This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Power's Out

My ideal, that I sometimes achieve, is to have a week or two of blogs already set up and ready to be automatically posted on the appointed days. Sadly, for the past few weeks I've let it go and am writing post-to-post. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but a power outage complicates things. I'm writing this today, Sunday, at Starbucks. Happily I use an alphasmart for most of my non-internet writing, so am not frustrated that way.

Friday night the storm didn't seem THAT bad, but more than half a million people are said to have lost power. As I drove the streets on Saturday, I went past three intersections where cops were blocking parts of the roads for downed power lines. One sparking line let out an intermittent BOOK! that each time would shake the area. Numerous broken trees littered the streets and the lawns.

The power out makes me think about our lifestyle. Aside from not having internet to post blogs and keep up with correspondence, I don't mind not having it. Lights out is a pain, but it's summer so we have early mornings and long days, and candles, flashlights, and the kindle light for reading are adquate.

We get into more of a problem with food -- our freezer holds several (expensive) chicken breast trays and a steak, and we have bags of frozen vegetables for dinners. These are a loss.

The difficult part is water. We have well and septic, and when the electricity goes out, so does our water pump. No showers, no toilet flushing (without pouring pond water into the tank), no rinsing dishes or washing hands. We run a diesel-powered generator a few hours at a time so it's not total chaos, but certainly dicey.

As Americans, we are utterly dependent on electricity. People lived without it for thousands of years and did fine, but the way the infrastructure is set up here, you can't cook, you can't clean, you can't do anything without it.

Others around the world, including our beloved president, see Americans as energy hogs. Well, perhaps. But then again, with the way our infrastructure is set up, how can we live otherwise? Nothing works without electricity. We need cheap gas because stores and workplaces are too far away to walk.

If there were cheap, affordable green energy, people would buy it in a second. It's not that we're *bad* people, simply that we use the best options that are available. America has long been known as the land of the free and the home of the brave. That freedom and courage has translated into raising the living standards globally, not only in blood and treasure spent to liberate other countries, but in the simple ability of an African mission to refrigerate pharmaceuticals or an internet computer to communicate.

With freedom and free access to resoucres, these things will be invented, because in the past it has always been so. Over the last 200 years where have most of the world-changing inventions developed? The lightbulb. The automobile. The flush toilet. The airplane. The washing machine. Air conditioning. The computer. The internet. It doesn't help to guilt-trip and scold. Yes, there is tremendous waste in America. People buy iphones for their 12 year olds who promptly drop them in the pool. But really, I'd rather live with this potential for waste if it also means we move ahead.


  1. It does worry me though because if something knocks out our power grid for the long-term (months, not days) we're going to start seeing mass starvation. Everything is trucked in from everywhere else. Everything is kept frozen for transport. How long could you survive just on what's growing in your neighborhood?

    It scares me to think what a place like NYC would become if you couldn't get food in there for a few weeks.

  2. Sorry to hear about the power, Amy. I hope you guys are holding out ok, and that possibly (?) things are back online.

    I don't know if you remember, but I was in Montreal in 1997/8 when an ice storm knocked out power for up to 6 weeks in parts of the city. In January!!! The freezers weren't a problem then, but gas grills used inside sure were (CO2 poisoning anyone?). Up in the Laurentians, we didn't have a (liquid) pond available, but a wood stove, plus we were smart enough to fill the bathtub prior to the power out. The icicled forests were stunning to look at, but loud from the constantly breaking branches and dangerous.

    Stay strong. Hope it ends soon.