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As you’ve probably read, we had a blackout in Manhattan yesterday that lasted a little over an hour. There had been a band playing at a party for kids in a playground across the street and it suddenly went silent. We’re nervous when stuff like this happens in New York. Sirens started wailing immediately, and for me, those kicked in a full-fledged 9/11 flashback. I can tell which ones are fire, police and ambulance without seeing them. But I have a battery-operated radio and a land-line, and I soon learned that it was only a power outage on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the Bronx, and that some subways were out. I’ve also got a lantern, several days worth of water, and a Go Bag packed at all times. Happily, we didn’t have to worry about leaving.
Gretchen Rubin at The Happiness Project has a terrific post about how grateful this little blackout made her for electricity. She writes:

“Because of the “hedonic treadmill,” we quickly adapt to our life circumstances, so it’s easy to take even major comforts–like electricity–for granted. One cure for the hedonic treadmill is deprivation; deprive yourself of your comforts for a time, and you’ll appreciate them anew when you experience them again.”

Boy! Is she right. I was delighted to be re-united with the phones, the lights, the AC, the ice in the freezer, the music I have on iTunes on the Mac all day, the elevators, the running water, the working toilet, (no plumbing works above the 6th floor in any high-rise without electricity), the gas stove (electric starter) computer.
But I still hate ConEd because they still say they have no clue what happened. Hello, ConEd, I thought you were the ELECTRIC company.