Re: Hell Continues to Freeze Over

I mentioned here about a week ago that Hell, here in Independence, KS

> had frozen over with the ice storms of last weekend. Now here we are, > a full week later, ice still over everything in sight...

Good luck with everything. I'm glad you still have power and phone service and food deliveries.

When I was a kid we had an ice storm like that, everything covered in a thick coating of extremely slippery but hard ice. It was horrible. In those days many autos used tire chains actually which were pretty effective, but murder if you got on dry pavement, and a pain to put on and off. Links would break and bang around.

Somehow we got to school but the school yard was covered with a sheet of ice. It had a grade and it was simply impossible to move up it. The custodian put out a trail of cinders from the coal boilers which provided traction and worked out well. (I wonder if the school ever converted from coal?)

My dad got me something called "strap chains" for my car in case of snow. I rarely used them, especially when I got radial tires, but in a snowbank they always got me through. When I got a car with front wheel drive, I never needed them; that would get me through anything, though I had to be careful that the rear end didn't slide around. Somewhere I think I still have the strap chains. I guess if I were in your town I'd be digging them out to get around.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This may sound like a bizarre, diabolical question, but did you ever wonder how the custodian (of the school) ever got there _in the first place_ to spread the ashes around? i.e. if he got there and spread ashes around, what was it like before then? I am barely old enough -- at my ancient age -- to recall when the boiler at our school converted from coal to gas, and the boiler had to run year-round since they not only got heat from it, but also the hot water supply for the bathrooms and kitchen, etc. Hot water was made by keeping the 'coils' with the water supply always surrounded by fire, even if the 'big part of the boiler' was turned off in the summer. When the whole thing was converted to gas, they installed a separate water heater with its own gas supply and quit using the coils in the big boiler. Ergo, during the winter months the hot water supply was always hotter than during the winter when the primary boiler was shut down.

And is it true that 'hot' water freezes faster than 'cold' water? When the plumber was out here once last fall to check on my pipes, he cautioned me, "when the outside temperaure becomes extreme always be sure to have your cold water line running slowly (just a slight trickle) all night long to prevent freezing. _NOT_ the hot water line but the COLD water line, mainly, I suppose, because it is all 'cold' water coming from the street through the meter to my house; it only gets 'hot' when my hot-water heater inside prepares it. The plumber told me that chemicals in the water boiled away during heating and that the 'hot' water got cold (and eventually frozen) faster than the 'cold' water got colder (and eventually frozen). Any truth to that? I know it seems odd to say 'hot water freezes faster than cold water'.

And thanks for thinking about my food. My food supply is okay for another week; its the dog and cats' supply I am worried about. They have only a couple more day's worth unless I start rationing it out; I should put them on a diet anyway. All too big and fat (and sassy!). PAT]

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