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Zer Netmouse
August 17th, 2003
07:30 am

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Blackout 2003
... was very quiet.

This part of town lost power at the same time as everyone else. It took us a while at work to figure out that it wasn't just us/our block. Bill was so much more on top of things. He saw the power go down at work and said "I'm out of here!" and managed to get home from Livonia before the gridlock slowed everyone down. He was home before I was.



I walked across downtown and mom picked me up at the corner of 1st and Liberty. As we pulled up at my house an odd sincronicity had our old friend Marion Johnson walking around the corner. Turns out she lives in our neighborhood. She had some dificult news about another family friend, and we found out her husband died last year. It was a little stunning to realize how out of touch my mom is (and I am, as she's my main source of contact with people her age)with these old family friends.

Marion went off to set aside some water, and we went in. Bill had already turned off my computer and a bunch of other stuff and filled a few jugs of water so there wasn't much else to do. Mom headed home after a bit.

Our phone still worked, though only the non-cordless one, of course. After the second call (where I chewed out a telemarketer for calling our calling area during an emergency) I brought that phone downstairs. I wasn't as bad as our next-door neighbor, who mowed his lawn that evening, but I still felt like getting something done, so I cleared the coffee table and sorted out the junk from it. Bill sat in the papasan with his portable radio and reported the news from time to time.

About then, Mary called. She and Rikhei came over for the evening, which was fun. We started off with a half gallon of ice cream they got for a dollar at Rite Aid. The three of us who ate meat then had chicken soup that Bill and I had made the night before and Mary had some vegetarian chili. Gas Stoves are nice in a blackout. The chicken soup was conveniently in the fridge in the basement, which is nearly empty (just pop and such), so there were no worries about opening it.

We played Apples to Apples by candle light and talked a lot. It was fun. Mary brought over her cat, Puppy, and it was neat having the cat roam around the kitchen and living room. (Though unfortunately too hazy to see the stars.)

[note: Mary, you left your Tidy Cat here. I've tried calling to let you know, but I haven't gotten you yet]

Friday Bill and I both tried going to work. Still no power at home, but water pressure just fine. However, by this time the phone had stopped working and we had no internet connection (SBC Yahoo DSL). We heard on Bill's radio that Ann Arbor had power from 23 to State Street, which could have included my work, so we went down there. No power, no sign of Rhonda. We walked across campus to working pay phones. Can't get through to Rhonda at home or cell, can't get through to Bill's work either. We walked back, with a stop to sit in the UM Museum of Art - Air Conditioning, nice.

At the hot dog stand on the corner, we ran into my co-worker, Tim. This was around 11. By the time we had our hot dogs the power was on at The Caravan Shop, so Tim and I opened it and Bill went to see if his work had power. Less than an hour later, Rhonda showed up and told us we were crazy, closed the store and gave me a ride home.

Getting home was kind of depressing, 'cause home still didn't have power or phone. It was hot. I took all my clothes off and laid down in bed and felt very unmotivated. Bill got home a bit later, and laid down also, though after a little while he switched to the downstairs couch 'cause it was cooler down there. I napped until the thunderstorm came and cooled things down. When I went downstairs, it turned out Bill had started the Corned Beef cooking. The power came on around 3. We put the corned beef in the oven for a bit and went to the grocery store for potatoes and sourdough bread and some other things. Dinner was corned beef sandwiches, potatoes, fresh brownies. We watched a movie. Still no phone and no internet.

The next morning I walked to work. Bill called me shortly after I got there to say the phone was working again. Work was pretty dead all day. After work I walked home. I mowed the lawn, and we walked out to the cheap theatre and the Panda House restaurant. Mom happened by to pick up food and she joined us for dinner, and then Bill and I saw The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. (I enjoyed it. Bill fell asleep near the end. They packed a lot in and if you didn't already know all the characters I could see how it could be confusing). It was a nice saturday night.

So that was our Blackout 2003. Nothing very scary, nor very dificult (except Bill's attempt to go to work Friday. In hindsight, he should have saved himself the trouble and stayed home). We never opened the freezer until Saturday. Most everything seems just fine. Our freezer was just about full, which no doubt helped it stay cold. In the fridge, our milk even stayed cold enough to have it with our brownies.

We were a little worried that the basement fish cooled down too much, but they kept moving around and they seem fine at the moment. we'll watch them for signs of infection.

So I guess for all that, I don't have anything very interesting to report. A couple quiet days. A more interesting thing to write about would be my trip to Boston last weekend, and I'll try to get to that later.

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From:novapsyche
Date:August 17th, 2003 09:01 am (UTC)
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I'm glad that you guys had so much fun during the blackout. My thoughts turned to you often.

Bill's lucky to have gotten ahead of that traffic. It was unbelievable. When pedestrians can freely walk across four lanes of crowded traffic, something's amiss.

I couldn't really see the stars that evening, either, but the moon more than made up for that. And I think I was able to see Mars, too, a shining, unmoving, sometimes reddish speck of light. I wished I had a telescope.
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