07 January 2014

Tundra Tuesday...
Yes, it's STILL deathly COLD outside today in the Hoosierland.
It really IS...THAT cold in the Hoosierland!!!
Our downtown area looked like a damn GHOST TOWN yesterday...even at "rush-hour".
Many people took the advice of government officials and weather people and STAYED HOME.
And considering that all schools and many businesses and activities were CLOSED yesterday, there wasn't much happening to warrant being out and about anywhere in Fort Wayne.
That's not to say our police and fire personnel had it "easy"...they did not.
Scores of slide-offs, vehicles getting stuck or crapping out, as well as a plethora of medical calls caused our responders to REALLY be on their game. Saw a FWPD cruiser today citing a vehicle parked along Pettit.
Under such conditions, people NEED to heed the warnings
It's NOT only a cold day HERE...
Also, as could be expected, the bone-chilling temps did not help in ANY manner.
Around our "Fortress", all was eerily quiet, after the plows rolled through yesterday morning.
We are without a newspaper for the SECOND day, and I did NOT see a USPS truck come up our street yesterday.
I would wager that our mayor, public safety director and police chief got THEIR papers and had THEIR mail delivered, though.
We're only the SE side...who gives a sh*t about anyone down here, right?
Like I say...you get used to being ignored in many ways
If you're looking for better weather today...think again.
Jack Frost HAS been busy at our place!
Temps will ONLY rise to MINUS FIVE DEGREES, with a low tonight of around MINUS TWENTY.
Tomorrow, we get to "warm" up to a balmy NINETEEN DEGREES, with more warming as the week progresses.
Finally, we might be able to put this "polar vortex" behind us...
Polar Vortex my ass...pass me some penguin, Harry.
(and maybe those people will stop messing with the HAARP array up north and screwing with our weather)
So, let's again take it very slow today, stay inside and keep warm with some coffee, tea or cocoa, as we see what else has been going on...
*** First out of the chill zone today comes a cautionary story about the regional electrical grid operator that supplies power to much of Indiana, warning customers to CONSERVE POWER.
Here's the story link:
Personally, I'd LOVE to comply. I hate wasting damn near anything...BUT (uh oh, here he goes) when ELECTRICITY is the ONLY viable energy source available, you'll forgive me if I choose NOT to freeze to death and "decrease the surplus population" (as Dickens once wrote).
Maybe we should STOP bugging Mother Nature???
I suppose the electrical grid is stretched a bit, but MAY-BE it's due to Obummer shutting DOWN many of Indiana's COAL PLANTS, because he's permitted the EPA is over-regulate them into near-extinction???
Hell, we used to have a COAL-fired furnace in our house when I was a child...
And with all this COLD outside,. wouldn't a tad more greenhouse gases be WELCOME?
I turned MY thermostat back...WAY back!
It would seem the pendulum has swung a bit too far in the wrong direction, and, in our (libtard-driven) mad rush to "save the planet", we've allowed the decrease in greenhouse gases to cause global COOLING...at least it would appear that way.
Do NOT hit that BIG...RED...BUTTON, Bill...!
Then again, the nation's electrical grid is in dire need of upgrading, and we're often hard-pressed to even mention it..until "something" happens.
And even though we have a furnace that runs on natural gas, the operating system  and fan is ELECTRICAL, so we need power to keep it running at whatever temperature we set it at.
Moving on...
*** With such record-breaking, sub-zero temperatures, many things we take for granted tend to act "differently" than in more moderate climates.
We KNOW that vehicles are susceptible to the frigid weather, what with batteries that go south (like your aunt and uncle when they move to Florida), or tires with not enough tread to make any headway, and the like.
It's SO cold...I can't find MY nuts either...
Since most areas have done away with studded and/or snow tires (proper), you're left to those less-aggressive tread radials...great from sliding on bad roads.
They build 'em WARM at Thule AFB!
Homes are also privy to such arctic conditions, and since we all don't have corregated steel Quonset huts that have been buried UNDER the tundra and heavily insulated against the arctic blasts of cold air, we are pretty much left out in the cold (no pun intended).
A row-home isn't that bad...only TWO sides to insulate, but with our "stand-alones", we have ALL FOUR sides that need tending to.
It's NOT our house - it's a house at McMurdo AFB
Our "Fortress", which was built at the close of WW2 tends to leak warm air out and let cold air in...some of the aluminum storm windows have had FROST on them, but at last that's on the inside of the OUTSIDE window. An apartment Wifey and I had in Columbus had frost on the INSIDE of the window, and I remember getting caulk to better seal it so we weren't cranking the heat to the TROPICAL setting.
Doors of a house tend to act "weird", too, and they actually change SHAPE with such cold, typically going "out-of-square", so that locking them becomes a chore.
This can happen to wood OR steel entry doors, too.
You also have to maintain proper insulation on pipes in crawlspaces or basements...ditto for the water heater. That's why in many colder climates, people have HEAT EXCHANGE units...that heat water ON DEMAND...so no failing water heaters to crap up whatever space they occupy.
Then there is electrical problems, such as cords when exposed to the cold become brittle, and can crack and break.
Had one do that to me today...not big deal.
All you need is one of those screw on plug ends (male OR female), wire strippers, screwdriver, and about 5 minutes.
The birds STILL get fed here.
Let's face it...when MOST of our houses OR apartments were built in Fort Wayne, NO ONE had any idea we'd be exposed to such FRIGID temps for ANY length of time, and it's at those times, we find out how WELL our places were built...or how poorly.
So, you basically have TWO choices (when building a new construct) to fight ANY type of extreme weather at either end of the temperature spectrum...
1)  You can insulate the HELL out of the place, and that will cost you some serious money
2)  You can bury the house underground for the most part, and let the earth insulate the house, which will dramatically LOWER heating and cooling bills.
Aside from that, with any existing structure, you're just stuck with the hand you're been dealt, and are playing "catch-up".
*** Lastly today, a little peek into how WE are coping with this weather...we have an upstairs sink that will not drain, the Wifeymobile in the shop for that racing idle problem, a sticking door, frosted windows, a furnace you can no longer get parts for because the company went out of business (we cross our fingers a lot), a garage light plug that snapped off (but I fixed that one)...
And that's what we have...SO far.
-- 0945 hrs - We got the car back...turns out it was the cruise control linkage that came undone and got wedged in the throttle assembly...and THAT is why I don;t like "cruise-control"...for cars OR society in general.
Being a homeowner requires a certain specific level of responsibility...no one  comes along and fixes your stuff when it craps out, like apartment maintenance crews...every item that can require a fix, sooner or later, cannot always be fixed by Handyman "Bob", or even Red-Green.
Owning a home is not for the "cruise-control" minded...something will always crop up, usually at the worst time, and most often, for no apparent reason.
And it will certainly wind up costing something.
It's like our cars..or even our own bodies. Things were never made to last ad infinitum, and if they were, there's be a helluva lotta repair guys with a whole lot of nothing to do all the time.
I'm always talking about paying attention, and we do that whenever our body tells us something's not as right as it should be...or when or car makes a weird sound or "feels" wrong...same for a house.
With such conditions OUTSIDE, we often forget how that affects us INSIDE.
But I'm sure we're learning how to adapt to such things...after all, life IS the ultimate learning experience, is it not?
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and...
Stay safe AND warm out there, America.

