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I Apologize For Badmouthing The Ice Storm

Posted 2014.01.03 20.05 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

I’m sorry for dissing the ice storm.

So the morning of December 22nd, I woke up to find two big branches had come down, one on the house and the other on the shed / back yard.

Turns out, that was just the warm-up act.

That night, the freezing rain came non-stop from before dark, and carried on well into mid-day on Sunday December 23rd. I couldn’t get any sleep, from the nonstop cacaphony of frozen lumber raining down on the house.

On the 22nd, there was one big branch in the backyard. By the morning of the 23rd, all the big branches are in the backyard:

Backyard Carnage

Between 2:00 and 3:00 am, several huge branches came down right ontop of my bedroom. They sort of piled up on the roof for a while, before sliding / falling off the side of the house.

Buried Under Branches

Around 4:00am there were some huge blue electrical arcs that lit up the neighborhood. I was counting myself lucky that I still had power.

When the sun came up, I had a look outside and could see two neighbors across the road had lost power. One of them had their power line down, laying right across the road:

Power Line on the Road

At this point, I was sort of hoping that the worst was passed and that I’d managed to avoid any serious trouble. That’s when I heard a tremendous crash, and my own power went out. Right while I was writing up this entry, in fact…

I have UPS/battery backup power supplies on everything, but they’re only good for 10 or 20 minutes. Enough time for me to go round to all the servers etc. and perform orderly shutdowns.

Then I went outside to survey the damage.

What a Mess

Yep, sure enough, my home’s power line was down. Wrapped around the neighbor’s car, by the looks of it. Worse still, the ‘mast’ thing on my roof took a direct hit. A 2″ steel tube had been folded over like a plastic drinking straw, the cables snapped.

It was the worst case scenario. The neighborhood had power, so we were low priority. And since the majority of the power-line damage was to the house itself, the power company would do nothing until the ‘mast’ had been replaced and everything was up to current electrical code standards.

Folded Over

I stayed a day, but by Monday the temperature indoors was hovering around 50°F and dropping. Finally, I packed up the cats and headed to my sister’s house; she had graciously offered to take us in for the duration.

I came back on the 25th of December to check on things. No good news. The indoor temperature was down to 37°F and everything in my aquariums had died – snails, fish, froggies, all dead. It was very, very sad. In fact the whole house felt dead.

On December 28th, electrical contracters sent by my insurance company had arrived and were working at rebuilding the powerline mast…


At long last, on Sunday December 29th, the power was finally reconnected and I could return home.

The ordeal is far from over, though. I still have a lot of branches on my roof, and the backyard is positively full of branches. I had to throw out all the food in my fridge and freezer. I have to file a claim with the insurance company. I have a lot of clean-up to do. And I am worried that my freezer has died; since the power came back on it doesn’t freeze any more. Not to mention all the stress of having my entire business shut-down and off-line for a full week.

It was certainly a Yule to remember, and an x-mas to forget. I’ve decided not to replace the snails / fish / frogs. I miss them, but it’s time to move on. It’s also been a wake-up call about emergency preparedness… once upon a time I was very prepared. Now I am not. I think that needs to be addressed.

Overall though, the cats and I survived our experience as ‘refugees’, and while it wasn’t fun, it wasn’t the end of the world.


Posted 2011.10.04 19.31 in Pointless Blather, Uncategorized by Stephanie

That’s how I feel. My leg is not getting better fast enough. It’s cold out. I’m unenthusiastic about everything.


Can’t even think of anything that would cheer me up.

Cameras just remind me that I can’t walk around and take pictures.

I’m still burned out on electronics.

Fish and snails… burned me out last week. I forgot to blob about that. I did make a post about it though at

It’s a long weekend coming up. Thanksgiving. Not feeling very thanksful at the moment, though I realize that I do have a great many things to be thankful about.

Anyways, turkeys are annoying.

Winter Sux

Posted 2010.12.14 11.49 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

It’s crazy. It’s not even winter here yet. And I already hate it.

In fact it feels like I’m hating winter more and faster than I remember in previous years. It hasn’t really snowed much here yet, but don’t care so much about snow. It’s the cold. And it’s the way so many people forget how to drive when there’s white stuff blowing around.

Cold – it seems like it’s damn cold out, and in. Like, Suddenly: Deep Freeze! Yet it’s not really that cold, when you look at a thermometer. It’s only mid-December.. what am I going to feel like when we get to February and the -40’s? Actually, I don’t want to know. I want to hibernate.

Then there’s the way people drive… Oh my Gods.

We get this white shit every year. Why is it always a shock to people? Why don’t people learn to fucking drive on snow? “Oh christ there’s snow on the ground – I better go into panic mode and act like I’ve forgotten how to use a car!”

