Sometimes the best lighting of all is a power failure. Douglas Coupland / http://www.brainyquote.com
I swear I only measured the voltage of the dead lamp. I didn’t cause the whole neighborhood at that moment to go dark.
Determining the reason why that fixture was bad was on my to-do list for six days. In my garage, I have a cheap light fixture – the one dime-store novels feature in the dingy hotel rooms or corridors – mounted above the kitchen door. One evening, I switched on the light switch – and the lamp went on. I turned it off when I was done. I turned it on again and it immediately went dark. Seems simple enough but can be easily tested whether the light bulb burned out. That’s where life steps in and pushes down on the to-do list. Fast -forward to today. Motivated, I finally recalled where I put my digital multimeter (one of three I have) in an accessible tool bag. I hypothesized – I am an engineering test guy – the light switch itself went bad. But just as touched the meter a second time to the fixture, the house and garage and outside went pitch black. Without a sound.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. Edgar Allan Poe
Fumbling in the dark to find my cell phone just inside on the dining table a few feet away, I found the “flashlight” function. First thing through my head was the thought, were I at sea, I would have myself chewed out by myself for being so ill-prepared and untrained for emergencies. O brother! But before I could get all my protective gear, tool bag and batten down the hatches, the lights snapped back on. My mind did not go to all the dark places, when I second-guess my actions. I mean, really. I just came home from a bible study group I lead tonight. I was still feeling the glow of good participation and feedback.
I wonder if this was like the last power failure where a guy hit the wrong switch by mistake. That error a few years ago shut down virtually everything in Southern California for several hours. A “training opportunity.” Tonight, with everything back up within a minute told me that it was human error again.
It’s a lot like my work right now. I have a broken device, some confusing email, and my boss has absolute confidence I will determine the problem now that I am back to work. Can you get it resolved by Thursday? Thanks. No pressure. I just need to run through everything myself. I could sure use a power failure at work about noon tomorrow – maybe for a week? Thanks.