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The "vbright" side of the blackout

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Old 08-15-2003, 06:54 AM   #1
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Default The "vbright" side of the blackout

Greetings from Toronto!

My power returned about 15 minutes ago, so to everyone in Canada and the US still affected by the blackout, take heart and hang in there, it can only get better!

Considering everything, there is a bright side to all this:

- Walking down 45 flights of stairs from my office to the ground floor took care of my exercise for the day

- Even though it took about 4 hours to get home through horrendous traffic, I was able to get two co-workers home who normally rely on the subway and would have been stranded downtown for the night (and I got to know two people I've only ever nodded my head to before)

- Seeing as all the fast food joints and doughnut stores were shut tight there was no opportunity to take advantage of the situation by making a bad food choice (and cold cereal and warm milk is surprisingly satisfying when you're starving)

- No air-conditioning in this intense heat no doubt resulted in sweating off at least a few ounces overnight

- The fridge and freezer being off for 14hrs gives me an excuse to chuck everything and buy only healthy foods

- A state of emergency being called means a long weekend!

Take care everybody!!
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Old 08-15-2003, 06:58 AM   #2
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Wow, Jillegal, you have a great attitude!

I was wondering who on our list was affected by this insanity. I'm so glad your lights are back on, and I hope you didn't lose anything in the freezer that was too expensive! You must be breathing a sigh of relief!

I am thinking about all the rest of the people who are still in the dark. Thankfully, the sun is up there.
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:06 AM   #3
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Actually, there are a few items in the freezer I'm interested in saving....does anyone know the rule of thumb? Meat that feels really soft should probably be cooked and refrigerated I guess, but what about meat that still has a little ice particles? Is that okay to refreeze? I think all my Lean Cuisines are a lost cause because the sauces are totally liquid, but I got them on sale so I'm not too concerned. I do have two roasts and a couple of chickens that seem partially frozen, should I take a chance? As much as I want to lose more weight, I'd rather not do it through food poisoning!
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:11 AM   #4
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Never refreeze chicken. Cook it. If you don't want to eat it now, you can make it into salad or put it on sandwiches or something after it's cooked.

I'm pretty sure it's fine to refreeze beef. Unless it's warm. If it's still cool or partially frozen you're fine.

But! I'd look elsewhere online before taking my advice! Like the beef council website or something. I don't want you to get sick! I just know we refreeze beef after it's been in the fridge for a day and we're fine.
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Old 08-15-2003, 08:34 AM   #5
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From USDA's website on food safety in an emergency...

Quote:
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed...

Question: Some of my food in the freezer started to thaw or had thawed when the power came back on. Is the food safe? How long will the food in the refrigerator be safe with the power off?

Answer: Never taste food to determine its safety! You will have to evaluate each item separately. If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, read the temperature when the power comes back on. If the appliance thermometer stored in the freezer reads 40 F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen. If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine the safety. Remember you cant rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 F or below, it is safe to refreeze.

Refrigerated food should be safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 F for 2 hours.
Hope that helps.

Glad you're okay. I had nightmares about being stuck in the subway in the dark for hours. With my daughter. /shudder Not that DC was affected, but if it were, I would have been just starting my commute home. My sister in New Jersey is without power, but at least everyone is safe at home.
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Old 08-15-2003, 08:48 AM   #6
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Jill - Glad you got home safely!!! I think your attitude is great!!!

45 flights! Whew!!
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Old 08-15-2003, 12:09 PM   #7
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Thanks for the good wishes and food advice folks - it's much appreciated!

As for the 45 flights of stairs, I timed myself and it took 27 minutes which I thought was pretty good. I hate to think how long it would have taken a year ago - who am I kidding? A year ago I would have bunked down on my desk for the night rather than attempting the stairs
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Old 08-15-2003, 12:15 PM   #8
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atleast you weren't going up those stairs! When I lived in Toronto we had a black out in the early 90's.. I had to walk up 17 flights when I lived on Sherbourne. I'm glad to hear your power is back on. I called my parents today (who live in Oshawa - and they still don't have any power)
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Old 08-15-2003, 02:50 PM   #9
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Jillegal - Wow, you really did put a positive spin on that! Best thing, you got to know some others from your job - that's great!
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Old 08-16-2003, 11:47 AM   #10
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Default cold chicken and warm beer in the dark!

SOOOO glad the power is back on! Lost 2 pounds during the blackout due to healthy eating and so much activity! Maybe we should do this more often...NOT!
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Old 08-16-2003, 03:43 PM   #11
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Our power was out for about 13 hours. Luckily my fridge was just about empty and the freezer too so I was able to keep everything cold enough so I didn't have to throw out anything. We managed okay. I was afraid my toddler wouldn't be able to sleep but I gave him a cool bath before bed and he was okay. He woke up once and I gave him a cold drink and he went back to sleep. My husband managed to sleep okay. I woke up a couple of times and just doused myself in cool water. I hate waking up all covered with sweat!

What kills me is the way people seemed to be panicing unneccissarily. Like people were doing this mad rush to buy gas and get money out of the ATM's. Okay the money I can see but still why the gas? If no one's got any power then you aren't going to work so you're at home so why do you need to make sure there is gas in the car? am I the only one who thinks this?
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Old 08-16-2003, 04:55 PM   #12
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We had 3 of my 13-year-old daughter's friends over for the night. Two of them turned out to really not like each other. Boy, were we glad to take everyone home -- they couldn't even agree on what board game to play by candlelight~
However, the cookouts over the backyard fire pits were great, and you're right, cold whole grain cereal and warm milk aren't bad, especially if you know you're saving money.
We took pix of everything we had to give away and/or throw away, and are hoping we may get some insurance money. We'll see. I sure do wish we hadn't just gone to Trader Joe's and bought all kinds of healthy frozen food!
Only 13 hours,eh? We were out over 36.
Talk to you all soon when we get back.
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Old 08-16-2003, 04:59 PM   #13
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I think certain people panicked because there were reports on the radio that the power might be out for up to 4 days. Luckily I'd filled my car with gas the night before, but when I was driving (crawling) home from work the highways were jammed with people who'd run out of gas. I guess with all the talk of rolling blackouts for up to a week, people wanted to make sure their tanks were filled. What annoyed me the most was people who ignored the water conservation pleadings. Here we were in a state of emergency and being told the city only had enough water to last 24 hours and my neighbour across the street was watering her lawn and then proceeded to wash her car - some people are so stupid!
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Old 08-16-2003, 10:55 PM   #14
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I never thought of the people that might have run out of gas on the highways. got me there!

I agree about the water conservation. It never fails that someone is always going to think that it applies to everyone but them.

I heard those same reports and I never thought once that it would be true. I figured a day at the most. It seemed to me that no one really had a clue what was going on and there were so many conflicting stories you didn't know what to believe. I think it got hyped out of proportion.
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Old 08-17-2003, 03:16 AM   #15
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We saw it on the news here in the UK...glad things are returning to normal for you all! Looked Awful!
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