[Passage from my journal, 15 January 1974]
bout 12:47 a.m. PDT—This entry is unique in several ways, concerning the circumstances of writing it. (1) It is the first entry this year. (2) It is the first time I have written a journal entry in Daylight time in winter (due to the so-called energy crisis). (3) This may be the first entry I have ever made by candlelight. (4) It is probably the first time I have ever written while lying on a sleeping bag in a bathroom, certainly the first time in Yachats. (5) It is the only time (so far) that I have made an entry while suffering back trouble miles from human aid, (6) and it is possibly the only time I have made an entry while a raging windstorm whips around the house, hammering at the doors and windows and screaming through any chinks it finds.
The last weather report for the area that I heard predicted: 20–40 mph winds, with rain, increasing to 40–60 mph winds Monday to Tuesday, with gusts up to 75 mph, decreasing to ?–25 mph Tuesday. It is windy in San Francisco and Portland, but only raining in Seattle.
The power went off at 10:20 pm Monday and is still off. Last time I checked the phone was still working, so I guess it’s a general power failure, not just here. I doubt they’ll do anything before morning, though.
I heard from various family members earlier, before the power quit. Nothing new. Hope the phone line doesn’t go, although I think it’s buried under the road. There were power failures last night too, but not here.
So far wind not bad. Keeps stopping (i.e., going about 10–25?? mph, so it doesn’t rattle the windows or make noises), with occasional bad spells. S–SW direction it originates. Cats calm, haven’t brought the dog in. By the letter of the prediction we should be already to the bad part but I have no confidence in that reasoning. If it does hit 60, with gusts up to 75, I’m in for an interesting night, or morning.
For the hell of it, let me mention that Daylight Saving Time has made for peculiar changes. The sun doesn’t begin to rise until eight, and even at nine the sky is not fully lit. I can’t say we’re really compensated by having it set later; it is still dark at dinner time. But it is a refreshing change. I wouldn’t object if they made it permanent (though I would have when I was going to school), just so they quit hopping back and forth every six months. Setsu Butsu Horseshit.
Have been on heavy nostalgia trip recently, no sense to it. Time: 1967–1969. Place: Hudson’s Bay High School. And for what? For nothing. For experience, is the best reason, but it’s not a real one.
Read No Time for Sergeants, The High School Freshmen, other Motor Chums type books, Casebook on Declaration of Independence, Morse Style book, and no doubt others, as well as portions of my own novel yesterday and to-day. (7) This is the first entry I have made after completing a novel.
Horseshit. Horseshit, horseshit horseshit. Horseshit. Horseshit horseshit horseshit horseshit, horseshit horseshit horseshit. Horseshit horseshit horseshit. Horseshit horseshit, horseshit horseshit horseshit.
KOMET KOHOUTEC FIZZLES OUT
In a thundering blaze of glory, President Nixon today declared that full scale rationing will be unnecessary as long as the oil companies continue to make a profit. “Power to the people,” he said, “is entirely unnecessary at this time.”
A spokesman for the nation of Assyria today proclaimed, “There is no reason for the continued existence of Israel today. The only block to the shipment of oil is the refusal to accede to our request for the 553 border with the Jewish State.”
Hopes for the release of Henry Kissinger proved premature. That story in a moment.
So you want to know, what can I do about the energy crisis? Well, I’ll tell you. First, turn off all your heaters. This alone will result in a great saving of power. Then, drain all the gas out of your car, and take the bus to work, or walk. Finally, burn your furniture to keep warm. Remember, it’s up to you to conserve energy. You caused this mess, you can stop it. Message brought to you in the public interest by Exxon-Arco conglomerate.
4:37 a.m. PDT—Power still out. The storm, such as it is, is abating, or so it seems; the lights, such as they aren’t, remain dark, of which I am certain. Daylight is still four hours or so away; my head hurts; I have eaten; I shall attempt to sleep until light—real light—comes.
9:45 a.m. PDT—I have slept no more than two hours. The storm continues, albeit with less vigor. Though another gust like that last one inclines me to the theory that it is not declining at all, but rather hiding, awaiting its moment to pounce.
Nothing happens. The power, having returned fitfully for about fifteen seconds on two occasions, is still off. The cats chase each other as if demented. Little Cat plays with my pen even as I write this.
Mudslides, Rockslides, Floods, Evacuations, High Winds. Roads blocked, power out—the radio is a cheerful bastard. The winds are scheduled to decrease this afternoon and evening. No mention of when power is expected to return.
A frog croaked briefly last night, possibly enjoying the water. He stopped quickly, though.