My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #420: Life Without a Computer

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-03-2011 12:43 PM 1187 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 419: A Really, Really, (really, really) Good Day! Part 420 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 421: The Power of Friendship »

OK – so I will admit it. I don’t deal well with life without a computer. I realize that will open me up to lectures of how everyone got along before without computers and how we have become spoiled by them etc., etc., and I should just suck it up and get along without it, but the best I will ever do to counter that is ‘agree to disagree.’ After all, people didn’t have indoor plumbing until the early 1900’s and I am sure that they were consider spoiled too.

Although I probably wouldn’t classify yesterday as ‘pure hell’, I will say that is was not a pleasant or productive day.

We had many storms pass through our area throughout the day. Just when we thought it was getting better, more clouds rolled in from over the ocean and darkened the sky – at times where it seemed like night – and with it brought lightning, thunder and rain. Fortunately there was little wind considering, so the rain, even when heavy was quiet and not really frightening.

However, the lightning following by rumbling thunder was nearly constant, and the cats were none too happy. Nor was I. The power continually flickered and actually went out three times. At first I tried to do some drawing, saving my work every step along the way. But then I became complacent and the saves became further and further apart until one of the zaps killed the power and I lost about 45 minutes of work. It was then I gave up.

Rather than risk damage to our computer systems and television (which is run by the computer too) we disconnected our entire wall of electronics for the day. Better safe than sorry. We then took a ride out in the storm to go to the store and get some milk, which we were out of, figuring that we weren’t going to get anything done here anyway. The storm was still there, and there were times when we were driving (slowly) along the shore and it was raining so hard we could barely see in front of us. There was little danger though, as we were basically crawling at that point and we had to laugh at our own stupidity for even being out. It reminded us of last winter when we made the trip to Halifax and came upon the ice and snow storm. Funny how we just don’t seem to get it.

At the store, they were just powering up again after losing lights there too. We got our milk, visited Keith’s parents for an hour or so (they thought we were crazy too) and watched the storm from their place, which is right by the ocean. It was quite beautiful in its own way.

There was a break in it and we decided to return home, but after seeing that the clocks had reset just an hour before, we found no reason to reconnect our electronics for a while. There was power but it was flickering off and on and would certainly cause damage if there was a surge.

So Keith decided to prepare several pen blanks and I chose to do something I rarely do – take a nap. I had been up since 4:30 with the noise and light show and there was really nothing else for me to do. I didn’t have any paintings going and all my work revolved around the computer. Even our phone is run through it. So sleep it was. I had lots of company, as I awoke to all three cats curled up around me. They were frightened by the noise too and nothing is better for them than to have another sleep buddy in the middle of the day. I only slept for an hour and a half though and when I awoke, the sky was actually blue and there was sunshine. You would have never thought it even rained.

The clouds returned, but nothing was severe and near dinner time we felt is would be safe to reconnect and rejoin our cyber worlds. But what a day.

I did finish the one project I worked on. Since I had the nap, it allowed me to work a bit later than normal. We are due for several more days of rain however, and hopefully they won’t be as severe as it was yesterday. For all of those who wrote me and I didn’t answer, please forgive. I am catching up this morning and will get back to you all soon.

I have a lot of drawing to do and I hope that I can continue to work for the next few days. The owner of the shop in Annapolis Royal called last night and she also wants not only pens, but also note cards of my paintings and prints of them too perhaps and also she is interested in selling our prototypes. She went on the site and saw all we did and wants us to bring her a sampling of things. She only buys outright we are told, not consignment, so that will be a good way to reduce the amount of things we have here. It is positive, but it means we will be busier than ever. But I never minded that.

Have a great day today. It’s the middle of the week already. :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

8 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3079 days

#1 posted 08-03-2011 01:08 PM

gooood-moorniing Sheila :-)
yes those days always catch us on the wrong leg , not having power is very frustrating
and it show us how fragile the modern cumunity is
I wonder what the world will do if its right what they say about the sunbursts will be
in 2013 , if they are right you will see hole continents go down and all the major city´s without power
and the internet will not work over long periods becourse of the EMP´s from the sun
but we have to wait and see but also try to be prepared for it
hope you will have better wether now it has raised out :-)

take care

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2884 days

#2 posted 08-03-2011 01:13 PM

Thanks Dennis:
Yes, even our water is on a pump. I do have some bottles of it in storage, but when the pump goes out, we are dry. Last week, the breaker on the water pump tripped for some reason right when I was in the shower. I was half soapy and the water just stopped! I had to laugh though. The land lady went down and reset it. But it was like some thing out of a movie! At least I had already rinsed the soap out of my hair. Sometimes you just have to smile. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View KnotCurser's profile


2025 posts in 3032 days

#3 posted 08-03-2011 01:32 PM


If you have the following two conditions:

1) You have dodgy power, which it seems you do
2) Most of your life’s work is done on computers, which is seems it is

Then, take it from me (who is a computer systems architect in my “real” life) you NEED an UPS Unit! It is a very cheap form of insurance – and you probably could have stayed powered on most of yesterday!

Look up “APC Back-UPS Pro 1000” on google. Just make sure to get something in the volt/amp range you need – the one I stated should handle at least your computer, phone and you can even plug your TV and Stero, etc…. into the non-battery protected circuit to protect them from power surges!

Anyone who is on a computer for their income should really look into something like this. An NO, I do not sell this stuff. ;-)


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3079 days

#4 posted 08-03-2011 01:42 PM

tell me about the waterpump … LOL know it too well
but now we don´t have the isue since we came on the city system 2 years ago
but before when the well run dry or the pump striked there was some werd looking
soap-gost running around in the house from time to time and every one laughed knowing
very well it could be there turn next time

Knotcurser do have a good sergestion for you

have a great day

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2884 days

#5 posted 08-03-2011 01:51 PM

Thanks so much, Bob. I will check into that. I have a good surge protector, but I still worry. It was probably in the $75-$80 range and I forgot the joules rating, but it was one of the mid range ones, so I am not confident that it would work in a storm. We tend to unplug everything just to be safe.

I will google what you suggested and look into getting one. You are right – it is a good idea. An ounce of prevention and all of that. I appreciate the advice and do take it very seriously. I didn’t like not being able to work yesterday. I was out on Monday and I only managed a couple of hours in the evening yesterday. That just doesn’t help, as then I have to catch up the rest of the week. I will let you know how I do. :)

And Dennis – it is funny. How can you be mad, really? I was just happy it wasn’t winter. :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 3060 days

#6 posted 08-03-2011 02:28 PM

The UPS is an interesting idea. I too have really good surge protectors on all the electronics in the house, which protected us last week when we got zapped by lightning. Everything was OK, except for the well of course. The strike fried the pump control box. Oh, the cable connectors and splitters got fried too, but the cable company took care of that. I do keep a propane powered generator close at hand too, and I also tend to unplug stuff when a bad storm approaches.

-- John from Hampstead

View Rick13403's profile


256 posts in 3468 days

#7 posted 08-03-2011 07:21 PM

We had a bad storm go thru our neck of the woods last Tuesday and when it was all said and done, we had no computers at work for the rest of the week. Lightning hit the power pole right outside of the office and the surge destroyed the modems and routers that control our system. The surge came in thru the cable modemand fried everything else. The more the techs fixed the more they found fried.

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 3045 days

#8 posted 08-03-2011 09:24 PM

Sorry to hear about the poor weather. Here it’s just been hot and more humid than usual. Can’t complain too much though cause I know people are having much worse weather than just 100 degree temps with some humidity. Hope it clears up there for you soon Sheila.

-- Matt -

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