Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Lightning Strike

Lightning 8

This is not the lightning bolt that struck my building. But I’m sure it looked something like this.

I was at a conference on Friday in Vancouver and apparently while I was there, the apocalypse happened in New West. There was torrential rain, hail, rivers of blood, plagues of locusts, and lightning struck my building. Ok, maybe the rivers were just made of rain and there weren’t any actual locusts, but lightning did, in fact, strike my building. And apparently that killed our building’s transformer1, so they had to bring in a generator, which will power the building until they can bring in a portable transformer, which will get us through until they can fix the building’s transformer, which is expected to take 10 weeks. Ten weeks! Fingers crossed that the strata’s insurance will cover all of this!

The power ended up being out for about 12 hours on Friday, so when I got home from the post-conference dinner, I met up with Scott at Waves, as he had an assignment due at midnight and Waves has free wifi, lots of access to electrical outlets, and lets you sit there pretty much forever. When they closed at 10 pm, we went over to the pub2. By about 11 pm I was too tired to stay up anymore3 and it occurred to me that I didn’t actually need electricity to go to sleep. As I was brushing my teeth by the light of a flashlight, the power came on!

Just a few weeks ago, I had bought a stand up freezer, because I was sick of both having to be selective of what frozen foods I could have at any given time since the freezer at the top of my fridge isn’t very big and of having stuff fall out of my freezer at the top of my fridge every time I opened it. So I bought this lovely appliance, and filled it up with a whole bunch of frozen meats and vegetables, homemade veggie stock, homemade waffles, fish that Scott’s dad caught on his most recent fishing excursion, etc.

Freezer Freezer

So of course I was worried that 12 hours of no power was going to have ruined all that food. But lo and behold, this thing must be super well insulated, as after the power came on I opened it up to survey the damage and everything was still frozen solid!

Yesterday afternoon, the power went off again! I had just gotten home from having been out most of the day and was going to try to fix the wifi, which wasn’t working since the first power outage, and the power to the whole building went out again! We got a letter from the strata later telling everyone that the generator they have running cannot provide enough power for everyone to do all the same things they are able to do under normal circumstances, so we need to minimize our electricity use. So don’t, for example, do laundry while cooking dinner and, if possible, cook dinner outside of the peak hours of 4-7 pm. And maybe turn off the lights when you aren’t in a room. Most of this (other than the not eating dinner between 4-7 pm) is stuff we really should be doing anyway, when you think about it, so I’m going to use this as a way of getting myself into the habit of being more energy conscious!

Image Credit: I did a search for a Creative Commons-licensed photo of a lightning bolt on Flickr and one of the first ones to pop up was the above photo, which was taken by Derek Miller. You may recall Derek from his final blog posting. It’s really an incredibly cool photo!

  1. Fun fact: I did not know that my building had a transformer! When you think about it, it makes sense, but I guess I thought the transforming happened somewhere outside, rather than in the building. []
  2. Fun fact: Kelly O’Bryan’s pub has free wifi! You just have to ask for the password! []
  3. In my defence, I’d been at a full day conference at which I gave two presentations, than ran an AGM, and then went to dinner, all after having stayed up late the night before putting the finishing touches on my presentations and making sure I had everything prepared for the AGM! []

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Old Fridge, New Fridge

My new fridge arrived on the weekend!  So happy to have cold, unrotting food again!

My old fridge, like everything else in my apartment, was old. Very, very old. Let’s do a little side-by-side comparison of fridges old and new, shall we?  Old fridge on the left, new fridge on the right (or old fridge on the top, new fridge on the bottom, for the pictures that are too wide to put side-by-side1).

From the outside, not much difference.  Old fridge is beige, new fridge is white.  Given the awesome wood paneling and yellowed linoleum floor, I suppose external appearances aren’t so important in my apartment.

See, it’s what inside that counts.  The older freezer was a wee bit ripped apart as my landlord was trying to figure it out if it was fixable.  But I hadn’t really realized how dirty it was ’til it was all emptied out like that.  Yum!

I appear to have forgotten to take a picture of the inside of the old fridge. So let’s just look at the new fridge in all its shiny goodness.  Shiny!

I like that the vegetable crisper drawers are clear – the old ones were opaque brown and I would forget what was inside them and then my veggies would rot and I’d discover them later and go “damn, I totally would have eaten that zucchini if only I’d know it was there”2.

The door in the new fridge is a vast improvement over the one in the old fridge.  Benefit #1: items do not have to be kept on the door shelves using a makeshift duct tape contraption.  Benefit #2:  diet Pepsi rack along the right side.  Benefit #3: No butter section with opaque door behind which can hide butter of indeterminate age:

So, yeah, I discovered this butter when I was emptying out my fridge. I didn’t know that I had butter. I do not remember buying this butter.  It is no exaggeration to say this butter could easily be more than two years old. Awesome.

Any finally, what the hell is this thing?

It came with my fridge, but it’s not mentioned anywhere in the owner’s manual.  It’s a little box that you can hang on the door and it has a scraper in it.  My best guess is that you could put ice cubes in it, hang it on the freezer door and use the scraper to scrape ice cubes off the bottom if they get stuck? Seems odd though.  If anyone knows if this is what this thing is for or if I’m way off base on this, please feel free to leave a comment!

1Yes, I realize that I could make the photos smaller, but I want you to be see them in all their gloriousness. And my blog is pretty narrow.
2I could open the drawer and look inside, you say? I don’t have time for such things!