Mar 30, 2008

Volunteer Meeting

Yesterday afternoon / evening Hotness and I went into the big city to join other like-minded folks for our first ECCC volunteer meeting.
Y'know... to cover who's doing what, who wants to do what, and what'll be different compared to previous conventions.

It went pretty well and everybody is excited for it to happen. It looks to be a very fun convention this year. (Like it hasn't before? Yeesh!)

We got there a bit early and met up with Dr. Zoltar & his lovely assistant (that would be his wife) and had drinks before the meeting started, then after it was over we went and grabbed a bite and more drinks before heading home.

It was snowing a bit when the meeting got over but by the time we finished eating it was pretty much just rain. Didn't seem to be much of a problem driving as there wasn't anything on the roads (snow, slush, etc...)

That is, until we got just past Woodinville and closer to home. Then the roads had snow on them and every mile closer to home got worse. At one point there were three cars that had slid off the road and at least four tow-trucks trying to move everybody off the path of cars still trying to get by.

Made it into town and up the long, twisty road to our place and found even more cars had slid off to the sides. A tree had fallen over the road in at least a couple of places, making everybody have to s-l-o-w down and manuever around it.

In the last mile or so to our warm and lovely little casa in los woods, the truck couldn't get proper traction even in 4-wheel drive so we slid a bit here and there. Then going up the last hill we almost made it and then..... VROOOOM!!! No traction. Then we started to slide. Backwards. Down the hill.

Only a little bit thankfully, but still, it was dark, late, and snowing. My car was parked at the house and wouldn't have made it up or down the hill, and Hotness's truck was looking like it might go into the ditch but it didn't.

But there we were. Stuck on the hill, less then a mile from the house, and angled across the road so that nobody could get by us coming from either direction.

After some terse & colorful verbage to nobody in particular between the two of us, she turned on the flashers and we both walked the rest of the way home. I carried a 'break-n-shake' glowstick to help light our way but mostly to signal to anybody that we were in the road.

Got home. Changed into grubby, warmer clothes.Put on our headlamps. Grabbed the snow shovels and a gas lantern. Then walked back down the hill to dig out the truck.

I gotta say, it was a pain to have to go through all that, but it wasn't safe to leave the truck and it really didn't take all that long to get un-stuck.

We dug snow away from the tires and made a little 'runway' for getting some traction.

I got under the truck and put the chains on. And with a little bit of oomph the truck made it up the hill and all the way home without further incident.

We got home and got inside... oh wait.
Did I mention the power was out? Yeah, that too.
We made it home finally only to have the power out, so the house was cold.
The cat was not happy, let me tell you.

We got out of our wet and muddy clothes, and crawled into bed after 1:00 a.m. with the cat snuggled bewteen us trying to stay warm.
This morning, we got up and the power was still out so the house was even colder.

Hotness had to go check on her horse, but I was still in bed debating whether I really needed to pee or if I really wanted to stay in bed where it was warm. The cat crawled under the covers with me, so I decided to stay in bed for a while longer.

Finally, nature's call could not be ignored so I got up (much to the cat's dismay), did my business, and went to start a fire.

Wherever I went, the cat followed and tried to snuggle up to me to stay warm.

I had a nifty idea about that time.
I opened up some self-heating hand warmers and stuffed them under her sleeping pad.
Once she figured out it was warm, she curled up and went to sleep so I could finish getting the fire started.

With that out of the way, I started on breakfast.
It helps to not only be able to cook, but also have a ton of camping gear handy nearby.
I brought in the propane campstove (and yes, I know about carbon monoxide poisoning. I made sure I had ventilation) and heated up water for jasmine green tea on one side while I made an egg-white cheese omlette and hashbrowned potatoes on the other.

As soon as I finished cooking and eating... the power came back on*. Perfect timing!
Hotness was coming back from the barn shortly, so I made her breakfast on the regular stove and brewed a proper pot of coffee. (In a proper coffee pot!**)

It began snowing again, and has continued off and on now for a while.

I'm thinking I may not be going into work tomorrow at this rate.
While the road is actually clear now (they plowed it), I can't get through the snow to get to the road.

Oh well.
I'm warm. I'm comfortable. And even though it's supposed to be spring outside, it sure is pretty out there.
I might finally get caught up on my comic reading now.
* If you were on Google yesterday, you probably noticed that they were promoting Earth Hour.
Well, our power was out for over 12 hours, so I think I can safely say I did my fair share on conserving energy, don't you think?

** If you don't get this, ask me next time you see me.

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