Monday, January 02, 2006

The Way Some People Think

The winds on Saturday were clocked at 87 MPH. Damage was pretty wide spread. We got power back on Saturday around 7 PM but some others in the county still don’t have it. Here are two stories, one’s funny and one’s not.

For some reason parts of Old Town and about a 15 block stretch of J Street did not loose power. Old Town is largely commercial and J Street is residential. Other than those 2 areas the rest of the city was in darkness. My friends 86 year old mother lives in a small house on J Street and she did not loose power. According to my friend his Mom was never a mental giant to begin with, but in the past decade she has lost many of the misfiring brain cells she once had. She is convinced that the reason she did not lose power is because last year she installed low-wattage, energy-saving bulbs in all of her light fixtures. I started to ask my friend if he explained to her that her light bulbs had no bearing what so ever on her not losing power. Before I could even get the question out of my mouth he started to shake his head and said, “No, it’s not worth even trying to explain it to her”

Now for the bad news. As I wrote on Saturday my neighbor Gary had gotten a 10,000 watt generator from his workplace and was powering several people’s essential appliances including my own refrigerator. A good friend of his owns a small hotel in Old Town. This happened to be in one area of Old Town that did loose power. It is a small, 3 story hotel. I would say no more than 20 rooms. There is also a very nice 4 Star restaurant on the ground floor.

Anyway, the hotel owner calls Gary my neighbor and is desperate for a generator. He has called all over town with no luck. Gary seems to know just about everybody and has been good friends with the hotel owner for more than 30 years so he tells him he can bring down the 10,000 watt generator. He tells him it will only be enough to run some lights and maybe a refrigerators and freezers so he doesn’t loose all the food from the restaurant. The owner thanks him, but says that won’t do it. The hotel is full and he needs a big generator to power the whole building.

The hotel owner finally locates a generator in a city about 20 miles north of us. Because it is a holiday weekend, and because of all the storm damage, he has to really jump through some hoops to get this generator to his hotel. I didn’t get all the facts, but apparently the people who were able to get the generator were not the people who normally use this particular piece of equipment. They get the thing down there and get it hooked up to his power supply and fired it up. It promptly fried ever piece of electrics in the hotel. Apparently the generator was out-putting 220 volts instead of 110 volts. They ran 220 volts through a system designed for 110-volts. To add insult to injury, the power was restored to that part of the city only a few hours later.

1 comment:

Gary said...

Geez! Forget the generator! Maybe you should have sent your friends mother over to the hotel with a tin foil hat on. Then again, she would have lost power in her house but the hotel power would have been saved.....