Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2003 > Mid-August 2003 Edition

Mid-August 2003 Edition

a public announcement

I just want you non-Hoosiers to know that the big lobbying group that has been pushing for daylight savings time for most of Indiana has disbanded. After years of lobbying Indiana's General Assembly and its obdurate legislators, the group decided it was unconscionable to ask for more of its members time and money.


The weather has been decent recently. We've had few really hot or rainy days. It changed today to hot and steamy, though, so I decided to mow my grass last night. I started later than I planned, and it was almost dark when I finished. Plus I got bit by a yellow jacket while trimming the grass near a nest. Those critters are painful!

It has been different in Europe, where a horrific heat wave has dried up rivers, sparked forest fires, stressed the EU's electric grid almost to the breaking point, and brought about thousands of deaths. It could have been worse, I suppose, but this is August and most of Europe was on vacation.

Speaking of breaking points, there was a massive power outage from New York City westward to the Lake Erie littoral. It is currently believed that some power plant in Akron, Ohio, went out and caused a cascade of power failures around the lake that reached through New York State to metro New York. A circuit breaker in northeastern Indiana kept this area from joining them.


Before that, though, last Thursday there was a power outage in my part of town. I was working on my computer in the back room when [bang] the box went dead. The lights went out in the back room and the living room.

Oddly, though, the lights in the kitchen were still on, and the icebox was still running. The fan in the A/C was still on, but since the outside fan was not, I had to turn the A/C off.

I found that there was power to the kitchen, the bedroom, and the upstairs. There was almost no power to the back room, living room, laundry room (where the water heater is) and bathroom. I say 'almost' because the lamps were on but lit very dimly. The power strips indicate power, but none came through them to whatever was plugged into them.

After checking the circuit breakers, I looked outside and found the street lamps were out. I went outside and found that the neighbors had the same problems: very dim or no lights; some appliances on but not others (one neighbor had nothing on but his TV!).

After this I called the local electric company. They came within a half hour and worked on some transformer in an alley a half-block away. The power was on by the next morning.


This month and next is the closest that the planet Mars has been in thousands of years.

In the late evening I go outside (usually to fetch my outdoor cat Baby), look to the southeast towards the water tower, and see a really bright orange star. There is no way you can miss Mars even in town when the lights from the street lamps and buildings mask most of the stars in the night sky.

Copyright 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated on 20 August 2003. Contact me.