Wednesday, March 16, 2011

rolling blackouts

Update from Japan:

Since Monday we have been experiencing "rolling blackouts" which are basically scheduled power outages that last 3-4 hours and rotate through the cities of Japan.  Day 1 was great, we were able to keep our power use to a minimum and the scheduled black out was cancelled.  

I sat out and enjoyed a cold drink and a good book on a warm spring day instead of watching Grey's reruns

Tuesday we weren't as lucky and around 4 pm (right in the middle of a community briefing from our Garrison Commander) they shut off our power.  We knew this was coming and if you listened to the warnings, you were prepared.  After the briefing, we still had about an hour of day light time left but after the sun went down it quickly became apparent that there is only so much you can do in the dark.

Using a flashlight, I was able to finish laundry

and make my husband dinner

which he quickly ate before getting back to work.
When I showed up with his dinner, he was sitting in the parking lot with 2 generators going, testing out some equipment in the dark.  I pulled the car up and he worked while I read in the light from the headlights.  Not the most romantic dinner we've ever shared, but it was nice to spend a little time with him.  They've been working 14 hours shifts 24hours a day all week and there is no sign of things slowing down in the near future, so I'll take what I can get at this point!

Today we had our power turned off from about 10am-1pm so I resorted to a "lunch" I haven't has since I was a child.  Cheese and (turkey) pepperoni on crackers

It's scheduled to be off again this evening from 5-830, so I've planned grilled chicken Caesar salad for dinner.  Tomorrow we are scheduled to be in the dark from 6-10am and again from 2-530pm.  These blackouts could potentially go on for up to 3 months.  I'm running out of creative ideas for meals already and I can see us getting tired of PB&J and tuna after a few week.  Any suggestions?!?!?

All in all, I'd say we have a it pretty good considering the circumstances.  I'm more than happy to give up my electricity for a few hours a day if it helps the people who are suffering up north.

I will continue to blog as much as possible about the conditions and ongoings over here.  If you are concerned about us, I suggest you stop watching CNN/Fox News.  We are far enough away from the nuclear power plant that even if it went into complete meltdown and the winds were blowing directly at us, we would be 100% safe.  We're far enough inland that tsunami's are not a threat to us.  Our base has assured us that there is a 6 months supply of food here so we're not going to starve.  If you have any questions please feel free to email me directly.


Anonymous said...

Food wise, is grilling an option? As a former hurricane survivor (we lost power for 10 days with Isabelle back in '03) we discovered you could cook anything on a grill with a little inginuity. You can grill veggies and meats obviously, but we also learned the fine art of making pizza bagels and other quirky things.

If not, you could do a fancy wine and cheese night one time, cold pizza (like leftovers), sushi night (if you're into that?)... those are just som thinsoff the top of my head. I hope you get some good ideas though!

Kara said...

Hubby forwarded me an email today that told us to help Japan out by conserving power and water since we get it all from the same place. I feel for you. Alone wouldn't be to bad. I could be inventive. But trying to entertain 2 little kids would be hard, especially in the dark. I guess that would just mean early bedtime.

Unknown said...

So glad to hear you guys are doing so well -- in the meantime, maybe you could premake food that isn't bad if it isn't hot?? Pizza? Or maybe do a grilled cheese - -I have never made it in the dark but perhaps since it is so 'easy' you could make it on the grill if you have an electric stove?

JG said...

I used to eat cheese and bologna on crackers when I was a kid. :) This took me back. I don't have any suggestions other than grilling, and I'm sure you've thought of that already. I'm glad you're safe, albeit inconvenienced. I hope they get the power regulated much, much sooner than 3 or 4 months from now!