New Kid (yeah right!!!!) on the Blog

New Kid (yeah right!!!!) on the Blog

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Reality Check

This weekend started off like many others here in Central Kentucky. Friday night we got a nice little shot of sleet, followed by about an inch of snow. Not bad, but sure made things slippery.
I had intended to just stay in the dungeon this weekend goofing off watching Univ of KY Football in a Bowl Game...( which I figured correctly that they would lose)...and UK Basketball...(which I figured would be close.... they lost).
However, on Friday evening on Facebook, I saw a posting by "The Magic Shop" ( located in Covington, KY... which is next to Cincinnati...only 82 miles away!). Artie Kidwell, the proprietor was making comments about general things going on up there, then showed a "Wizards Hat" that just came in. I got one of those QVC Moments whereas, I HAD TO HAVE THAT!
Well, I'm just a little backwards whereas I do not use a credit card to order online.... and just used up my last check from my "hideout fund" and the new checks won't get here for another week or so.
Saturday morning I got up early, ran to the grocery for Kim, and at 11:00 ( when the shop opened) I called Artie and told him to hold a hat for me, because I was on my way North! Hell, I one of those people who hates to drive 5 miles across town togo to Wal-Mart or Lowes for "needed items"!
On the way up there, I called a buddy from Northern KY and scheduled a late afternoon lunch.
Had a nice visit at the shop, got my hat and a couple of small silks. While there, got to see an interesting event. Some guy came in with his son (about 12 years old). The kid had a box that contained a trick called "Chinese Linking Rings". He said that he couldn't figure out how to work it, and needed somebody to show him how to do it. Artie told him that the instructions that came with the trick should explain how to work it. The kid said that he read the directions , but, they were too confusing. Artie then responded that he was sorry that today was not his regular "Magic Mentoring Day", but, he'd be glad to schedule them in for a private "Mentoring Session" in the future... at a rate of $50 for 45 minute session. Father and son declined and left in a hurry.
Now that might sound cold. But, it was NOT. The trick he bought was purchased either on-line or maybe while on vacation at Disney World. Had he bought the trick at Artie's shop, Artie, or one of the magicians hanging around would have worked with the kid to teach him the basic moves. This little episode would be like someone going to Wal-Mart and buying a chainsaw because of the ceaper price, then going to the local Hardware Store and asking them how to put it together!
Met with Jim, his wife Connie, and daughter and had nice lunch at a German Bistro next door to the Magic Shop. Hell, Jim even grabbed the check before I could! Gee, sometimes being old and having slower reflexes does come in handy! The little one was about 5 years old, and was getting a little figgedy towards the end, so I did a few little magic tricks for her which really calmed her down. ( Knocking a salt shaker through the table/ burned and restored napkin/ dissapearing and reappearing salt from a napkin) I think that it kind of surprised Mom and Dad , too.
After lunch, I ventured back to the Magic Shop for another little visit and BS session....then took a nice leisurely drive home.
Then, aroud 9:00 P.M. Sat night, power was knocked out for all of Frankfort and 4 neigboring towns. We had never had an experience like that before. We have had small outages in certain areas in the past, wheareas it would be out for an hour or so, but, nothing that widespread. I figured that we could be down for a couple of days.
We have a nice set of gas logs in the fireplace, so, freezing was not an issue. However, even though we have gas heat, there was no power for running the furnace. Also, no power for cooking due to having electric stove and oven.
I broke out the candles, flashlights, and kerosine lamp for light. I got an hankering for some coffee, so I got out my spare little canping stove (the spare that didn't go to the cabin) and fixed up some Instant Coffee. I tried using the Big Battery Pack (with an AC/DC Inverter) that I use down at the cabin to power up the regular coffee maker, but, it took too much juice, and wouldn't work. If we had to cook, we have the gas grill, or the gas Turkey Fryer as a last resort.
Luckily, the power came back on at 2:45 A.M., so we didn't have to contend with any problems.
You know it's really odd. Having no electricity down at the cabin is no problem whatsoever, because things are set up down there to cope with the fact. But, here, we are totally dependent upon it.
Kim was able to check what was going on via her IPhone and checking Facebook and Lexington TV Station Channel 18. Of course our regular TVs and computers are tied to cable system and all are run by electricity. I got my battery operated radio earphones to try to find out what was going on, but all of the local stations were down, and the Lexington and Louisville Stations were all broadcasting the national pre programed crap. So, we just had to "hunker down in ignorance" and wait it out!
But, today, things are back to normal. However, I will be bringing back my little used Battery Operated Digital TV from the cabin....or buying another one.


  1. What a great post, Dave, and I love your hat! It fits you to a T.
    At first I thought the magic shop owner was a bit cold, but even before you said it, I realized that business is business. I think even if he'd said honestly, "if you buy something here, I'll be glad to help you with that AND the trick you didn't buy here", they still would have left.
    You are soooo right about what happens when we lose power. Cabins without power? No problem. House without power? Panic. It's crazy but true. And then we get all excited when we drag out the little propane stoves and even the grills outside. We all turn into kids at some point. But you said something about using your battery operated tv. You have a "digital" battery one? I had a little 5 or 7 inch battery operated that I used all the time during outages. It did tv and radio and was great. But when everything switched in the country to digital, that tv would no longer pick up a signal UNLESS I connected it to a converter -- but the converter has to be plugged into the wall, so no help after all. If you have a digital one, tell me the brand, 'cause I can't find one.
    Dave, this post was so darn good!

  2. Thank you for the response.... was starting to think that you were miffed at me...(just kidding)
    It is the new Digital TV about the size of a portable DVD Player..has a rechargeable battery built in...will run off regular current or the battery.
    Got it at Sears about a year ago for about $88....saw where they had discontinued them a month or so ago and was down to $59.
    They had a bigger selection at Wal-Mart, but, they were a little higher. (You know Ole Frugal Me!)
    Just checked with ... they have one similar to mine (7" Portable Digital TV..with 3 hour rechargeable battery built in.) Also they have same unit with DVD player for $141... this one can be powered with car cigarette lighter/ battery/ or plug in wall.)

  3. Great info! Thanks, Dave :D
    When everything went digital, I almost cried tossing out those little tvs. I didn't even know the minitures were made in digital. Hot damn, this is such good news. I've copied and kept it all. See? What would I do without you ;)

  4. I would not have thought of the legitimate reason for the shopowner's response - thanks for adding that dimension. JennyD's solution was perfect about suggesting the purchase and getting help in return.

    How cool to be able to do the salt shaker and napkin tricks. I admire people who are good at stuff.

    I never realized how dependent I am on electricity until it went out for a couple of days in an ice storm and my gas furnace wouldn't come on because the thermostat was out. And now I have a phone that depneds on electricity also - what was I thinking?

  5. Dave, I always enjoy lighting here: not only are your postings great, but the comments are, too. Your new Wizard's hat is quite fetching; it suits you!

    The info about battery-powered mini-digital tv's was an eye-opener; I'll keep it in mind.

    Have you seen any of the hand-cranked flashlights and emergency radios on the market now? No battries to fuss with; I'm kinda partial to that kind of technology.

    Sounds like you're pretty much ready for whatever inconvenieces winter can throw at you; if our power gets knocked out in central Iowa, I'm heading for central Kentucky!

    Keep toasty, my friend!