Fight The Power

I realize that we’re a couple of weeks into January, but I finally can tell you about my New Year’s Eve experience.

Our family had a really nice treat over the holidays, in that my wife’s older brother, his wife and 8-year-old daughter came from the Mainland to spend New Year’s with us. That was a great way for us to ring in the new year.

They were going to spend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at our house, since their resort hotel room wouldn’t be available for a few days. We love that — having them stay over, that is, for nothing can beat having family for the holidays. Of course, being in the newspaper business, I couldn’t take off and was at work on New Year’s Eve.

That’s when I received a call from our 17-year-old daughter. Somewhat panicked, she said, “Dad, the cable TV isn’t working and the Internet is down!” Since I’m the IT department at our home, I was trying to troubleshoot the problem long distance. Of course, I instructed them to call the cable company tech support.

After a while, she called me back saying that there was nothing wrong with the cable but that we might be having power issues at our house. When I walked in the door, I was greeted with a unanimous shout: “Finally!” I guess having no TV or Internet on one of the biggest media nights of the year was pretty frustrating.

I went right to work, rebooting and resetting equipment, and finally went to our circuit box to find that one of the breakers was tripped. There was no professional I could call on New Year’s Eve, so I called an electrician friend of mine, but it sounded like he had already been celebrating the new year. From what I could make out, I would have to find what caused the circuit to short out.

After extensive interrogation, I discovered that both my wife and her sister-in-law washed their hair that day and simultaneously blow-dried their hair. As far as I know, they both own dryers that could jump-start a nuclear power plant. So I unplugged a power strip that was used and was able to restore the circuit. We then celebrated New Year’s in grand style.

Before we all turned in for the night, I asked my wife and sister-in-law if they were going to wash their hair when they got up. They both asked me why I wanted to know. I replied, “The Rose Bowl is on and I need to know now if I should go out and buy a generator.”