Sunday, December 17, 2006

More About Power

It's going on 48 hours without power now, and vast sections of the Eastside are still in the dark. We decided to drive down to Bellevue, so we're holed up in a Tullys at the moment, enjoying some warmth and an Internet connection.

This has been a pretty surreal experience; I have a feeling that is due in no small part to the fact that my sleep and work schedule has been incredibly out of whack lately. Last week was pretty crazy, and it doesn't look like it's going to be much better until after January.

I've been following newsy updates on Seattlest and updates from people all over the area, including a PSE employee, on this Something Awful thread. The windstorm was a "once every hundred years storm," according to the mayor, who is probably quite qualified to discuss the rarity and severity of historical weather patterns (note the sarcasm).

On a more personal level, it's been even more surreal. A few houses in my neighborhood have power thanks to generators; one, in a display of flagrant waste in the face of rampant want, has their vast Christmas light collection running full blast. I tried to take a picture, but couldn't get the camera to work. There are still trees laying on power lines on the road near my house, and near the back entrance to my neighborhood an entire street is cordoned off with red tape because there is a jumbled mass of power lines sitting in the road.

Best adventure: heading into the Juanita Safeway yesterday. The power was off, but the store was open. They had emergency power on, so the cash registers, ATMs, and Lotto machines were all working. Oh, and the Christmas Muzak. But all the lights were off, so the store was pitch black except for the areas by the doors. The employees were at the door telling everyone they had "no ice, no wood, and no batteries." And you couldn't buy frozen foods because they wouldn't sell them to people (liability, I suppose). They were issuing lanterns to people who wanted to shop, but a lot of people had brought little flashlights or were using their cellphones to see. The entire effect was like the grocery store at night from Dead Rising: no one was really talking, so all you heard was some mumbling over the Muzak, and the only thing you could really see were a few of the lanterns and some dark shapes moving around. It was damned unnerving.

On the upside, I'm done with my work for the weekend. On the downside, we had no power when Battlestar Galactica aired last night. Oh the humanity!

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