12.21.2012

15 Minutes - I Humbly Submit to Draco the Snow Dragon

Hi. It's Joe.

I was wrong. I am not often wrong but I was this time. And I am more of a man for admitting it.

Draco the Snow Dragon bested me. When he first started raging across Wisconsin Wednesday night, I thought he seemed a bit weak sauce. Draco did not take kindly to that put down and sent me to school, even a little harder than the rest of the people in S.E. Wisconsin, just to make an example of me.

He knocked out my power about 3 PM yesterday. Although the utility restored it by late evening, he would have none of that, and he exploded a transformer in my neighborhood about 5 minutes later. By then, the utility people were too busy restoring power to other people to come back and fix/replace the transformer. I mean, what are the chances of two things going wrong in my neighborhood, right?

By morning, Draco had moved off to breath freezing rain breath on Michigan, but I still had no power. Luckily, my house is well insulated and during the night the ambient temperature only fell to about 55 degrees in my house. I was bundled up in bed, but I woke up about 5:45 AM and decided I was hungry. I also had the beginning sniffles of a cold.

My garage door opener was obviously not working, so I opened the garage door manually and backed out my car. The snow plow guy had cleared my driveway, which was cool. The snow had stopped and the roads were in pretty decent shape, bumpy with ice, but not too treacherous at slow speeds, thanks to the plow drivers working all night. I respect those people.

I drove to the 24 hour grocery store in nearby Fort Atkinson and got some food that didn't need to be cooked (cheese and chips), as well as some ice lattes (gotta have caffeine). It was getting light out when I got back to my house.

When I called the utility to get a status report, they were still looking for an available crew. Rather than sit around my house cold, I decided to go to work, where I knew it would be warmer. Since I knew the roads were OK, I didn't hesitate. But I did feed Buddy and Foster and let them out to crap first. I also, as a precaution, turned off the water and drained the pipes in case the power did not get restored soon and the lower levels of my house achieved freezing temperature.

It turns out, I did not have to worry long. The automated call I received from the utility about 10:45 AM suggested my power had been restored. I decided to work through lunch, then return home and assess the situation. I had lunch and coffee with a band mate. Then I picked up my free range eggs from a guy at work and hit the road.

On the way home, I got some ibuprofen to help me kick back this mild cold. I also stopped in at the mechanic to ask if he could tell what was causing this whirring sound I have been hearing in my car at highway speeds. One of his lackeys took my car out on the road, with me in the passenger seat, and figured out it was a wheel bearing. He then did some hair raising maneuvers on the ice covered roads to try to exacerbate the noise, and was successful. I realized too late that he smelled pretty strongly of gin. But at least I know what the problem is now and he said it is not dangerous (though I suspect his driving might have been). I will fix it next time I bring my car in for something else.

After I got home and took care of the little buddies, I logged onto my desktop at work remotely and did some stuff. It was frustrating, because work is chaos right now and the slower internet speeds of remote desktopping don't facilitate getting work done expediently. But I got it done.

It was an exercise in smooth zen discipline, very patient and methodical. So there's your silver lining.

Time.

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