So the electricity went out last night 4/12/2012 at 6:17PM. Now it's almost 130 the next afternoon, and the electricity still hasn't come back on. Honestly I haven't even seen any utility trucks. This just gets stranger and stranger. My cell phone hasn't worked since the power went out. But I guess some other people's phones worked for a little while. Because I'm hearing lots of rumors.
All I really have is rumors, because I can't even get a radio station, on my battery-powered radio. The rumors say that the power is out, pretty much everywhere. That just doesn't make any sense, but that's what I keep hearing again and again. Last night, a couple of different times, I was woken up, by the sound of helicopters.
This morning I got on my scooter, about 6 AM, and drove around a little looking for a cup of coffee. I figured the convenience store or something would be open. Wrong, everything was locked up tight.
I'm trying not to be scared, I'm trying not to be worried, but it's very difficult. Sure the electricity has gone out before, but it's just never had this weird feeling to it. Every other time the electricity has gone out, I've been able to get some news on the radio because their electricity was still on. I think their electricity must be off too, or else wouldn't they be broadcasting something?
We don't actually have a home phone, we just use our cell phones. But our neighbor has a home phone. And it doesn't work either. I always thought home telephones had a power supply of their own. So people could still communicate, if the electricity went out. Either they have changed this, or the telephone company’s power supply is out too.
Now if that isn't weird enough, when I rode my scooter, down towards Highway 52, I found a policeman, blocking the on ramp; at least that's what it looked like to me. But when I asked him if he was manning a roadblock, he said no, he was just recommending that people stay put until the crisis had been resolved. He said, I was welcome to drive around, and try to get on the highway, but that it was gridlock, and lots of vehicles, and run out of gas, or been abandoned, so I wouldn't be a will to get anywhere anyway.
But what happened to the electricity? I asked him. He said he had no idea, that I knew as much as he did, but he was sure, the lights would be back on soon. He said as far as he knew, schools and businesses were closed, and people should just stay in their homes or close to their homes until the power came back on. So you don't know anything at all? I asked him. No I don't. He replied. He said he lived in Santee California, and another Officer that lived in the area had stopped by, and this was what they had decided to do, until they got further instructions.
We'll don’t your radios work? I asked him. He said they did but just locally as the repeaters and the rest of the support network that required AC electricity was down for the most part.
I'm a little nervous. What do you think is going on? I asked him. He said not to worry because there were plans in place for things like this and if nothing else the military would get involved. This made me even more worried. But, by now, other people, had started to gather around, and ask questions of their own, so I was kind of drowned out. A few minutes later, he got back into his patrol car, and drove away.
I got back on my scooter, drove back home, lit a fire in our fire pit, and boiled some cowboy coffee, by putting coffee grounds in a sock, and tying a knot in the sock, putting the sock in a teapot, and boiling the water. It tasted horrible, but even bad coffee is good, when it's the only coffee.
A few neighbors showed up, I'm sure it was the smell of fresh coffee that brought them. We just all kind is due to rounding compared notes. No one really knew anything new. If I had made more coffee I'm sure the conversation would've gone longer. I was tempted to make more, but I was more tempted, to conserve, as I just don't know how long this whole thing will last.
Also our neighbor hinted that he wanted some bottled water to make formula for his new baby. No one volunteered any. I felt a little bad because we have a 24pack of Auquafina in the pantry because my wife likes it, and last night I did fill the bathtub, just to be safe. But.. I’m sure he will find some somewhere. The little voice in my head says I’m a selfish asshole, but the bigger voice says this could get a whole lot worse before it gets any better.
The lights will be back on soon, won’t they?
The good news is that Mrs. Swaney seems to be holding up well; she has slept through most of this so far. I’m sure she will wake up soon then she will ask me questions, and I will try not to rattle her while admitting I have no answers at all.
Tell me what you would do if your light were out and you had no idea why? Click here and post your story.