to a warm house, electric lights, and a hot shower — life doesn’t get any better than that.
Here’s a little reminder that the government isn’t the only form of obnoxious and inhuman bureaucracy. Late yesterday afternoon it became evident that not everyone was going to get their power restored. The temperature hadn’t gone above freezing all day long, and the wind was blowing hard. It was all set to be a mean night.
Our electric company is CVEC, the Central Virginia Electric Co-operative — or as Dymphna and I often call it, the FCVEC, the F***ing Central Virginia Electric Co-operative. The CVEC is not a big concern — just one of those little rural leftovers, like a miniature version of the TVA. The Co-op is notorious for having sudden and mysterious twenty-minute outages on a cloudless warm day without a breeze stirring — no warning, no explanation, just BLAM! No power. Dymphna and I like to say that happens when the chain on their bicycle breaks. It used to play hell with my programming back in the days before UPS.
So what did the FCVEC tell people yesterday as sunset approached?
“We recommend that if your power is not restored by 5 PM, you and your family should relocate to a motel.”
Right. That’s just what Granny Medicaid in her trailer needs to hear. She’ll just jump in the Beamer, boogie on down to the nearby Best Western, and plonk down her Platinum Visa for the desk clerk.
The last list I saw yesterday had 286 customers still listed as without power, just on our local substation. There aren’t 286 motel beds within forty miles of here. I guess the FCVEC expects people to double up a little bit here and there. Three to a bed and six on the floor, people.
To hell with your dogs and your water pipes. Let ’em freeze!
That’s the Co-op version of “Let Them Eat Cake.”
It seems that we buy our electricity from Marie Antoinette.
I’ll be catching up on email for a while — 700 or so were waiting for me this morning. And we’ve got to go over the mountain to a funeral this afternoon, so not much will happen here at the Gates today.
We’ll be back to our regular jihad-blogging schedule as soon as possible. In the meantime, you may entertain yourselves with this amusing Norwegian video (with English subtitles) about the earliest known instance of Tech Support. Hat tip: Wally Ballou.