This week was not a typical week. A cold front came through breaking records set in the late 1800's. Temperatures around zero degrees Fahrenheit with wind chills taking that down another fifteen or more degrees.

Electric Emergency Update

While that's uncommon for Texas, what's more uncommon is the length of time. A typical snow here is likely to melt the next day. This time it lingered for most of the week.

It was so cold, moisture on our eyelashes would freeze.

Making things much worse, Texas had power problems. Many power companies were not prepared. Between increased power needs and a reduction in their ability to provide that power, they had to resort to rolling blackouts to make sure the overall power grid wasn't overloaded causing much, much worse problems. Like no one having power at all for weeks.

For me personally, the week started with power being on for about thirty to fifty minutes followed by not having power for about the same duration of time. This was barely enough time for my heating system to really start making any form of impact in heating my home. The lowest it got was about fifty-three degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, I got plenty of firewood to burn for the week. My wife and I spent a few nights huddled in front of the fire.

Enjoying S'mores by the fire

The worse part, however, was our lack of water. Our pipes froze somewhere very early on. My wife unintentionally prepped plenty of food for us for the entire week, so we were good there. No water was going to be an issue. Fortunately, our neighbors were able to offer us a case of drinking water. We were also lucky that none of our pipes burst.

Another thing that goes when you lose water is that your toilets won't work once their reservoirs are empty. We did what many in our state resorted to, which was to melt snow to keep them filled.

Melting snow when we had power to keep our toilets working!

What's so weird about this is how selective power seemed to be. My brother-in-law lives in the same town, about ten minutes from me and he never lost power or water at all. Unless the grid is setup some weird way he's also not near any critical location like a hospital that would be a reason as to why his power stayed on. My wife and I were just thrilled to be able to visit him to take a shower.

At this point in time, the cold has past. It's going to be around sixty degrees Fahrenheit today. Our power and water both back to normal. We both feel grateful that we didn't have any nightmare in-home flooding issues from burst pipes that many in our state are dealing with right now.


Outside of the struggles with working from home during an extended period of power outages, things have been going well.

We did start up a pretty big new project which I'm only helping out in a minor supporting role for now.


The weekly movie screenings I've been enjoying made February a month of documentaries. That's why there's a few in the list although we did have to skip this past week due to the power issues mentioned above.

  • Hands on a Hardbody: The Documentary literally hit home for me because it's set in Longview, TX which is my home town. It's about one year's contest at a car dealership. Contestants had to keep their hands on a truck. Last person left with their hands on the vehicle wins the truck. The contest lasted over seventy-plus hours. There were five-minute bathroom breaks, but for the most part you are just standing around waiting. The physical and mental toll reveals itself with each contestant over the duration of the contest and film. Quite captivating to witness.
  • American Movie was our second documentary. About a guy's relentless pursuit to make a movie. While he sacrificed a bit himself, he lost sight of the damage it was doing to all those around him.
  • Space Sweepers debuted on Netflix recently. Visually the film is really good. Story-wise, however, it's just okay.

Res Arcana

Res Arcana artwork

Game night a few weeks back entailed a game newly available on BoardGameArena called Res Arcana.

Pretty fun game and quick to pick up after a few rounds of the game. It's a deck-builder game with some card drafting parts. Each player is a mage using magical essences to build artifacts and control dragons.

The objective is to have ten points at the end of a round, which isn't thematic at all, but it was still a fun game I'd play again.

Top photo credit: Tom Barret on Unsplash