A lightning is a massive electrostatic discharge caused by unbalanced electric charge in the atmosphere, either inside clouds, cloud to cloud or cloud to ground, accompanied by the loud sound of thunder.
The computer of a friend of mine who lives in Jerusalem was once fried by a lightning storm and it took him about 2 months to get his virtual life together. So he warned me, as soon as we arrived here, to make sure and protect my computer and everything else delicate and crucial with a surge protector.
So I bought a couple surge protectors, to feel safe, but never took them out of the box. They looked good just sitting there, shiny and ready for action, but entirely unnecessary in my Mediterranean Netanya.
On Sunday it started to rain heavily and I was supposed to be in Jerusalem for a meeting, so I said, what the heck, better safe than sorry, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, don’t delay for tomorrow what you can do today (I’m extremely Ben Franklin like when I speak to myself) – and hooked up the computer to the surge computer.
This morning we had six – count them – six lightning hits that made my surge protector shut everything down just in time to avoid frying.
It had sat there, on my shelf, for nearly a year, and just before I really, really needed it, I was struck by a divinely inspired thought and installed it.
Between 6 and 8 AM, we’ve had 6 lightning strikes that hit home and 3 short blackouts. That’s 9 times in which my Windows XP was hastily shut down.
After the third one, it re-started in safe mode and self-analyzed.
The blue screen of self-analysis. Not as bad as the notorious “blue screen of death” but almost as scary.
Except each time it went into a contemplative mode, it got clipped again, the poor thing. Finally it gave up and started leaving me huge emergency messages on my desktop screen, that something was seriously wrong it was deactivating my desktop. Took me a half hour of checking online to finally be able to reactivate.
Of course something was seriously wrong, my virtual brother, you almost got hit by thousands of volts. If I was Dr. Frankenstein, you’d be walking and talking by now…
Anyway, it’s been two hours of fear and loathing and using seriously foul language, but now, thank heaven, it’s all good again.
Incidentally, the magnificent lightning shot at the top of this page was taken in Naharia, which is just under 50 miles north of here, back on October 26 2012.
Hope they used their surge protectors…