Power has been restored to New York City as of 11:00 p.m., New York time, after the Blackout of 2003. It was great to see that everyone there took it in stride. People were talking to each other and pooling their cash to grab a cab to New Rochelle or wherever. They were picking up hitchhikers. Drivers weren't honking their horns, as much. They were waving to each other, with all their fingers. What a difference from the last two power outages.

Here in Venango County in Western Pennsylvania the lights flickered off and on just after 4 o'clock. I was at work and starting the gun lap of finishing another day at the drafting board and the computer. The power dipped enough to reset the computer. Several minutes later after a couple attempts to get going again everything went out. The battery powered emergency lights came on and off and on and off and finally stayed on. Some left early. I hung around until 4:45 p.m. which is our quitting time. I won't go on about how busy I am at work and how short handed we are since one guy quit to go back to school and another worker is off on maternity leave and just before she comes back another guy is going back to school.

I turned on my shortwave radio to 27.185 MHz which is Channel 19 on the CB radio band. I could hear some of the truckers going through Franklin, PA talking about the traffic lights being out and traffic beginning to back up. Just before I left one of them said the blackout was across the whole state. I told the only other guy still at work, the shop supervisor. He said: "Oh bullshit, it ain't that bad."

We lost power for three days back in July this year when a freak wind shear ripped through the Northeast. Some places like Memphis, TN and Louisville, KY were worse off than we were. All we lost was $150.00 worth of food in the refridgerator. We were camping at home, cooking outside, listening to the radio, and reading by flashlight. We were hoping that the electricity wouldn't be off for two or three days as they thought this time. We had just stocked up the fridge. I tried to get some ice but everyone was sold out by the time I got to the stores. We missed out on the ice three weeks ago too. My next door neighbor's got six bags of ice.

My wife just made a big batch of spagetti sauce when the power went out. We usually eat some then and freeze the rest. I opened the fridge to get some cold water and my wife yelled, "What the hell are you doing?"

We gave a quart of sauce to my other neighbor. He is alone and we help each other quite a bit. We were out watching the Channel 11 News helicopter, out of Pittsburgh, flying around. I read their logo with a pair binoculars. The other next door neighbors are friendly but distant. They wouldn't need six bags of ice. The power came on about 9 p.m., less than five hours after it went out. Yahoo!