March 20, 2012

Yesterday, there was a thunderstorm and the power went out. In then end, it was only a 2 hour power outage. I couldn’t help but wonder though, what if it had been longer?

In the dark

At first, the power fluctuated, and I figured that there was probably just a surge, as my server rebooted and all of my clocks started to blink. Then, before my server even came back up, there was total darkness. I tried flipping some light switches - nothing. I looked out in the hallway, and saw the emergency lighting was on, as well as a few other confused faces poking their heads out of their doors. I looked out from my balcony, and I saw something I’d never seen before - all the lights, as far as I could see, were out.

This left me pretty bored. No computer, no streaming TV, no music - not even any 3G! I was completely cut off from the internet, everything was dark, and everything was quiet.

It got me to thinking

The moment when I realized that I literally couldn’t do anything, I realized how much I depend on electricity. I am completely dependent on electricity and the modern era for my employment. I couldn’t help but feel momentarily useless for a moment. What good is a computer science degree with no electricity? I now appreciate the modern era just a little bit more.

Back online

During the banal wait for the power company to get the juice flowing again, I figured I would at least try to find a way to kill the time. Thank goodness the LC was still open - I walked across the street (there was still power there), and bought some beer. I then waited on my balcony for the power to come on.

The sight of all of the lights suddenly flickering back on was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. All of a sudden, it was business as usual.

I’m not totally sure why, but this whole experience was fairly profound to me. I guess you don’t really appreciate how much you need something until you can’t take it for granted anymore.

I guess the whole ordeal helped me find a new appreciation for Manitoba Hydro.

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