Friday, February 4, 2011

Sometimes heaven freezes over, too.

Day 1: Tuesday.
Remember that ice storm we expected? It got here right on schedule. As a matter of fact, Sam and I woke up around 4 a.m. to the sound of sleet pellets pinging against the windows. By 7:30 the city was covered with half an inch of ice and a layer of light snow, temperatures dropped into the single digits, and that’s basically where we’ve been ever since. The roads are impassable and we can’t leave the house.

Day 2: Wednesday.
During the wee hours Wednesday morning Dallas’ primary electric provider decides to have some fun with “rolling blackouts” to prevent overloading the power grid, an act that defies logic since 85% of the homes and businesses in North Texas are heated with NATURAL GAS. But regardless, as soon as we lose power all of our smoke alarms, which are hard-wired with emergency backup batteries, begin shrieking in unison like a flock of prehistoric raptors. We nearly have HEART ATTACKS. It’s 5 a.m., the house is pitch black, and Sam has to grope around in the pantry to find our flashlight, drag in a gigantic aluminum ladder from the garage, and then disassemble the smoke alarms and remove all the batteries. Please note: we have NINE-FOOT CEILINGS throughout the house.

Half an hour later after two false starts the power finally surges back to life and everything is fine, pretty much, except now we have to reset electronic clocks throughout the house (three in the kitchen) and the D-Link router that connects our computer equipment gets fried. The same kind of thing happened with the router on January 30 (see post) but it eventually started blinking a few minutes later. NOT THIS TIME. Now it’s ready for the coroner and we’re making plans to sit shiva. In the meantime, Sam and I go back to bed and I figure I’ll call my Mac technician, Betty, the next time I get up.

Surprises continue. We roll out of bed at 9:45 to the sound of our maids ringing the doorbell. I have no idea how three women from Guadalajara, Mexico, maneuvered their van up our hill on sheer ice, but I’m glad they’re here because they do great bathrooms. A few minutes after they skid away I get a call from my Schwan’s delivery dude, Gary, who’s parked in front of the neighbor’s house and complaining that our street is covered with ice — tell me something I don’t already know — and that he almost slammed into a mailbox and doesn’t think he can get out of his truck. I say, “Well, you don’t have to, Gary. You can skip our delivery this week if you think it’s too dangerous.” And he whines, “But I’m already HERE.”


When I finally have a chance to call Betty she tells me nothing’s open for business due to the ice storm so she won’t be able to buy a new router at Fry’s and install it for another couple of days. Unfortunately, we have no Internet service in the interim. I suppose I could rewire my Mac and figure out how to connect directly to the cable modem, but I’m surviving for now. Whenever Betty finally gets here, though, I’ll ask her to help me pick out a Mac laptop so we won’t have to go through anything like THIS again.

Day 3: Thursday.
As far as I can tell without ongoing updates from, Dallas is still mostly layered with ice and temperatures won’t rise above freezing until Saturday. Last I heard, tomorrow we’re actually expecting up to three inches of SNOW. This kind of stupid hoo-hah totally paralyzes the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States because DALLAS DOESN’T USE ROAD SALT. They occasionally throw a little sand on icy overpasses, but sand can’t MELT anything … it just gives you some crappy traction (if you’re lucky) and then turns into Texas mud.

Incidentally, Sam has been home from work all week eating Mrs. Fields ice cream sandwiches. He also likes to go outside, snap icicles off the side of the house and bring them in for show & tell. It’s a full and rewarding life for one of us.

I talk to Betty at 10 a.m. and she’s on her way to Fry’s to buy our router. I’m so excited I think I’ll make Cream of Wheat! Sam calls his office and finds out they’ll only be open today until 3, which means he can stay home again and work remotely in his robe once Betty gets our computer network reconnected to the outside world. This is good news, although I think we’re out of ice cream sandwiches. Stay tuned.

Day 4: Friday.
We’ve reconnected to the outside world and and it feels GREAT to be back in action. I spent a little time last night before bed answering a small ton of email; this is my first opportunity to publish a post since January 31.

Today’s biggest challenge will be SNOW, because I just peeked outside and we got at least four inches overnight ... like a pile of white frozen frosting on an icy cake. I’m hoping all that hot air from the Super Bowl will melt some of this crap on Sunday. Hold a good thought, y’all, and thank you for reading this.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Where are the pictures??