Friday, September 9, 2011

MY 600th POST

This is a milestone for me since it is my 600th post. 

I was trying to find something relevant to the number 600 for today's  post and all I could come up with  was the poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson which you may remember from school days begins:
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward
All in the Valley of Death rode the six hundred.
It's about a true incident in the Crimean War which ended in the death of 600 soldiers who were given mistaken orders to march into a valley surrounded by enemy fire, which they gallantly proceeded to do and were ruthlessly massacred.

However in today's atmosphere, I think this poem may be misunderstood by some as glorifying war, (whereas, I believe it is actually glorifying, courage, following orders, duty and nobility -- all of which seem to have been down-graded today).  Anyway I continued to debate what to post.

Then current events took over our lives here in Southern California -- yes, it was.....

                    .....The Great Southern California Blackout!
We were one of the six million San Diego Gas and Electric customers who lost power last night. Upon reflection, for us personally it was a minor inconvenience.  We had tuna sandwiches for dinner in candlelight instead of chicken breasts, mashed potatoes and gravy. Yet believe me, there were plenty of people who were much more than inconvenienced as you've probably read about or seen on TV.  

We were fortunate for two reasons:  First, we were both at home, and I had done grocery shopping and laundry the day before.  (MOTH flew in from Portugal just 24 hours before the blackout!)  Second, we have been pretty conscientious about keeping earthquake provisions on hand.  (the big one is coming, they keep telling us!) So we had plenty of water, extra food, batteries, candles etc.   

All that gave us some confidence, but of course all the questions were there especially the thought of it being terrorism. We had no phones, (we were asked not to use cell phones so they would be available for emergencies) we had no TV, no computer, though we were allowed to use texting, facebook and twitter. But as I so boldly ranted the other day, I don't know how to do any of those things and my cell phone doesn't have the capabilities.  Time to eat humble pie! I think I will have to learn to do texting.

Ah, but we did have one thing old people often have available -- a battery powered AM - FM radio !  So we were able to tune into the Emergency Radio Network and find out what was happening. 

That's where the number 600 comes in. Our emergency radio station, "KOGO Radio is at 600 AM on your radio dial", as we were constantly reminded all night long.  The number 600 was by the end of the evening firmly fixed in my head.  

So there we were, two old fogeys smelling of tuna fish, sitting in the candlelight, breathlessly listening to KOGO AM 600 for seven or eight hours, hearing the same information over and over again, just as we would have been watching TV or reading any other night. Our power was out for seven hours. Others had to wait longer and had much more exciting and worrying stories to tell.

Our worst deprivation was that we had thrown out our small, rusty old barbecue and had no way to boil water  to make a cup of tea!   That will be rectified over the next few days.

So KOGO 600 it is, to celebrate my 600th post on Blogger -- and the Great Southern California Blackout.

I will add further details about the blackout another day for those who may wonder about what happened and why and what were some of the results.


jabblog said...

First, congratulations on your 600th post. I'm sorry you had to record it after such trying circumstances.
I can understand how twitchy everyone is, having been warned that there is a very real risk of a terrorist attack.

snafu said...

Congratulations on your 600th that is some achievement.
I heard about the blackout. Lucky that MOTH was able to get home first. Cooking is the most power hungry thing in the house, beside heating and cooling. I hope you were not too cooked yourselves with no air con. Not long enough to become a freezer crisis but a real inconvenience.
Not wishing to sound too critical, but your power system seems very fragile considering it is earthquake country. Do you go for solar power much out there? Despite having much less sunshine than you do, many houses here are starting to sport large banks of solar panels on their roofs and the local school has enough to run half the neighbourhood judging on the area covered in solar panels.

ChrisJ said...

Snafu: You're right of course. But we're California, the land of fruits and nuts! We're practically bankrupt and have every extreme eco-extremist environmentalist blocking whatever we try to do about it. Our water supply is the same. It comes from the Colorado River to the east, crossing the San Andreas Fault an from Los Angeles to the north. That's why we have large bottles of water stashed all around the house.

Jane and Chris said...

WOW! Congratulations for reaching 600 posts! I'm at 236 so I have plenty of time to figure out something clever for my 600th!
Jane x

Rarelesserspotted said...

Many many congratulations on your 600th and thanks for a lovely blog which is always entertaining. I read about your blackout - it seems surprisingly widespread considering an engineer turned off a very small piece of kit!

MorningAJ said...

Cogratulations. That some achievement!

Autumn Leaves said...

Happy 600th post, Chris! I love tuna fish sandwiches and admit its been awhile since I had one. And I love the dark (light always bothers my too sensitive eyes). Sounds like a night that would have made me happy, despite not having the television.

Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

Whoops, sorry! That should have said, "My love and congratulations to YOU" of course. x

Wanda said...

Chris ~ Congratulations on your 600th post. That is a milestone.

I think it quite clever how you used your situation to celebrate your "600"

Tuna sandwiches sound pretty good!

Jose said...

Wow, betcha you will remember this post for many days to come. A milestone indeed, it's not easy to be consistent yet you always manage to write interesting things. Wow, how nice that you gusy are that prepared for the what ifs.

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