Thursday, July 30, 2009

The night (or day) the lights went out in Georgia (or my house).

On Monday morning I had full power in the house, and apparently, was taking that for granted. After returning from a quick dash to the grocery store, I found 1/2 the house just.... off. This plug worked, but not that one over there. No fridge, no stove, no washing machine... but the lights in the laundry room worked. Short story, one of the 'live' wires coming into the house was, for lack of a better term, dead. They would need to re-run the wiring from the pole to the house (everything was fine at 'the pole' according to the power company).
In May, the same thing had happened. The power company said 'there is a pole down' and that it would be fixed by 10:30pm. Magically, at 10:30pm, everything came back on just fine.
This time, after making a call and getting the same exact answer except the fix time was now 2:30pm.... there was no magic. This has brought me to the conclusion that no mysterious poles are down. Ever. I mean think about it: How many times a day do you see poles randomly strewn about the city with black-outs in random sections of suburbia? Do you discuss this at work over the morning coffee? "Hey Bob, any poles down affecting you folks this weekend? We had 3!" "Lucky us not this time, but last weekend was a whopper!" "Poles falling all over the city and power on & off like a strobe light!"
What I would really like to know, is if one of the power lines running into the house is 'dead', then why is it that every once in a while I get power back on those circuits? Not enough to turn on the burner, but enough to turn on the lights. Sometimes, they are very dim, and other times the lights are normal but it only lasts for a couple of minutes. And the OTHER power, the one that's working just fine... keeps tripping. And no, it's not because they're 'sharing'. According to the electric dude, each power line literally powers every other circuit on the board. So why is it that my microwave only runs on about 1/2 power?

Anyways, It is now Thursday night. Here's what we've done to deal with the problem until the Powers That Be can fix it.
We have rearranged the required electrical appliances that can be moved to working outlets (phone, internet, tv).
We have placed flashlights in the bathroom (and remind the 6yo that we don't play with the flashlight - we save the batteries). We have a couple of hurricane lamps - showers by hurricane lamp as there are no windows in the bathroom.
We have an extension cord (the big pretty 50ft orange one) sitting in the middle of the living room, that powers the tv OR the microwave. It snakes back & forth depending on what's going on at the moment.
Another one goes to the fridge.
There are 2 more orange extension cords, one for each of the freezers in the garage. One works via an outlet in the garage (ironic, no?), and the other goes into the basement to find a working outlet.
One more extension cord, this one green, goes from that same outlet to the laundry room so I can spin out yarn in the washer... but you have to unplug the extension cord if you want to plug in the light for the basement.

The joy of all this? Besides tripping over extension cords? Neither stove works in either kitchen (yes, there are 2 kitchens in this house). This means I can't cook, and I can't use a pot to dye yarn. I can paint yarn, but can't have my 'good' lights plugged in if the steamer is on, and I've had to snake more smaller and cheaper extension cords across the room to get my Ott light plugged in. I can't dye yarn if I can't turn on the lights. Needless to say, this has slowed me down a little in my last minute prep for Sock Summit 09.
We leave for Portland on Monday. I'm afraid to do laundry here (see question above regarding microwave & low power). The digging commences on the new conduit & electric lines on Tuesday. I have 2 freezers, 24cubic feet each in my garage with tenuous connections to power. So, we get to move everything into one freezer, move the empty one 2 doors down to a neighbor's garage, move all the frozen stuff from the full freezer to the empty one... clean a 1/2 lit house and pack to go on a 3 week 'vacation' while someone fixes my electric problems.
Oh, and the spouse would like to pack everything in carry-on luggage so we don't have to worry about checked baggage.

I don't know who's going to tell the 6yo she has to 'pack light'.


yarnophiliac said...

What a horrible pain. :( I hope it all gets resolved for you soon! I was unable to dye for a week and a half in December during our ice storms (and of course had tons of orders) and it put me horrible behind -- I feel your pain! I do hope you are able to relax on your vacation.

Anonymous said...

Hugs and good wishes to you! Hm, maybe you could ask the tsock brain trust about your very last question?

Tan said...

You get two carry-ons--i.e. a purse and a bag that will hopefully fit in the overhead. And if it looks like a carry-on but is too big for your overhead, they will usually gate check it and not charge you. However they are starting to charge for everything, so if you're not sure you can call and find out how big the overhead storage is on your exact plane . . .

That being said, I would go with the carry ons. We have had no end of trouble with bags getting lost, or going on to Phoenix when the flight was too late for me to make a connection, etc.

georg said...

I think it's safe to leave everything she has already packed as of this moment at home. Don't even try to tell me she hasn't packed half her toys to come.

Tsarina of Tsocks said...

Um, not me, plz kthxbai.

No, I think plan A is the better one - the one where you just quietly wait for the spouse's inevitable realization that OMG of course we need to check bags. It'll come a little late, and that'll mean a little extra scrambling... but what else is new, right?

The Knifty Knitter said...

How horrible! I hate that feeling of needing to get so many things done and you can't because of some random mishap. Or because the electric company can't come out until Tuesday(!). Good luck with everything.

Colleen said...

I hear you came home from Sock Summit sick. Sorry to hear that!

My mom's knitting buddy says she met you (and got Vintage). She reports that you are as nice as I told her you were!