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November 01, 2012


Thanks for checking in. I'm so glad you are OK!

Obama was in Wisconsin today. I love the guy in the crowd who says "One Country!"

In fact, we are one country. Glad you're okay, Doctor Science.

Good to hear you made it, doc. A pony you say? Everybody can get behind that!

Glad to know you're well, Doc Sci. I feel guilty reading about even your relatively minor problems, which sound relatively major compared what we got 40 or 50 miles south of you. (I don't even want to think about Hoboken....)

The Marathon. I know one person who was going to run (and a couple of people who are friends of friends). I thought that it should have been cancelled on Wednesday. Now it is cancelled.

I hope that the participants who travelled to NY are able to enjoy something there. The fact that it was supposed to have started on Staten Island - that would have been incredibly depressing. Or inspiring (I was trying to talk myself into that). I just wish the decision had been made sooner. Or not at all.

It's mind boggling how huge this disaster is. (Although I do have to say that I (in Central Virginia) have been without power for multiple days many times. I'm not in a rural area. I recognize, of course, that being lightless is less scary, perhaps, in C'ville VA, than in Manhattan. But, still, we take electricity way too much for granted.)

Just reread my comment, and certainly didn't mean to compare the lack of electricity that we have suffered here for a week with the flooding and devastation that occurred on Staten Island.

What I meant was: those of us lease affected by storms, etc., tend to take certain services for granted.

And, despite having family and close friends in New York and New Jersey, it's only beginning to sink in how huge this damage has been.

least (I give up.)

At least in rural areas there is a good chance that a house was built before electrification (or designed to that standard) and thus has the options to go without built in. Big city living quarters rarely have that. Gas lines are not that dissimilar to electric ones (i.e.likely to fail in an emergency). And what big city dweller (not on a nostalgia trip) has petrol lamps and a sufficient supply of fuel ready these days?

At least in rural areas there is a good chance that a house was built before electrification

Maybe in Europe. Not true in the U.S. Again, I'm not in a truly rural area, but my small town has suffered a lot of bad weather in past five years. Most of my friends have had a tree on their house, or their car, or serious property damage. Not much flooding (because we live in the mountains), and not much loss of life (none among my friends, thankfully). Most people (including me) have been out of electricity for almost a week at a time. About ten years ago, it was more than a week for me.

Unprecedented tornadoes, "microbursts", derechos... Still, lots of climate change deniers. Anyway, good to learn how to prepare (and to evacuate, if necessary).

I thought that some esp. rural parts of the US only got electrified in or shortly after the New Deal era while a lot of housing dates back to the early 20th century, i.e. a few decades before that. I think I remember quite a number of still living US politicians claiming that the power lines reached their houses only after they were born (showing how humble their upbringing was).

That's probably true, Hartmut. I'm not sure how many rural people live in older dwellings though. Maybe it's more than I think.

In most of the pre-Depression homes I know best, remodelling has replaced gravity/convection/hot water central heating with much more efficient modern fan-driven heat. Old chimneys have been sealed against heat loss and vermin.

So even in old houses, there's often no recourse when the electrical service is out.

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