Saturday, 19 December 2009

What is it with my place?

The thunder and lightning started yesterday evening and went on until just a few hours ago. Some of the locals are reporting up to 15 inches of rain in the last 24-hours which wouldn't surprise me as my yard flooded again. This never used to happen until two or three years ago.

The power has been off and on all day but finally went off at around 4:45pm. I needed to go into town so this seemed the best time despite not being able to take a shower - my water supply depends upon a pump which only works if there's electricity. I'm sorry if I offended anyone in the couple of stores I had to visit.

As is normal in what to most people would appear to be a third-world island, there was no way to get through to Helco, the local power company. Their emergency number was busy. Obviously their crews did go out and eventually fix things otherwise I wouldn't be able to post this, but their telephone system needs some fixing.

In the end the only causality was my camera. It's had it. I tried to take some pictures of last night's storm but the lightning started to strike trees within yards of my house so felt very uneasy and went inside. Can you blame me? This morning I checked the camera and it's fried. It sort of works as in it will take a picture but it's just noise and the LCD screen shows nothing but white. I think the lightning got it and I'm so glad it happened when I was inside.


Zuzana said...

Aw, sorry about your camera.:( It sods a bit dangerous, I am happy you are fine.
A few days ago, during our big snowstorm, there was thunder and lightning, I have never seen this except during the summer and it was truly surreal.

Devany said...

Tom, the same thing happened to my camera right before we went to the summit. I am in the process of deciding on a new one right now. I think that the LED screen burned out in my camera. It was a few years old and had LOTS of use. I still have my little waterproof camera as back up, but it is not going to be good enough for my magazine pics.

Anonymous said...

The gods are upset with the UKIRT decision!

Andrew Cooper said...

Do try removing the batteries and letting the camera reset completely, it may just be a software fault. You can also try flashing the latest firmware update, get the download from the manufacturer's website and run it.

If not, there are some great cameras available this year. Wait for the after Christmas sales?

Aaron Stene said...

I complained about HELCO's trouble line awhile back after being unable to get through on a number of occasions.

The person I spoke to at HELCO explained to me that it was due to the limited number of access lines
for that number.

However, I was assured they would look into the issue. I guess when there is severe outages it will remain a problem.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Tom, I have lived in two houses that have been hit by lightening. One strike literally knocked me out of bed (Kansas) and it fried our air conditioner. The other was not so obvious (more like a "brown out") but all of our CD players and our computer hard drive were fried. We even sent to a data retrieval company, but it was too far gone. Sorry about your camera, bummer. But better the inanimates than you.

Tom said...

Zuzana - I don't remember thunderstorms in the UK during the winter. Surprised to hear of them in your neck of the woods in December!

Devany - yes, I remember you telling me about your camera problem. I'm going to order a Panasonic Lumix FZ35 and I'll let you know how that goes. I want to get an SLR but they're just too pricey right now.

Damon - then why let loose at me? ;)

Andrew - I'm certain it's buggered. I took the battery out as soon as I saw the problem, let it sit for a while and no change. Firmware downloads don't help. I think the damage is physical unfortunately. The crap on the LCD really doesn't look like a software/firmware issue but real damage.

Aaron - it was a little disappointing because I know they leave a message on their system when there is a power outage yet there was no way to hear it. The only news was from civil defense and it was hours old.

Richard - couldn't agree more. Glad that someone other than me knows what it's like to have their house hit by lightning more than once! Fortunately my camera wasn't an expensive one and can be replaced. I need to add this to my list of weird things lightning can do to electronics...


Hilary said...

Wow that (having read ahead to the next post too) sounds and looks just awful. I'm glad you were safe and sound though sorry you lost the camera. Every few years or so, we experience a short winter thunder strom (as in Zuzana's comment). It is indeed quite amazing.

Tom said...

Hilary - we tend to get our storms in the winter so this isn't too unusual, but it was definitely the most spectacular lightning storm I've experienced so far. Not as much rain as I've seen before (we've had well over 20-inches in 24 hours in the past) but just continuous lightning and thunder and it just kept going on for hours.