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The Little Weirdnesses Of Life

There's this weird thing going on in my apartment. Actually, in all the apartments down the block, to hear the ComEd people talk. They said that half the building is blacked out -- but they seem to have meant "half by volume." My apartment is half-blacked out. No, really. The bedroom and the living room have power (hence me typing this), but the kitchen, hall, and bathroom don't. Weirdest blackout I've ever seen. I went out for lunch, because I didn't want to waste cold air opening the fridge, and I may have to buy dinner as well. I haven't even done the grocery shopping because of this.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 11th, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
That is odd. Do you have AC? Because it's dang hot out there.
Aug. 11th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
I don't have AC. It's expensive, uses a lot of electricity, the building has a surcharge for using one, and a window unit would be a pain in the ass to install for just the summer. I do have a good box fan, and a smaller fan, though. And it's a good excuse to study in libraries, which do have AC!
Aug. 11th, 2007 11:14 pm (UTC)
When my son was small, we didn't have AC and I remember taking him to Chuck E Cheese during the middle of the day when it was hot. From the TV guide we got coupons that gave us a pizza, pop, and 25 video game tokens for a few bucks. That was good but it was loud.

When he was even smaller, I'd drag the lawn chair to his wading pool and sit with my feet in it while he played in the water. Every once in a while I'd invite him to pour a bucket of water over my legs.

But now I'm a sissy. AC please.
Aug. 11th, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC)
Mom Pony never took us to Chuck E Cheese. I remember going there once for a friend's birthday party, though. The Pony Parents have a few AC units now, but they are incredibly anal about them. I'm thinking that a dehumidifier might not be a bad investment, though. Dry heat is so much better than humid, and I can use the water for my plants.

It's times like this that I feel grateful for Mom Pony in 1976. I was born in early September of that year, so you do the math and realize what she was going through about this time of year, in Connecticut, which is just as hot as Chicago, and even more humid. Gotta love Mom Pony. And this is also why Little Sister Pony's birthday is in January.
Aug. 11th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
Good Lord. I'm thinking back, realizing that wow, I didn't have air conditioning in college either, but then I only stayed over on campus one summer - in a nice old fraternity house in a leafy neighborhood, not in concrete Chicago. You poor thing.

ComEd is horrendous. I've never had power outages anyplace I've lived before like I have here.
Aug. 11th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
I've never seen a power outage quite like this before. Some rooms, but not others, in the same apartment. Weird weird weird.

There's AC at work, and AC in the libraries, and box fans at home. It's unpleasant, but one lives through it.
Aug. 11th, 2007 11:20 pm (UTC)
You know, when I was a kid we didn't have air conditioning, but then we were living in northern Wisconsin for two of those years, and then once we moved back to Iowa my parents got a window unit for their bedroom when I was about eight. When it got really hot I'd sleep on the floor in their room in my sleeping bag.

I went through Army basic training in South Carolina in July and August, and that's when I discovered the wonders of acclimatization. After a week, I didn't even notice I was hot. I just noticed I sweated about five buckets a day. Having A/C part of the day is the worst thing imaginable. My A/C went out here at the house a month or so ago, and I spent exactly one miserable night without it. God. It made me want to move to Ireland.
Aug. 12th, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
AC part of the day with nothing for the rest of the day sucks, but AC part of the day with a fan for the rest of the day sucks much less. Turn a fan up high enough, and it's almost like AC. I've also heard that putting a bowl of ice water near a fan makes it perform kind of like AC. I'd test this theory out, except that the electricity in the kitchen is still out and there is no ice.

God. It made me want to move to Ireland.

Are you sure it was the AC problem and not, say, the tempting charms of Dot?
Aug. 12th, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC)
Turn a fan up high enough, and it's almost like AC.

Keep telling yourself that :-)

Are you sure it was the AC problem and not, say, the tempting charms of Dot?

The tempting charms of Dot, the tempting charms of a five time zones away, the tempting charms of anyplace with less than eight million people...let me count the ways...
Aug. 12th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
Keep telling yourself that :-)

Yes, well, self-delusion is the best kind, innit?

