Browsing Tag

power outage

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


Opening act is done, headliner is on the way

Those of you who follow me on social media, or who saw the posts that went up on, LJ, and Dreamwidth last night, know we lost power around 2:30 yesterday afternoon. We were down all evening, but at least as of right now, we’re back.

How Are You?

How Are You?

Yesterday evening, we amused ourselves with playing around with instruments and with listening to one of the Big Finish audio adventures off my phone, piped through a Bluetooth speaker. The Cloisters of Terror turned out to be a delightful thing to listen to during a power outage! In no small part because Mr. Baker was in fine form in that story.

Here are the sorts of conversations we have in our house when the power is out!

Dara (while trying to figure out the chord progression for a song): OMG this chart doesn’t HAVE an A flat! They just skipped it!

Me (nodding sagely): ‘What damn fool would want to play an A flat chord on a bouzouki?’

And also:

Me: Okay good chiro has power. So I will go out tomorrow and bring back any necessary things. Be thinking about necessary things I can bring back.

Dara: Electricity! 4 buckets of electricity!

Paul: I think the fridge is going to need more than 4 buckets.

Dara: Okay, 6 buckets! Go to Costco.

George, bless his little kitty heart, kept wandering around mewing in a sort of “EVERYTHING IS DARK AND WEIRD AND QUIET WHY IS IT LIKE THIS AND WHY ARE YOU ALL IN THIS OTHER ROOM OH HEY THE FIRE IS ON YAY WARM”. And once we settled in to listen to the audio, George curled up in front of the fireplace to go zzzzzzzz.

I went to bed around 10:30ish and woke up just before 1am when the noise of the neighbors’ generators shut up. I sleepily realized the clock was blinking, checked the time on the phone (which I was keeping by our bed), and noted 12:54. So our power must have come back just a few minutes before that, long enough for neighbors to go YAY and turn their generators off.

Dara brought the servers back up this morning, and I scampered out to go to chiro and Safeway and the booze store (so that I could replenish the cake vodka and Baileys supply, and OH BY THE WAY YOU GUYS, I did find another bottle of Pumpkin Spice Baileys, which is an actual thing that exists and you should try it if those are words that sound like fun to you). Dara is heading out now that I’m home again, as the Norwescon concom has a meeting today, and they kinda can’t cancel it, because it’s at the hotel and they’re contractually obligated to use the rooms when they’re booked for. But she’s going to scamper back here ASAP when the meeting is done.

As of this writing Seattle City Light has a mere 11 customers out. Puget Sound Energy has 5,125 down still. And I gotta say, cranky as I am that PSE has been so random in our power service this year, their crews were out last night working their asses off. And that we got power back in the dead of night means their crews were out there in the wet dark, working for us. So kudos to them for that.

The current High Wind Warning is supposed to kick in at 3pm this afternoon and run until 2am, with the peak winds now expected between 5pm and 10pm. Cliff Mass has his current forecast up here, and from what he’s saying, the storm is still aiming for north of us, but we’ll be on the very edge of it. Seattle proper may dodge a bullet, but chances are high that Kenmore will get hit harder. And even if damaging winds don’t smack us, chances are VERY high we will lose power again, possibly for days. Expect that will go down again, in which case I will continue to post updates on as well.

And given that the wind conditions yesterday still caused quite a lot of damage (note the gallery of pics on the Seattle Times’ updates here, PARTICULARLY the snapped power pole), I’m still expecting things to be very, very messy tonight and into tomorrow.

Brace for impact, Cascadians. Charge all your devices. Do your laundry while you still have power. Songda is COMING.

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.


Windstorm forecast for tomorrow night, site outage likely

Heads up to anyone who didn’t already see me post this on social media this afternoon: we have a windstorm forecast for tomorrow, and there’s already a High Wind Warning up with some details. We’re talking potential gusts up to 70mph in late afternoon and early evening.

And y’all know what this means: probable power outage at the Murkworks. Which will in turn impact the availability of my and sites, Dara’s, and all other websites, mailing lists, and other resources that we host. So please be advised that chances are VERY high that we’ll lose power some time tomorrow.

Dara and I will post the usual alerts if this happens. Apologies in advance for anyone who might try to visit my site over the next 24-48 hours, if I do indeed go down!

(And apologies for anyone who tries to come by this afternoon when I was also down. We lost power TODAY too, but that was apparently due to downed trees that took out power in Kenmore for about 1,200 customers. Trees that were, I suspect, weakened by this past Wednesday night’s storm. Ah, the joys of living in the PNW in March!)

If you’re local, I recommend battening down all the hatches, and stocking up on ice for your coolers and batteries for your flashlights. Tomorrow could get tricky.


Back up and running

Those of you who live in the area know this already, of course. But for those of you who might not, we had a hell of a windstorm in Cascadia over the weekend. It tapdanced all over us from Portland clear up to Vancouver. At the Murkworks, we lost power around 2:30pm on Saturday afternoon and were out until Sunday morning. It took until Sunday night for us to get our Internet, cable, and phone line back–our phone was out, too, since our Comcast service runs everything digitally now.

Cell connectivity got a little wonky too–probably because of cell towers being impacted by the storm. So all in all it’s a damned good thing we didn’t have to deal with any emergency situations on Saturday night!

Roundup of news reports I saw over the weekend and today:

Storm toll: 2 dead, 4 hurt, 450,000 lose power from the Seattle P-I

Vancouver Zoo evacuated; wind breaks grizzly bear enclosure from, in which it gets all Jurassic-Park-y at the Vancouver Zoo

(I told Paul about this story as I read about it, and he leaped immediately to imagining that this of course was a Canadian bear. So clearly it’d be all “Uh, hello? Hey! This fence is broken! Somebody should come fix this! I’m gonna be over here eating fish, don’t let me get in your way, okay?”)

Thousands without power as winds pick up in Portland area, from on Saturday

So yeah, it got pretty lively all over Cascadia. Saturday night Dara and Shanti and I attended a Tricky Pixie concert at the Kenmore Community Center anyway, power outage or no–because of course the enterprising sound crew showed up with a generator. So there was light and music and the band didn’t even have to go acoustic. It was awesome.

Not so awesome were the fallen trees and power lines that actually closed Bothell Way on Sunday morning–Dara reported running into that on her way to PAX yesterday! By the time I made it down to the Farmers’ Market Sunday afternoon, there were still a lot of utility trucks down there as well as Comcast Xfinity trucks, and traffic cops redirecting cars to detours around the Lake Forest Park Town Center. Where, I might add, several of the shops were still closed due to the outage, and due to not being able to serve food to customers due to the refrigeration units for their stock being out.

As of this morning things are more or less back to normal, thankfully! I hope to be able to resume regular posting this week of various blog post series in progress. Stand by.

Main back online, yay!

For those of you who didn’t see me post this to the social networks or to my LJ and Dreamwidth accounts, we had a windstorm last night and that took out power at my house for several hours.

Since my site is hosted on my home servers, that meant was inaccessible for the duration. But now we’ve got power back and the servers came back up, so the site is live again.

Apologies to any visitors who tried to come by only to find the site down!

The Murkworks

POWER RESTORED at but mail server still down

We have power back at the Murkworks now but I apparently shut the damn servers down incorrectly. Door and lodestone came back online but newmoon did NOT. So now the server appears to be broken. 🙁 🙁

Dara is home from her concom meeting and diagnosing. This means that while we now have restored main connectivity as well as hosted web pages, mail services are still out of commission, including individual mail accounts as well as hosted mailing lists. Stand by for further updates.