The San Fernando Valley in California where I live experienced a blackout last night beginning at about 8:15.  All the power in my house went off as I was watching Jeopardy.  I have a flashlight nearby so I thought I was prepared.  But not for the annoyance and discomfort.  I have little lights plugged in, in both my living room and bedroom, to come on if the power goes off.   Neither came on.  I picked up my flashlight, made sure it was working and looked for a substitute light.  Nothing was available except candles.  I didn’t really want to use candles, but I had no other choice.  But then my matches seemed to disappear.  I could not find any. Just try to find something when it’s pitch dark.  Not very easy.

By now, it is too dark to see without the flashlight.  I found a second flashlight to carry just in case the batteries in the first went dead on me.

My phone was also not in service.

Thank goodness for my daughter, Circe, who takes care of me and my computer.  She had provided me with a back-up telephone that I could take when I go out so that if I had to call the auto club I would have a phone.  I also use it to call her since she lives out of my phone number area.

By now, it is pitch black dark in my house. I need the flashlight to go one step.  Every single appliance in my house requires an electric connection.  I cannot have even a cup of coffee.  And it’s too early to go to bed, too dark to read, and no computer or television.  I cannot read by the flashlight and I am bored, and annoyed.

Finally, after talking with my daughter and learning that the power outage is in a huge area, caused by a fire in a DWP facility, it is not going to be restored anytime soon, I decided to just go to bed.

Consequently, I woke up very early this morning.  I am going to search for matches, find them and put them in a place where I can see them and also try to figure out why the devices I had plugged in to give me light in an emergency didn’t work.

This was my first experience with a black-out, but it could happen again.  I need to be better prepared.

Lost my contact with the world

I had an emergency yesterday.  My land line phone went dead.  No dial tone.  I tried to use my cell phone but it wasn’t working either.  So I went to my neighbor who called the phone company for me.  However they couldn’t come until today.  I came home and tried the cell phone again, but realized I hadn’t topped it up and it was unusable.  So I was left with no way to reach my daughter who watches over me, or get online to reach her.


It was creepy.  I wasn’t frightened, but I felt literally disconnected to the world.  I live in a mobile home park so I am not without help if I need it, but the fact that I couldn’t communicate as I normally do was very strange.  I couldn’t get or send e-mail, pay bills, check my bank balance or any of the things I deal with every day.


After some time one of my neighbors came over to see if I was OK.  My daughter, who knows several people here in the park, reached someone.  This wonderful lady said she would walk over even though she had just come home from the hospital the day before.  She then called my daughter to let her know my situation.


For the rest of the day I spent my time doing things that didn’t require my computer or communication with the outside world.


Finally about 9pm my daughter showed up after work and got my cell phone working.  But she couldn’t fix the land line phone.  So I was still unable to conduct my normal business.  It is now the next day and I am waiting for the repairman as I write this.  He is scheduled to be here by 8pm.