I had a good lunch shift yesterday at work, and got off pretty early. I'd gotten a message from my mechanic that my Blazer was ready, so I figured to have time to pick it up, head home, rest a little and head to my other job. Mother nature had other plans.
As I cruised north toward home on the Brown Line, I saw really ugly looking clouds moving in fast from the west. By the time I got off the el, to wait for the Western Avenue bus, it was raining buckets. I was suddenly happy for the city allowing the bus shelters to be put up (the JC Deveaux company puts them up free, then sells advertising on them).
The rain had subsided a little by the time I got down to my mechanic Luis' shop on Western and Berteau. When I walked in, I could see immediately that power was out. He told me to just come and pay him when the power was up-- everything is on his computer. Very cool. I've done business with this guy for over ten years; I remember when his shop was out of a garage. Now he owns his own place, and has a bunch of employees. He's a rarity-- a mechanic you can trust. I highly recommend him-- L and L Automotive, at 4142 N. Western.
My car needed an oil and transmission fluid change, plus, the motor for the window on the passenger side needed to be replaced-- it would no longer work. I wanted them to check the oxygen sensors and some other things before my trip. The oxygen sensors were okay, as it turned out (they're the sensors that the electronic ignition uses to control combustion), but one of my differentials had a leak-- the seal needed replacing. In the end, what I'd feared would be nearly $1,000 worth of work will be a little over $500. My car is running like a dream now. I love that guy.
In any event, I got home to find that our electricity was out too. I called over to Jury's and discovered that their power was out too. I showered and changed, and went over there on the chance that power would be back. It never did.
It turned out that Kim and Mel were at a restaurant less than a block away that had electricity-- like I said, the outages were very local. I stopped by there and rode home with them.
The power was still out. Fortunately, I'd bought a couple of those portable florescent lanterns a couple of years ago at Costco, so we had light here. I couldn't resist reminding Kim that she'd complained that those lamps were unnecessary clutter. As a kid, I'd remembered a few power outages, so I always wanted them around. They paid off yesterday.
When I left for work this morning, I saw the destruction-- lots of trees and parts of trees down. The electrical outages were block to block. I worked my lunch shift, and got home to find, to my relief, that the electricity was back on.
I was glad for the decision I'd made last year to buy a new refrigerator. The food was still cold, and the food in the freezer was still frozen-- the ice cubes were still frozen! Our old refrigerator would not have kept that food cold for more than 4 or 5 hours. We'd have had to throw a bunch of food out.
Now that we have electricity again, I was able to check where my "new" used powerbook was. I got on FedEx's site and discovered that It's in FedEx's hub in Champaign, Illinois, so it should be arriving Monday. I can't wait.
We ended up with an extra waiter on tonight-- we didn't open the patio-- too humid and threatening rain-- so I volunteered to go home. I was tired-- I didn't relish the thought of a double, even as lucrative as a Friday shift would have been. I wanted to go home, rest-- and blog. Between my hectic schedule and the power outage, I've barely posted in the last week. I've missed it and missed reading all your blogs.
This morning, when I left for work, I grabbed my big ipod-- usually I bring the shuffle for the el ride-- so that I could do my Random 10.
1. Is There Anybody Here?- Phil Ochs
2. Have A Cigar- Pink Floyd
3. Insane, Insane Again- J. Geils Band
4. Naked In The Rain- Red Hot Chili Peppers
5. Forbidden City- Joe Strummer and the Mescaleroes
6. Night Fever- Bee Gees
7. Rock, Salt and Nails- Joan Baez
8. She Don't Let Nobody (But Me)- Curtis Mayfield
9. To Sir With Love- Lulu
10. I Predict- Sparks
1. An anti-war ballad from the great Phil Ochs-- one of his best.
2. From Pink Floyd's great Wish You Were Here album. Their friend Roy Harper sings on it.
3. From J. Geils' 1981 #1 album Freeze Frame. Their first-- and last-- #1 album. They broke up afterward.
4. I had to restrain myself from dancing on the el with this one. Love this song!
5. Can you believe it'll be five years since we lost Joe, in December? If I'm wrong about religion, I hope Joe and Phil Ochs are having nightly jam sessions in heaven.
6. I really hated the Bee Gees back in the seventies for their contributions to disco. Over the years I've softened and grown to really like even their Saturday Night Fever stuff.
7. From David's Album, one of my favorites.
8. Go out and buy the Curtis Mayfield box set right now. I mean it.
9. Love this song and the movie it's from.
10. One of my college roommates turned me on to Sparks. This song is hilarious.