Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Last Thursday, one of those late-afternoon thunderstorms for which the South is famous rolled through the neighborhood.

I was toiling away in my home-based outpost of the Great Corporate Salt Mine when the storm blew in. SWMBO and the Mistress were off at the Nail Salon, doing...whatever it is the ladies do at the Nail Salon.

*flash* POP WHAMMO!

You know a lightning strike has been really, really close when you hear the POP! just before the crack of the thunder.

This bolt apparently didn’t hit the house. Good thing, too: We’ve lost all kinds of telephones and miscellaneous electronic equipment to lightning strikes over the years, both here in Atlanta and in Houston. Alarm systems, telephones, garage door openers, television sets, HVAC system controller circuits: you name it, we’ve had it fried at one time or another.

Everything seemed to be in order, though, and the DSL line still worked (after a warm reset).

The next time the phone rang, though, we found out otherwise. The main line was full of static and buzz, enough to where the Caller ID no longer worked. Too bad, because you needed it to figure out who was on the line. The buzzing was so bad, you couldn’t recognize voices.

Strangely, only the residential line was affected. The business line was fine.

We called the phone company, and they arranged to send out a technician. “Monday, between 3 and 7 pm,” they said. He finally showed up this morning and started doing his Detective Thingy. Turns out the buzzing was due to a blown-out surge protector. Problem solved!

That was good news indeed. It means the surge protector did exactly what it was designed to do, saving our telephones, DSL modem, and computer.

We’ll have to buy a new one, of course, but that’s an expenditure I'll be happy to make. It’s a small price to pay for the safety of the Electronica d’Elisson.

Do you have surge protectors? And do they have slots for your telephone lines? If not, what are you waiting for? Get yer ass out to the office supplies or electronics store and buy some cheap-ass protection! Think of it as a Condom for your Electronic Dick. Safe computing!

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