June 1st, 2006


hoooo boy ...

And on and on and on it goes ... ComEd still says the insulation's too wet for them to even try to switch back on the power, and that's on the lower floors. For some reason it's taking all week to get the replacement for the part of the buss system that arc'd out ... that should be arriving today. At present their best guess for the lower floors is that power will be back sometime on Friday ... maybe the middle floors will get power on Saturday ... and they're not even estimating when we'll have power up here (we live on 46).

As amazing as it would be ... it almost seems like this had never happened in a major high-rise building ... because there has been no apparant procedure being followed, rather everything has been one "Uh-oh!" after another.

Admittedly, one would think that things would be designed so that the main electrical conduit system was segregated from any possible water infiltration by multiple levels of fail-safe sub-systems. We, of course, have no detailed information of HOW THE HELL condensation out-flow from the new A/C units on the roof managed to get TO the main buss channels (aside from the story about the pipes having scale build-up and the drains being blocked with pebbles), let alone ending up using those for drainage before blowing something out halfway down. One would think that that would be the LAST place that water would be allowed to be ... with lots of "other options" in place (including just letting it run off the rooftop) to channel it away from the electric systems. I mean, it would be one thing if the building was submerged (of course, were there 600ft of standing water in downtown Chicago, our power system would be the least of the problems!), but we're only talking condensation run-off from the A/C units (admittedly, BIG ones to cool a 660-unit building, that no doubt produce a lot of water) here ... a hose over the edge of the roof would work as a low-tech back-up system (although being irritating to folks on the street)!

We've been back-and-forth on the Hotel option, and it looks like we're going to be toughing things out here. I still can't get to my other e-mail, and I need to print up some fresh resumes, but I guess if it comes to that I can run a LONG set of extension cords back to my office (the place where we have "pirated" power is via a 15-ft cord into The Wife's office on the other side of the apartment) to fire up my system long enough to pull those files.

Bleh. Stress, stress, stress, stress, stress, stress, stress, stress, stress ...

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OK ...

Well, today they brought in the cavalry, or some such ... there were construction guys and engineers swarming all over the building. It seems they had a big meeting to determine What To Do since the attempts of drying out the insulation on the buss sections was not working too well in situ. From what I heard coming up the elevator, they are currently removing ALL the buss sections to parts unknown where they will be professionally dried, then brought back here, re-installed, and then various parts of the building will again have power. However, in the meanwhile, the schedule for "when" all this was going to happen has been sliding backwards. It now looks like 1-17 may get power on Saturday, 18-32 may have power on Sunday, and those of us above the 32nd floor (where they're having to replace the buss) will be taken care of at some undefined point in the future.

I will say this about the guys they have working on it currently ... they're fast ... they've been doing a floor every half hour or so.

The Wife, however, has Had Enough and we're off to a hotel (which will hopefully be paid for by somebody else's insurance, so we don't have to eat the $500 deductable). I went on HotWire and got us a room for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights which ended up being at the Hyatt Regency (HotWire is the one where you buy a "pig in a poke", you pick the area and a deal and then find out where you're staying). While it's not exactly the most convenient location, it's a top-tier hotel, and we got it for 40% less than the figure that Hotels.com had listed as the lowest price.

We also finally gave up on trying to save any of the previously frozen stuff. I ended up throwing away a vast lot of food, both pre-packaged frozen dinners and the like and a whole bunch of meat (including an unopened box of Allen Brothers prime steaks that my Mom had given us and that we'd been saving for a special occasion, which made me very sad). Again, we're hoping that somebody's insurance is going to be "making things right" for us.

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oh, and ...

Just to further complicate my weekend ... I got called in (by specific request of the catering manager!) to bartend a wedding (at the hotel where I've been working the comp bar) on Saturday night. It will be interesting ... it's an 8 hour gig, so I'm sure I'll be whupped by the end of it!

I just hope the tips are as good at they are at the free bar ... people sure do tend to throw money at you when the drinks are free.

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