What Sandy Taught Me

Superstorm Sandy has allowed me to think thoughts I wouldn't have thought before. Thanks, Sandy!

I type this from the warmth and relative luxury of my Kings Park brother-in-law’s powered house. My home is still out of power, like the seemingly-forever-stuck-on-just-under-5,000 other Commack homes.

Having no power -- and feeling like a first-world refugee -- for a week and counting has made me do something I don’t like to do: think about things. Worse for you, it’s made me post a blog entry about what I’ve been thinking about. If you one of the lucky ones with power or a brother-in-law in Kings Park with Internet access, allow me to share some with you.

Before last week, I never thought that one of the greatest triumphs of my life would be successfully refueling my car. But if I had to wait on a two-hour line for someone to tie my shoes or zip my pants, unsure if the shoe-tying or pants-zipping services would be available once I reach the front of the queue, those mundane but important activities would bring me the joy of other mundane but important activities, like the births of my children.

Before last week, I never thought my most exciting Internet experience would be watching the ambiguous and possibly inaccurate map full of "triangles of doom" representing outages on LIPA’s "storm center" web page.  LIPA finally abandoned that map and went with a more static, view-from-space map of the Island so you can’t zoom down to your neighborhood and complain that the "hard hat" icon representing a working crew hasn’t moved from a nearby neighborhood in four days. Now I just have to guess which microscopic pixel in that sea of red and blue represents my house. (Are we sure that the map's not actually how people plan to vote today?)

Before last week, I never thought I’d be entertaining thoughts and ideas even more illogical than I usually entertain. To a rational person they sound crazy, but when you're without power for a week (and not even suffering as much as my neighbors because I have that brother-in-law's house) every conspiracy theory and nutball theory makes sense:

  • Governor Cuomo’s complaining about LIPA every day, but isn't he, like, their boss?
  • If all my neighbors are using generators, will LIPA drive past my street and assume everyone already has power?
  • If we get power back right before the nor'easter knocks it out again, can LIPA restore power in reverse order so I can get it back first?
  • Why does the apostrophe in nor'easter really, really bug the crap out of me?
  • Can't the head of LIPA have his power turned off until all Long Islanders get theirs back? Even though some people lost their houses entirely and technically will never get their power back? 
  • Should I buy that 60,000-watt generator for 16 grand and hook it up to my natural gas line to power my entire house and half the neighborhood and keep it running so I'd never need LIPA's services again? Well, should I???


I hope these observations have helped somewhat during the struggle we've been enduring the past week. I know they haven't helped me. Anyway, I'm hoping, as I've done for the past eight days, to finally get my power back sometime this year.

At least before my brother-in-law discovers that I'm at his house.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Elise Pearlman November 10, 2012 at 02:15 AM
I think that you would have been a popular write-in candidate, at least. When was the last time that we had a president in office with a sense of humor? This could be a totally new political platform.
Chris November 15, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Running generator on Natural Gas and Directly Wired
FYI November 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Chris, I've been doing that for 20 years now. The maintenance on the generator is almost zero due to not having to run gasoline which cannot be stored for any period of time without gumming up the carburetor, zero oil contamination and minimal CO in exhaust.
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