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Archive for July 17th, 2009

So, last month, around three o’clock dark thirty, jolting me out of sleep was the sound of breaking wood and sparklers in the air.

No power. Jumping out of bed, I ran to the back of the house and learned that the power pole in our neighbor’s yard was broken like a farmer snapping a rabbit neck. The old attached transformer was flung and buried in to the soil. (PCBs?) Power, phone and cable lines were bestrewn all along the shrubbery and everyone’s back fence as far as I could see. I called emergency on my cell phone, and ran outside with a flashlight to tell the Hispanic family standing in their yard, to stay out of their back yard.

I walked all around the block. Turns out, all five poles on our block were snapped off by a huge falling limb in another neighbor’s yard. It pulled off the line crossing the street to the west, hung lines neck high over another street and shorted out three blocks out to the east. All in all, around 2500 homes were without power.

Pretty darn quickly we had police and fire and a whole heck of a lot of PG & E trucks swarming the neighborhood. I think at one point there were 30 trucks hanging around. You never saw such a bunch of people ready to do a little overtime, in our little blue-collar neighborhood. I will say the whole group was pretty amazing, They said they would have everything up and running by midnight the next night and they had it by 9:30 PM. – 19 hours from the time of the call. That included removing broken poles and setting new ones.

So, by 9:30 the next night everyone pretty much had their power back except for yours truly and a couple of others. When the poles went, the lines pulled our boxes off the walls at the back of our homes. That meant we had to get our own electricians to reinstall them.

Rather then view this as a calamity we decided to do something Hubby and I had discussed earlier- change the box to a sub panel, install it on the inside of the building and wire it to a new bigger box for more power on the side of our home. You can put this kind of thing off for years. However, we had just received a tax refund, our neighbor had happened to introduce us to his electrician, and we were going to have to put something back up anyway. So there you have it – serendipity on a wire.

Our electrician is great!! And having fixed our box, she is on to the additional wiring in the house. In the mean time, thanks to the efforts of our neighbor, we have added a plumber, and carpenter. Our electrician found us an HVAC person.

However, we were without landline phone service. Our phone box was just reconnected today. If you wondered where I was, there is your answer.

Low and behold, in my email basket along with 2000 other items is this one from Barbara Boxer. She is starting her 2010 campaign now.

However, what she really needs from us is support on an amendment just passed last night, entitled “The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act” and numbered S909.

It’s tacked onto the Defense bill, S1390.

Go HERE to sign the petition.

The act is identified as:

[Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act – Adopts the definition of “hate crime” as set forth in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (i.e., a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim or, in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person)]

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