Entries tagged with “blackout”.


Praise be, Lynn and I managed to get our second covid-vaccine shots Wednesday. In less than a fortnight we should be safe from the pandemic, and the people we encounter will have nothing to worry about from us.

Up until now, social distancing has been a lonely practice:

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But just scheduling the vaccinations was hardly a simple matter. Luckily we’re old enough to qualify for senior-citizen priorities. Kaiser Permanente in Terra Linda administered the shots, not at the hospital but at the Terra Linda High gym, a few blocks away.

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Lynn called to me one morning last week to say the the light was out in the refrigerator. In fact, the refrigerator itself didn’t feel as cold as it should, she said. “Maybe it’s come unplugged.” So I pulled the fridge out of its corner. It turned out to be plugged in, but we couldn’t immediately tell; there was a barely penetrable jungle of spider webs behind it.

While Lynn was struggling her way through the cobwebs, I decided to check our breaker box in the hall closet. As soon as I tried to turn on the closet light, I immediately figured out our refrigerator problem. We were in a blackout. That was a bit of a relief, but it left a jungle of cobwebs that had to be cleared away before we put the refrigerator back in place.

Afterwards, we decided to drive downtown and see how widespread the blackout was. As soon as we started uphill on Highway 1, its source was evident. A PG&E crew had the highway reduced to one lane at Tank Road (the unsigned road that leads uphill to the town water tanks). A four-story crane with two buckets, each holding a worker adjusting the overhead lines, was taking up the southbound lane.

Lynn asked one of the workers if this was the source of the local blackout. He said it was and that a cross-arm on a power pole had broken, interrupting our service.

Our power was off only two or three hours, which we easily endured. And we got rid of all the spider webs behind our refrigerator! Yay!

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Once again this week, my cartoons were forwarded to me by Pat Mitchell, wife of my cousin Leck in Colorado, and judging from several friends’ comments on her Dec. 12  jokes, her humor rings true here too. Thanks, Pat.

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On a normal evening, this is how Mitchell cabin’s sitting area, dining area, and kitchen look. A journalism student once described the scene as a collection of “mismatched furniture.”

But for three evenings this week, here is how it looked as seen from the other end of the room (thanks to an oil lamp and 11 candles) as a result of PG&E’s turning off power to West Marin, along with many other communities. It was a precaution against high winds that might knock down power lines and spark wildfires in this dry weather.

Although most of West Marin was spared unusually high winds, the blackout cost Mitchell cabin not only its lights but also its water pressure. During the blackout, water coming from our faucets was barely more than a trickle. The cabin’s elevation is close to that of the North Marin Water District tanks on Tank Road in Point Reyes Station. As a result, gravity alone doesn’t provide much of a flow in our household water system, so we rely on an electric pressure pump to have strong streams of water in faucets, hoses, and in the shower.

Nor were showers much of an option during the blackout for any townsperson with an electric hot water heater. With the power back, I finally got to take a shower this morning. If the blackout had gone on for too many more days, Point Reyes Station might have developed a stinky population.

As I write at 6 p.m. Wednesday, power is still off in parts of Dillon Beach, Fairfax, Kentfield, Marshall, Mill Valley, Muir Beach, San Anselmo, Sausalito, Stinson Beach, and Tomales, the Marin Sheriff’s Office has reported. Better wear a face mask when you visit folks there.

But even before the blackout began life here was seeming strange. I looked up from my living-room chair a few evenings ago and was startled to see this damsel outside peering in the window.

Once I thought about it, however, the explanation was obvious. I was seeing a reflection from part of a plant holder hanging inside near the window.

Canada geese heading west to Drakes Estero for the night one evening last week. I get to see them most evenings if I listen for their honking around sunset.

Memories of spring: a kestrel on the railing of our deck.

Dealing with the blackout has been tiring, so I’ll stop here and take a snooze. Goodnight. I’ll sleep tight. And I won’t have any bedbugs bite; after all, Mitchell cabin is not a Trump hotel.