Sunday, December 17, 2006


Near our home:

Mr. Raven says it well in an update email to friends:

Sleeping in Raven's office this evening.

On Friday morning, Seattle City Light (basically Seattle plus a few northern/southern burbs, and the airport) had lost 175000 customers; tonight they're down to 35000 without. However, Puget Sound Energy, which does the Eastside and is basically the KU [Kentucky Utilities] of western Washington, had lost 700000 as of Friday morning (about a million and a half total across the state went down, across multiple power companies). 350000 of the PSE folks are back tonight, which means they've actually done a helluva job so far. However, King County was the hardest hit and as of 930pm only 27% of us downers were back up. Island County (where you have the sub bases, Whidbey Island NAS, etc.) was completely dark Friday morning and I would imagine Homeland Security made them be first in queue, and apparently they are indeed already two-thirds back up. Thurston County (state capital), Pierce County (Tacoma), and two other counties are supposed to have their main supply lines back in place by tomorrow morning, so the people who deal with those issues will probably come up here and get our main lines set next--thus, I expect we will either come back sometime tomorrow (because we're downstream from some big breakage that, once fixed, will leave us with no other impediments) or we'll be stuck out on the end of something really idiosyncratic that will take a while to fix. A few parts of KC are so screwed up they've already been warned Monday is about the soonest anything could happen, but we were not on that list (North Bend, Duvall, etc).

Early Friday morning, during the middle of the night (and just after our power went off at 1a) you could hear the generators in the Microsoft buildings roaring away. They are still running, so it seems like Msft is not back yet, although the traffic lights are back, and what looks like about a third of our complex apparently never lost power to start with, the bastards. But there's something in the complex--kind of an eep-eep-pause-pause-pause-repeat effect from something alarm-like going off, from some locations we can't quite identify. It's very eerie when we've been going over at night to check on the cats, grab a few things, and head back out. Just the gentle roaring of the Msft generators, with the eep-eep-p-p-p layered over, a little like a Filament album--and, when the cloud cover breaks, some of the most incredibly starry sky I've ever seen here. Very existential and, even within our quasi-safety net, something to make one think about how just slim is the reed our civilization clings to.


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