An hour later I got another text; “The power is down here too!”
Mrs. Curmudgeon had driven from our house, where the power was down and therefore the coffee maker was kaput, to her office, where the power was down and therefore the office coffee maker was kaput. Ouch!
That’s that, I thought. No coffee meant civilization was over. In a week we’d be living in mud huts. In a month we’d be dead. Well actually that didn’t apply to me. I was 700 miles away. I considered myself “pre-bugged out”. I stopped off at Starbucks with a feeling of gratitude, tanked up on caffeine, and got back to work. I had shit to do and there was nothing I could do for Mrs. Curmudgeon but hope for the best.
On a practical note, power down over a radius that large meant things were more serious than just coffee. Interruptions normally measured in hours would now be measured in days. I started thinking about our freezers. Was the bacon safe?!?
We have a generator but it’s a very old and tiny piece of shit that never runs and couldn’t power a freezer anyway. Getting a “real” generator has been on my “to do list” forever. Like many things in life, it just hasn’t happened.
Meanwhile, somehow somewhere Mrs. Curmudgeon managed to get coffee. I have no idea how. Then, by mid afternoon the power at her work site kicked on. From there she got online and got back to her routine. The gradual slide into savagery was arrested.
Back at our homestead the power stayed down much longer (which is entirely reasonable and not something I hold against the power company). The dog didn’t mind. Mrs. Curmudgeon kept the freezers shut and bought coffee in town. An ad hock solution that’s fine for a few days.
Well before the outage might threaten our freezers the power came back on. Bacon disaster averted! Whew.
I consider it a shot across the bow from fate. “Hey there folks, I’m the power grid. Remember me? Never forget me. I could bail on you any time! This is my third big outage in two years. Are you paying attention? Are you getting the hint dumbass?”
I decided to move “generator” up my list of priorities. (Note: I’ve got adaptations that don’t include generators that are still in place. Fortunately, much of the year is so cold that the whole world is a freezer. Heat is something we’ve got nailed down. We’ve got oil lamps and rechargeable lights. Etc…)
Given a new sense of urgency (I really don’t want Mrs. Curmudgeon or myself going without coffee!) I’ve been rethinking my generator plans. By that I mean rejecting my original aspirations to a huge, stationary, full house, automatic start, generator. I’ve never been able to afford one and never will. I’ve let “perfect” be the enemy of “good enough”.
It’s time to scale back and adapt. Even so I refuse to punt with one of those cheap ass overrevved lawnmower engines on a frame. Especially the new ones, they’re prone to shrieking away until they die after 150 hours. That is, if they start at all.
When I “gear up” I’ll blog about it. A quality generator on a budget won’t be easy.
A complication is that I’ve learned “emergency priorities” includes an electric coffee maker. Who knew? I’ve fretted over furnaces, communication, freezers, and well pumps (and now sump pumps) but I’d planned on percolators or a French press and a Jet Boil. Now I know better. Mrs. Curmudgeon must have her coffee maker. “Coffee pot stays running or we bug out no matter what” is officially added to our zombie plans. I can get behind that. I know what you’re thinking but you’re wrong. Planning isn’t just about “staying alive” it’s about “maintaining civilization” (at least for your family). If my wife can put up with my shit and all she wants is an electric coffee maker I shall endeavor to provide one. (And yes, we have one or more “spare” electric coffee pots stashed in case one breaks. Duh!)
Stay tuned because as soon as the power came on a new and totally unrelated emergency emerged. Thus the coffee pot was immediately forgotten.