Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cooldown

It seems almost impossible, but for once Kentucky seems to be having a Fall season. Usually it's stupid hot day and night up until it starts dropping below freezing. The last few days have seen the mercury drop into the mid fifties after dark, and the highs during the day have become more manageable with the huge drop in humidity.

Which is a strange sort of segue into the small project I'm going to be working on, assuming our exiles don't manage to kill me and the zombies don't eat me. It's good to know those options are out there if I ever get tired of this whole 'life' thing.

The project itself isn't a huge deal, but it will be labor intensive. Fortunately I won't have a lot of work to do on the design front, because there's already a century of that laying around to work with.

Still, building a functional refrigerator that doesn't use electricity won't be easy.

It's not that the pieces and parts of it are that hard. Many people have designed and built them over the years. It's only that what I'm looking to build will have to be large to meet the needs of the community, and there will be a hundred details and problems to work out. Patrick and Becky are with me on this, so I won't have to deal with them alone, but it's still daunting.

Even while worrying that the zombies will suddenly lost their fear of New Haven and return in numbers, and while living under the fear that the exiles roving around town have something terrible in store for us, I feel excited. It's been a strange few months, but I finally think I'm hitting my stride again.

First I felt so overwhelmed by my job, coordinating the entire community, that I was given many people to help me do it. Then the homesteaders rose up as a faction and the huge zombie swarm attacked, and even after we exiled the homesteaders and managed survival I felt rudderless. Directionless.

The council has spread the pieces and parts of my old job around to all those I trained. I still do some of it, but I have so much more free time now. I needed a project to grab hold of, if for no other reason than to give me focus.

This whole refrigeration project is just the first step on what I'd like to do. Before The Fall, I was always a politics and policy nerd, with a focus on infrastructure. I always found it fascinating how the basic units of society like roads and the electrical grid all fit together to make commerce and just everyday life possible. I want to explore the possibilities of taking the hodgepodge systems we have here in New Haven and improving them. Make them more rugged and efficient. Instead of having electricity sometimes, all the time. Large storage capacity for it, too...

It's a lot to think about, but I've had a long time to ponder. It may take years, but the recent troubles have proved something important to me.

We saw this place almost razed to the ground by the zombie swarm. As a community we almost went extinct, but the compassion of good friends kept us from dying out. We hit rock bottom, and have begun recreating ourselves. No more half-assing it. If we're to have power, it will be accessible to all. If we're going to store food, it won't just be by canning and curing it.

No more half-measures. Now is the time to set in motion how New Haven will grow and change from here on out. Our mistake before was accepting mere survival as a minimum level of existence. Now we have to aim higher. It's time to rebuild, but also to improve.

In spirit, the compound has become a haven. We want to make New Haven one in reality. We will.

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