Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lightning Strike

There's an old Boy Scout saying. You don't have to be able to run faster than the bear. You just have to be able to run faster than the slowest Boy Scout. We made a new saying here this evening. You don't have to be the lowest house in the foothills to avoid the lightning strike. You just have to be lower than Doug.

Poor Doug. He lives on the ridge, just above our home. He's our nicest neighbor. A greater guy is hard to find. He came home from work to an electrical disaster. While John and I were sitting here enjoying the late afternoon thunderstorm, we heard something we'd not heard before. The flash and boom came at the same time, and the house shook. John happened to be looking out the back window toward the ridge and saw the big flash.

Afraid of fire in the pines, he kept a good watch. Not seeing any smoke, he started wondering where the bolt had landed, and kept looking at Doug's house, worrying about our friend's electronics equipment. He, like John, is a HAM operator with a lot of expensive computer and radio equipment. When Doug came home he found out that it had indeed hit his house. There was no structural damage, but the electrical circuits had been fried, taking with it a computer, all the phones, and a beautiful high definition television.

He was still accessing damage when he decided to wander down and have someone to commiserate with him. He and John shared a beer while they discussed the number of things that Doug had already determined had been ruined, and the number of things he still had to check. Cost so far was closing in on three thousand dollars.

The sad thing is that all Doug's equipment was turned off, although it was plugged in. I had my computer open and operational, and the television was running. Actually, I was also on the phone. We were certainly blessed, because I couldn't have replaced anything but the phones. I wonder if homeowners insurance covers this. I don't think so. Isn't it considered an act of God? Why not an act of the devil? That makes more sense to me.

My only complaint for myself this day is spending four hours trying to download my video files and not being able to figure out how to do it. Ben made it seem so simple, too...

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