Sorry for the lack of posts, folks, but we've been without power since last Thursday evening. It seems the Gods are very displeased when the Seahawks play on a weeknight. The Monday Night Football game several weeks ago brought a rare snowstorm and commutes that took up to 8 hours for some and then, last Thursday, the Seahawks played again and we were immediately hit with hurricane-strength winds and torrential rains. As a result power was out to over a million homes in western Washington and although most was restored by Saturday night, those of us out in the foothills had to go a bit longer.
It wasn't too bad, though. We had hot water and a gas stove so we were able to cook and shower, but the temperature in the house did drop to the mid-40's and, well, it will be nice to sleep without 25 pounds of blankets on top of us for a change. But in our attempts to keep warm, we did find that 18 candles will raise the temperature of our downstairs by 3 degrees from 45 to a balmy 48 if placed strategically throughout the house.
All in all, it was a lengthy power outage but it ended a lot sooner than we expected. Earlier in the week it was looking like we wouldn't get power back until Friday or Saturday at the earliest. But the power company flew in repair crews from all over the western US and got to work repairing the system. If you're wondering why it took so long, it's because of thousands of downed trees caused severe structural damage to the substations and transmission centers. We actually have undergound utility lines in our neighborhood, but it didn't matter. The power company said that in some areas, the system had to be practically rebuilt from scratch.
So, we occupied our time the best we could. We saw a few movies: Marie Antoinette (okay, but flat), Blood Diamond (very good), and Casino Royale (best Bond movie I've seen). We also spent some time with friends who were also stranded in the dark. The Rogue brewery in Issaquah trucked in a generator last Saturday and served up cold beer along with free chili and pb&j sandwiches, which we thought was really nice of them and we huddled in the cold with other well-layered patrons, swilling Dead Guy Ales and other oddly-named beers and barley wines.
The power outage wasn't without its downside though. I had to, GASP!, go to a laundromat yesterday. The horror. The nearest one was about 25 minutes away and it was filled with a small cadre of locals who seemed very annoyed that dozens of us well-coifed out-of-towners had fled our darkened homes to descend upon their dingy, smoke-stained washing place. Despite the old joke about Maytags never needing repairs, nearly half of the Maytag washers and dryers in the place were out of order and the ones that were working charged far too much and held far too little clothing. And finding one that wasn't currently in use (or being held for someone) was the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Anyway, the power is back on, I'm able to finish the DVD slideshows I'm making for friends and family, and I can finally turn the radio back to FM, throw on ESPN, and maybe even make time for some Internet porn. Choice, choices, choices...