Lights Out in Webster

If you are a heavy metal historian or had your heavy metal formative years during the mid-1970s, as I did, you may have noticed the reference in the title to the classic title track from the seminal UFO classic, Lights Out.
I was reminded of the song all last night and through this morning. We arrived back in St. Louis (the suburb in which we live is called Webster Groves) at the same time as a thunderstorm.
Not that power outages in our neighborhood are common, but, after racing between raindrops to get our luggage in the house, we started to collect flashlights and candles. A quick check of the weather showed no warnings and the radar showed a line of showers that was all but through. In a few minutes, the house went dark.
And we’re still without power. The electric company estimates that we will get our power restored sometime after 9:00 tonight. As I drove around looking for a free Wifi access spot (it took three tries), I was amazed by the extent of the power outages, especially in the business districts.
If you are familiar with St. Louis, you know that one of the most hellish experiences you can have is trying to sleep on a July night in St. Louis without air conditioning or even a fan. I can attest to that, even though I did enjoy a series of fascinating, near-hallucinatory dreams. Perhaps the only thing more hellish is spending a July day and evening in a house with no air conditioning, fan or refrigerator.
So, we are working today on running errands to air-conditioned spots, visiting family members and the like.
A few major shout-outs, however, are definitely in order.
First, to Intel for the Centrino chip – wireless access and still more than 4 hours of battery life left (even after starting with a not-fully charged battery).
Second, to Sony for the Vaio PCG-Z1AP and the great decision to include the Centrino.
Third, to Panera/St. Louis Bread Company for breakfast, air conditioning and the free WiFi access.