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The Murkworks

The Murkworks

And, back again

We’re being all yo-yo-y over here with the power going up and down and up and down and back up again. But now at least, we are again back.

For those of you who didn’t see my post earlier, we got some rain in this afternoon. Things were fine until we heard a loud pop somewhere near our house, at which point our power went down. I got onto the PSE app on my phone and reported the outage.

Not long after that, a PSE truck showed up in our driveway with a couple of crew investigating. They told us a branch had come down on the lines near our house, which tripped the circuit, and they just needed to get a truck in that could reach it.

So we went ctrl-alt-fuckit and went out for dinner. Fortunately, while we were out, the power came back. Let’s see if we stay back up this time!

Hold Together

Hold Together

The Murkworks

Our cat is ill :~(

For those of you who haven’t already seen me, Dara, or Paul posting about this on social media, last night we found out that our cat George has an aggressive cancer. It is very likely we’ll have to put him down some time in the next couple of weeks. 🙁

This has pretty much blindsided us. George had been in uncertain health this year anyway due to his liver, and has been on medication for that–but this was practically out of the blue and we had almost no warning, except for George acting a trifle weird and uncharacteristically needy on Wednesday night. Yesterday, he wasn’t eating or taking water, and he threw up–with some pink in it.

So Paul took him to the vet last night for an emergency examination. The verdict came back that he’s got an aggressive cancer. His lymph nodes had swollen, and his white blood count was very high.

Kitty’s on a lot of meds right now, his previous liver meds as well as painkillers and anti-nausea meds so that he can actually eat and take water. So he’s kind of logey and slow, but at least right now he is in fact eating.

There is never a good time for your pet to be ill, but this is particularly crappy timing given that I’m having the surgery this coming Monday. While Dara and I will be busy with that, Paul will need to take George in for further followups. So Monday’s going to be a barrel of fun all around. @.@

And I’ll just be hoping the little fuzzmonster makes it through the next week or so. I’d been kind of looking forward to letting him sleep in my lap while I’m recovering. Looks like we’ll both be doing a lot of resting.

Everybody hug your pets and tell them how good they are, okay?

The Murkworks

Batten down the hatches, October 2016 edition

This weekend’s storm action has begun.

Amazingly, our house made it through last night’s windstorm action without losing power for more than a couple of minutes at a time. We did have several tiny power hits, and we’re continuing to have them this morning, but so far our power is holding. And every time I see our power flicker, I go into Han Solo mode.

Hold Together!

Hold Together!

Not so much for a lot of other local folks; as of this writing, over 11,000 people are showing as out on the PSE Outage Map. This number has been fluctuating mightily over the last couple of hours, but it’s not dropped below 6,000 as of when I got up.

Reports have been that the morning commute has been wretched as well. There has been water on the roadways, a lot of collisions, and for a little while even, the SB express lanes on I-5 were shut down. Between that and the word that Hillary Clinton is here for a private fundraising event downtown, which has the potential to pooch the evening commute up RIGHT good, I NOPED right out of trying to commute today and am currently trying to work from home.



Local news reports have downgraded expectations for tomorrow’s storm from “comparable to the Columbus Day storm in 1962” to “comparable to the storm we had in December 2006”. KOMO’s report on that is here. And Cliff Mass put up a post yesterday with an updated forecast here.

From what these reports were saying, we had conflicting models in play as to where the remnants of Typhoon Songda were going to hit. And now these models appear to have split the difference, which means we’re going to have a mess on our hands tomorrow. Not as severe a mess as earlier worries indicated, but still a mess.

I was here for the 2006 storm and that’s the one that had a lot of local people without power for 9-10 days, even on our hill. We were only down for about two and a half days but that’s still a lot. Here are my LJ posts from that month:

Batten down the hatches

Hardcore power flickers at the Murkworks

9:45pm, mark

Murkworks update

And we’re up

Electricity, it’s good to have you back!

Storm debris pictures

So yeah. That storm was a mess. And if tomorrow’s action is going to be similar, we’re in for some fun times. It’s supposed to get windier later today, too, and it’s windy in Kenmore right now.

Let’s see how long we stay up and if I manage to get today’s dayjob tasks done. Place your bets!

And everybody stay safe and dry out there!

Editing to add: Holy crap, Seattle City Light’s got nearly 20,000 out right now. Puget Sound Energy’s got over 16,000. And this is the warmup act for tomorrow. There are outages just north of the Big Fish office, too, so this will be me being a little happy I NOPED right out of trying to commute. Coworkers on our Slack system are reporting flickering lights in the office.

The Murkworks

An overview of power outages at the Murkworks

Last night our power came back on, just after 11pm. So then I took the time to go back through my social media history, just to find all the various times where I’ve posted alerts about our power going down. This is what I found.

August 2015

Y’all may recall that last August we had an early season windstorm. That hit on the 29th, which caused us to lose power that morning. I posted at 9:37am that we were down, and again by 10:29am the following morning that we were back.

November 2015

Another windstorm. Outage start as reported by me was 2:35pm on the 17th, and we came back around 12:59pm on the 18th.

