8 thoughts on “Michaeline: Report from Hokkaido, two days after the earthquake

  1. Glad to hear that you are all okay, Michaeline, and thank goodness for modern construction standards. Very good to hear that your taste of Showa Era living was brief and offered food for thought along with the vegetable curry.

    It’s sobering to think about how easy our lives are compared with those of previous generations, how quickly our society adapts, and how we lose skills and gain new ones to make the most of our rapidly changing world.

    • It really is. People don’t know how to use a kerosene lantern these days . . . but they do know how to make a cute lantern out of a flashlight, a pet bottle and some milk, LOL! I’d link, but the guy who posted is xenophobic, so I won’t. But, if I try it at home, I’ll post some pics!

  2. Coca-Cola is going to outlive the cockroaches–LOL..Glad you’re okay!

    A few years back, the tail end of Hurricane Ike blew through southwest Ohio, It was about this time of years, so Ohio’s huge deciduous trees were still in full leaf, providing a lot of resistance to the 70 mph winds–or trying to. A lot of them wound up on the ground, with cartwheels of roots exposed, taking down power lines as they fell.

    We’re on well and septic, so when we lost power we immediately lost the ability to flush the toilet. Fortunately for us, the outage in our immediate neighborhood was repaired about 24 hours later. Neighbors even a block away weren’t so lucky. They were without power for a couple of weeks. My boss, who lives about 20 miles south, moved into a hotel after a couple of days. He said the charm of reading by lantern glow and not being able to shower lost its appeal pretty quickly.

    Since then, we’ve kept several cases of bottled water in the basement, along with a couple of 5 gallon cans of tap water we can use to flush the toilet.

    • It’s so strange how spotty disaster is. One neighbor may be fine, the other neighbor may get walloped. Last time we had a major blackout, not everyone had a generator. We lent ours during the day to several neighbors. This time? Everyone has one, maybe two.

      (-: There certainly are charming moments. The night sky on the first night was so clear, yet velvety at the same time. No light pollution from the airport, or the city to the north. However, the annoying moments tend to make one extremely grateful when the power comes back on!

  3. So glad you’re okay Michaeline, and that life is slowly returning to “normal.”

    My sister lives in eastern PA along the Delaware River and is also on well and septic. After having the power go out numerous times (summer, winter, didn’t matter), she installed a propane-powered generator that kicks on automatically and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard that thing engage when the power has gone out (and that’s just when I’ve made infrequent visits!).

    It provides power to their house, including their refrigerator, but not the stove/oven. It also heats their water heater, but that’s about it. Whenever the power goes out, the kids run around the house unplugging basically anything that doesn’t need to be plugged in. It’s amazing how much latent power is lost just by having a device plugged in.

    We are sorely dependent on electricity, aren’t we. Drat that Ben Franklin!

    • Recently, someone on Reddit was asking what Japan was doing right about their power structure. They don’t tend to have brownouts and blackouts, while brownouts and blackouts seem to be more and more common news from America. (-: Kind of ironic that only a few days later, the whole island of Hokkaido lost power for so long! I think the Japanese utilities are really good at day-to-day keeping customers happy, but fall down (and I don’t really blame them) when a once-in-a-hundred-years event happens.

      I once lived in a house with a squatty-potty during a typhoon blackout. When the ventilation fan went out . . . hoo-boy! Fortunately, the house was designed well, and the smell was contained. But, yeah, it just goes to show how easy our lives are with electricity!

  4. Glad to hear you’re okay, Michaeline, and that you and your family—and your farm—suffered relatively little damage. But those power outages! When California had the rolling blackouts a few years back, we weren’t helpless, because other areas would have power. But you realize quickly how dependent your life is on the power grid. Glad you’re out of it now!

    • I think this is an excellent point. When the power is out in a checkerboard pattern, you’ve got the next neighborhood still producing deli food and bread and keeping the ice cream cold. And if that system means a home is without electricity for only three hours a day (instead of 45 hours), then things can be worked around.

      Did the places undergoing a blackout still have traffic lights? That was the biggest shock for me. Last time we had a big blackout, I didn’t go into town at all, so I didn’t deal with it. This time, I had to go to work in the center of town, and while the drive was actually quicker, the stress was much higher.

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