February 24, 2006

Power Shortage

It's one thing to live in a modern society and have access to the finest things - reliable transportation, high-speed Internet, comfortable housing, cable TV... I'm sure your list is different than mine... but with the Internet dominating our communications tools, and near exclusive 24 by 7 reliance on the power, telephone and cable wires into our homes, any interruption is, needless to say, very annoying and undesired.

We got home late this evening to find all our digital clocks flashing "12:00", and the cable Internet out. We then checked the cable TV and found it too was on the blink. We managed to watch an archived TiVo show of Jon Stewart before everything came back to normal, just in time for my wife to be surprised by the lady's figure skating results - hours and hours after the rest of the world had learned of the outcome. Just after the competition had concluded around midnight, everything went dark and we lost power again. More than halfway through an online submission form for the office, I knew that effort had been in vain, and I shut the laptop, while my wife got out candles and the flashlight so we could stumble around and hope power came on before we were to wake up.

Obviously, it did. We were out for only 30 minutes... this time.

Our leaders hem and holler and worry about outside risks to our infrastructure or massive disasters, but all you need are some teenagers, some booze, and a well-placed telephone pole to knock us off the grid, and that's ridiculous.

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