March 2016

We went down for a short time on the 12th, from roughly 2:43pm to 3:51pm. Cause unknown. What was particularly annoying was that this was even before the windstorm hit that month, so we were up pretty much just in time to go back down again.

Because we had another windstorm roll in on the 13th. We had a lot of flickery power that afternoon and evening until we finally went down around 9:25pm. We were back around 7:12am the following morning.

June 2016

Incident on the 19th that started around 12:52pm and ended around 5:05pm. Cause unknown.

Another incident on the 30th which, for once, didn’t actually impact our house. But it did impact 1,814 customers in Kenmore, and it impacted Dara anyway because the power went out while she was at the car wash. Which made it rather difficult for her to finish washing the Raptor.

July 2016

Outage on the 5th. I was not home at the time, and Dara warned me by text at 9:24am that we were out. Dara estimates we were down about four hours. Cause unknown.

August 2016

Outage on the 31st that impacted 2,194 customers in Kenmore. Duration from 10:27am to 2:01pm. Cause unknown.

September 2016

Last but not least, the latest incident. According to this article by the Seattle Times, this outage was caused by a tree falling on a power line in Redmond. The damage this falling tree caused then impacted four, count ’em, four substations and took out power for over 18,000 people.

I also saw this tweet from KOMO News:

However, this is the only source I have that mentions a brush fire, and I couldn’t find any article on with more details. So I don’t know what their source for the “brush fire” report was.

Final tally

That’s a total of nine, count ’em, nine separate power incidents in just over a year. Seven in 2016 alone.

The windstorm-related ones I can forgive, ’cause, y’know, severe weather and all that. The rest, I’m crankier about. Because okay, yeah, sure, I’m not a civil engineer or an electrical engineer. But it seems to me that one tree falling shouldn’t take out power for 18,000 people.

And Seattle City Light, whose area of coverage also includes a lot of trees, somehow manages to not lose power SEVEN TIMES IN ONE YEAR.

Not that I’m bitter or anything no wait yes I AM bitter. Because Dara and I are paying Puget Sound Energy to provide us power. I think it’s a reasonable expectation for them to do their damn jobs and keep the lights on.

Dara’s already sent cranky mail to our state representatives and the Kenmore city council. I will be looking into doing the same. Because this is stupid.

And the only reason we don’t have a generator yet is money. We have to budget for it, given that we’re having to pay a great deal of money for roof renovation at MurkSouth this year, so the generator has to wait a little longer. But it’s important to note here that Dara and I are actually in an income bracket that can afford a generator. PSE’s coverage area includes a lot of affluent communities where a lot of the residents can say the same. But this is not universal. And if we couldn’t afford a generator at all, now or after budgeting for it, we’d be screwed.

I have to be grateful that not only can we afford to budget for a generator, neither of us have health issues that would be impacted by repeated incidents of power loss. But there must surely be customers in PSE’s coverage area that do have such issues. And this track record out of PSE puts those customers at risk.

But yeah, we’ll be budgeting for that generator as soon as the roof’s done and dealt with. And I’m going to look into setting up a minimal mirror site for up on After multiple incidents of power outages happening while I’m trying to run sales on my books, I need to have reliably stable places I can actually point ads at when I’m trying to encourage sales.

If anyone reading me is also in PSE’s coverage area, I encourage you to take the time to write up how many recent outage incidents have impacted you. Communicate it to your city councilpeople and our state reps. Because this is stupid. And it needs to stop.

The Murkworks accounts currently having trouble talking to Gmail

ATTENTION anybody who has a mail account on

Right now we’re having issues with any of our accounts sending mail out to Gmail addresses. Gmail is incorrectly dinging us as a spam sender, and either shunting mail from us into Spam folders or else outright bouncing it. Needless to say, this is massively annoying.

I’ve just been informed on Twitter that Google is already investigating similar reports, so this may or may not be clearing itself up soon. Dara’s been trying to investigate as well.

In the meantime, if you have alternate email addresses to use, you should do so. We apologize for the inconvenience. 🙁

The Murkworks back to functioning normally

We actually regained power overnight, but we didn’t get the servers back up and running until we got up this morning. However, we ARE now back up and running!

And Dara even took the opportunity to upgrade the network card in our webserver, so now hopefully our websites will be much more zippy for all you lovely visitors who come by to say hi. Let us know if you see any problems, won’t you?

Hope everybody made it through the windy action okay! And all hail the power company crews who’ve been working for the last several hours to get power back on for us all!

The Murkworks

Possible outage tomorrow due to High Wind Watch

Heads up, you guys, we have a Wind Event coming in.

The PI is reporting about the incoming wind fun tomorrow night, so here’s the obligatory MURKWORKS.NET MAY GO OFFLINE TOMORROW NIGHT advisory. Dara and I will post if our servers have to go down.

ALSO: the PI’s saying one of our local meteorologists is advising people to go home early if possible. And the current High Wind Watch is talking about the winds hitting us possibly during tomorrow night’s commute. Batten down the hatches, this could get messy.