Wednesday, June 4, 2008

And How Was Your Day?

I was rudely awakened shortly after 3 a.m. by thunder that shook the house, and subsequently, by a terrified Yorkie desperate for comforting. (Ozzie hates storms.) By the time the thunder, lightning, and pouring rain had died down and I was lulled back to sleep with a Yorkie in the crook of my arm, the alarm was going off … I made it through my morning routine, and a few other tasks since mom isn't feeling well, rather sluggishly.
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The bus was late and for a minute or two I thought perhaps with my sluggish pace I'd missed it. But there it came, finally. The Nano eased me into a catnap, and awoke just two stops ahead of mine. Once at the office, my friend KayO started me out with a laugh. Building on the six-word memoir from earlier this week, she shared this to summarize her morning: Barefoot, I stepped in cat puke. OK, my day didn't start that badly.
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We had a rare power outage at the office today. (In more than seven years, I can think of only 3-4 such events, and only one that lasted long enough to send people home.)

What was freaky was that I was in the restroom when the lights went out. I had just entered a stall and was about to "undress" when it went black. One of my young colleagues was a few stalls away. Since she was already engaged shall we say, I said I would venture out and see if I could flip the lights back on. I had assumed that the plunge into darkness was because of a faulty light switch that has been acting up in the ladies' room on our floor for a while now. I made it to the door only to find that it was NOT the switch at all. I remembered that in one of my desk drawers, I had tossed one of those tiny pressure lights that used to be on my keyring. I went and got it and returned to the restroom. Many folks were grateful for that tiny light. You really couldn't see anything otherwise!

As I a window, I can stay in my office with no problem. The phones worked, but the computers were dead. I undocked my laptop and tried to tap our wireless connection in the building and had it -- for about a second. Then it went down, too. Most people were congregating in the middle areas where some back-up lights had come on. Even so, it was still pretty dark. After about an hour, the lights came back. The computers did not. Made it very hard to get anything done. Also, made it plain just how super-dependent we are on technology. Within another hour, the computers were running once again.

The timing was good because I got a call from a colleague in New York within two minutes of the system's resurrection. I would not have been able to help her without my computer! The phone rang while I was on that call, flashing a number I didn't recognize, but an area code I did: mine.
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When I hung up with New York, I had a message. My mother called to tell me we have no phone at home. She was on the phone with our neighbor and it just went dead. (She used their phone to call me.) It does this from time to time. (The problem was supposedly resolved a year ago, after intermittent outages and in spite of the efforts of a parade of technicians in previous years.)

It may account for why she hadn't heard anything yet from either Lawrence the Handyman or Carl the HVAC guy about the running-on-borrowed-time water heater. (Someone suggested we ask our heating/cooling guy about water heaters, so that call was on mom's to-do list for today.)
I'm starting to hear the theme song from Gilligan's Island in my head about having no phones, no lights, etc. It will be interesting to see if anything else can befall us before I get home.

I'm not sure I want to find out.