My wife called at 12:30PM on Wednesday to inform me the flakes had started and she was going home. I told her I was going to leave shortly. Expecting to have to work from my laptop at home I started backing up my .dwg files to my jump drive. About 45 mins later, I was out the door. The parking lot was white, but no big deal. I headed down the hill on the road in front of my office to get on a more major road and there were cars everywhere. Apparently everyone else had the same idea about heading home. I took my standard right on to University drive and made it down to the traffic light, about 6 cars away. There I took another right to get on, what I call the on ramp. it is not your standard on ramp, it is a divided four lane road just continues from the other side of the light and not until much further beyond the light do the two lanes merger, so it is more just like a standard intersection. Well about 8 car lengths and 50 mins later I decided to call my wife who I could tell was home (there’s an app for that!). She informed me that her normal 20 min ride had taken one hour and thirty minutes. She also said the road that goes past our house, we live on a corner, had become too slick and was impassable. She had parked her car in someone’s yard (with their permission) and walked up the road (1 mile) to get home. She told me to park my car on the shoulder and just go back to the office. I parked the car and took the 10 minutes walk back to the office.
I have spent many a night work at this office, but for some reason I really wanted to go home. I knew that would just not be possible for Wednesday night. Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill area looked just like the gridlock that had paralysed Atlanta a few weeks prior to this snow. The evening weather was to bad and I had seen where the weather was going to let up between 6AM and noon on Thursday, just enough time to get me home. So at 5:45 AM, I walked back down to my car, which has front wheel drive. Push the ice and snow off the windows and attempted to pull out. The snow / ice was too slick. I couldn’t get any traction, but I wasn’t that far from the black asphalts that was visible where the cars had drive by all day.. So I thought I would back up to where my car had been, get a little speed up and try again. Again it was to slick. I thought since I could back up why don’t I back into the black tire areas? When I turn the front of the car to aim my back toward the road I drove to far and when off the shoulder and into the dirt. After a few frustrated tries I realize I was in a mud rut and it was time to walk back to the office. So walking by myself, in the dark at 6ish AM and police office came down the hill, stopped and asked if I need a ride. I told him my office was just up the hill. He again asked if he could give me a ride and I told him I was a bit pissed about my situation and I needed to walk off the frustration, but thanks for the offer.
Thursday after watching the news, I did have access to cable TV because I have a slingbox set up at home, I had resigned myself that I wouldn’t go home till Friday afternoon, when it was suppose to get to 48. I got all mentally prepared to work thatl night, sat and my keyboard and my computer cut off. It is a old Dell Dimension 9100, with a powerful Pentium D in it! When I pushed the power button back on, instead of getting the green light inside the power button, I got a blinking amber light. I do have another computer that I use, but not for CAD directly behind me, so I swung around and googled my situation. The blinding amber light can mean one of two things: 1) a bad power supply or 2) a bad motherboard. The Dell had been cutting off on a semi regular basis, so I had assumed it was the power supply. I had always assumed the Dell cut off because of the UPS it was plugged into. So now it is Thursday afternoon and I can’t draw on my normal machine. I do have another machine in the office I can use, but being mentally frustrated it was not an option I wasn’t to use.
To my rescue comes AAA. I have been member for years, but rarely use them. I called to be pulled out, no tow necessary. I assumed I would have to wait hours behind a list of other people, but the driver called me back in about 15 mins and even came and picked me up at my office. When we got to the road, he looked at my car and said “We’ll have you out of there in few minutes”. I was home in about 30 mins.
I have spent many a night at this office work, but for some reason this time I felt trapped. It was an uncomfortable feeling. I look back now and realize how short a time it was that I actually spent here. Without question is was more mental anguish that physical stress.
I love technology. I got involved prior to the PC days. When the PCs came out I managed to build quite a few. “Parts is Parts!”, so replacing the power supply was not a problem. I am happy to say I am back up and running. I am back in my comfort zone of working out a building design with good music playing in the background. I was a stressful week, but I guess a more appropriate word would be uncomfortable. I have never looked forward to summer so much and I am this year. Everyone be safe!