Monday, May 17, 2010

Spooky Goings On

There are days when I truly believe that I am the center of some kind of spooky, cosmic weirdness. Take, for instance, today's power outage. The lights flickered on and off several times a second for fifteen minutes straight. You could hear the appliances making that "pock" sound each time they came on. I was waiting for something to explode like a bad horror film. After the UPS in the inside office blew a circuit, I realized we were dealing with a bit of an extraordinary situation. I can't even count all the UPS's we have...I started counting the price tag...and then I started unplugging. Fast. It took me almost fifteen minutes to get everything turned off and by the time I was done all their circuit breaker reset switches needed resetting. I really haven't seen a power failure like that since the seventies. I didn't think it was possible anymore. Actually, it shouldn't be possible anymore, but I guess our power co-op is not exactly up to current regs. Fabulous. I sat in the kitchen listening to the refrigerator "pocking" on and off and wondering if it would survive. No surge protector or UPS on the refrig. I can't move it myself to unplug it. I'm rethinking that. I don't know anyone who puts an UPS on their fridge, but geesh... Because the thermostat is electronic, I couldn't turn that off either, but at least I could take out the battery. Eek.

Our electric co-op insures us for a lump sum of monetary damages should we lose any equipment/appliances due to an electrical mishap. Sitting there--in the dark, storming rain--I starting toting up the replacement price of our computing equipment and appliances and realized the lump would fall a tad short if everything died. Yes, I know the chances of everything getting fried is slim. But this is me.

I guess I know the answer to "Are our power facilities hardened for an EMP laydown scenario?" Probably not. Centerpoint is. Entergy is...mostly. Sam Houston Electric Co-op? Well, we can't even keep the power on through a rain storm of any kind. Three days. Three thunderstorms. Three power outages.

So, we are investing in a few more precautionary say the least. A new battery UPS for the inside office and two additional ones for the peripherals and net server in the outside office. And our usual hurricane survival kit (OK, box and shelves) is getting a few more crank devices. I have officially lost faith in the ability of the power co-op to restore power in any situation. At all.  After an isolated thunder-boomer we were without power all afternoon...four hours!!! Booger and I have been squirreling away all sorts of things for a prolonged no-power situation. THAT needs some attention. Healthy paranoia is, well, exhausting at times. But it is, perhaps, indicative of our situation that my four-year-old won't go to bed without his flashlight lately.

Sometimes I miss the days of blissful ignorance and absolute uninchargedness...

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