So, after I finished up that last post, I ate dinner, and then debated if I should recharge the laptop or work until it went out. The lights had been flickering for a few hours. They always do that when we have high winds. As Bette and I were preparing for the week (making extra rice, cleaning up after dinner, etc), the lights went out. About 15 minutes later there was an attempt to bring them back on, but it just made everything flicker. Too late to recharge the laptop. I took it as a sign from the universe and just shut the thing down and read a book (shout-out to Todd for that excellent booklight in the winning package last year).
Now, you'd think that having the power out would lead to a stress free sleep, wouldn't you? Nothing of the sort was in our cards. Our wireless weather station has an alarm, and it runs on batteries, so I set that to wake me up at the proper time. After starting to sleep at around 10 (hey, it's a work night, gotta get up early), the cat needed comforting. So I spent half an hour or so petting her. Try to fall asleep while planning how to get the garage door open without power, how much hot water in the heater may be left come morning, etc.
Then at midnight, right after the point where you know you're asleep, our CO Alarm decides that the battery is too low. This provokes an alarm beep which repeats three times. Every half hour. Not enough time, after having woken up, to determine which alarm is sounding (as it sounds exactly like our fire alarms when their batteries run down). So, we wake up at midnight. Then at 12:30, figure it's the fire alarm in the hallway, replace the battery unable to properly make out the diagram for the correct +/- alignment, but guess. Put alarm up, doesn't sound, go back to bed. To be awoken at 1am. Finally figure out it's the CO Alarm, unplug it and remove batteries (alarm moans as it dies). Too tired (and pissed) to replace batteries, will fix in morning.
Then there was the power spike at 2:30am, which turned on the light I had left on (so I would know when the power came back) and set off the fire-alarms (which screeched, then beeped twice, then went silent again). So just enough power to set everything off, and then it died again.
Finally at 4:30am the power came back and stayed on. Of course, light goes off and the fire alarms squawk, and beep twice. Set my regular alarm, think about just getting up, but decide that I can sleep in until 5:30, so another 45 minutes (at this point) of sleep. And then the fire alarm, because I put the battery in backward, decides that there is no battery installed, and so begins beeping, just as my head hit the pillow.
I did restrain myself and didn't rip it out of the ceiling. I disconnected it, took it into the kitchen so I wouldn't disturb Bette too much, reinserted the battery correctly, did a test (to clear out the error codes) while trying to muffle it the best I could, and then reinstalled it.
Now, since power was off, I really wanted to wake up in the middle of the night and go look at the stars. However the sky was cloudy, until the 4:30 am wake up call. And at that point I just wanted more sleep, and the street lights were back on anyway.
I'm better than some, there are swathes of the country that don't have power and won't for at least a week. I had hot water and electricity to get ready for work. I didn't have to disengage the garage door opener to get the cars out.
But I am tired and grumpy. Tonight I'll check the roof (kind of hard in the darkness). I didn't hear anything big hit, just acorns. Lots and lots of acorns. Like it was a Squirrel Armageddon going on out there.
And good thing Ike kept us all from watching the other storm this weekend. Lehman Bros. and Merrill Lynch faltered. Merrill was bought by Bank America and Lehman filed for bankruptcy this morning (having failed to find a buyer after the British Bank backed out). Yeah, if it weren't for Ike this would have been all over the airwaves.
So people in Texas and the midwest emerged this morning, blinking in shock at the devastation wrecked around them just like the financial sector workers emerged in NYC this morning, blinking in shock at the devastation. Oh, it's going to be a great week.
In other news, my money troubles are over. Apparently my email address has been doing more traveling than I have. Specifically to Europe where it has won 2 million euros. But I think it's not legit, because I got the same claim number on three different email addresses. That can't be right.
But I did win a caption contest over at Jim Hines' place. I'm going to be on the bookplate (well, at least my caption is). That set the smile back on my face.