Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Day 3366

Our power went out before dawn this morning. I knew a storm with straight line winds was headed our way, but I wasn't expecting a citywide power outage. I think over 100,000 customers were affected. Needless to say, it took a while to get the lights back on again. The Oncor outage reporting system was overwhelmed for a while. Initially, the system didn't even recognize me when I called in our location.  When Dash started pooping in the dark, I knew it was going to be a long day.

My initial worry was the heavy rain. With no electricity, the pumps weren't working. I knew that water would accumulate quickly on the roof, but there was very little I could do. I found a portable camping light, cleaned up Dash's poop, and convinced him to come back to bed for a while. There certainly wasn't much point to getting up early this morning. There wasn't going to be a morning walk.

I thought the high winds would blow the roof off the greenhouse again, but luckily it stayed in place. Power outages are not uncommon in our part of town. Sitting in the dark wondering if Dash is going to freak out and if my phone battery is going to die is a very familiar feeling. These outages make me realize how dependent we've become on electricity. You can't do much in our house without electricity.

Eventually the power returned and I began the time consuming process of resetting clocks and timers. The washer and dryer turn on automatically after a power outage. This shouldn't be happening, but it does. Everything has a clock in it these days. The land line phones, the WiFI thermostat,  the Keurig coffee maker, and the timers on the living room lights all need to be reset. The furnace wouldn't even work until I reset its internal calendar. It didn't know whether it was supposed to be on the day or nighttime settings. It's always a pain to get the WiFi network and U-Verse TV up and running again. The router for the network is supposed to reboot automatically after an outage, but it seldom does. If you turn things on and off again enough times, they usually start to work though. By the time Janet returned from the gym, I had everything working again.

The day turned out surprisingly nice despite its rocky beginnings. After the storm blew through and headed East, the skies cleared and by early afternoon the temperature was up to 75 degrees. Dash eventually got a nice walk. It was just a little late. I hope I got the water off the roof in time. That seems to be the key to preventing a leak. I turned the pumps on as soon as the power was restored and by the time I climbed up on the roof to finish the job, the water level was actually pretty low.

I was supposed to have a meeting with my financial adviser this afternoon but I didn't feel like driving to his office. We just talked on the phone instead. I'm glad I don't own any Boeing stock. Boeing is getting hammered because of worries about the 737. I flew home in a 737 on Monday and everything seemed fine. The company says pilots just aren't reading the instruction manual, but some pilots say otherwise. The problem is that modern planes are just a giant computer. You don't fly them manually anymore. It's usually not a problem if you need to reboot your computer at the office. If you need to reboot your plane's computer during takeoff, you've got a big problem. This is why I'm not very optimistic about self-driving cars. Can you imagine millions of cars with wonky computers on the road. It's not going to end well.

I seemed really busy today, but as usual I didn't get much accomplished. Dash got his walks and took all his meds. I fixed my morning smoothie, and all the electronic gizmos in the house are working again. As power outages go, this one wasn't too bad. I didn't need to go buy bags of ice to save the food in the refrigerator and I didn't have to call AT&T to come out and fix the U-Verse. The only challenge was cleaning up poop in the dark. Hopefully, tomorrow will go smoothly.

Wyatt is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day