Saturday, December 27, 2008


I woke up this morning without power.

Not the AA kind. The KU kind.

Sitting in the dark. Like an ANIMAL.

I had just read "See you in a hundred years" -- the chronicle of a yuppie couple who decided to return to 1900, for a year (in a gesture after my own heart, they picked 1900 at least partly because toilet paper had been invented then). It's not half the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is (a year in the life of eating locally), but it was entertaining, and I stayed up most of Christmas Eve finishing it, so I could give it to my stepdad for Christmas.

(Yes, I shamelessly read and watch and listen to most gifts before I dispense them. Hope you're ok with that if you're on my gift list.) Anyway.... The book was the subject of some discussion over the annual Christmas Eve dinner -- where we all decided we ENJOY our online, and blackberry, and other 21st century addictions.

So when the lights (and more importantly, the HBO) flickered this morning, my first thought was, "But I don't wanna go back to the land!!" I was just there. I don't liiiiike it.

First, I went straight downstairs to the mailbox. I didn't want to YELL at anybody until I had determined 100 percent that I had in fact paid my bill. (Turns out: I had.)

I needn't have worried. There's zero risk during a KU outage that you'll actually talk to anyone at KU. First you have to click through the language options. Then you have to ID yourself as an existing customer, with a phone number. Mine wasn't in their system.

I called back, and tried my OLD phone number (easily remembered because it was prefix + HELL), and they matched that to an address in the suburbs (as if). I called back again and they asked for my Meter Number. (Sure. Who doesn't have THAT memorized?)

Then I went out to the garage, fished out an old bill, FOUND the meter number and called back again... Only to discover that BlackBerry's keyboard doesn't let you enter a mix of numbers and letters. (A "C" for example, on the Pearl's QWERTY keyboard isn't where it is on a numeric keypad. Somebody REALLY should've fixed that glitch by now.) After I kept repeatedly pounding ZERO for Operator, the digital voice just told me the call volume was too high anyway and I should call back later.

Then I posted my outrage on Facebook.

That's where I learned a transformer had blown at the library. And shortly after that, the lights came back on. I'm told, by Facebookies, the crisis lasted a half hour. (The daily said it was a couple hours.)

Really? It seemed longer.

Luckily, I was able to crudely fashion this blog out of some twigs I found in the backyard.

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