There have been a number of power cuts in Cape Town over the past few weeks. It kind of takes me back to the time when I worked in Mozambique – brownouts and blackouts were fairly common. I’ve been wondering what other colour ‘outs’ you get. I’ve also been wondering whether the time isn’t ripe to go into the generator business.

What made the most recent one particularly annoying is that I’d had my mouse pointer poised over the ‘save’ button when my screen winked out and everything else went dark. In case you’re curious, it really doesn’t matter how hard or furiously you click after that, it has no effect. Whatsoever. I probably only lost about 20 minutes’ worth of work, but since I had a number of documents and applications open simultaneously, it’s taken me a lot longer to sift through the files and corrupted data to try and figure out where the hell I was.

At least I wasn’t stuck in a lift with a group of flatulent fellows returning from a power lunch involving significant quantities of cabbage and garlic.


20 thoughts on “Powerless

  1. Yeah that would’ve been scary. Being on the other side of the Boerewors Curtain (so to speak), we seem to somehow happily have escaped all that malarky. Power is UP and running and we have to work – no excuses. Yawn.


  2. Getting stuck in a lift – now there’s a story. I got stuck in one once – alone, for hours. The ceiling piece that holds the light fitting fell out on me cause the lift stopped with such a jerk and I was filthy. It was hot, lonely and scary – and no-one even missed me for ages :-(.
    Anyway – I was finally saved and was helped down out of the lift – stuck between two floors, looking very dirty, streaky marks on my face etc and feeling very sorry for myself. Could have been worse though – there could have been “a group of flatulent fellows returning from a power lunch involving significant quantities of cabbage and garlic.” Phew – luckily, that was not the case.


  3. White outs involve snow… not fun, I assure you. But I’m supposing the next thing you’ll tell me is that pushing the elevator button repeatedly doesn’t make it come any faster either… sheesh.


  4. Brown-outs?

    I live in the US. Americans would be up in arms if our power was constantly cut off. What happend in NY (a few years ago?) was so out of the ordinary it was on everyones national news. We’re so privilaged, it makes me a bit sick.

    I’m joining the Peace Corps so I can run away for a few years, come back, and really appreciate what I have.


  5. Where I live, we lose power at least once a week. And I live on the fringe of Omaha, a medium sized city. There’s no need for this.

    On the other hand, how about getting a power pack for you computer. Mine gives me fifteen minutes of juice after the power goes out. It’s fantastic.


  6. here we have the same problem- i think its because they’re building too fast and the grid can’t keep up!
    and i think i would prefer the “power lunchers” to having the doors open and being caught with my hands around my hyperactive teenager’s throat!


  7. anne: Missed that one.

    bee: Time for move, I think.

    anon: Depends whether they happened before or after 1994.

    banquo: Nobody even missed you? It’s tough being a ghost, isn’t it?

    livewire: I’m afraid so. Damned annoying.

    terri: Always. Except when I don’t, of course.

    del: Tell that to the damned cheapskate IT manager. “Not economical” says he! Hah!

    tertia: Me too!

    jason: And he’s quite a busy fellow in this part of the world.

    juliana: A brown-out involves a reduction in power and usually isn’t kind to computer equipment. From what I hear, the PC experience will definitely change your outlook. You may even decide not to return.

    zube girl: As long as no-one lights a match, otherwise the stinky side is (briefly) the bright side.

    tj: Just about 🙂

    bryan: It sounds like the Third World has a branch office in Omaha. Who knew?

    dr o2: I don’t want to start down the slippery slope of elevator fantasies. Again.

    paul: What about red-outs? As in, “he read out the list”?

    angel: It probably wouldn’t happen, because if he’s hyperactive, he’d use up all the oxygen and you’d both pass out.

    chitty: Even when you behave like a total hooligan, you somehow manage to infuse the experience with romance. That, my friend, is a gift 🙂


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