It was a dark and stormy night, and day….

Wow! That was one heck of a storm that passed through here. In our neighborhood, debris was everywhere, trees and fences blew down and, as you might have guessed, power went out. We were sent back to the 19th Century for almost 24 hours. The kids kept busy shuttling up and down the street to play with their various friends (we had six kids having a Nerf shootout in our living room for an hour or so), and Mr. Bookworm and I, huddled under mountains of blankets, read a lot. When daylight ended, I assembled a cold meal and we played charades by candle light until the kids’ bedtime. Then, my husband and I struggled to read for a while more with little flashlights until we gave up, around 9:30 and went to bed. It was a very good reminder (not that I needed one) of how blessed we are to live in the modern era. I do think that few of us appreciate what extraordinary control we exert over our environment — light and dark, heat and cold, they’re all ours to command at the touch of a button. It’s only when the button breaks down that you realize that Nature has been hovering over your shoulder all along and that, ultimately, she has the last word.

Anyway, I’m going to spend the day playing catch-up with work and chores that I couldn’t do yesterday, and definitely with some reading. Indeed, it may not be such a bad thing to have had an information-blackout for 24 hours after Iowa, because it will give me a chance to see things after the dust has settled a bit. I do know that the often prescient Richard Baehr is very depressed about Iowa’s outcome vis a vis, not Huck, but Obama, believing it will catapult the latter into the White House. I hope he’s wrong. I can’t believe that, in time of war and economic insecurity, the American people would be foolish enough to elect as President someone with absolutely no experience at anything beyond academics (more than useless), state legislature (almost useless), and one term in the U.S. Senate (equally almost useless). Still, in the last 100 years alone, the American people elected Warren Harding and Jimmy Carter, so they are prone to aberrant behavior.


7 Responses

  1. Baehr ascribes far too much weight to Iowa. As I said in the other post: barely 10% of the voters showed up – even Iowans don’t take Iowa seriously. How Obama would have done had there been 2,000,000 caucusers out instead of 220,000 is an open question, but I suspect it would have been not nearly as well. The really motivated came out, bringing Obama his core, and Huckabee his core.

    I suspect a large part of the Obama and Edwards votes were, in reality, the “anybody but Hillary” votes. The woman doesn’t seem to have noticed that she is widely despised, with negatives that are astonishing for anyone supposing they have a serious shot at the White House. This has to be a source of worry to the democrat leadership, such as it is – though they certainly can’t come out and say so openly.

    But what it means is that they’ve painted themselves into a corner, and a lot of the back-room and money people are going to end up having to go with Obama – whom they’re perfectly aware is an empty suit – just to avoid Hillary. Big money that I’m sure Hillary took for granted was hers has already flowed to Obama, and more will follow. I suspect it’s far more about being against her than it is about being for him.

    This might all have the effect of making the convention relevant again, too; which would be sort of fun.

    But I suspect, particularly in the light of such spectacular half-wits as Pelosi and Reid have proven themselves, that being “vaulted” (to use Baehr’s word) to the democrat nomination will be quite a different thing than being vaulted to the White House.

    And yes, aren’t we glad for electricity! One of the reasons the old BBC television series set in Victorian times (The Pallisers, The Forsyte Saga, Sherlock Holmes) were fun (for me) was because of the attention the Beeb paid to precisely that detail. They did it well – given the confines of TV and the camera’s need for light – and one of the things you notice is that everyone was sitting in a pool of light in the midst of general gloom at night. Sherlock Holmes had light over his shoulder by which to read – but outside that little circle of gaslight it was so dark he couldn’t see his bookcase from his chair! If you’ve ever toured the great houses in England – Blenheim Palace, Wilton House, Montecute, Saltram, Petworth, Burghley, etc. – and enjoyed the magnificent painted and plastered ceilings, it’s interesting (again: maybe only to me) to realize that at the time those places were first built and lived in, no one ever saw those ceilings after dark! All that gorgeous artwork in the dining room: completely wasted on those who sat around the table for dinner! The paintings fifteen feet above the floor on the library walls – They might as well not have been there at night.

    I find that interesting. Probably I’m weird.

  2. “I do think that few of us appreciate what extraordinary control we exert over our environment..”

    Or how quickly that can evaporate. Having lived close enough to where both Katrina and Rita came ashore to everything knocked out..electricity, phone lines, cell phone towers, cable..everything, for weeks on end, I realized how helpless we have made ourselves. When there are no stores open to replenish supplies, you realize how little we do for ourselves anymore.

    You’d be amazed at how much your world shrinks, too. Though we did have batteries for radios and a tv, the stations that were on the air were preoccupied with local matters, of course. Rumors that the Texaco on Main St. might have gas to sell tomorrow, or that someone heard that fema may be at the corner of Old Covington and Range Rd. with ice bags, etc. It was impossible to find out what was going on in the rest of the country for quite a while.

    And funny how many ppl blew up computers attempting to run then from a generator…computers don’t like power surges so much.

  3. I am surprised you do not have an APU. ( auxiliary power unit )
    I purchased mine at Best Buy and it has back up capibility of one hour. Not long, but you can at least finish what you are working on.
    And on the plus side, it doubles as a surge protector.

  4. As to Iowa, I agree that to much emphasis is placed on the vote.
    The county I live in has almost double the people that voted for either side combined.

  5. I’ve lived in maybe 10 locations over 50 plus years and I think, even as a child, we always had gas as well as electricity. And the gas always worked. I remember sleeping in the living room near the kitchen with the stove on when the electricity was out. And I don’t ever remember having to take a cold shower.

    Anyone know how many homes / appartments / condos have this level of redundancy? There’s an expectation that two unreliable systems are better than any one system, no matter how reliable it is claimed to be.

  6. We had hot water, but no heat, no light, and no way to kick our food. Fortunately, because the house was so cold, and because we only opened the fridge three times, the food in the fridge didn’t go bad, so I didn’t have to rush out and shop today. We have no redundancy, right to the point of having a dysfunctional fire place (and since fireplaces will probably be outlawed soon in the search for Green, we’ve never bothered to make it better).

  7. Frightful to consider those two (Huck, Obie) squaring off in Nov, but I’m delighted there’s no “anointed” in either party.

    That’s what I love about our (yes) expensive, (yes) drawn out, (yes) exhausting presidential election process – there’s plenty of time and opportunity to make the best case to your party and to the public.

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