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Manhole Cover Go Boom

Here’s one way to get out of the office before dark: have the power go out. The Claremont Colleges are on one of those reduced-cost power dealies (I think that’s the technical term), whereby we have to shut off the power in the event of rolling blackouts, but pay a vastly reduced price per kilowatt-hour when the juice is flowing. Since the colleges got all generator’d up, this has not been a problem; as I noted this time last week, we generally move pretty seamlessly to backup power, and so don’t even notice the downtime.

Today, not so much. Apparently something exploded at approximately 2.30 this afternoon, a few blocks down from my office building, near where a bunch of construction is being done. As of 6.30 this evening, when it got too dim to continue working in the office, the power had not yet been restored.

So the good news is I’m home early. And I got to walk home through one of the weirdest SoCal September evenings I’ve ever seen: the sky was positively yellow, with dark clouds up above, and the sunset striking them from underneath. The only reasons I know they were clouds and not, for instance, the smoke that has blanketed this area during the last two years at this time, is that there were these weird drops of water falling from them at random intervals (not many, but some, nonetheless), and a ginormous rainbow arrayed against them. Aside from that, the skies were positively apocalyptic.

Now that I think about it, though, this is the second Monday in a row that some fluke has kicked out the power in this area. And weren’t there those completely unexpected rolling blackouts just a couple of weeks before that? Is there something going on here that we ought to know about?


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