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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nation of Wimps?

Have Americans gotten so dependant on central air, so spoiled by turning a dial or pushing a button for heat that we have Wimped ourselves out?

This morning I heard on the ABC affiliate radio station the national news and the anchor said "If its warm put it on, most of the country in bitter cold" .... oh I thought, most of the Nation must be like -40*F ... after all that is 'bitterly cold' in my mind - okay just to be nice to the wimpy anchor, lets say 0*F is 'bitter'ly cold...

So I pulled up the temp map of the 'main land' (after all, while Alaska is part of the nation ... it is kind of in a special circumstance there) .... up comes the map. Coldest temp they have on there?

9 degrees F .... in Northern Minnesota .... up by International Falls - the 'Icebox of the Nation' - yeah .... well they are supposed to be cold .... news is when it gets warm up there in the wintertime.

oh ... they must be talking winds as a factor .... so I pulled up the wind map. It tells me the direction and the speed of the wind (color coated)....

hmmm .... well other than North Dakota .... the entire nation is a shade of green .... green goes from 0 - 5 mph .... which unless its below 0*F doesn't do much to the wind chill. Hmmm

so wind chill can't be it -- after all, with the new formula they are using the windchills these days are NOT as cold as they were just 20 yrs ago.

so where the heck is this 'bitter' cold they are speaking of??

What would we do if there was a sudden blizzard like they used to have in the 1800's? blizzards that buried the houses for days on end - ones where you would have to dig a tunnel to get to your garage ... well in that time, the barn to do your chores?

I've thought about this in the summer before ... when people start whining as they are sitting in their nice wood based homes with their central air about how hot it is and how 'global warming' is showing its colors ... and while I'm roasting in my concrete/brick oven, with the little window units that can barely keep up with it all ...


Then I think about the people who have learned to work the system ... in our state, from Oct 1st - May 1st, they can not BY LAW shut of utilities to houses/apartments/buildings who do not pay their bills on time ... because, Lord Forbid, they might not know what to do...

Now we did have a case where some squatters had taken over a home this year ... well they may not be squatters, I think they started as tenants but they didn't pay the gas/electric bill so the landlord tried to evict them and they wouldn't go (lets not go here right now ... I've got some pretty strong feelings on this one too) ...

The power/gas company came after the owner of the house so he paid the bill and ordered the power/gas shut off .... this was well before Oct. ... well the family still would not vacate ... instead they brought in a gas generator and hooked it up to the house and put the unit in the house so that the landlord would not see it and turn it off.

Needless to say ... gas engine, enclosed area, throw people into that mix ... well you can kind of get the picture here -- the family died from CO2 ... I don't remember if it was the whole family, it may have been the majority of them ...

Surviving members are going to sue the home owner because they were stupid enough to put the generator in the house -- never mind the fact that they were there illegally .... I'm close to a tangent here ...

So, did they need 'heat'? um no, it was actually nice outside ... not too cold, not too warm.

Did they need the generator for lights? well they probably could have gotten away with flashlights & battery operated lanterns.

maybe they needed the generator to work the pump/well/septic like we do were we are? no, they were inner city ... its pretty much turn it on and go, flush and say goodbye. well they could have needed the generator for that ... but they would have done better with a hibachi grill with charcoal to cook on ... heat water ... etc. so that couldn't be it.

Now when we lose power out here we have to run a generator because without electricity ... we have no water ... we have no way to rid the waste ... so its a sanitation concern more than anything else. At least once a year it seems to hit home how fragile this system is.

Our heat is from a boiler system ... but the thermostats run off electricity - if there is an interruption, the furnace will not turn on when its supposed to ... but it should be okay for a while since internal pressure would keep thing circulating for a while ... and hubby is pretty sur ehe can 'by pass' if needed.

But have homes in the US become so dependant on 'climate controlled' enviroments that we could not survive a simple 2 degree change in the average temperature? After all they say that 3-4 degrees in either direction and we either fry or freeze, globally (tree huggers).

Now people have survived the Ice Ages ... we have made civilizations in the deserts where you would think nothing could live ... we have gone to the moon & back ... we have transversed the tips of our world -- all to do what?

whine because its in the TEENS this morning?

Hmmm ... I feel a series of posts about past events that I don't think we could survive coming on. it should be nice filler until the next exchange starts again.

Well ... maybe I will stick to photos of things we would cry in the corner over.

lets start with this?
This is Watkins, MN in 1940 during the famous "Armestice Day blizzard" which blew up out of now where ...

this person is digging out in front of his store so he can OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

They had over 4 foot of snow ... and they dug their way out.

most houses still have a log-fireplace or a coal furnace ... neither dependant on a central hub to keep things going.

Could we survive a simular storm today?

I'm not so sure ... I think people would be either huddling up screaming for the government to do something ... or they would all decend on a central location and complain that it was too crowded and that the government needed to do something.

Armistice Day 1940 ... a lot worse than it is this morning!

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