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Not with a bang but with a brrzeep.

2013/02/16

Here’s last night’s (2013-02-15) Memo of the Air show on KNYO for you. (In Windows, normal-click the link to immediately play it in your browser. Right-click to save it to your own computer.) It’s a very short show because a little after 11pm, two hours and change after I started, someone somewhere crashed into exactly the right pole to shut off all the electricity for most of Fort Bragg (CA), which of course includes the electricity for KNYO’s broadcast booth. A man out in the street yelled, “The power is off!” And then a moment later he yelled it again. So, okay.

The regular portable telephone is way too sophisticated for it to work with the electricity off, so I plugged in an antique dial phone, dialled PG&E and waited for about ten minutes of a syrupy jazz-like substance and messages about how if you ever suspect there is a gas leak you should just get away from there and call PG&E; don’t turn things off, don’t flip electrical switches and, for God’s sake, people, don’t use a lighter or a candle to look around. Eventually a woman came on and told me that 2,600 people were out of power because of a vehicle crash and the estimated power-on would be 2:30. Thank you, I said, and I hung up and, holding my flashlight in my mouth, I put the regular phone wires back, disassembled my show setup, put everything the way it should be for the next person, triple-checked that I unplugged heater, water pot, and so on, carried my things out into my car, locked up and left. Wait, did I switch the light off? It doesn’t matter. Should I drive out to the transmitter trailer and set up there and– no. I can go to Juanita’s house tonight instead of tomorrow night, and be there for her Saturday off.  And that’s what I did. I went home, ate the perishable food in the fridge, packed and got there, here, Juanita’s, at 4am.

I found out just now that the crash was uphill, as far as Corry Street, and there was so much damage that they didn’t get the power on until 8:30 in the morning. I’m kind of kicking myself for not having gone to the transmitter site to finish my show. Now it seems like the obvious choice. But now is now. If I had a time machine I wouldn’t waste it on something like this; I’d use it for something important, like to prevent the Challenger disaster.

So, a short show. It ain’t the end of the world. I’ll just carry over the best of what I didn’t have a chance to read, and do extra next week.

That there’s a recording at all is due to my using my video camera for audio, and it was the only thing in the room running on batteries. I really like the faint plaintive whimper/squee of the mixing board as the power flinked off and on and then off for good. (The very last sound on the recording.)

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