11:11am Aug24, 2003 

Big news has hit the Abattoir...  It would appear Isis is now expecting!  Interesting, proposed December 25th 2002, married June 28th 2003, pregnant June 29th 2003!?  At this rate, I guess I’ll be retiring in about 24 months?  I will call him “Mini-Meat”.  Needless to say, tread lightly around her or you’ll get a Rocket Launcher in the head for no apparent reason.  (...I'm to understand this is where it "gets interesting"...)

Speaking of which...  Time to sign-up for BTM40!  We’ve cleared the Sign-Up Page and are now accepting reservations for BTM40 “Season Finale” Edition, on September 6th, so don’t delay or you’ll be left at home playing with yourself (...I know that’s not much of a stretch for some...).  This BTM will bring us back to the normal chaos we all know and love.  I was just messaged by SoDaLaS, seems his palm plaque covered keyboard just bit the big one...  We're going to nail it to the fence in the backyard and let it have it with air guns, you won't want to miss it!

So how did everyone fare with our “State Of Emergency” the last week?  Did you keep your air conditioners off?  Did you hand wash your clothing? Skunkworks sends in this interesting article about a buddy of his who owns the Jordan Hotel...  Seems they received a rather shocking electrical bill recently, check the article out.  I was presented too with a nice little hand delivered letter from Oakville Hydro, seems I missed a payment and before the current bill (...get it, “current bill”, now that’s funny...) was due they figured it would be a good idea to tell me they’re going to cut off my electricity if payment’s not made within five days.  All I can say, is it was a good thing Isis was home to receive their lovely notice and not myself...  Infuriated, I fired a letter back to them sighting my discontent with their business practice, but of course there’s been no reply...  I guess in a government declared State Of Emergency, Oakville Hydro felt that a person driving around hand delivering Account Past Due notices was considered an essential function.  I can’t get over how pissed I am about this stupid notice...  I want an apology from you, Oakville Hydro, specifically Beverlee Wright in Customer Accounts who’s name appears at the bottom of this insulting document.  Like that’ll happen.  By the way, Oakville Hydro...  It's illegal to cut off our juice, not watching the news down there, Beverlee?  Talk to Ernie Eves, he'll explain your job to you if you're unclear.  Next time, a simple phone call will suffice just dandy to remind people who've missed a payment...  Don't show at my door again delivering disconnect notices, you'll not like the reception.  *Loads Rocket Launcher*


the day the lights went out 08:02am Aug15, 2003 
Excuse me, who crashed the Eastern seaboard?  It's not been since 1965 that a power failure of this magnitude has happened...  Yesterday at approximately 4:10pm the lights across Ontario flickered and died.  Although uncertain as to the exact cause of the failure, the people in Ottawa immediately started 'blamestorming' and at this time it's suspected a power station in Niagara USA was hit by lightning which started the whole cascade failure.  On talk radio CFRB1010, there were callers stating they were literally across the road from said power station and there was not a cloud in site, let alone any lightning strikes, so I would imagine it'll be some time before find out for sure what caused this.  It just amazes me how few people out there know what to do in a state of emergency (...which has been declared in Toronto...).  On the way home while listening to the radio, it cut off for about 30 seconds, then came back on, seconds later Isis calls me on the cell to tell me the power's out.  We approach the next set of lights and sure enough, dark.  By the time we made it home a few minutes after it started, we had already learned the scope of the outage...  I started filling water bottles through the filter, I got a few stares...  "It's only a blackout?"  Then I had to explain how huge the blackout was and asked if anyone knows what booster pumps operate on.  The Abattoir was rather unusually well equipped as we booted up the big screen monitor and satellite systems off UPS backups and watched the news as it happened.  By the time evening had started to settle in we gathered at my parents' place in Mississauga to enjoy the stars (...now visible with the total lack of light wash from the big city...) and chowed on BBQ chicken.  The drive home was fun as we had the pleasure of watching moron after moron ram through dark intersections with total disregard (...they're four way stops in a power outage, Folks!..) Kudos go out to all the great Ontarians who jumped up to help, many directing traffic at their local intersections, checking up on neighbors and handing out water, flashlights and candles to those less prepared.  I just hugged my solar panels and dreamed yet again as I've done so often in the past of the day I'll be "off the grid" and producing my own, 100% green, 100% free power.

At this writing, I'm sitting at work even though the Premier has declared a state of emergency and asked all non-essential personal to "stay home"...  Hey!  I'm essential!  Power was restored to the Abattoir around 3:45am, but just a block down the street, all dark.  Only about 25% of power has been restored and much, if not most of Toronto still remains "Quiet".

Being the computer junkie I am, many would think I'd go stir crazy without power, but I rather enjoy it!  I was saying last night how a scheduled monthly blackout for 12 or 24 hours would be a great thing!  We stood on the balcony in the backyard yesterday evening and all you could hear (...other than sirens of emergency vehicles...) was children playing and laughing...  Isn't it funny how much adventure you can discover outside when your Playstation's not working.  Perhaps this was our Prime Ministers way of meeting the Kyoto Protocol early?  Any way you look at it, with temperatures in the low 30s and everyone who does actually have power restored being asked to forego air conditioning for fears the load will snap the grid as they attempt to restore power, grid by grid, it's going to be an interesting weekend!  Some advise...  Bottle up some water.  Gas stations may not be able to vend as power stability remains low, so fuel up if given the opportunity...  Carry a can of gas with you, your forethought could save someone with less.  Get cash!  Bank machine's run on electricity people, and when/if the power's out, your debit card and Visa are pretty useless to a merchant.  Battery powered radios are always nice to have around...  Check on your family and friends, especially the elderly.  Avoid using candles, if your house catches fire, you may find emergency vehicles are having a little trouble getting through gridlock traffic (...providing there's water service when they get there...) and stay calm, it's not the stupid Blaster Worm's fault and it's not a terrorist attack, it's just a good 'ol fashion black out...  Enjoy it.  (...I just waited 45 minutes for gas, several stations are quickly running out...  I don't even want to tell you what I said to the lady who tried to cut in front of me at the pumps a few moments ago!..)


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