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Friday, January 7, 2005

I canít vacuum, but I can dust (not that Iím inclined to do either, of course).

I can have Raisin Bran Crunch, but not instant oatmeal.

I can pour myself a glass of drinking water, but I canít wash my hands in the sink.

I can file all of my old bits of paperwork, but I canít create any new ones.

I canít write this on a keyboard, but I can with a pen. (But not for long, because the carpal tunnel pain is back in a big way.)

When I woke up this morning and realized I had no power, I panicked. A little. Because I didnít really care if Iíd missed the start of the work day. But no, it was exactly 8:00 am, to the second. I woke up unaided at the very moment I needed to. Just one of those biorhythmic mysteries, I guess.

When I phoned the Boss to report the problem, he asked if I had a book to read. Since I didnít have heat or water along with electricity, I was glad I did have a book, that low-tech source of entertainment. Iím so glad theyíre not obsolete yet.

Thatís how I spent most of the day, sitting bundled up in the recliner, alternately reading and sleeping. Since even my garage door is electric, I couldnít get out, but I didnít want to ramble around in public without a shower anyway.

It was a long, dreary morning. The extra sleep didnít help me feel rested, just more sluggish than ever. Thatís a phenomenon I noticed when I was in retail, that the less busy you are during the day, the more exhausted you are at night.

At 1:22 pm, I heard the fax and scanner resetting themselves, and I thought the nightmare was ending. Then I started roaming through the house and discovered that entire rooms were still blacked out. No refrigerators were running, and there were no lights in the bathroom.

Even more mysteriously, some appliances plugged into the same surge protector as those that were working were nevertheless not working themselves. The VCR had come on, but the CD player wouldnít do anything. Worse, and yet another source of panic, the brand new receiver I just bought to replace the one fried in the brownout failed to respond.

Then at 1:29 pm, everything was suddenly working, even the receiver. I set the clocks, took a shower, and phoned the Boss, in that order. Everything seemed right with the world again, although I never did regain the energy I lost during the five and a half hours of isolation.

29 December 2004

Winter trees and clouds.

You can never take anything for granted out here in the country. A little after 7:00 pm tonight, the lights flickered, flickered again, and died. There was no question of reading this time, because I was plunged into total darkness. I could barely find my way to the candles and flashlights, and even that didnít provide enough light to do anything more than scribble a few lines in a spiral notebook.

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So as Iím writing this entry with a pen in a spiral notebook, my hand twitches, and I realize with a start that I was looking for Ctrl-S, so I could save my work. It didnít take long to realize that I didnít need to do that, since I wasnít going to lose lines on paper. But there was that one brief moment...

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Untimely
"There was no communication until he knocked on my door at ten minutes to nine this morning and said, 'You were expecting me, weren't you?' At that point I wasn't all that sure."

Two years ago: Standards
"Well thanks, clown, and when we find out you've been lying to us you'd better be wearing your hard hat (and every other protective device you own)."

Three years ago: Overtaxed
"I've always said that if you can't drive, you should probably stay home. And that goes double if you got your license by saving up cereal boxtops."

Four years ago: White Elephant
"I'm way past the age where it's easy to find a new job, especially one that would let me keep living in this high-rent house, buying tubs of tapioca pudding and five-pound sacks of premium wild bird seed."

Five years ago: Bring On the Soup
"I don't even expect people to read my words, although I work on my entries just to the point that I wouldn't be embarrassed if someone were to read them."

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