Thursday, September 18, 2008

I keep on truckin'

Yes indeed!

My business as a copyeditor depends entirely on my ability to use my computer and access the Internet. Everything I do is on the computer. I use the computer to edit the manuscripts I receive by e-mail or download from an FTP site. I send them back the same way.

A few years back when this area was hit by a terrible ice storm and some sections of Springfield were without power for weeks, it occurred to Richard that if we didn't have a way to keep our computers running if the power went out, I would effectively be out of business, and so would he, for that matter, until the power came back on. And he had the brilliant idea that we had better get a generator, just in case. I agreed with him, although at the time it did seem like a rather expensive item for "just in case."

It took us almost a year to get the generator, however, because Harbor Freight, the store in Springfield that sells them, could not keep them stocked fast enough to keep up with the demand. But eventually Richard was able to buy the generator and he brought it home. He built a cart for the beast and put wheels on it, and rigged it so he could maneuver it around. And then it came to pass that the "just in case" time arrived when we least expected it.

Hurricane Ike wasn't content to wreak havoc in Texas, the storm rampaged up through Arkansas and into Missouri, and at about 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, our power went off.

Normally, our electric cooperative is able to restore power within a few hours. The longest we have ever been without power is 8 hours I think. This time the power did not come on right away. And it continued not to come on. In fact, it didn't come on until Tuesday at about 7 p.m, about 60 hours later.

If we had not had the generator, I would not have been able to turn on my computer and access my e-mail, I would not have known that I was being offered a new journal, and I would not have responded, and someone else would have gotten the job.
The generator certainly saved my bacon.

The main casualties in the storm were beautiful big old trees that came down all over town. Our son's friend Tim was hired to cup a tree that had blown over in someone's yard, and our son went with him help. As they worked on it, they discovered it was hollow. There weren't any bees around, but there was a old beehive in it that still had honey in the comb.

Our son brought a piece of it home so we could see it, and he left it out on the porch.
The next morning it was swarming with yellowjackets, bees....
hornets, and bumblebees, all after the honey. The large black one on the right is a bald-faced hornet; an insect that is best left alone. The one on the left and slightly below it is a bumblebee.

Walking down the porch steps was a bit nervewracking with all the stingers buzzing about, so when the sun went down, Richard moved it off the porch and under a tree. Much safer that way. Interesting how nature is so good at recycling. Nothing goes to waste.

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