Ottawa Power Outage

Craziness! Shortly after 4pm yesterday, August 14th, 2003, the power went out for pretty much all of Ontario and what they call the "eastern seaboard" of the US – including such major cities as New York, Boston, Cleveland, and Detroit.

So, as our apartment heated up (it only remains cold because our air conditioner runs 24/7…well, and it was 32°C plus humidex), Kate and I decided to go over to Anna, Rob, and Adam's place. They have a barbecue on their front porch, and it was actually a rather enjoyable evening. We had sausages and spinach salad (it was kind of a crazy dressing I made, with wasabi and ginger, but not tested enough to go in the recipes) and sat on the front porch drinking beer and listening to the wind up radio. CBC was doing a great job of dolling out reports, with some interesting "man-in-the-street" interviews thrown in. It was hard to sleep at our place, being the first night sleeping in the full heat of an Ottawa summer. We woke up early, since all the windows were open and the noises of the street starting coming in. I checked in with Terrence, who was making sure our customers were OK (we probably won't know until Monday, and Terrence is going on vacation….). Anna was still on vacation, Rob didn't have to go to work, Kate got the day off, and there wasn't much I could do without power (I'm pretty much just working on web stuff), so we went to the beach.

The beach being in Gatineau. Quebec/Gatineau is just over the bridge (maybe a kilometer and a half from our house to the other side) and their electrical grid didn't go down. So, first stop was at a restaurant at the end of Highway 5. Really good coffee, which we decided was because of the water, which was really smooth/salty tasting. I know the salty sounds strange, but it was good. Then a quick stop at a depeneur for some provisions, and on to the beach at Lac La Peche.

A nice day spent there, hanging out in the sun, doing some reading, doing some fishing (nothing caught, not even log fish), and doing some swimming. I had picked up a copy of XBN - XBOX Nation. I don't have an Xbox, and I won't likely get one (I'm going to wait at least until the next generation of consoles comes out – PS3, Xbox 2, etc.). But, I was very impressed by the level of writing, and it seemed like a really useful, informative magazine. More on that later.

Unfortunately (and I feel really bad about this) I made it back too late to catch a ride to ultimate. And it was probably a hard game. And we probably lost. And people are probably mad at me. Oh well, I'll try and make it up to folks on Sunday, our playoffs….

This is part of the long term Archive, originally published on

Categories: Ottawa


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