A week ago Wednesday was interesting. The day began with a visit from a plumber; he was coming to install two new drains for my sinks (with pop-up drain covers that are really quite clever). He also was to also install new filters for my drinking water system and a piece of equipment that converts my plain old toilet into a bidet toilet. The bidet thing sprays water up and on a hind end or front end depending on which way a small square knob is turned. The bidet thing works great, but don’t turn the knob too strongly or your various ends will be assaulted and shocked. Gently is the word…
And then, in the early afternoon, about 2-something, the power went off in our entire community. I awoke from my post-lunch nap and the TV was silent. My various smoke alarms were intermittently squealing. And then, my watch rang. I have a smart watch and have had phone alerts from the watch before and always grabbed my iPhone, but this time, in the silence, I pushed a button on the watch and said “Hello”. Clear as a bell, my friend Dorothy was talking and asking if my power was out because hers was. Yes, my power was out also. Clear as a bell…
So then I tried something else. I happened upon Siri on my watch and she asked what she could do for me so I said, “Call Gerri.” Siri then asked which Gerri I had in mind and gave me two choices on the watch screen. I picked my neighbor (and community gate expert) Gerri and gave her a call. Yes, she was at the gate as we spoke (she and another fella were making sure our community gates were open). Then she said she “heard” that power should be back on shortly. OK fine…I heard her clear as a bell…the watch was amazing me.
But I wasn’t sure what to do next. I didn’t have a transistor radio or a back-yard generator or even a powerful flashlight. I am not a big user of my iPhone, but it was the only thing around with a light and a connection that wasn’t Wi-Fi. So I grabbed the phone and looked around and found an app which offered me movies to watch..on my phone…for a price. OK, so with nothing else to do, I bought the movie “The Assistant” (The movie seemed new and I “thought” I had heard good things.) So for the first time in my life, I watched a movie on my iPhone.
Things were going along fine until well into the movie. I started getting messages about my the storage on my phone was about to be used up. (I have my phone’s cheapest plan.) However, I was interested in the movie so kept watching. I was well into the movie and a scene in which the main character in the movie is sitting at a counter looking at the street when the screen went blank. I had seven minutes to go in the movie and the thing stopped!
So I went online and eventually talked to AT&T to find out what to do. I was told with $10 I could buy one something-or-other that would give me more storage for the next month. Fine.
So I went back to the phone and found the movie and the movie started just where it had left off. The girl is sitting at the counter. Next scene: the girl is walking down the street, and the screen turns black. Then comes five minutes of credits. I paid $10 for this!
The disappointment was also because I had been interested in watching this movie about one day in the life of an assistant in a movie production company We watched her take phone calls, make reservations, clean up her boss’s office, make coffee, get bawled out and complimented and on and on. I thought the story would be going somewhere, but though the movie kept me interested, I guess I was to decide my own ending. I Googled RogerEbert.com to find a movie review. The reviewer LOVED the movie, giving it four stars. Then I looked at Rotten Tomatoes which noted that although 92 percent of reviewers loved the movie; only 25 percent of audience members loved it.
I guess I agreed with both ratings. But “The Assistant” also took up more than an hour of what turned out to be a four-hour outage, so I’m grateful. Facebook took up additional time, as did another nap interrupted by worries about the food in my freezer, the garage door that no longer worked and the possibility of needing a hotel room. Fortunately, after four hours, the lights came back on.
Before my retirement, I spent 39 years working for a manufacturing company in Chicago that made high-voltage electrical equipment. The company was founded in 1911 and is still going strong. John Conrad, who owned the company during most of my tenure, often said no matter what happens to the world, electricity will always be needed. Yep, in Nevada, when the temperature is 110 degrees and a pandemic has us all at home, he was so right….