Literally in the dark here (a series of power fails)

Today I am working from home. It’s a parent/teacher conference day and I was planning on taking the kids swimming in a bt, so it made sense to just hang out at the house.

TL;DR – yet more plans and backup that fall through

About an hour ago the power went out. There’re two wrecks in the general area simultaneously and at least one involves a pole down. Power flicked on and off about 7 times before I had a chance to power down the house. Most of my electronics are behind surge and UPSs so here’s hoping everything comes back up.

It’s raining, and although I have a 300 pound or so generator that can power my house, I’ve discovered that any time I might need it there’s no way to get to it. Last time was 6″ high snow/ice that would have required someone helping me get it out, today it’s entirely that the unit would sink into the ground as I attempted to get it out. Actually today might work, but I’m … oh, power got restored. Anyway, here’s what happened.

Lights went out, internet and computers were behind 3 UPSs at home. Oddly I never thought of the need to power lights, evidently my kids require that for some reason there be light even though there’re flashlights. Kids flipped, there’ve been a total of two or three power outages in their life and their world comes crashing down when the lights go out and Google doesn’t respond.

Whatever. Me and Kim have to work until noon or so, then taking a long lunch and the kids to an event, then it’s back to work… so we ran the AT&T Fiber modem and WiFi on a dedicated UPS for a bit until it wouldn’t stop beeping like a jerk (it wouldn’t stop, I know there’s a silence button, it didn’t work.) Upstairs my ~100 watt 50″ monitor + 300 watts of computer spread across two UPSes was fairly quickly draining two not-beeping UPSes so I powered it down. Figured I’d use the laptop.

Kim’s secondary monitor went out and I thought “oh wait, I’ve got a CAT car jumper with power supply abilities” – went out to the car to get it assuming it would run her monitor for about two hours at least… greeted with finding that the CAT jumper battery was on and in electric mode already. Something had hit it and it’d been on probably since two days ago. It was nearly drained. It worked for 15 minutes or so, but she did have the secondary monitor for a bit.

Oh, I’ve got a Jackery power supply, and two other jumper batteries… don’t worry.


The Jackery was dead. Not its fault, that’s entirely because the charging cable was disconnected and had been for some time. The other two jumper batteries I own *should* both have had power, they didn’t. Oh well.

Oh yeah, while I was out at my cars grabbing batteries, a man came up walking about 2 feet into everyone’s yards, mine included, where a sidewalk would be / probably where the right of way is, armed and with a holster that says “look, here is a gun, I am walking in your presence with a gun.” Like really, wtf man. Guy’s infamous in the neighborhood for a lot of other things but that was new.

Powered down the AT&T / WiFi for the house, threw up a T-Mobile hotspot, slapped my S21 on a portable charger, and got to work on my Craptop. It was literally too slow in Chrome to write a blog post.

Power came back on and my house became an epileptic seizure-inducing nightmare. Well, a couple of rooms did. All the smart bulbs that had lost power over and over again earlier had triggered to disco mode / re-pair mode. I went into my basement which is where most of them reside now and it was sickening. Most stopped after a couple of minutes however.

I should have had two out of four jumper batteries capable of powering us through. That’s why I had four. Once again, every plan failed. I didn’t realize how easy the Costco CAT power jumper battery was to accidentally turn on. I missed that the Jackery was unplugged, I sort of count on the other two batteries being dead at any given time but you know.

Power restored, computer powers back up and there’s one USB port that no longer works with one device. The device works in a different port. The USB port works. No clue.

So check your backup plans, if you’ve got a jumper battery in the equation make sure that the freaking way to activate the power can’t be pressed by a pack of paper towels you picked up at Costco.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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