Heh, I left the last post on what has to be the lamest cliff-hanger ending of all time. Did the power go out, or didn't it? The tension of not knowing must be unBEARable. :)
Actually, it never went out fully. We had an 8 hour brown out that went in two stages. The first happened just after the lights went out and came back on the first time. I didn't really notice that the voltage had dropped because the lights came back on. It seemed a little strange when I couldn't get the TV to come back on but we have it plugged into an after market remote switching plug and I figured that was buggered. It seemed a little more strange first time I tried to turn back on a light I'd just turned off and it wouldn't ignite. The second time was definitely creepy and the third was downright scary.
And then I realised what was going on. Compact florescent bulbs require a little extra kick of energy to ignite and while there was enough voltage to keep them going there wasn't enough to start them. Neat.
After about a half hour of that the power dropped noticeably over ten seconds or so and everything went dark. I thought that was that, full blackout, but then I stepped around the corner and the tiny led night light we leave in the hall was still as bright as ever. The house was getting just enough power to light one led but no more. I wonder just how that happens? How could we end up with a voltage so low that I could probably stick my tongue in a socket and only get a little tingle? Weird.
Anyway, when it was still out in the morning I called the power company because their website didn't list any power outage in our area. The guy on the phone was a little dismissive once he knew where I was calling from, it had already been reported. Full power came back maybe 10 minutes after I hung up. I could think of that call as a complete waste of time.....or, I could think that I have such a commanding, authoritative phone presence that they fixed it right quick because of me. Uh, yeah.....we'll go with that shall we?