Thursday, July 21, 2011
Hot and Hazy: Thoughts on The Sizzle, Ramar Quicksand, Nightmares, Words Writers Write and Bloggers Blab, Great Blue Herons, Man Boobs and other Rambles, The Series
Speaking of the dark ages, we had a power outage day before last, right in the heart of the heat. That sizzle that has been cooking the Midwest, and knocked Doc Halliday out of the Phillies game the other day, is burning it's way into the East. It was up around 94, 95 degrees when poof, everything went off to the shout of our collective , "Oh no," followed by the sounds of silence. Then three beats later it popped back on to relieved cheers, only to sputter right back off for the rest of the awful afternoon.
What do you do on a 95 degree afternoon with no air conditioning, no fans, no nothing electronic?
You sit there sagging in sweat, possibly swearing at the power company. Speaking of which, we called Delmarva and reported it. Those things are all automated these days. You are asked questions by some autotron voice and press buttons. He, It, The Voice gave out three pieces of information. "Crews were on their way. We have no idea what caused the outage. Estimated time of restoration is 4:00."
Pretty glib there, fellows, if you don't know what caused it, how do you have any idea when it will be fixed? They used to give these estimates in precise increments. "The estimated time of restoration is 2:43." It's a wonder the exact second wasn't predicted. It never came back when said either. I guess not knowing the cause made them more cautious so they threw out a general time instead of 3:59.
Four o'clock was still more than two hours away. The house was going to stay cooler than outside for a while, a short period, but it'd eventually even out. You weren't better off outside now either. There wasn't even a whisper of a breeze; if fact, it was sucking air in and would suck the breath right out of your lungs if you ventured foolishly forth seeking fresh air.
So we stayed put for about a half hour, when with a rush of roar and air, the power came back on...for the count of one fan blade turn...two fan blade turns...and nothing. Now I called Delmarva again, home of the Smart Meters and the automated reporting system. "Crews are working on the problem: Estimated time of restoration is 4:00" Okay, 4:00 was their story and they were sticking with it. Meanwhile, we were beginning to stick to the furniture. The house was equalizing somewhere around the temperature of the equator. It was time for action and action isn't easy to muster when you're in the oppressive regime of the heat monster.
"Well, at least we know they're working on it," said The little Woman when they Fans spun.
When the fans sputter out again I figured the problem was bigger than they knew. "I don't think they're going to make it by four," I declared.
So The Little Woman and I hopped into the air conditioned car and fled into the cool of the countryside. We saw the outage was fairly extension because stoplights were out on the crossroads as well. My first thought was for the gallon of chocolate milk I had just bought that morning, would it survive. My second was on the gas gauge. Oh, we had more than a half tank left, but this was certainly not preserving fuel. More about that when we get to the nightmare part of this series, though. We drove about the lovely woods and meadows and cornfields of our county for an hour, then back to the house to see if Delmarva hit their mark.
We came back a different way and the stoplights were working on that road just before out development. When we finally stepped from our car, The Little Woman said, "Maybe the power's back."
"I don't think so. Too quiet. If it were back you'd hear a buzz of compressors."
It wasn't. Four o'clock came and went without it. We had already decided to go out to eat again, hopefully in a chilled-down restaurant. We were just about to leave early for dinner, just past 4:30, when it happened, "Power on, Scotty." We went out to dinner anyway, grateful we would not have to try and sleep under a hot, hazy and humid blanket of summer.
We were not near as grateful as our cats who had been laying in varied position of limp torpor.
TO BE CONTINUED - NEXT: Ramarian Nightmares of Quicksand and Unknown Roads