The power is back on, for the moment, so the fan is on. Given that it blacked out completely last night and then again for much of this morning, I'm going to wait on doing things like grocery shopping for a while.
Aug. 12th, 2007 04:04 am (UTC)
I've had power in one part of the house and not the other but that was from a blown fuse. I guess when they wired your apartments they put stuff on different circuits? It does sound odd.

We didn't have A/C when I was young. I used to sleep with a fan blowing directly on me. It's a wonder I don't have the rheumatiz.
Aug. 12th, 2007 12:58 pm (UTC)
The power's back on after blacking out completely right after the first act of Evita last night. I guess ComEd got everything fixed after all.

I didn't know sleeping in the path of a blowing fan was supposed to be bad for you. I've done it all my life, and I am completely healthy.
Aug. 14th, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
I don't know that there's any medical basis for avoiding a fan directly blowing on you, but the perceived wisdom of my elders when I was young was "Don't sleep in a draft" and "You'll catch your death of cold."
Aug. 12th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
I am glad you have power back, but you reminded me of the strangest power outage I've ever had. I was renting a tiny house out in small town during my residency. I got home after a very long day and stepped in the porch, flicked on the light, nothing happened. Figured the light bulb burned out. Fumbled with keys in the dark, finally got in house, flicked on light.. nothing. I look in the kitchen and I see the light on the microwave on. So I go flick on the kitchen light.. nothing. Bedroom light, nothing. Back bedroom - has light. Bathroom - has light. Kitchen was about half and half... so I flicked on the big old ancient stove - I mean ancient, too.... and every light in the house came on, though at about half power. I turned the stove off, lights go off. Turned the stove on, lights come on.

Needless to say, left the house and went to the neighbors! Called the landlord who called the power company. They came out that night, since this was so odd. They go digging... this house had an old carriage house behind it, with a lower level in the back that opened out on to a small lake. Lots of water and grass, soft dirt. I think they kept horses in there way back when (this place was built in the 1890s). It didn't take them long to discover the problem.

A dead gopher and a partially chewed through cable. I don't fully get it - there are multiple cables in this bundle, but Mr. Gopher zapped himself and then the hotwire touched the other ones, and somehow magic happened and all the power rerouted through the biggest energy draw in the house - the stove.

Very very freaky is all I could say.
Aug. 12th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
What is it with you and burrowing critters. First those poor rabbits you mowed and now this poor gopher. ;-) That really is one heck of a story.
Aug. 12th, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I wonder if we had some kind of critter. Poor little things, chewing through something nice and tasty, perhaps a bit of spice, and then. . . zap! All that's left is for the Death of Rats to show up and say SQUEAK.

Was it an electric stove in your old house? One of the things I love about my apartment is that it has a gas stove. Yes, there's a small chance that it could kill me, but I like the control, and the fact that, even in a blackout, I can still make tea. Because a nice cup of tea makes everything all better.
Aug. 12th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
I haven't even done the grocery shopping because of this.

I hate grocery shopping--love cooking, hate shopping. I'd take that as a good excuse.

But no air conditioning?! In this heat?! You are the toughest person I know. That has now been confirmed beyond any doubt.

Aug. 12th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I like shopping, and sometimes it's a pain in the ass. I think I'll go tomorrow, though.

But no air conditioning?! In this heat?! You are the toughest person I know.

Not really. Just cheap. I run my box fans, work in a building with AC, and occasionally go study at the Reg, which has AC. It's not like I love the heat, or live in some place where you can't escape it, like, oh, Florida.
Aug. 13th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
Okay, that is the weirdest thing I have heard in awhile. A partial black out within one apartment?? Weird!
Aug. 13th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC)
It was very strange. Fortunately, I think that the issue has been resolved. ComEd has done its magic, and the power is back on and running. Life is good, if still somewhat strange.
Aug. 13th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
I don't mind the heat or the humidity, but the smog bothers my asthma sometimes. Two weeks ago the ozone was bad so we installed our window unit in the bedroom.
Aug. 13th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
Even though fall will bring Comps, it can't come soon enough.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )