Liveblogging the Ike aftermath -- our "Amish" blogger Blackberries in with notes

blackberryOur intrepid blogger, Tom Barlow, is stuck out in Ohio with no power. This is day four of his odyssey. He is "liveblogging" his ordeal for us from his Blackberry now that it has gone on long enough to qualify as an ordeal. What would you do without power? Would your livelihood suffer?

Here's what Tom has to say:

September 18, 8:30 pm
In a power outage, you quickly become a slave to the food in your refrigerator. Your goal- don't let perishables spoil, keep frozen foods frozen. You don't even see it as food; it's you money there, turning brown and fuzzy.

First, you pursue bags of ice, the vague rumors of ice, like. Wall Street chasing a bailout.

I was late to the game when our power went out, and by the time I joined the chase there was nothing left except empty ice cases and clerks still in shock from the onslaught.

Iceless, my wife and I daringly continued to dine from our increasingly gamey fridge for a couple of days, passing candidate food back and forth to share olfactory opinions.

In such a situation, you find yourself arranging menus by expiration date or melting point. Breakfast might consist of three ice cream sandwiches (yeah calcium), dinner leftover beef stew with lox and babaganouj.

Yum. Finally, however, we reached the point where we had to start pitching food.

As I began my freezer archeology, I was struck first the age of some of its contents. The frozen stone-age dude found intact in the alps looked more appetizing than some of the stuff I pitched.

I also discovered a hidden streak of obsessive-compulsive behavior in my wife. Apparently, she is convinced that unsuccessful meals we only picked at initially would improve by freezing rather than discarding.

The fridge section was no challenge at all. 70 percent of the space was filled with condiments and jars of pickles, each containing one lonely pickle. The rest was beer.

Without a fridge, we've taken to eating out. However, here too our choices are limited to those restaurants blessed with electricity. Today I had a sack of White Castles. For lunch.

Tomorrow, I may return for a slyder breakfast. Tough times call for tough people.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

September 18, 4:30 pm

My ancestors were Amish, but I am deeply addicted to electricity. Since Ike blew through town, knocking down trees and popping transformers across Ohio, I've been rudely thrust back to a non-electrical world. Today is day 4, and I hate it, having to survive on only my wiles, Dodge Caravan and Blackberry.
I've joined the urban Bedouins. Where our desert brothers travel from oasis to oasis, we go, cell phone, laptop and rechargers in hand, in search of precious AC current and the rapture of Wifi. We can be rapacious in our blood lust for some of that sweet, sweet 110.

The local library, to their everlasting credit, has set up dozens of tables where we can recharge and mainline some internet. This has served to remind me how many of my neighbors take personal hygiene as a liberal plot to rob them of their God-given body odor.

I'm a reading addict, especially in the evening, and our flashlights don't serve that purpose well. I discovered a good workaround, though. I installed Mobipocket on my Blackberry and bought a novel for it. Now, at bedtime, I snuggle in with my cell phone and read to my heart's content. Or my battery goes dead. Then I lie in bed and pretend I'm Amish.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Got any questions for Tom about living after the storm? Ask below. We'll contact him by string phone and ask.

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