Saturday, September 25, 2010

I have issues.

Smidgen, who is in kindergarten now,  came home a day ago and announced that "Troy still has talking issues."

Which cracked me up.  I love the way our language changes.  "To have issues" is not that old a phrase; goes back only to the 80's, I think, and was unknown before then.  Now it's become this powerful and universal explanatory.  I love imagining exactly how it bounces around in the kindergarten room.

I have issues, at the moment.  We've had this momentary karma crash, apparently.

While my health is currently not an issue, everything else is.  Our poultry, both guineas and chickens, are disappearing, at a really alarming rate.  Something is eating them (the piles of feathers attest) but we can't figure what.  Have to figure it out.

Our tree crops are dropping like crazy; and we can't pick them up fast enough.  And- we got clobbered by the flooding rains a couple days ago; with more on the way.  We only got 4 inches out of it, not the 10 some neighbors did.  But when you're picking stuff up off the ground, and the ground is mud- it's not good.

The storm was what our grandparents would all have called "the equinoctial storm".  Smack on the equinox, this time.  They all new/believed that you can expect a major rainstorm event every year, close to the equinox.  Lots of mysticism about why; but for our location, my 30+ years of watching tends to affirm their opinion.  The balance of sunlight has shifted from light to dark; the weather shifts too.

Besides pounding crops into mud, we got hit by a karmic lightning bolt.  Well, the surge, anyway.

For decades, it's been my rigid practice to unplug everything during lightning storms.  After frying 8 (no exaggeration) answering machines, it seemed the best practice.  But.  This time, the DSL connection was left on; and my computer was connected.

We heard a very loud POP from the direction of the DSL, and every circuit breaker in the house tripped. The thunder roll came a couple seconds later; this wasn't a hit on the house.

Took a while to figure out what and where.  After resetting all the breakers; the DSL modem; and my computer, were stone dead.  The surge evidently got into the DSL line, evaded all their protections, then via ethernet wire into my computer, then into the power lines, and "poof".  Lighting does anything it wants to, is the actual physical law.

I was really pretty dismayed to discover how dependent I've become on the computer and the web.  It's a chunk of my life; and when it's not available, things get out of kilter.  How the hell am I supposed to plan what to do when I can't look at the radar loop?  Or when that urgent email conversation is disrupted?

I used to, of course.  Changing back is strangely difficult, though.

Meanwhile.  More rain on way.  Gotta get crops in.


knutty knitter said...

We got snow, gales, rain, sleet and, two days later, shirtsleeve heat :)

And they threw daylight saving in when I wasn't expecting it. The computer says 5.30, the clock says 4.30 and I didn't look at the computer earlier.

Hope you catch whatever is eating your hens.

viv in nz

CallieK said...

Huh- I've never heard about equinoctial storms before, but we had a doozy of a storm blow through Toronto on Tues night. I'm going to remember this for future years.

We got hit by lightning last summer and unlike you I normally never unplug anything. But that particular storm was fierce and I was sitting near the computer watching how strong the storm was so I decided to unplug it for once. My hand had barely left the outlet when we got hit and the lights all flickered and crackled and my hair stood on end! The loudest noise seemed to be in the kitchen so we went to check and sure enough the tiny tv we keep there was dead. The surge had blown through both the CI outlets in kitchen and bathroom and fried them, passed through the surge protected power bar plugged into the kitchen outlet and the tv took a direct hit. The fridge and the cordless phone which were also plugged into that outlet were fine. According to the electrician who came to fix the wiring it was the capacitor in the tv that held the biggest attraction so the lightning followed that path.

Crunchy Chicken said...

If it's not one thing, it's another. I know what you mean about getting used to being connected. When a friend went to Yellowstone and was commenting that he didn't get cell phone / Internet service in the park, I kind of freaked out and had to stop myself from saying, "what did you do?"

Uh, hiked without a phone? Like we used to do way back in the 90s when cell phones weren't ubiquitous.

It seems like everywhere there's free wifi or cell service. I get so used to constant GPS and weather and everything else I sometimes forget what it used to be like. And it's not worthy of panicking, that's for sure :)

SharleneT said...

Bottom line, lightning does what it wants and power surge strips are only good for utility company surges... got double-zapped in '06 and lost TWO computers... could smell the motherboard burning... but, was able to save the data... it's amazing how much we've become accustomed to having the world as our kaffeklatch friends, eh wot?... come visit when you can...

Anonymous said...

Nn interview you might find interesting:
“The Impending World Energy Mess”

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog & immediately subscribed - I'd like to read the entry on unplugging your fridge, but I can't figure out how to access a particular article. Am I missing something obvious? Clicking on the title didn't work...

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to reading your new articles, as well as the archives - glad I found you!

jodancingtree at yahoo

Dani said...

Hi Greenpa

Don't have equinoctial storms ni our part of the world - pity - could really use the moisture.

But have also lost a couple of 'puters to the odd lightning bolts from the heavens - in fact, with the last 'puter fry my husband was in the bath and said that the lightning even came through the faucet an aimed straight for his big toe - no damage to the toe - but the box was fried!

Just found your blog and although I know you clearly state:

" can't do email, either; I'm already drowning in the stuff from my other life; and I can't get into giving personal advice"...

I was wondering if you couldn't just drop me a very quick line to tell me where on you blog, I could find out how you exist without a refrigerator? Is it permanenetly cold in Minnesota?

If you could I would really appreciate it. My addy is:

Thanks - and thanks for the blog!

Greenpa said...

dani and jo; the blog has a "search" function; just tested it and it's working for me, anyway. Up in the top left corner of your page it should be; type in "refrigerator" and it should get you to most of the discussions; oldest on the bottom. Lots of excellent stuff in the comments.

Rev. Peter Doodes said...

It's pouring here Greenpa.

I have just made and fitted a tow bar to our old Wheelhorse and need to try out the latest (donated) piece of equipment on our field ASAP.

So what do I do? I catch up on what the other bloggers who I have come to know and admire over the years are doing.

What would I do if it all went down? To awful to think about really, it's an integral part of my life...