Sunday, February 24, 2008

hooray for PG&E

So the lovely Carol and I were sort of half-asleep this morning, and about 6:30 or so I heard the furnace sort of stutter and stop. I rolled my eyes "up" to look at the clock on the headboard -- dark. "Shucks," I said.

Pulling out a flashlight, I looked up "Pacific Gas & Electric" in the white pages. I called the 800- number, and got an automated voicemail thingie that actually worked. What kind of outage, it wanted to know? "Electric," I said. Complete or partial? "Complete." A few questions later, we were done. The nice lady's voice told me what she thought my address was, and I confirmed it.

Brought in the camp stove to make coffee, tea, and pancakes. The lovely Carol showed me a better way to beat the egg-whites. Pancakes turned out fine. Then we went to church.

I came back a few hours later and the electricity was back on. One of our computers automagically comes back on when power is restored. It said: "12:17pm up 1:52 ..." So power was out for a little less than four hours.

Where else in the world, when the power goes out, can you call a toll-free number, have your report taken by an automatic system that knows where you're calling from, and have power restored in less than four hours -- with the full expectation that it'll be weeks or months before the next time? Though we sometimes complain about things, we really are living in a time of astonishing convenience.
Update: late in the afternoon, lights flickered and went off, then back on... several times. The lovely Carol suggested that we leave the computers off (fsck, anyone?) until the power stabilized. It's now been a few hours since then. So hopefully this'll stick.

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