Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Lake County 2011 Power Vacuum

Still waiting for the ComEd truck to arrive, your LakeCountyEye has been subsisting on portable generator power since Monday's seiche inundated the county. Note to operatives, those downed trees make for excellent firewood if you are running a steam-powered generator. (Your LakeCountyEye has discovered that stolen yardsigns do as well -- provided they are cardboard.)

Speaking of ineffective outdoor mass marketing, not unnoticed were the humorous hand-painted signs:
Free Beer for ComEd!
These numerous signs were to be found at homes hoping to solicit some preferential service out of their power company. Not to be outdone, your LakeCountyEye posted this humorous hand-painted sign in front of the LakeCountyEye compound:
Ha Ha -- Free COLD Beer for ComEd!
The next day there was a ComEd post-it note on the sign:
Ha Ha, if your beer is cold, call us when your power is out.
In times of adversity like these you could do worse than recall the political advice of one uber-operative, whose name escapes your LakeCountyEye at the moment:
"Never let a serious crisis to go to waste."
For instance, operatives are challenged to blame the outage on Obamacare or the debt ceiling or some junk like that. In that spirit, your LakeCountyEye has compiled a list of ten opportunities to take advantage of before the lights come back on.

Ten Must-Do's in a Power Outage
  1. The red light cameras are down -- run a red-light.
  2. This is a perfect time to "rewind" the power meter.
  3. Lights out at the tanning salon? Time to buy that battery powered tanning-bed.
  4. No video poker? Then play Internet poker.
  5. Is the a/c kapoot? Treat the family to a round of frapp├ęs.
  6. Enjoy those energy inefficient incandescent bulbs 100% guilt-free.
  7. That rack-of-lamb on reserve in the sub-zero freezer for that special occasion ... now is the time to toss it on the Weber.
  8. Drive down to Barrington Hills for some awesome outdoor lighting displays.
  9. Take the opportunity to declare an emergency; seize dictatorial powers.
    (Applies only to County Board Chairs.)
  10. Lincoln surfed the web by candlelight. So can you.

Don't look for your LakeCountyEye, not without a flashlight.


IllinoisJim said...

Years ago, I worked for a supplier to ComEd. One of my contacts told me this story: There was a horrific outage on the East Coast. The Eastern utility was overtaxed. Hundreds of thousands were without power for days. The federal government asked ComEd to help. Air Force planes were actually sent to O’Hare to airlift the ComEd trucks and crews to the East. At the last moment, the Eastern utility cancelled everything. Why? Because they didn’t want to spend the money that an outside utility would charge them.

When I see Alabama Power trucks running around now in ComEd truck convoys, I wonder if the call went out for outside help too late, in time, after the smoke cleared, or because within hours ComEd knew just what they could do and what they could get away with not doing in the first four days.

Dear Eye: Please investigate further.

Anonymous said...

The funniest thing about this outage is the Lake County 'Emergency!" It's like a scene from "The Russians are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!" Poor little Jim Newton, given the standard line from Suzi Schmidt, (Actually given the whole freakin email!) running around yelling, "ComEd's coming, ComEd's coming! If you didn't think the power's that be think Lake County is a JOKE, Stohlman's state of emergency and his inability to make it mean anything is the best example. Why, oh why is Jim Newton not ignoring the problem in the News Sun rather than ignoring the problem at the taxpayers' expense?

Barney Baxter said...

hi IllinoisJim--

We'll post any further developments.