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Archive: 15 August 2003

Between Darkness and Light

Our power came back on about 8:00am EDT, sixteen or so hours after it failed.  Not everyone is back online.  Portions of Detroit may be out until Sunday, and I’ve gotten word that parts of New York City are still offline even as I write this.  As an example, Jeff and Carrie Zeldman are still blacked out, so try to go easy on the e-mail for a while.

There was a flutter in the power before it went out yesterday that was kind of fascinating.  I heard a low surging sound, repeated five or six times, coming through the speakers on my computer; it sounded very much like an old cassette tape warble, except I could see the power was fading in and out on the speaker set.  My biggest concern at that moment was that my speakers were getting ready to short out.  As it turned out, the entire power system shorted out instead.  I was hearing the death rattle of a multi-state power grid, and didn’t realize it until later.

As for Kat and me, things went fairly well.  I had the new TiBook to work on, and although I was cut off from a lot of the files I needed I still got some work done.  We cook with gas, so we were able to make dinner by flashlight and eat by candlelight, which is never a bad thing.  Since close to the entire city was blacked out until this morning, the clear weather last night made it a perfect chance to stargaze and get a good look at Mars.  I spotted the Milky Way faintly through the summer haze, and the across-the-street neighbors had a fairly powerful telescope, so we checked out Mars and the Moon, then sat in the moonlight chatting.  All in all, the evening could have been worse spent.

August 2003
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