Power Failure Update And More

The power has returned. It was a wonderful thing. It took about 5 minutes to pick up where it left off. Turn the dryer back on, and load another batch of washable. Reset a clock on the stove and microwave. Close the windows now that the air conditioner works or will. It is cooler inside than the setpoint. Put phones and tablets on their chargers. Turn on the laptop. Seems the internet is down.

Use the phone and check with the internet provider. They report an outage and an expected time to reset the network. Okay. Check again at the appointed time. The time has been extended. Well, I suppose that’s possible. Go to bed to catch up on sleep I missed last night because the CPAP machine likes power.

Recheck internet. A new time for repair is posted. Odd. I have trouble imagining they don’t have a network recovery protocol. I’ll just read for a while and check again near bedtime. Still extended. The times are precise. Like 8:46 PM

Come morning, the time is now anticipated to be 7:02 AM. I was sure they were doing nothing, and the computers were just filling out a post. At 7:03, I checked. It is now set for 8:03. I am going to treat the provider as a liar.

Business advice: Lying to your customers is a stupid policy. At Cogeco, their idea seems to be “Honesty is the best policy; it just isn’t company policy.” Honesty would have included, “It’s a holiday weekend, and we didn’t want to pay overtime even if we could have found technicians who would have come into work.”


On the plus side of it all, I found the storm that visited us was a “derecho” You could learn more on Wikipedia. A derecho is a straight line, (no funnel like a tornado or hurricane) widespread, and long-lived storm with winds of up to about 80 mph. From what we saw, it moves fast and lasts with strength over large distances. Ottawa, about 175 miles to the East, was struck as hard as we were and only two hours later. By the time the storm passed into Quebec, also hard hit, 350,000 homes and businesses in Ontario were without power.

Many trees fell, and some took power lines with them. Several high voltage transmission towers toppled, too. How much energy does that take?

An unexpected observation – Did you know trampolines can fly?

At times like this, I question the idea that nature is benign. Can you trust natural ingredients or can they turn on you?

Wind turbines

I wonder if any wind turbines were injured. Probably not. I think engineers are able enough to provide a failsafe. There must be a way to keep the vanes from driving the machine at high speeds. My understanding is the vanes are designed for some maximum tip speed, and if it is exceeded, the device suffers material stresses beyond its design limit.

I did a little arithmetic. At 10 revolutions per minute, that’s about what you see on a day with moderate winds; the tip speed for a machine with the typical 150-foot blade is about 110 mph. For a big one, GE’s Haliade-X offshore device, the blades are 350 feet. At 10 rpm, one of those can create enough power for a home for 2 days, and do it in 6 seconds. Its tip speed would be 367 feet per second or 250 miles per hour. No wonder these things can kill a bird. They wouldn’t even see it coming.

The key question

Does Mercedes charge turbine developers for the use of their logo?

The internet provider now says 9:03 AM. Who would have guessed that? Do you suppose the next one will be 10:04?

I build strategic, fact-based estate and income plans. The plans identify alternate ways to achieve spending and estate distribution goals. In the past, I have been a planner with a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency, a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business. I have appeared on more than 100 television shows on financial planning. I have presented to organizations as varied as the Canadian Bar Association, The Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants, The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and Banks – from CIBC to the Business Development Bank.

Be in touch at 705-927-4770 or by email at don.shaughnessy@gmail.com.

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