Monday, April 06, 2015

Well, THAT was a hell of a lot of fun

First off, before I forget, and because this is going to be a long damn post and I can't blame any of you who don't make it to the end, I haz a question:  How long is food in the fridge good for after the power goes out?

I woke up at one-thirty this morning and the power was out.  Looked out the window to confirm that yes, the entire neighborhood was dark, not just my house; figured that a squirrel had probably made it into a transformer someplace; and went back to sleep, thinking the power would be back on soon.  The power's never been off for more than an hour or so since I moved in five years ago.

Woke up at four-thirty with three cats plastered to me.  Power was still out.  Temp in the house was 61.  Temp outside was 29.  Went in and checked in on mama foster and the babies; mama was calm and the babies were nice and warm.  Threw a couple of blankets on top of the nest box, threw an extra blanket on my bed, and attempted to go back to sleep, wondering how widespread this outage might be and why it was taking so long to get power restored.

Six a.m.  Power STILL out.  Shit.  Temp in the house down to 54.  Grabbed the battery radio out of the garage, turned it to a news station, and discovered that a drunk had taken out a couple of utility poles not far from my house.  Sixteen hundred people were without juice.  NYSEG was estimating an eight a.m. restoration.

Backed the car out of the garage and fired it up.  Cranked the heat.  Grabbed mama and the kittens, popped them into a carrier (mama can be a handful to crate but she followed her kittens right in), and loaded them in the car where they, at least, would be warm.  Went inside and fed the permacats, who seemed to be weathering the cold just fine.  Temp in the house now down to 51.

Went back out to the warm running car and watched robins in the lawn.  My neighbor T. who lives across the street came over; she couldn't fire up her car because it was in her garage and she has an electric garage-door opener.  "Hop in, T!," I said.  "Get warm!"

We sat and chatted for a while, about lawns and grandkids and travel plans and the stuff you talk about with neighbors.  T. is in her eighties and still going strong.  After a while she decided to go home and have some coffee.

 The eight a.m. restoration time came and went.  Now NYSEG was saying ten a.m.  F*ck.  Decided that today was Take Your Foster Cats To Work Day, loaded a large cage and supplies into the car with the mama and babies,  and headed in to the office. Oh, and I also decided that it was going to be Jeans and a Sweatshirt and Unkempt Hair Day, because there was no way in HELL I was going to take a cold-water shower. 

Set up the family in a back office, leaving them in the carrier until I could find out what time power might *actually* be restored.  Again, mama can be a handful, and I really didn't want to have to transfer the family into a cage unless it became apparent that the situation wasn't going to resolve any time soon.  Thought about the possibility that I might have to bring the permacats into the office as well.

Twenty minutes later, I logged into the NYSEG website for the nine billionth time to discover that ...

DING DING DING we have a winner!  My power had just been restored.

Loaded the family BACK in the car and headed back home, where, mercifully, the heat was on and things were warming up.  Put the family back in the foster room, where mama wolfed down two bowls of food, used the litterbox mightily, and hopped into the nest box with her babies.  Took a nice hot shower, apologized to the permacats for the chilly night, waited until the house was well and truly warm, and headed back to work.

It's a hell of a way to start a week, I'll tell you that. 

and please, tell ME, if the food in the fridge is still good to eat. Enquiring minds want to know.


Portia said...

My guess is that it's fine. But...How many hours were you without power? How many times did you open the fridge door? I'd be careful--sniff the milk before you drink it until that gallon or whatever is gone. Cook any meat thoroughly. You know the drill. It would be different if it were summer and the house was warm.

spiffikins said...

I would think you are probably fine - as Portia said, check the milk before you drink it. But if you left it closed, it's a pretty darn well insulated box.

The frozen stuff is probably fine - if you have any ice cream or popsicles you could check to see if they look weird - like they melted and refroze - that'd be bad if stuff melted. But probably you're fine!

rockygrace said...

Portia, thanks for stopping by! I was without power for ten and a half hours and opened the door once, very briefly, about seven hours in. At that point things still felt cool. I ate some pasta with sauce out of the fridge last night and I didn't turn green, so I think stuff might be okay. Didn't have any (raw) meat in there, but I'll prolly chuck the milk just on general principle.

and spiff, yeah, the freezer stuff seems to be fine. Hey, don't forget to send me some pictures from Mexico!