High voltage

I’ve had to make a few small repairs here as a result of a lightning strike and some other acts of nature.

From the now-deceased dendro weblog:
Zap! Boom! I was sitting on my front porch with my wife and daugher this evening, watching a storm roll through, when a lightning bolt hit the ground about 15 feet away from us, just on the other side of our big sycamore tree. Heard the boom, saw the flash at the same time. Dirt, rocks, and grass got thrown into the air and across the hood of our neighbor’s car. The tree appears unscathed (for the moment).

However, my router and venerable old Cisco Catalyst workgroup switch have departed for the heavens, as has the Ethernet adaptor on my Mac Cube. There was no other electrical damage in the house–we had to degauss some monitors, but otherwise things seemed OK. The damage appears to have been caused by magnetic field induction on some of my longer Ethernet runs; they fried the ports on the LAN hardware.

Way, way, freaky. I’d upload pictures, but I can’t right now. Have to pack for my trip to NY for CeBIT tomorrow.



Cicada Picnic

We got our first major dose of cicada-mania this weekend at Zoë's pre-school spring picnic. As we sat in the grass eating pot-luck picnic cuisine, children were gawking at the underside of a picnic table next to a large maple tree, where dozens of cicadas were popping out of their nymph skins and plopping to the ground. What followed was a combination of squeals of joy and squeamishness, as various unfortunate cicadas fell under the influence of three-year-olds.

Zoe was trying to carry one on a leaf (so as not to have to actually touch it) when I got one onto her back. By the time we were back over to our blanket with Paula and our neighbor/babysitter Anna (whom Zoë had invited along, and had been showing off ever since our arrival to our teachers), the cicada had climbed to her shoulder. Zoë laughed at the cicada's tickly legs on her shoulder, then squirmed, and the red-eyed bug plopped to the ground as it sought a less shaky perch.