Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I knew we had a nasty thunderstorm last Thursday night. I knew that some of the lightning hit darned close to my house because I saw a huge flash and heard booming thunder simultaneously as I watched from my bed through the bedroom window while trying to fall asleep. I also knew the power went out for a while shortly after that. I fell asleep prior to the power returning. Upon waking on Friday morning I discovered the TV in my bedroom no longer worked. It just wouldn’t turn on at all. Downstairs as I prepared breakfast N discovered the power was still off in the family room. Other than my bedroom TV and everything in the family room power seemed normal. I suspected a breaker had been thrown but didn’t have time to check as it was our usual hurry to get to school and work on time.

Later on Friday I discovered that yes, a breaker had been tripped. After flipping it back to its normal position power was restored to the family room. However, much to N’s horror the satellite TV receiver would not work. Further, the cordless phones throughout the house also wouldn’t work. Life looked bleak for the tween boy, mighty bleak indeed, for how could he survive without TV and telephones?!? Tragedy! Much wailing and complaining ensued, and N was not the least bit mollified when I announced that I was able to use the corded telephone and had arranged for a satellite TV technician to come out on a service call on Monday. Monday?!? A whole weekend without TV?!? I think N would’ve been happier had we lost the roof over the house than to lose the TV. He was convinced he would die an agonizingly slow death through the course of the weekend without access to iCarly, Phineas & Ferb, and 6Teen, not to mention Mythbusters and The Colony.

Fast forward to Monday. First off, N survived. (I know you’re shocked. So was I.) I’m not sure how, but he actually found things to do other than watching TV and talking on the phone (since the corded phone had been relocated to the kitchen for household convenience but afforded him no privacy whatsoever).

By the end of Monday, I learned that the following items were fried by the lightning/power outage/surge:
The TV in the bedroom (which was on its last legs anyway, had cost less than $100, and was about seven years old)
The main base for the cordless telephone/intercom system
The satellite receiver in the family room (although the two upstairs are fine)

Now the first two I could understand, but the satellite receiver was on a surge protector so I’m not sure what happened there.

Satellite TV is restored but the home phone is down to one corded phone. The cordless ones are useless until I replace the base. One phone in a two story house. Oh yeah. It’s fun times as we get our exercise running for the phone when it rings hoping we can sprint faster than it can go to voicemail. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don’t. And honestly? Sometimes I don’t try all that hard particularly since 78% of all calls are for N and another 19.4% are telemarketers. (Did you know that 76.3% of all statistics you read are made up on the spot? Really! It’s true! I read it somewhere.)

I feel lucky that more didn’t go wrong. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have taken the whole thing so lightly last week, or if I was right to trust that all systems are in place and working as they should. After all, the breaker flipped protecting most things from damage and/or fire. We have smoke alarms in every room of the house which would have alerted us if a fire had started. Besides, I can’t go through life sitting up through every thunderstorm, trolling the house for problems. Although my tendency is to worry too much about such things, my counteraction to that is to just let it go and hand my fate to my creator, and that’s what I’ve done about this. I can’t worry all the time about the house burning down, and things are just things that can be replaced anyway.

And even with Big Brother 11 alliances and backstabbing reaching fever pitch, we are able to survive without TV – at least for a weekend.

Also? You might very well point out that if the two satellite receivers upstairs worked that we could have (1) connected the working receiver from my bedroom to the working TV in the family room or (2) just watched TV in N’s room by disconnecting the video game system and hooking up the satellite receiver. Umm, yes I did happen to think of those options. N didn’t. So I didn’t mention them. ;-)

1 comment:

Desmond Jones said...

You are so wicked, Truey; depriving the poor kid of his TV like that. . . (I'd do the same thing, except my kids would figure it out themselves. . .)

FWIW, you could probably make a homeowner's claim. . .