I left work early yesterday because I have two work assignments to handle over the weekend. After I'd run several errands, I returned home to discover that our electrical problems persisted and that it was apparently up to me to take care of them.
My husband's electrician friend came by and determined that neither the fuse box nor the breaker box was responsible for the power outage. The problem began outside somewhere. I called the electric company and waded through their voicemail system. Apparently it's not unusual for someone to lose partial power, because that was one of the options on the automated questionnaire.
The man from the electric company arrived within an hour and quickly discovered that one of the live sections of our aged overhead power line had burned itself in half at both ends. This meant we got a new cable from the utility pole to the house: two black live wires and a shiny silver ground wire. It was an interesting process to watch, especially since the man ended up doing the whole job by himself.
It was dark before he finished, so my husband and I sat on our front porch watching the work. I tried to light some candles to illuminate the porch, but it was too windy. Fortunately I have a battery-powered faux candle, so I brought it out and turned it on until the lights came back.
The man from the utility company told us that the bad wire had probably been causing us problems for some time. It would certainly explain why all our basement lights burned out last week. If we're lucky, we should have a lot more stable power supply from now on, although we still need to upgrade our breaker box.
So now I'm back online. Hooray! I had some ugly spyware causing problems when I tried to download my e-mail, but I took care of that this morning. The only lingering problem from the whole episode is that one of the cats sneaked out for a while last night, and now she's darting for the door every time someone tries to leave. Time to get a new squirt gun, I guess.