March 6th, 2004

Amak Axver

What to do when you don't know? Go throttle the Electric Co.!

(A note before I get going: I would like to give out thanks and compliments to my friend aaron_3521, who succeeded in only posting half of what I asked him to post last night. Your services are most appreciated, kind sir. LJ working now pleases me.)

I'm taking my anger (non-Aaron related, mind you - I'm more amused than angry about the half-post) out in a tremendously random way. BAD PARODY!

The Cry/The Electric Co.
Originally by U2, Collapse )

So that was really bad. But if Energex ever expects respect from me, they need to pick up their game and fast. Seriously, today they were just embarrassing and disgraceful.

But I'll go from the start. As I posted about yesterday, a cyclone was hitting, and it really began to pick up at night out at my place. The power went down for a little while somewhere around seven but that was alright. Our power died at eight, but that was because our jug decided to short circuit everything. After a bit of frantic panic, some yelling, and some work around the fuse box in the rain, James, Robby, and I got it fixed. Both James and Robby whined about the weather - personally, I felt right back in Wellington. It was lovely.

The fun began not far past ten o'clock. The people I was talking to at the time will obviously have noted the fact I suddenly went offline. What those people won't note is that while that wasn't the last time I had electricity until just now, it might as well have been. The power died, but it only stayed off for a short while, less than a minute, before it came back on. I rebooted my computer, and in the middle of things, CUT, there it went again. This repeated about three more times and I started to think maybe my computer was stuffing up the power like the jug had earlier, so next time the power came back on, I left it off. James and I stood around in the lounge for a little while, and just as I said "Looks like it was the computer", the power went down again. For one last time, it came back on, stayed on for a very short time, went down ... James and I stood there ... and stood ... and to quote myself, "I think that's it." We walked around a little bit, checking stuff and doing what we needed to do by the light of my torch, which seems to have acquired new batteries behind my back, and then decided to both go to bed and hope the power would come back on overnight.

Well, at about 3:15, I got woken by a terrible wind that equals any of the shockers I went through in The Windy City, aka Wellington. The power wasn't back on, and this wind was just going nuts. I don't know how I went back to sleep so quickly, but before I did, I remember thinking "The shed's going to be gone by morning." Remarkably, it's still standing. I gave no thought to the roof, but it weathered the storm and our satellite dish is thankfully on the side that wasn't being hit, though a few tiles are looking loose. One thing the wind did destroy was the basketball hoop - part of it still stands in the back yard, but the rest of it is scattered all around in broken fragments.

I woke up at about eight, rolled over, and found power still wasn't on. This was when I started to get a bit concerned, and figuring I'd be better off asleep, I slept for just over an hour more. I got up to the news that we were getting a power update at 9:30 - the only thing in the house that still worked was the phone in Alan and Mum's room that's not connected to the power supply - and when that came through, the news was extremely disappointing: power was down through varying suburbs, and it might not be back on until evening. So I turned to look outside - and I couldn't believe my eyes. What was normally flat land that has remained remarkably lowly developed (it'll be built upon within the next couple of years, that's for sure) was now a LAKE. And what a lake! It was crazy.

Still confident in my hope power would be back by lunch, or at least before Mum and Alan got back from their holiday at 2pm, I sat down with my discman and Chesterton's Orthodoxy, which I'm now nearly finished, and waited on something to come to life and alert me that I was back in business. It didn't come, but a new update did, and it brought the depressing news that the power might not be back on until even later.

Starting to slide into boredom, I noticed Robby left for his aunt's at sometime just before midday (they had power), and I spent the time until 3pm reading, doing some schoolwork, and pacing about aimlessly. It was then that Mum and Alan arrived home, but before then I had a most amusing experience with the phone.

Robby'd only been gone a short while when I heard this horrid loud noise coming from the other end of the house to my room. I shot down the hall and into the laundry, thinking it was the siren that went off when our water supply stuffs up (it went off about two weeks ago and the water guy had had a hard time fixing it, so you can see why I would've gone there first). But when I ducked into the laundry, I noticed the noise diminished, and backed back into the hall. It was then that I realised it was coming from within Mum and Alan's bedroom, so I shot in there, wondering what this awful racket was and what had gone terribly wrong to cause it. Following the sound, I was soon kneeling down on one side of the bed with my ear placed right up against the alarm clock. It - or so I thought it - stopped wailing, and suddenly I thought "The power's back on!" and I shot back to my room. I flicked lights and switched ... but nothing happened. I ran back to Mum's room, flicked stuff, nothing happened, and then I kneeled back down by the alarm. It was only then I realised that it hadn't been the alarm wailing, but the little piano behind it, which I discovered, to my great surprise, was actually the phone in the room. I picked it up, and unlike the two cordless phones and the phone/fax, it was WORKING. I got a dialtone. Suffice to say, I was surprised, and even moreso when I noticed it only had a cable going to the phone line, none to the power supply. I've been using cordless phones and phone/faxes for so long that I'd forgotten some phones only need to be plugged into the phone line.

