It was a dark and stormy evening in Redmond on December 14, 2006. The winds were howling, the rain was coming down in sheets. In short, it was very nasty outside. While we were out earlier that day, we heard the weather advisory on the radio that there were to be wind gusts up to 65mph. That's approximately 100 km/h; highway speed! So we hunkered down in our condo for the evening, chatting to our friends over msn while the lights flickered... and flickered... and then eventually went out.
It was sometime between 12:30am and 1:00am when this occurred. We sat around for a few minutes thinking that the power would be back soon, but this was not the case. Therefore, it was time to go to bed. Unfortunately we then heard a high pitched intermittent beeping being emitted from the computer room.
Figuring that this sound was being emitted from the security system box in this room we then fiddled with security system settings for over an hour (The manual has to be one of the most cryptic things we've read in a while). Eventually the beeping stopped so we at last went to sleep. But it wasn't a very good sleep because it kept beeping every now and again. It was only later in the afternoon that we figured out the great mystery of the sound and that it was actually the smoke detector in that room that seemed to be on the fritz.
During the day we went over to the Bartell Drugs across the street and procured some candles (which unfortunately were scented since they didn't have any unscented candles), a couple candles holders, a lighter, and a battery powered radio.
Luckily our stove is gas, so after purchasing a lighter we were then able to cook food and heat our place a little bit. Our entertainment for the evening was listening to a battery powered radio spouting news about the storm (appearently over 1 million people were sitting around without power and there were recorded wind speeds of 90mph) and a candle-lit game of scrabble. Of all the things that electricity brings us, I think I missed the light and heat the most.
After our dimly list scrabble game we huddled up in bed till around 11:00pm when we decided to go to sleep. When we awoke at 5am (I don't know what woke us up then), we found we had electricity again, hooray! Sometime around 1:40am power was restored to our area.
Some random thoughts (you can ask me if you don't understand):
- Nintendo DS Lite is not only for entertainment, but can light your way in the dark when you only have one flashlight.
- Pralines and Cream will now be the official smell of power outages.
- I'm glad I'm not one of those people in the rural areas that still don't have electricity and they don't even have running water.
- Low temperatures outside are bad news for keeping your home warm, but good for keeping your food cold when you don't have electricity to keep your refrigerator running.
- Some people can be so stupid, I mean, why would you bring your barbecue indoors?