This time it was not merely a computer hang, but a real blackout in the middle of the afternoon Saturday. When I saw that none of the breakers were tripped I went on a little expedition to see what was happening. Two blocks from our house the traffic signals were working, but in this little corner of Dumont and much of the neighboring town of Nrw Milford there were road flares set up at intersections. This is the same pattern seen the last time the power went out, last summer.
I filled a gas can at the service station and dug out the instructions for the Briggs & Stratton portable generator I bought in the wake of Hurricane Floyd. I pulled on the starter rope for a frustrating half hour until I discovered that I had to ignore the instructions and _not_ set the choke fully to get the engine to catch. So now our refrigerator is running off a long extension cord, but nothing else (certainly not the web server).
8:15 pm Happened to notice that the lights were back on in the house. Went around resetting clocks and rebooting the computers. Plugged the fridge back into the wall socket. Gave Pam a call while she was on her way back from dropping her sister off at home.
8:35 pm Back in the dark suddenly. Ended up breaking out the candles (not enough extension cords to lead from the generator).
10:00 pm Back on.