One thing I’ve made a point of doing every year since I got my license, is when we get some snowy/icy/slippy weather, I’ll find an empty road or parking-lot, and practice driving in bad conditions. It’s not magic. You can learn this stuff. It varies from car to car, and it’s good to stay in practice. All you need to do is first, learn what your vehicle feels like as it is losing traction or just starting to slide. Then you learn how to deal with it. Most of it is common sense. I’m sure there’s even places you can go, to specifically learn how to drive in poor conditions.

So here’s the deal: If driving in the snow makes you feel so scared and tense that you have to go at 10km/h with your four-way blinkers on, if you’re on the verge of panicing when another vehicle goes past you, if you can’t stop at a stop-sign that you can see 250 meters away, then stay the fuck home. If you don’t know how to drive in the winter, then just don’t do it.

Air-Conditioner Air

Posted 2010.07.24 0.00 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

With the summer heat finally kicking in, about a week or two ago I relented and turned on the A/C. The temperature was routinely in the mid-80’s and the occupants of my aquariums were starting to sweat and pant.

Yesterday though, I decided I’d had enough of air-conditioner air. I don’t like the smell of it. So I shut it down and opened all the windows. It got me thinking though… where does air-conditioner air come from?

Does it get sucked in from outside, chilled down, then blown into the house? Or is it air that’s already in the house, chilled then just blown around inside?

I suspect it’s the latter… recycled air.

What would be neat, like for the next big thing in air-conditioning, would be this: Inside the A/C unit would be a little wormhole-generator, and a strong fan. And when you turn it on, what it does is, it opens up a wormhole to Antarctica, and the fan cranks up and starts pulling in icy-cold Antarctic air. Fresh, pure, and cold!

There’d be a filter or something so that any penguins or scientific researchers that got accidentally drawn in through the wormhole would be safely extracted and ejected to land in the drive-way, so as not to end up clogging up the duct-work.

That’s what I want in an air-conditioner. Fresh, pure, icy-cold Antarctic air.

Actually we could use the same mini-wormhole technology in refridgerators too! They’d go back to being iceboxes, but instead of getting our ice from a guy making weekly deliveries, whenever the icebox detected it was low on ice, it’d open up a little wormhole and suck a hunk of ice in from the Antarctic ice sheets.

There’s a lot of great ways this kind of technology could be used. Maybe in the winter, you turn a dial and redirect the wormhole to somewhere hot and suck in hot air? Or suck in a glob of hot magma from deep under the Earth’s crust, then just draw outside air in over the magma glob, heating the air that then heats the house.

The possibilities are endless!

Cure for the Common Cold

Posted 2010.03.30 18.53 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s one miracle medicine that totally fixes all the symptoms.

You know when the cold is just coming on and your throat is sore, it hurts to talk, you feel all achy and miserable? I have the cure.

I call it: Baileys Irish Cream.

See, the cream coats your throat and takes away the rawness, while the alcohol acts as a mild anaesthetic, numbing the pain in your throat, sinuses, and joints.

Ok so maybe it doesn’t cure the cold… but anyhow, it’s good stuff.

Not Compatible With Life

Posted 2009.12.29 19.07 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

This is what Too Damn Cold looks like.

If this was my car, I’d go back indoors and hibernate a while more. Dial-A-Bottle and internet delivery groceries would be my salvation.

Autumn…. Ptooey!

Posted 2009.10.13 9.22 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

This year, more than others I can remember, I’m really feeling displeased about autumn.

And for the record, it’s Autumn, not “fall”. Fall is what you do after you trip. Leaves fall in Autumn. Fall is not a season. I don’t care if I’m wrong. It’s Autumn. So there.

Anyways. Every morning it seems to be darker out. And the wet, grey, miserable dampness… every morning it is harder to function. Harder to find the motivation to get up and out. And every day it gets a little colder. Last night I had to add another blanket to my bed, I was freezing!

As much as I love Canada, I just don’t think I’m cut out for the weather here. And as bad as autumn gets, it’s just the prelude to winter! That’s another reason I dislike autumn.

For that matter, I think the real problem is working for a living – I’m getting mighty tired of that too. I mean, if I didn’t have to be at work every day, then I wouldn’t have to get up in the cold/wet/grey/dark and wouldn’t have to worry about finding the motivation or energy to carry on. I could just hibernate through the winter, or at least, stay indoors, crank up the heat, and survive through take-out and delivery services. Sure I could venture out now and then, on the warmer days. But I’d wait till the sun was up and it was well and truly daylight. And I wouldn’t be out for long – just a quick dash for supplies, wine, toys or whatever, then hurry back to my warm cozy house.

Actually, if I’m going to daydream, why not daydream big? If I could do anything, have anything, live anywhere I wanted, I would move to a tropical island type place, like Waikiti – I would have a small 1-room appartment above or behind a clubhouse type bar. I would spend my days messing around on the water with boats, or buzzing around in bizzare flying machines, and my evenings would be wasted away relaxing in a big comfy easy chair, with some nice chilled German wines.

I probably wouldn’t live long, but I’d live well.