(( PS - If you're looking for some good TV to watch tonight...try the season premiere of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD (ABC - 8PM)..

.And over on FX at 10PM the season premiere of JUSTIFIED.

Now THOSE are worth STAYING INSIDE for...kapeesh? ))


CWMartin said...

Glad the car problem was such an easy thing... hopefully that eliminated all your "worst case scenarios".

We have a limited amount of window-age compared to you, so an extra piece of stripping on the door and some of that roll out plastic (with duck-tape reinforcement, natch), we're relatively draft-free. Car is starting, with a LOT of misgivings, and we could get out if we had to... I don't anticipate having to for another 20 degrees or so.

CWMartin said...

Let's try this again, as someone just ate it the first time."Glad your car was a simple fix; hopefully that will take care of all your 'worst case scenarios.' We don't have the window-age that you do, so an extra piece of stripping and some of that roll out plastic- with duck-tape reinforcement, natch- and we're relatively draft free. The car is starting, grudgingly, but we could get out if we had to. I don't anticipate having to for another 20 degrees or so."

Bob G. said...

Whatever ate your first post returned it UNHARMED...
(most impressive).

Yeah, the car things WAS an issue, even for ME, and I've driven in LOTS of crap weather with bad vehicles...getting too old to worry about Wifey trying to do likewise.

Runs like a CHAMP, now (whew).

The MAIN thing aside from having a GOOD battery in weather such as this...make SURE that your ANTIFREEZE can take the cold.
Even if it's good to -20 F, it helps to check the fluid itself, and make sure it hasn't turned into a "Mountain-Dew SLUSHIE" inside the radiator.
THAT will bust up the water pump in SECONDS.
(I know from experience)

NOT a pretty picture and is ALWAYS expensive.
Other than that, I think both of us will come out fine.

Thanks for sliding on over to comment today.

You guys stay safe AND warm up there in the frozen state of Sambonia.
(garden spot of the arctic thee days, so I;m told)

John DuMond said...

Gotta love this global "warming", huh, Bob? Oh wait, it's "climate change" now, isn't it? Speaking of which, I ran across this study by some German scientists (yes, actual scientists, not politicians and actors pretending to be scientists):


Something to read while you wait for JUSTIFIED tonight. Have a good one and stay warm. :)

Bob G. said...

I've ALWAYS believd that ANY climate change was CYCLICAL in nature...made BY nature.

And like native-Americans, I have this "respect" for the land...ANY land.

If you recall, back during the Industrial Revolution, the skies over the UK were BROWN with all the polution...and they STILL had snowfalls.
The Blizzard of 1888 (here) kinda shot global warming in the foot back THEN also.

We DO need a certain level of CO2 around...JUST to keep plants ALIVE, and to earth does a good job of maintaining a "balance" between man and nature.

We'd have to become a LOT more stupid around the world to ADVERSELY affect whatever this planet has in store for us.

But, I'm just an old fart that reads a lot and thinks way too much, right? (heh)

Thanks for sliding on by today to comment.

Stay safe and WARM out there in Cuomoland!
(I'm counting the hours before Justified)

Slamdunk said...

It is so cold I bet some global warming scientists are going to get stuck in the ice somewhere down south. Oh wait, they did. I better go find the remote for your programming suggestion of the S.H.I.E.L.D.

Bob G. said...

I LOVE the irony on THAT one...LOL.

I've been hearing that it's been SO cold that DEMOCRATS have had their hands in THEIR OWN POCKETS...


Hey, thanks for braving the weather to stop by and comment.

Stay safe AND warm out there.