This being my fifth winter in Ithaca, I am told that this is the first “real winter” we’ve had here. I believe that weather of this sort is an indication that this area of the planet is simply not fit for human habitation. My power mysteriously went out on Wednesday (welcome to the 21st century) at around 7:15 PM. I had just gotten out of the shower, so I had to dress myself in the dark. I hope I picked out reasonable-looking clothes. When I realized I didn’t have any candles or even a flashlight, it occurred to me that the only light sources I had that didn’t need plugging in was my laptop and my cell phone. So I groped around my room and found my laptop, but the battery was out so I couldn’t turn it on until I groped it in its bag to find the replacement battery I so cleverly purchased a month or so ago and replaced the battery and turned on the computer. Using the light from the screen I was able to find my keys, shoes, wallet and cell phone and I left to go see The Two Towers with Em and Cross, hoping the power would be back on when I got back (not unreasonable considering the length of the film). However, no such luck! When I got home the power was still out and it was too scary in my apartment in the dark all alone so I went over to Jessie’s apartment and slept there instead. Of course I barely made it to work on time the next morning because I wasn’t in my own apartment and there was snow all over the place.
Fast forward to Friday. The snow is coming down like crazy and my driver’s side windshield wiper lost some of its rubber so it is not properly clearing the windshield. With my visibility severely handicapped I make my way to work and do my thing, then around 4 I decide that I ought to replace the windshield wiper before it gets dark because darkness+snow+broken windshield wiper=difficult driving. That was mostly successful and it only took me 4 tries to figure out how to remove the old wiper. I could do it quickly now. Anyhow, I leave work at 6:30 for shabbat dinner at the Calvos and shortly after arriving, the power flickers a few times then goes out. Rita is delighted at the romantic aspects of dinner by candlelight but is worried about her mother possibly being unable to find her non-powered oxygen source in the dark. Fortunately she called and let us know that she managed fine but that she only had 20 hours of oxygen and should the power still be out mid-afternoon on Saturday she would be out of luck. After dinner we noticed an enormous downed tree limb completely blocking the street they live on that was also leaning on 3 power wires, but the next-door neighbors had power and it turned out it wasn’t causing the outage, although it might have caused one of the wires broke. The cops show up around 9:30 to set up flares and radio in about the downed limb. I do manage to dig out my car and leave successfully and go over to Em and Cross’s for a while. When I finally leave around 1:45AM there are very few cars on the road and there is lots of snow on the road. Lots. I drove home very carefully and choose a longer route that would be easier if there was lots of snow. When I turned down the road leading to the road my house is on, about 1/4 mi down the way I see a giant tree limb completely blocking the road. I also notice it has brought down some electrical wires with it and all the houses are completely dark. I had said before I left Em and Cross’s that I was going to sleep at Jessie’s again so I wouldn’t have to deal with driving in the snow, but I drove home anyway. So I had to drive about 2 miles out of my way now to get around the tree limb, and of course the power was out in my house when I got there. But it was on this morning! Whew! Anyhow, snow -> downed tree limbs -> downed power lines = power out = 19th century = Ithaca is not inhabitable by humans. Conclusion: I will not be living here forever.