A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


All across Ontario and in several other places in North America high winds recently took out much of the electricity supply network and left many of us in the dark for anything from a few hours to a few days. We here in the Klondike Hills had planned our family get together for Sunday as our daughter was working over Christmas at her job in food services for a small nursing home. So naturally just before the rest of the family arrived the power went off and the menu for the day went with it! Now to many folk that would be an absolute disaster but we are much more flexible than that, “Murphy” has visited unexpectedly numerous times and we are somewhat prepared for such challenges. We normally cook with propane and so one would think that things in that department would be unaffected, but no, the oven has an electric pilot, handy during normal times but not so good with power off. With no oven the girls simply made a few minor adjustments and proceeded to get things started on the wood stove, a ham to be heated, veggies on the boil, nut roast and other vegetarian goodies to be simply reheated, good conversation and company on the side! Everything worked out so well that that the propane stove top was not even needed, the only thing we really had to work around was the lack of running water where we had to rely upon the “emergency” supply stored in the basement.

Now I know that most folks rely upon hydro more than we do and that some were off for an extended period, not just 10 hours. A few folks in fact are still off as I write this, however I still think we owe a vote of thanks to those hydro workers who are out there planting new poles, stringing new lines and removing fallen trees in order to get our power back on. I do not know exactly how much a lineman gets per hour for just like most union agreements they keep the details of their contracts pretty close to their chest, however it appears that they make in the range of $25 to $35 per hour. This is coincidentally is in the same wage scale as that of the unionized auto worker. I do wonder how many of those folk would be willing to assemble that car out in the parking lot in the middle of a blizzard after being rousted out of bed because there were more workers needed. Then lets ask them to do it from a bucket 70’ in the air with high voltage lines all around and to work 12 or 14 hours at a time! Bottom line those hydro linemen earn every penny they get, I may not like that “delivery charge” line in my monthly bill, but I sure do appreciate the power coming back on after a power outage during a storm. Its not as if you can go down to the corner store and get a bucket of hydro to get you through till morning!!

Thanks Guys.

Cross posted at Grey Bruce Views

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