Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Power Outage I: We are the 10%

Our power is out. This is no surprise somehow. Our block is always the first to lose power and the last to get it back. I don't know why this is. Perhaps we are on a faultline of the electrical grid, or maybe our neighborhood was built on a native American burial ground, or we have failed to appease the PepCo deities with worthy sacrifices (or angered them with our mocking tweets.)

Sometimes we suffer from pre-emptive power outages when there is a report that there might be rain. Maybe, we are taking one for the team, and preserving everyone else's power. We are the chosen substation (next time, choose someone else...)

Regardless, when there is a power outage we are certain to be participating. When there are reports that 90% of their customers have had their power restored know this - the Goofs are the 10%. We look at the houses behind ours and see their lights shining brightly and imagine we hear their televisions. We are learning to be prepared.

Snowpocalypse vs. Derecho
I would say, with some confidence, that we prefer winter outages to summer outages, although we have been fortunate enough to suffer power outages in every season. In our particular substation the powerlines are apparently allergic to pollen and can't function in the spring.  They are also adversely affected by failing leaves in autumn (in November, after the leaves but before the snows sometimes the transformer becomes melancholy and is too sad to transmit power.)

But the mass outages, which leave us nowhere to convenient to flee are most likely to occur in summer and winter. But in the winter, while our furnace can't work without electricity, our gas stove is fine. So MamaGoof starts making soup. This keeps the house warm while providing a steady stream of hot food and beverages. We put on warmer clothes, snuggle in bed, and play board games. Also, we don't worry about the food spoiling, we can just put it outside. Best of all, the aftermath of a winter storm offers a wealth of interesting recreational opportunities (particularly for GoofGirl) and is quite beautiful.

Summer storms offer none of these virtues. Food simply has to rot, it can't be cooked because without AC running the stove cooks the home's denizens faster then the vittles. Perhaps we are a soft, spoiled generation, but without AC life in the DC suburbs becomes rapidly unbearable. No special family time - rather intense irritability sets in with nothing to do and the heat slowly sapping our will.

Winter we can tough out, but summer gives us no choice but to flee.


Anonymous said...

I thought of you all this morning when WAMU reported that >90% o the DC Metro area had power restored - hoping your home is in that majority.

And I am so in agreement with you on winter power outage being more tolerable than summer!! Ugh!!

Father Goof said...

Our power is back, thankfully. I've been following your adventures as well. We took advantage for an impromptu road-trip - keep your eyes peeled for my next post.

Was your power restored? If not, is there anything we can do to help?