After making this realisation, I went back to my bored ways. I'm now nearly finished Orthodoxy, which is a wonderful book you should all read, I churned through a couple of batteries on my discman, sent long text messages to Mum and my Aunt Karina, became suddenly knowledgeable about feral animals in Australia and the Great Artesian Basin, and somehow managed to survive. Too afraid to use any of the fridges in the house because they'd be defrosting and keeping them shut was the best course of action, unable to cook anything, and unsure of where lunchworthy foods that didn't need to be cooked or taken from the fridge were, I starved. I didn't eat today until 8pm, when we got home with Subway.

Anyway, Mum and Alan got back an hour late at 3 ... and they really did not enjoy their holiday. Everyone else did but them. Though they did enjoy twenty-foot swells over the last two days! After unpacking some stuff and describing the holiday in a bit more detail, Mum gave the Energex (power company) power outages number a call, and got a pre-recorded message that didn't help a bit. So she joined the queue of people waiting to talk to an operator, and after being on hold for something in the vicinity of ten minutes, she got through (I really thought we were going to wait longer), and what she was told angered me.

No, there hadn't been some catastrophic explosion at a substation and the network was in chaos. No, there weren't lines down everywhere and people getting fried by them. No, we weren't delusional and the power really was on. Yes, they didn't know what was wrong. Energex workers were driving around the suburbs trying to find the cause of the fault. What the fuck? This is AUSTRALIA, people. This isn't the fucking Third World. This isn't Ethiopia or Sudan or Mongolia or the USA (sorry, couldn't resist!), this is Australia! How can they NOT know where the fault is? They have that much technology it's not funny, and they need to drive around to find the source of the problem? They still hadn't found the cause of this massive outage affecting thousands of people after SEVENTEEN AND A HALF HOURS? What kind of incompetent, bloody useless pricks are they employing? That's just not on. We gave up and went to Karina and Dave's, and at about 6:30 we got the news the power was finally back on ... after just over TWENTY HOURS.

That's not good enough. That really isn't. It's bloody terrible and a disgrace. If it takes them twenty-two hours to restore power, then there are major problems and something needs to be done to improve their technology, efficiency, and employees. I'm hardly happy. You expect a lot better, you really do.

So anyway. On the way to Karina and Dave's, I was more surprised by the lack of damage than anything else. Most places weathered the cyclone extremely well, though in a few areas there were sizeable trees down, most notably and ironically near where I lived until November last year. Debris, mainly from plantlife, was all over the road, and in lowlying areas, there was flooding, and it had obviously been a lot worse earlier in the morning. Our pool remains slightly flooded, the canal outside Karina and Dave's place is shallow now but rose to insane levels during the height of the storm (enough to submerge the jetty of a neighbour), and there appeared to be some part of one road we went by closed due to damage, but there was a lot less than I expected. We really did prove to be tremendously lucky.

I do not recommend that you try a day without electricity. I nearly went mad, especially because I was looking forward to verbally speaking with light_so_bright today. Tomorrow, then. I don't know how I coped for so long. Orthodoxy is a wonderful book but after reading it for a couple of hours, you start to desire to do something else, Time is read too quickly, information for school becomes even more boring when you're bored out of your skull, and having most of your music on a computer that won't work is a real pain.

But enough with the sadness. I would like to alert you all to the fact that I AM NOW A PAID MEMBER. Wheeeee! Thrillthrillthrill. Gah! I just called Mum in here, told her the general outline of things and how I use this every day, showed her what I do with it, and she said yes. So hooray, twelve months of paid membership for me. I love my mother. The exchange rate at the moment makes things especially favourable to buy now and I'm considering what else I can only get in mail order from the USA that I should order while it's this good. I'm seriously considering converting all my currency to American Dollars so that I can really clean up when the rate goes back to the norm.

But EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I love being a paid member. Love so much. It's greatly awesome and wonderful. Jubilation! Whoever said bad days can't end well?
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