bunt sign

Monday, December 16, 2002

No electricity, no heat, no running water. A triple play, the triple crown, the trifecta. Tic tac toe. No phone, no pool, no pets.

Just because you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone doesn't mean you make the most of it when you get it back. For the few hours I had power yesterday, I could have made up for lost time. I could have washed dishes and laundry, or run some company spreadsheets. I acted as if the lights were going to stay on, when I knew perfectly well they probably wouldn't.

The longest I've had power since Saturday night was five hours yesterday afternoon. I got my shower and a hot meal, I uploaded two journal entries, and I wrote some email, always believing I had time to do more. The electricity was on and off from 8:00 pm until 10:30, when everything went dark.

At 11:30 I finally gave up and went to bed, but it was too early. I was restless and couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned until the lights came back on just after midnight. I reset all the clocks and watched a little TV (mostly news) and was just about to head for bed again when I lost power at 1:30 am. This time it was for good.

By this morning PG&E had no idea when they'd be able to restore power. Their recording blamed a "system failure," which is more ominous than the "storm-related damage" they've been laying it off on all weekend. Personnel were "assessing" the problem, which to me is a couple of steps below "fixing" it. They told me I'd have to check back for further updates.

Meanwhile, I had to get out of the house. I looked and felt crummy, so I didn't want to be around anyone or be seen by anybody, but I did need to get to the post office (if only to mail Spider-Man back to Netflix). I cranked up the garage door by hand and made my way through the debris-ridden lanes.

It was shocking to see all the damage I've been hearing about. Trees and fences were down all over this side of town. Roadside ditches were full of water, some spilling over into yards and fields. At one corner where there's a three-way stop, two of the three stop signs were lying on the ground. And all of this was happening while the wind was still blowing very hard, although the rain had let up for a few hours.

fallen tree

This poor little plum tree used to stand upright in the side yard.
That was before the Great Storm of Aught Two.

After the lights blinked on at 11:15 this morning, I called the Boss. "If you have anything to fax me," I told him, "you'd better do it right now." I turned up the heat and took a shower, then ran around in a frenzy trying to get some work done before the power went missing again. So far, so good. It's a little exhausting after all those days of inactivity, but I'm not taking it for granted this time.

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Happy birthday, Suzanne (sorry you're sick on your birthday).

And thanks, Bonnie.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: In the Spirit
"One advantage of being part of a large extended makeshift ramshackle family is that your quirks are taken for granted."

Two years ago: My Stars and Garters
"There were certain criteria that had to be met, sure, but it wasn't as if I was looking for a six-foot yodeling iguana or a pearl-handled banana baller (although I think I passed by displays of both of those items)."

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