November 17, 2008: First Loss of Power in Peekskill

4 Days to Baby Day! (39 Weeks and Three Days Pregnant)

Good Washington Post article about Martin Waldseemueller, the cartographer who named America and produced the first known map detailing the American Pacific coast – long before Europeans supposedly knew anything of the west coast.

Alarm went off at 5:48 this morning.  I am trying to move it up farther and farther so that I can start to make the earlier trains.  Today we just missed our window to make it for the 6:42 so I grabbed the 7:08 instead.

My morning was exceptionally busy.  Mostly this was because of a large network issue so I was on conference calls most of the morning.  Also, the office is abuzz after the announcement of, according to the BBC, 75,000 layoffs!  That is a lot of people.  Like eliminating three entire Eastman Kodaks.  That is definitely going to have an impact on things.  That is one in every five people in the entire company.

Our house in Peekskill had its first power-outage this morning.  No obvious reason either.  The power just went out.  We have been warned that this is a major problem in the Peekskill area.  Even with a power plant right in town, Indian Point, our power, we are told, just goes off regularly.

I was reading today about the plans of NASA to decommission the space shuttle fleet in 2010 after 29 years of service.  America is planning to be without any operable space vehicles from 2010 until 2014 when we are scheduled to launch to Orion class space capsules which harken back to the Apollo missions.  The Orion capsules will go through a similar as did the Apollo missions.  However, the first Apollo manned flight was in 1968 and Americans were on the lunar surface by 1969.  The Orion program is not targeting putting a man on the moon until 2019.  That’s five times the development window that we had fifty years ago.  I get the feeling that NASA is losing ground rather rapidly.  We appear to have significantly less capability today than we did long before I was born.  It is hard to believe that private spaceflight companies won’t have people on the moon before 2019.  At the rate of private development NASA will be completely inconsequential long before they are ready for another moon shot.

I grabbed a quick salad up at Flavors for lunch today.  Then, around two, Dan and I headed down to the gym to do some swimming.  It was much later than I had been hoping to have been able to have swum but it was a really slow afternoon so it seemed like it would be alright.  We did a short day today.  I kept track of my distance for a change.  I swam 1,150 yards.

I found out today that Eli Phillips (from my Pavilion Baptist School days) has just moved to Scotch Plains very near my Warren office.  In fact, it is almost exactly halfway between downtown Newark and my office in Warren.  It is almost a suburb of Newark to the south west.

The power went out again this afternoon in Peekskill.  I called, again, and discovered that the phone was not ringing.  This is a real problem if we don’t keep all of our phones charged.  Westchester’s horrible reception means that our phone batteries drain very quickly, but we have to be able to maintain contact for when Dominica goes into labor.  It’s been a very long time since we lived someplace that didn’t have reliable power.  We haven’t even considered the disaster that will occur if I don’t have my CPAP!  What will I do?  There is no way for me to sleep without it.  If they don’t get the power back on I have to go stay in a hotel.  If it goes out in the middle of the night I guess that I just get up and go to work.  No worries about me not waking up, if the power goes on to the CPAP it is like someone is choaking me.  It wakes you up pretty abruptly.

I tried to leave the office to make the 5:52 train but discovered that my office BlackBerry was completely dead and that I couldn’t leave the office that early without at least having some sort of remote email access. So I waiting for the 6:15 but got stuck waiting for a deployment and had to wait for the 6:43 train which should get me to Peekskill at 7:39 which is not all that bad.

I opened a ticket with Con Edison (and corrected my phone number with them as they had the wrong one listed) and they said that the issue was known and that they were expecting to have the power back on around eight this evening.  Just in case, however, I am going to go ahead and post SGL from the office this evening before I leave.  There is every chance that there will be no time for me to do anything on a computer this evening.  At least, in theory, this will give me a little bit of a chance to do some reading.  It will likely require another fire in the fireplace.

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  1. When we moved to Chapel Hill a month and a half ago, we signed up for Cablevision’s rougvhtTriple Play service (TV,Internet and Phone). Since my wife has serious health issues, I opted to get an 8 hours battery backup for the modem. I also brought with me an old fashioned Princess phone, which needs no electrical hookup. It worked fine today during both power outages. The second outage lasted from 2:30 PM to 8 PM….v

  2. Yeah, that was a long outage. Normally we have cell phones as backup but dad left his off and Dominica let hers die and then forgot to charge it after we had figured out that it was dead.

    We have a full VoIP phone (not tied to any landline – legacy phone or cable) and we have a handset that needs no power but the battery that we had keeping everything on and working was beeping and bothering the dog so Dominica turned off the battery which brought down the modem, router and phone system 🙁

  3. Just curious: how is the VoIP tied into the Internet? Wireless? Who is the vendor?

  4. VoIP that we use is from Vonage. We love them. Been using them since 2003 and no complaints at all. That connects right to our regular Internet service, in this case Optimum Online from Cablevision (which we are also very happy with.)

    By using Vonage, we can take our phone system anytime that we move and just plug it in at our new home or at my dad’s house or my wife’s family’s house and instantly our phones are on and available and people can call us. It is very handy if you move around at all. And the price is just $15/mo which beats most “deals” from other vendors.

  5. Oh, OK, thanks… I was confused when you wrote “not tied to phone or cable”. So your physical connection is via cable, but you are independent from it. How does Vonage handle 911? I find having a “land line” has some advantages like Con Ed’s automatic recognition of your location when you report a problem. But my brother in law, who lives both in the US and in Hungary uses Vonage and carries his US number with him. He loves it.

  6. Not sure what they do with 911. I just turn off that service and use the cell phones for that.

    Con Ed has my number stored so when I call them it is automatic as well. It’s based on a database of numbers/locations not on a geolocating service (because Cablevisions phones can migrate within the region as well as can Verizon.)

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