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Power Outage 2006 December 18, 2006

Posted by Sacha in News.

This post was written at noon Pacific Time on December 18, 2006.




We’ve now had four nights without power in Redmond.  This is my first time on the computer since early last Thursday.  Right now I’m at the Redmond library.  They’re supposed to have free wireless internet, but it’s down right now, so I’m typing and will go search around town for some internet to use to post this.  This is by far the longest I’ve been without power so here are my thoughts:


I feel extremely lucky that this is rare.  I recognize that I am at least lucky to have a gas fireplace, indoor plumbing, food, a dry home, and a husband to care for me and my cats.  Many people go without these necessities for years on end.  I am certainly still blessed. 


It seems that much of this disaster is preventable using new technology (like putting the power lines underground).  I hope some progress is made on this in the future, but I doubt it.  I’m surprised my home doesn’t have power yet, because we live on a main road close to downtown.

Most of my friends are without power too.  I’ve been trying to get through, but most of the phones are out as well.  I hope you’re all doing well.  It must be especially difficult with young children.    I thought it was fun as a kid, but the power only ever went out for a day or so.  This must be much more challenging. 


At the top of the post is a picture of my altar of warmth and food.  I took the photo without flash and altered the light in MS Office Picture manager to try to give a more realistic view.  This is from 8am, so it is just starting to get light out.  Below the mantle is our single heat source, a natural gas fireplace.  It normally keeps the entire lower floor warm, but with two nights below freezing, it is only marginally helping.  We now have to stand within a few feet to keep warm.  On the mantle to the left is my breakfast:  baguette, salami, and a banana.   I kept the salami very cold outside on the patio overnight.  On the mantle to the right is my fondue pot, full of apple juice and mulling spices.  Warmed by a single tea candle, it took one hour to heat up, but no reason not to drink in style in the middle of a crisis! 


Here’s a typical day for me without electricity at home:


Wake up early, before 8am (yes, that is extremely early for us)

Have cold breakfast

Take mostly cold shower (calling it lukewarm might be too generous)

Do crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or read

Go out around 10am to run errands

Go to Whole Foods for lunch and to buy afternoon snacks

After lunch, visit a friend or family member or go window shopping at a warm mall

Eat dinner out – usually sushi

Go to a book store

Go home around 8pm

Watch a movie until the laptop runs out of battery charge

More puzzles



I was also making my own Christmas Sudoku-type puzzle to entertain myself.  It is a Christmas present for my father-in-law.  I don’t think he reads my blog, so hopefully I’m not spoiling it by posting it here!  I’d rate it as easy.  It’s the same concept as Sudoku, only instead of numbers it uses letters from the word “Christmas” spelled “C-H-R-I-*-T-M-A-S.”  Each column and row must contain the letters from Chri*tmas as well as each 3×3 box (9 3x3s total).  I couldn’t make the 3×3 boxes darker or format the boxes in similar size.  My computer time today was limited.  Maybe I can fix that later.  I’ll post the solution after Christmas. 


H R I * T M A S
      C   S      
S   T       C * H
H     S   R     A
    A       H    
  M           C  
I A C       T R *
  T   A I *      
M S   T R C   H I
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