Monday, September 20, 2010

Rat Bastards/Slaughter House Car Show and Power Outages

P-51 Mustang. Photo by Sid Sebasstian
Man what a weekend. Saturday we got up a little later than we should have to head out to Monroe, WA for the Rat Bastards Car Club Slaughter House Car Show. The event was held on a small farm not too far off the main highway. Nice place with wine tasting, a weekly farmers market and ample open spaces to set up the cars and the vendors. They also had a covered stage for the bands that played all afternoon. It had been raining solid the night before so there were the occasional boggy grass spots. I got my van stuck in one trying to cut across the back stage area to unload our vendor booth. My son and several big guys got us unstuck without too much hassle. The day was decent- though a bit humid with the sun making occasional cameos in the cloudy sky. The plan was for me to set up my outdoor Portable Drive-In and show the first ten minutes of Rat Rod Rockers!  and then an old Hot Rod movie after dark. Around 7 PM, as we were setting up my big 10' x 20' screen, the rain started. First a few little drops, but soon it was pouring. I set my projector, sound amp and DVD player under our vendor tent. I always get a little nervous having all that gear out in the rain, especially with power cables running through the wet grass. People sat in their cars or under other canvas vendor tents and watched the films. It was wet, but not extremely cold. After the last film we packed up everything but the vendor tent (it was soaked) and the projection screen and then drove the 35 minutes home.

We slept in planning to head back out to Monroe to get our vendor tent and screen after digesting breakfast (for me- coffee and cinnamon toast).  Just after noon time as I was downloading a new track from LG Of The Bay for my Rat Rod Rockers! Soundtrack, we heard a big boom boom baboom! All the lights flickered and went out. My computer went dead. I opened our apartment door and it was pitch black down the inner building hallway. We walked around the complex and saw that almost half the buildings were without power. Something big had blown up. We saw the maintenance guys running around so figured it was a good time to head over to Monroe and get our stuff. We did and upon returning several hours later, noticed that although some of the previously dark buildings were lit up, ours was not. So we ran some more errands, did some clean-up work at our Arts School, came back home and the power was still out. Around the side of our building was a huge Power Company truck. Guys were in one of the underground electrical vaults yelling and pulling things up. I asked one what had happened and he explained a series of transformers had blown up in the underground vaults around the complex. He didn't know how long until we would get our power back. I went upstairs and told the wife. She moved all the milk and cheese into our freezer. Even though the power had been out for nearly six hours the freezer was still fairly cold. As the sun went down we lit candles and ordered pizza- urban camping. Around 9PM the power came back on with a sputter kachunk! I had lost a whole day of editing, but it was relaxing hanging out in the dark with the family. I went over and fired up my computer and no DSL! I found out today that all the incoming lines got fried by the power surge. The Comcast guy assured me it would be up later today. I am writing this from my work computer. Crazy weekend.

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