How I survived the great power outage of 2015

On the weekend of Aug 29, 2015 my power went out for 15 hours as a result of major windstorm that hit southern British Columbia.

The scene near Hastings and Beta on Aug. 29.
The scene near Hastings and Beta on Aug. 29.

Many trees and power lines were knocked down and about 500,000 were left without power at some point during the day. It was pretty scary.
Fortunately I survived unscathed. In fact, it gave me a renewed appreciation for non-computer activities such as reading, listening to the radio and looking at things.

As the day progressed an inconvenience turned out to be a welcome break from my routine.

I was still asleep when the power was knocked out at around lunchtime on Saturday the 29th. “No big deal,” I thought. “It’ll probably be back on by the time I roll out of bed.”

I woke up at 2 p.m. only to discover that the power was still out so I decided to go out for a walk.

The metal railing at Fairlane Fire Prevention (4877 Hastings) was wiped out by the winds.
The metal railing at Fairlane Fire Prevention (4877 Hastings) was wiped out by the winds.

The traffic along Hastings in Burnaby seemed quite heavy for a Saturday afternoon. Many drivers and pedestrians had this lost and confused look on their face.

“This is not good,” I thought.

I thought about killing time at Value Village but nixed that idea after spotting a ridiculously overcrowded 135 Burrard Station bus.
The power seemed to be out along Hastings between Sperling and Beta Ave.

I grabbed some baked goods from Valley Bakery as well as some bananas and Diet Coke from Safeway before settling down to lunch at Yo Sushi at 4266 Hastings.

I knew I wasn’t going to have normal access to my food so I ordered some beef udon and a Diet Coke.

I ordered some beef udon soup and Diet Coke at Yo Sushi (4266 Hastings). It was good... but not as good as Osaka Sushi.
I ordered some beef udon soup and Diet Coke at Yo Sushi (4266 Hastings). It was good… but not as good as Osaka Sushi.

It was filling and appetizing but not as good as the beef udon at nearby Osaka Sushi. I should point out, however, that the owner of Yo Sushi used to give Khan free tuna sashimi whereas Osaka Sushi always charged for that.

I connected to their WiFi using my beloved Sony PRS-T1 e-book reader and got some quick BC Hydro updates from their Twitter account as their website was down.

By the evening most of my electronic devices had run out of power. My laptop died after a 15 minute game of Civilization IV and my Sansa Clip Zip Mp3 player held out for a few more hours. By 9 p.m. only my e-book reader and Dingoo A-320 handheld gaming console retained a charge.

By 10 p.m. I was a bit anxious about when power might be restored so I tuned into the radio for the first time in many years using my Dingo A-240.

I know of several news stations on the AM dial but my Dingoo A-320 only has FM radio.

This Dingoo A 320 outlasted every other rechargeable electronic device in the house.  I played some Neo Geo, SNES before tuning into the radio for weather updates.
This Dingoo A 320 outlasted every other rechargeable electronic device in the house. I played some Neo Geo, SNES before tuning into the radio for weather updates.

I couldn’t find any news broadcast; it was all music. When I tuned into the local music stations I was disappointed when the DJs failed to deliver any weather updates aside from silly anecdotes about being alone in the dark.

That was not helpful.

I eventually found CBC Radio Two with its hourly news updates.

That was helpful.

I lit six candles and placed them around the living room. I then flopped down on my very comfortable Sklar Peppler couch and listened to The Signal hosted by Laurie Brown as well as the host-free Nightstream program.

“This is nice,” I thought as I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.

Housemate handled this power outage well. Much better than he did during the last power outage… You can read about that here.

I owe him a huge debt of gratitude for replacing the spoiled milk on Sunday morning. Nothing else was spoiled so we’re back to normal!

All is well.

Two milk cartons
Housemate labelled the good milk as “safe” and the bad milk as “not safe.”