So yesterday afternoon, about quarter to four, I’m fooling around in Fate, and thinking about getting online in a few minutes to do my news round. Then the power went out.

It was a total outage in my area of the city, and a couple of other places, too. Fortunately, the power came back on about an hour later. Only, in the meantime, thunderstorms started rolling in.

And they just kept coming. Every time I brought my system up, 10-20 minutes later: rumble. It was that way through the afternoon and all through the evening. I finally gave up when another storm sailed in around 11:30.

Which is why nothing was posted yesterday. It was just a bad day all around, with no time to get anything done on the computer.

Some may wonder why I’m so paranoid about thunderstorms. After all, this is a city I live in, not the suburbs or the boonies. At one time, I thought the same thing, but a couple of nasty experiences changed my mind.

Way back, in the early days, I was sitting there one afternoon playing Gemstone Warrior, a third-person shooter for the Apple. Storms came in, and I was about to shut down and pull the plugs when I thought: hey, this is a city, why bother?

Overhead came a tremendous burst of thunder. I saw a jagged line, almost a miniature lightning bolt, race up the monitor screen, and the game dropped dead. I turned off the computer and pulled the plugs, but it was too late.

While nothing seemed wrong, the Apple (my beloved Apple ][+) never worked quite right again. Eventually, I had to get a new machine.

Fast forward a few years. It’s Friday night and I’m online, running my weekly RPG session, now on a 386 (or it could have been the 486). Thunder rumbles. Ackk!

I didn’t get off fast enough. Once again, I saw that jagged line, although this time, it was just a brief flash in the lower left of the screen. No matter, the damage had been done.

Happily, it wasn’t the computer. Unhappily, it was the monitor, which began acting up, and quickly became unviewable. Time for a new one. Sigh.

Now it may have been just coincidence on those two occasions. But I don’t think so. Twice is too many times. And I’m not taking any chances. When storms come in, the system is turned off and unplugged pronto.

Thunderstorms. Just another reason not to like summer.