Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Winter Wonder-what?

      We got two inches or more of damp, sticky snow yesterday.  The wire for my ham radio antenna,  #12 insulated stuff less than an eighth-inch in diameter, is now fatter than a garden hose with snow; telephone and power wiring is equally burdened.  Trees, fresh with new green shoots, buds, flowers and tiny leaves, sag under the weight of snow.

      Welcome to Spring.  Now hidden under the heavy snow, the violets and little pink and white Spring Beauties in the yard will have start over.

      The power flickered out late last night.  It was back on in seconds, probably a fallen branch getting zapped clear and the power company's circuit-breaker-like recloser opening and (surprise!) reclosing.  (Those things are why they tell you not to touch downed power lines: the recloser opens to protect the line, but then it keeps checking to see if the problem -- tree branch, wet kite string, errant squirrel or the occasional stray crowbar* -- has been burned clear.  Why?  Because people don't like for the lights to go out and stay out, is why, especially if they're reliant on technology to stay alive.  Most problems on a big power line are solved in a quick flash of fire.)

      So here we are, two-thirds of the way through April and sliding on snow in below-freezing temperatures.  March might have "gone out like a lamb," but it left its fluffy white coat behind.

*  *  *

      I'm not going to comment on the Chauvin verdict.  You have your own opinion.  I stand by what I have written before: nobody should need to fear for their life in the course of a routine arrest.  To the extent that any of the participants -- suspect or officers -- does, we've got a problem.  And we do, and we still haven't solved it, and there aren't any neat, simple answers that are not also wrong.
* I'll takes "felony stupid" for $800, Alex Trebeck stand-in.


Blackwing1 said...

Our entire small town was blacked out for almost 2 hours last week during a pretty sharp cold spell (temps close to zero) due to a raccoon making its way into a large distribution box, probably in an effort to get warm. He got a lot warmer than he bargained for, and was turned into a crispy critter in a couple of milliseconds.

Our old house in the heart of the hive had a pair of pole-mounted transformers at each end of the alley feeding the lower-voltage lines to the block. About every six months there would be the weird electric-green flash and the pop, and half the block would go black. It got to where, after I called them to let them know which one had blown I'd go out to the alley and look for the squirrel remains while waiting for the power company's truck to come along with the big fiberglass pole to swap out the fuse.

The funniest was when a squirrel was (for some reason) chewing on the high-voltage (8,000-some-odd, I think) line way up at the top of the power pole and got zapped. It died with its jaws clenched around the wire without blowing anything. It stayed up there for several years, the remains becoming more and more tattered in the weather, desiccating in the sun, waving like a flag in the breeze pivoting around its closed mouth. Finally it disappeared after a day of pretty good wind.

RandyGC said...

My 10-40 Sloper didn't accumulate much except for on the coils, and the rope that ties it off to the back fence.

It still tuned up OK and today I've been getting unreal signal reports on 20,30 and 40M.

rickn8or said...

December called.

It wants it's weather back.