Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Penguin Just Went Upstairs To Take A Whiz

A bit of a situation here at Chez McLean - since Friday evening we have been without heat and hot water except for about eight hours on Saturday when the problem appeared to be resolved but was not.

So its been an interesting little adventure and its funny because for the most part we've just rolled with it, the biggest stress was finding out the end game and once that was put on the table we have been dealing with it. Friday night was warm here and we actually kept warm the old fasioned way which was effective and fun (pragmatic and enjoyable - an old man's dream!). Saturday night the temperature began to drop and the last two nights it was below minus ten so while we managed to use space heaters and the oven to get the main and upper floors to around 18 by bedtime when we got up it was barely in the teens anymore.

A little cold and I think I just saw a penguin wander by on his way upstairs to take a leak.

My biggest concern was the kids but other than the fact they are all filthy, er filthier, they've sailed through this just fine. We've piled blankets on them and they have those warm kids' pajamas and so they come out of their rooms in the morning just fine, albeit dirty.

Looks like we'll be back in business today and I've come away from this with two notions. One is that it could always be worse, if this was a month ago when we had a couple of weeks at minus twenty I don't think I'd be so calm about the whole thing.

And secondly, how the hell did people live here a century ago or more? I've talked about those days a few times. Could you imagine it? Minus thirty or colder day after day with nothing but a woodstove to keep you warm.

Mental. They were mental!


Oilers win three in a row and of course that will be fodder for the trade Hemsky crowd with him being out of the lineup and them rolling off a couple. Watched the Avs game last Saturday and wow are they ever shitty. And Elliot is just awful. Anyhow I assume the Flyers wil put the kids in their place tonight unless the flu still has not run its course.

Its all over but the crying for the fifth consecutive season and all that remains is to see if the kids finish strong. Gagner looks like he will hit fifty points (and end up being the club's leading scorer) although that minus sticks out a bit. Was looking at the stats today and a few things stood out. Hemsky and Horcoff are plus players on this disaster which speaks to their quality. Tom Gilbert is a minus ten somehow, despite playing forty minutes a game or so. ;) Pretty impressive.

Anyhow hopefully Paajarvi and Omark and Eberle and Dubnyk all finish what have been decent rookie seasons for them. The blue is a horror show now, its shades of spring 2007 again but at least Plante is getting some at bats now. He looked like a young Matt Greene last game, wearing a path to the box. If he gets to be Greene that would be just fine but he's got a long way to get there though.

Other than that its stay healthy please and hopefully we will get a look at Hartkainen (LT refers to Renney saying we will) and one last thing, I know its a shit team but it certainly looks like Liam Reddox has earned himself a spot, at least for now. I'm sure next fall he will get sent out again for JFJ or some other hulking goof who cannot play but for now its nice to see a kid who busts his ass getting some time in the bigs.


doritogrande said...

The girlfriend's place was also without heat for a weekend about two weeks ago. It makes for a great time for the portable furnace that is doritogrande. I've never been so popular.


Andrew W said...

I've indulged in driving across the country on many occasions, well, across from Ontario to various parts of BC and back. (Only a lunatic or a Newfy would drive from actual coast to coast.) A few of the times this has happened in the dead of winter, including one trip where there was no heat in my van. It's hard to express how cold it was in there. I hadn’t realized how little heat is retained in a car when it is moving in the winter – the warmth just passes right through. Basically, it was -35C through the prairies plus a windchill factor of 120Km/hr + going on as we whipped through. I bought a little butane space heater but it did nothing except make me feel a bit nauseous.

Despite struggling to fight off hypothermia, most of my thoughts along the long drive were about the people who first settled the plains. They must have been tough as shit. If you've ever driven through those parts in the wintertime, can you imagine arriving in the spring and needing to gather up everything you'd need to survive through the cold by fall? If you didn't have enough firewood to keep warm, or enough food to eat, what the hell would you do? Even with unlimited supplies I'd probably go nuts just from boredom.

Your story of time in the city without heat reminded me of the thoughts I had on this trip, ones that hadn’t come to mind in a few years. It would have been tough sledding in the early days in Ontario / Northern Ontario too, but at least there were trees!

I hope all gets resolved for you quickly, Pat. It doesn’t look like it’ll warm up in these parts any time in the next while, so good luck getting to that “end game”, and soon.

ps: Might this be a good time to introduce your oldest to “Alive”?

macaotim said...


I love Red Ox...at least he gives a shit. Small players who are not afraid to engage are much better than good ones who do nothing. In a way, Omark is much tougher to play against because he can protect the puck. Samwise is playing better, but a solid sneeze will separate him from the puck. However, I'd like to think a Red-Ox/Stortini/UFA would make a decent 4th line. Too bad Storts is dead.

Black Dog said...

lol good stuff Andrew.

We're good now, fixed as of yesterday afternoon. Just in time for spring. :)

And yeah the oldtimers - tough as shit. No doubt about it.

Of course as dorito mentions they found ways to stay warm, probably one reason why folks had large families back in the day. ;)

Black Dog said...

Tim - I think Reddox has a spot until a bigger guy who can skate and PK comes along. But right now it looks like they are building a team with pace, which is good, and the little guy can motor.

And when your team is worst in the league and you have a guy who can play then he has a job. So He's good until the fall anyhow.

hunter1909 said...

Little Reddox, Small Brule, Tiny Gagner, Mini Cogliano..

Three more and we all get to bang Snow White.

Jordan said...

Houses in Canada are built like shit. Poor insulation and not using passive solar heating has ensured that the vast majority of people are pretty f***ed up if they every lose natural gas or electircity in the winter.

If you ever want to know how to build a house properly for our climate, run a search on the web for houses you can heat with a blow dryer. Seriously.

As for those many years ago... there was a time when people would use hay and strw to keep themselves warm. Not only does it insultate, but it will slowly compost, and the mircororganism slowly eating it will release heat too. That's part of how we keep our cows warm throughout the winter - heating through mircrorganisms.

All that being said... people moving here because they thought it would be a better life for them and their children... really makes you wonder what they were coming from...

Black Dog said...

Jordan - I was thinking exactly that myself yesterday - this freezing cold place is better than the alternative two centuries ago?


Our house actually did ok, it was built in 1922 so its pretty solid and considering we had two nights at minus ten we made out ok, ran a space heater and the oven here and there and that bumped it up to 18 which was reasonable.

Glad its back up though.

lol hunter, no kidding

I have no doubt that this team is going to be a lot bigger in a couple of years though

macaotim said...


Living abroad reminds you what's better about Canada, and what is not. We're moving home soon and we fear a lot of stuff that does not exist where we live now. Reminds me of a Ben Sures song...when he's singing about people who move to Canada:

People give up their culture for this?

It's not better, it's just a better place to piss.

It's true. The toilets over here are awful!