Friday, 15 August 2003
We were oblivious to the big power failure, except that the power went out very briefly while we were standing in line at the grocery store, so we had to wait while the cash registers rebooted. We hadn't been keeping up with the news, so we didn't even know there was a widespread event until late yesterday evening.
In my youth I found the notion of living "off the grid" very attractive. The heros in a certain kind of sf adventure story always had a certain kind of house: overtly normal, but with hidden preparations like solar power, water and food stockpiles, a secure room with some hidden emergency exit, and a stockpile of weapons. I wanted a house like that.
In real life, I found the whole thing quite impractical. Besides, you can get 90% of the benefits just by always having a few staples on hand that will stay fresh without a refrigerator and can be eating without cooking. (Cold cereal works for me.)
So, we're watching the situation from a distance. It's only 100 miles or so from here to where the power is still out.
Dad and I made good progress on his website this morning. I put together a skeleton site. While I did that, he wrote text for some of the pages we had planned.
In the afternoon we went out to his house, where I lived from eighth grade until I went away to college. The character of the woods there continues to change. As the big trees have continued to grow, the undergrowth has gotten steadily thinner. When I was 13 or so, the woods was almost impenetrable without tools to cut a trail through the brush. Now you can walk just about anywhere in it. Under the canopy is was quite dark. When the sky clouded up a bit, it got so dark it was almost hard to see colors.
We bought a scanner, so Dad can scan in pictures to use on his site. We also bought a couple of books on HTML so he'll have some references when he wants to update the site. And we ran some errands--bought cookies, bought orange juice. We went to the used bookstore.
I've been having to connect to the internet via a modem, and it hasn't been working very well, so I haven't been keeping up with reading people's journals. I'll catch up when I get home. We're actually heading home pretty soon.
Tomorrow I'll run again, and maybe lift, if that's possible on a weekend. Dad and I will finish up a first cut at his site and upload the pages.
It's been a good vacation, even if I haven't gotten much writing done.