Sunday, November 27, 2011
When the electrical power failed at 5:30 this morning I'd already been up for half an hour, so I was dressed and had coffee. Things could be worse.
I had forgotten how undependable the local electric company on this side of the water is, although I recalled the outrageous cost of their crappy service. I've been spoiled for the last two years, living in Seattle, where our socialist municipal government provides ridiculously dependable electricity (they've got multiple backup systems) very cheaply.
But since a resourceful young man like myself can find a silver lining in every dark overcast, as I sit here freezing in total darkness I'm scheming on ways to live without electricity, either on an emergency basis or all the time, once I return to permanently residing on the Olympic Peninsula (OlyPen),
My mother grew up in a powerless and unplumbed home less than a century ago. Kerosene lamps provided light after nightfall, and grandpa carried water from the pump in the yard for grandma to heat up on the wood stove for cooking and washing. The family even had the luxury of entertainment -- a battery-operated radio squatted bulkily in their parlor, but only one person at a time could listen on the headphones, as the early units had no speakers.
A propane heater or wood-pellet stove will heat a house or apartment more efficiently than electric forced-air central heating, and a two-ring propane camp stove will serve any cooking needs that don't require an oven. I'll have to consult Friedrich Nietszche's "The Will to Power" to fill in more details of my boycott of the totally inadequate Puget Power Company.
As central government ceases functioning and revenue-starved state governments wither along with local services of every kind, we will be increasingly thrown back on our own resources and resourcefulness. Dealing with these harsh facts of life will go a lot more smoothly if the transition is planned rather than improvised.