It’s not looking good
It was a tough week. With prep for the annual staff day, the day itself, and the aftermath, I logged too many hours of overtime this week, all of it while still in the throes of my my aching back. I was very glad when Friday evening finally arrived. Just as I was settling down to watch Armored Car Robbery, starring the luckless William Talman*, my own luck ran out when the power did.
Usually the power goes out during winter storms, when wind and rain wreak havoc on power lines. But it was the dead of summer, with blue skies. Possibly an overserved driver had an unexpected meeting with a power pole. Whatever caused it, my admittedly modest plans for a fun Friday evening were cancelled.
I dug out one of the solar powered lanterns and immersed myself in Convenience Store Woman to wait it out. Erica texted me that the power was out from Yorkville to Albion, not a good sign. I was thrilled when the power came back on after a few hours, even though it was too late to watch the movie.
Imagine my surprise and displeasure when it went out again last night, waking me up shortly after I had drifted off to sleep. I called my buddies at PG&E’s outage line, and was unsurprised but still disheartened to learn that I was the first one to report it. Erica’s was out, too.
I slept fitfully, tossing and turning with the kind of dozing you do on planes, where you are aware of what’s going on around you. The power came back on after 3:00 am, and later I learned from the local message boards that “50,000 customers in Mendocino and Lake Counties were out of power beginning at about 10:30 Saturday night. The outage was caused by heavy smoke around transmission lines, such heavy smoke that it became a conductor of electricity, shorting out
Note that the entire population of Mendocino County is about 90,000. As you can see from the map above, California is basically on fire. We have two in our County, the River Fire and the Ranch Fire. They are each only about 5% contained and there have been evacuations. There are and have been a lot of fires this early in the season and it’s hard not to feel that climate change played a part. Also that as scary as it is now, it will only get scarier.
*Not only did Talman play the ever-losing Hamilton Burger on “Perry Mason”, he lost that job when police raided a drug-laden party at which Talman and the other guests were nude. He was also arrested as a teenager when he crashed a car he didn’t know was stolen, killing his passenger. Talman died of lung cancer at a mere 53 years old.
A YEAR AGO: Surviving the annual Hell Day at work. Now all I have to dread is the holiday party.
FIVE YEARS AGO: Helping Jim and Joel plan their wedding.
TEN YEARS AGO: Getting lost in the wilds of Berkeley.