I know, I know, I'm lucky to be alive, yada yada yada.... But seriously - lightning struck merely feet away from myself, my hubs, close friends, my step-dad, and even a cute neighbor family while we were all on my front porch near the end of the yard sale on Saturday. It was LOUD. Sparks were FLYING from the telephone poles in front of our house and all of us felt like we had been smacked in the head - minor headaches and earaches were had by all. After we made sure our computers were okay (they were - whew!), we packed up the yard sale when the storm blew over, and took everything left (mostly) to good will.

Then we started realizing that maybe we had been quick to deem our house and appliances o.k....

Our phones (all two of them) were dead. I couldn't get a dial tone, until I hooked up an old corded phone (I know - who still has those???) and did get a dial tone so at least our phone lines were working.

Our wireless router was still working - for about two hours until it got so hot that it fried itself. The surge must have damaged its cooling mechanism or something. We are now broadcasting our wireless through Greg's old macbook that is semi-held-together with duct tape. Our internet was really spotty, so we were afraid that the cable lines were fried, but luckily it affected the whole street so Comcast cleared up the problem pretty fast. But seriously - no internet for a few hours was just like the dark ages! My computer was very angry and kept telling me to check my internet connection, because apparently every program is surfing the net in the background while I am using it. I was even wondering how I could plug in my computer to the phone line and dial up a connection - scary stuff...

Then the next morning as I lay in bed, I decided to turn on the t.v. to check the weather. I turned up the volume, and up, and up... all the way.... nothing. No volume. Picture - fine. Volume - nil. This was my first "big" purchase when I was a bonafide working girl 7 years ago - it was when flat panels were new and LCDs were thousands of dollars, so it was a big ole' boxy flat panel, about 19", and I loved it - it worked just fine and probably would have been fine forever, except for that whole electrical surge thing. Greg tested it with headphones and they didn't work either - the amp is dead and apparently it's too expensive to fix. Does anyone know of a cheap t.v. repairman?

Next, I went into my studio to work and turned on my computer. I made jewelry for a few hours before I realized I hadn't heard my computer make any noises. I turned up the speakers and turned on itunes... nothing... not a sound. Awesome. Another set of speakers broken, rendered useless by the lightning. Those were nothing special - standard issue Dell that came along with my first desktop computer, circa 2002, but they worked, dammit! Now, off to the trash they go.

The kicker is that Tad sold a t.v. at the yard sale (would have been a delightful replacement to the one in the bedroom) and Greg donated TWO phones to goodwill! Gah! The money we made at the sale for some tree trimming may also now be going to a new roof leak (all this freaking rain!!!) and the frustrating thing about all the stuff that was damaged is that none of it is really necessary to replace. We don't need a telephone because we just let it ring and never answer it (telemarketers, you know). We don't need a t.v. in the bedroom, but I have always always always had a t.v. in my bedroom (seriously - since I was 10 or 11). I don't need computer speakers. I didn't need lightning to strike my house, but that wasn't up to me.

So, instead of going out and spending retail on all these things (because I did need 4 new tires, I'm a bit short on cash right now), I just hit Craig's List for the first time. I think I can easily replace everything for about $80! That would be nice - then I wouldn't feel so guilty about replacing these items that aren't technically necessary for survival.

Now I'm off to bed to watch my volumeless t.v. - maybe I can figure out how to turn on the subtitles!

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