Trying to do High-Tech Without Electricity

This morning at work was more interesting than I’d like it to be. When I arrived the power was out in my building. One of the transformers outside blew around 6 AM, and it was still smoking when I saw it. What caused the outage? I have no idea. In Florida we often had a problem with power failures caused by squirrels electrocuting themselves, when they climb on the wires around a transformer, but nobody saw a dead animal on the ground nearby. Of course with my job absolutely dependent on a computer, I couldn’t get any work done without electricity.

Luckily I had a meeting scheduled for 8 this morning, so I could pass part of the time by attending that. Normally I don’t look forward to those meetings at work, because I feel more productive when working, but it came in handy today. The repair crew on the base came quickly, and just before 10 AM the power came back on (whew!). By comparison, the rest of the day was more normal. If the downtime had lasted ten more minutes, I think I would have had to go home without pay for the rest of the day.

If the power had to go out, I’m thankful it happened now, and not in summer or winter, since we were outside a lot waiting for the lights to come back on. Also that it wasn’t raining; weather-wise, it was the perfect day for a blackout.

I’m reminded of a similar situation that happened back when I lived in Florida. At 8 AM on a Sunday, in March 1999, the main circuit breaker blew out, on the line bringing electricity into our house. Not only was it difficult to call a repair truck on a Sunday morning, the circuit breaker turned out to be a kind no longer made, and it had to be special-ordered from Dallas, TX. Thus, I was without power for five days. Leive and Lindy took the easy way out; they spent the time at a relative’s house until the power came back, while I stayed with my parents. Afterwards I told folks that for me, Y2K came nine months early!

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