[rescue] A not-so-excellent Internet Adventure

Sheldon T. Hall shel at tandem.artell.net
Sun Dec 17 23:57:29 CST 2006

Quoth Skeezics Boondoggle ...
> Thanks, Shel, for reminding me just how thankful I am to not 
> be in the ISP business anymore! :-)  Heh.

I dropped those guys a note, saying ...

> Next time this sort of thing happens, give me a call.  I'll bring
> and help you kick the equipment while you're waiting for Qwest to fix
> stuff.

They replied that they were down for 70 hours and won't have phones until
tomorrow.  That's a serious visit from the fsck-up fairy.

> Not sure if it was weather related, since Oregon didn't seem to get 
> clobbered as badly - we only had 250,000 people without power - but a 
> short distance from $WORK, in Beaverton OR, a 250KV transformer at a 
> fairly large substation _exploded_ on Saturday night, sending 
> a fireball 
> "500 feet into the air, according to witnesses."  The news helicopter 
> footage was pretty dramatic - a huge black circle surrounded 
> by lights, 
> with a raging fire in the middle of it.  Yowsa.  All they 
> could do was let 
> it burn itself out, since apparently there was a 10,000 
> gallon fuel tank sitting nearby...

Yowsa, indeed.  I've seen some of the 'net videos of that sort of stuff.
Impressive.  All those transformers are oil-cooled, I think, so if one gets
overloaded, it gets too hot, the oil boils, the pressure builds, something
pops, and you get oil spraying everywhere, just waiting for s spark.  And
there will be one.  See  Of
course, Big Electricity is very interesting stuff, even when it isn't
arcing, sparking and exploding.

> I suppose I should call in and see if our building was affected. 
> Not that I'm all that concerned about the corporate datacenter -
> I manage the "production systems" which are downtown, and I 
> figure _someone_ would have called if they needed my help with
> anything.  

Look on the bright side.  Maybe the power is so "off" the phones don't work,
so they can't call you.

> Damn, I have developed such 
> a bad attitude in my old age. :-) 

What took you so long?


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