"Stormy Weather" and "MIA"

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, May 31, 2008.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Just to update - Marg's Man (my husband) posted about me being MIA from this site because we lost our internet access from home. He was able to log on at work, of course.
    We've had a busy week. On Monday difficult child 1 had a day off work (from his new job) and used it to put his new second-hand car in for service. He also had an urgent appointment with his disability angency so I had to drive him there and back, leaving difficult child 3 home alone and hopefully working.

    Wednesday - difficult child 3 had a big day at his correspondence school, their annual expo. He had a fun day - rock-climbing, making a wooden puzzle, fishing for aquatic insects, watching a science show, participating in a satellite link to another school. On the way home we did some shopping, bought Wii Fit (which he didn't get to touch until we'd tidied up the family room) and had his evening drama class.
    On the way home from drama we were dazzled by a lot of lightning from a distant storm which passed to the west of us. There was a lot of thunder and lightning to the east as well, but counting seconds between the flash and the boom told us the storms were miles away and would miss us.
    By the time we went to bed all was quiet and the sky was clear.

    3.15 am we were woken by a loud clap of thunder. Very loud. husband had woken a split second beforfe by the intense lightning flash. Then more - less than 2 seconds between flash and boom. Five seconds means the storm is a mile away. Over and over, flash - boom, flash - boom. No chance to sleep.
    Then it eased and we slept a little, until 4.30 when we hadd simultaneous boomflash, no interval. Direct hit. And again. Over and over.

    Next morning we were very tired from lack of sleep. I asked difficult child 3, "How did you sleep?"
    He replied, "There were 24 thunderclaps, all of them really close." He had counted them all and gave me the intervals (or lack of) for just about all of them. Poor kid hadn't slept.
    We'd had almost 3" of rain in that hour of storm. The next town north on the other side of the water had only had 2" and no major storm damage.

    Round midday Thursday I tried to go online to check out this site, only to find we had no internet service. The router power was out so I got difficult child 3 to help me check - the power supply transformer was dead. I had been invited that night to go out with therapist friend so I left it to husband.

    Friday - difficult child 3 had a maths study day at school so I drove him in to the city while husband took the router to work to get it checked out by their technicians. Meanwhile in the rush and chronic lack of sleep, difficult child 3 forgot his medications. Our trip was a waste. As he got nothing useful done that day, we made today (Saturday) into a school day.

    Saturday - last night, right on midnight, husband finally realised that not only was the router burnt out, so was the communications centre of our computer. I had printed from it on Thursday without trouble but the technicians I spoke to today said that used a different port - the USB. Looks like we need a new motherboard, even though this computer seems fine apart from not talking to any other computer or network. $1000 minimum. New computer - $1500.

    Meanwhile the new router works. The computer can't see it. Our laptops can. So we're struggling with a cable strung around the house and hooked in to whichever laptop is trying to connect to the world.

    Today difficult child 3 did his online lessons with easy child 2/difficult child 2's laptop. Tonight I'm struggling to make it all work.

    We're back online, but not fully. This could take a while. On Monday I have another trip, to the service shop to find out what the damage is and how much it will cost. I need to organise a report and maybe get a new computer. Insurance will take 60 days, assuming they OK the claim at all.

    Talking to others in the village - it looks like that first thunderclap, with the 2 second delay - hit the phone lines. Two seconds is about how far away the lines are, as the crow squawks. Other people have faulty phones, or similar problems.

    At least I wasn't talking on the phone when the lightning hit - that happened to me once, and it was once too often!

    So please excuse my absence, and only partial attendance for a while.

  2. ML

    ML Guest

    We miss you but just so glad you are ok. Look forward to seeing you around more in time. Hugs, ML
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Our house was hit by lightining twice about 12 years ago and burnt to the ground - I'm so sorry for all the stuff you lost but I'm glad you have each other, and your house still.

    A NEW COMPUTER - YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!! (um sorry for the cost) just thinking how much faster you should be able to access US!

    Glad to see you're "relatively" okay.
  4. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Nice to have you back even if you are not totally up and running. It is amazing, these days, how being offline affects our daily lives.

    Glad you weathered the storm,
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I just found out this afternoon - our neighbour across the street was much more badly affected than us. Their house is the highest in the village and they got both direct hits. Their TV exploded and their entire computer burned out. At least our computer still works in everything except communication. We're planning to give it to mother in law, she doesn't have the Internet so won't have any problems with it. husband spent a fair bit of time last night and today copying everything out of the old computer. At least we can still access it all.

  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    Have you considered wireless connection. husband & I can connect to internet from anywhere in the house - no wires. Our PDAs can also connect (much cheaper than cell phone internet access).

    husband set up wireless a couple of years ago & it has been wonderful. I can sit in the back yard & check out the board.

    Good luck in getting this all fixed. Hoping to see your smiling face on a regular basis real soon.
  7. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    It was a daily routine for us to unplug nearly everything in the house when I lived in Florida. I lost two computers to lightening. Fortunately, this was at the time that the store I bought them from had a 'no excuse' return. I shamefully took advantage of that.

    The University of Florida has a lightening research center for a reason...daily storms. So, I leaned my lesson. Nothing was plugged in unless absolutely needed.

    Hope everything works out for you.

  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yaaay! I'm glad you're back online!
    Eouw, so sorry about your neighbor. Scary.
    I know how it feels not to get any sleep from a thunderstorm, but I am always able to fall asleep again. Small miracles. :)
    Take care.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well I'm glad it was only "stuff" that got damaged and none of your family is hurt! Very scary when it hits that close to home.

    Last year I was on the back patio during a thunderstorm (turning off the automatic sprinkler timer) when the next-door-neighbor's 30 foot palm tree, which was about 50 yards away, took a direct hit by lightning and caught fire. I nearly jumped out of my skin from the shock wave!
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, it took me a while to get back online properly. At last I'm typing on the new computer. It will take a bit of getting used to, but it is lovely.

    We can't get wireless yet. The only computers in the house which could access it are this new one, and easy child 2/difficult child 2's laptop. My laptop and husband's laptop could not. Also, the wireless stiff wouldn't support our cable (which our older laptops rely on).

    There is a company here called"Unwired" as well as other companies which have a wireless service; would you believe we live 100 metres too far south? If we had a second storey to this house, or lived a little bit further north, no worries. The school in the village has wireless. They are one block north of us, line of sight to the city. We have line of sight to the city from the front fence.

    We used to unplug everything before a storm, but this one blew up in the middle of the night. And to unplug it (and plug it back in) I have to crawl under the desk.

    The computer was fine, except for the Ethernet chip. Unfortunately, it's all on the one board and they don't repair just the chip. I wish they did - we'd do it ourselves. So husband thinks it wasn't the direct hit over the road that did it, it was a hit to the phone lines, and that the chip was the last thing in the line, probably burning out when the router blew from the phone line, then the flash went back to the router power supply and the other way to the computer ethernet chip.

    We get a lot of electric storms here, often without any rain (or very little). This one was a bad one probably because it was mostly dry. Once the rain began to fall. the lightning eased off. But the rain! In an hour, we got almost 3"- 75mm. There were small floods in surprising places. Our backyard is one big sand-hill - ever seen puddles on a sand-hill? Yup. Puddles. Big ones. My seedlings got washed right out of their pots, no soil left whatsoever.

    And today, because we've had drizzly rain with occasional downpours, for days - husband rang to let me know, we're flooded in. And this afternoon we have to go "to the mainland" for difficult child 3's drama class and his sister has a doctor's appointment. Two cars. The long way round via the south road. An hour each way. Oh, joy.

    I have to remind myself why we choose to live in such an isolated place.