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Power Lines

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

So we had some pretty bad storms yesterday, and they knocked power out to Harley around 1:30pm. This is always fun, and by fun I mean an enormous pain the ass. First of all, the power at Harley is incredibly stable. Even during the 2003 Northeast blackout harley still had power. I remember leaving work not knowing anything was wrong until my car radio wasn't picking anything up and all the street lights were out during my drive home. Last week I checked the uptime on one of my student file servers and it was up around 530 days! That is respectable for any server, but especially one not connected to any kind of battery backup. So when my office went pitch black and deadly silent I figured some major shit just hit the fan. Since day camp is going on right now, all the little kids were screaming too, that made it a little more creepy.

The most treacherous part of the blackout ended up being the exit strategy from my office. I'm in the bowels of the building with no windows and I had my door closed, so it was completely pitch black. My office also happens to be a minefield of computers, monitors, wires, parts, tools, tables, an extra chair and even a hand-truck. I made it out alive, but I did trip on some stuff on the way there. After that, the rest of the 26ers just hung out upstairs in the gallery for an hour or so until we all decided to go home. I had a softball practice at the school later that night so I figured I could turn everything back on when I got back for practice, assuming the electricity would be back on by then. It was back on when I returned and it took about an hour to get everything back in business. Everything should have come back up on its own, but when there is a chance for something to go wrong, why wouldn't it?

I'm wondering why there isn't more of an effort to move the big power lines underground. Our old house had power lines on poles weaving in and out of trees before it reached the house. Every time we had a storm or heavy snow I expected one of those trees to let go and take out the power line, but it never happened. Our new house has all the utilities (electric, cable, phone) coming in under ground, so I won't have to worry about losing anything when the next ice storm hits.

Oh yeah, the cause the blackout...a tree fell and took out the line feeding our transformer. At least that's better than the transformer getting hit by lightning like 2 years go and being down for 3 days while RG&E finds another one.

Comments (6) Subscribe

Cheryl
#1 - Jun 22, 2007 at 12:26 PM
You need a flashlight on your belt for those dark moments.
Joe
#2 - Jun 22, 2007 at 7:26 PM
You know the funny thing is, I had a flashlight right on my desk, but I couldn't find it amid all the other shit.
cheryl
#3 - Jun 23, 2007 at 7:48 AM
Sounds like our house. When the lights go out, I have no clue where the flashlight moved to. I have one in my purse...if I can find that. Then you always have the light from your cell phone. Funny thing is, as you get older, you will move things on each other. My parents always did it, and now Robert and I do. If we put the flashlight in one place, guaranteed, the other will use it and leave it somewhere else.
Carol
#4 - Jun 29, 2007 at 2:28 PM
I can't believe Harley has a network admin. Though of course it makes sense. Sorry I am an alum from 1982, I remember having to work on a mainframe with the teletype printer... had to write a program in BASIC for Mr. Wilcox's math class...
Joe
#5 - Jun 29, 2007 at 8:19 PM
Yeah, the school has technologically evolved slightly since 1982 (when I was 3 years old!)

Len (Mr. Wilcox) is still making his students write programs, but these days he uses Java rather than BASIC.

I'm just curious, but how did you find my website? Did you do some search on the school and come up with this page?
Carol
#6 - Jul 3, 2007 at 2:41 PM
I ran across RocWiki somehow looking at Rochester stuff and saw your blog mentioned Harley, so I checked it out.

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