The winds the night before the night before Christmas - or, if you like, Christmas Eve-Eve - were severe, and resulted in multiple power outages over the course of the night and well into the following day. This is not unusual, of course - I've written here about our struggles with the wind several times before.
While the power certainly does not go out each time the wind blows, outages seem to be a more common occurrence out here than in a city or town. This can be particularly problematic for us because, while we love living in a house from the 1800's, we have no intention of living like people in the 1800's. We have our fair share of modern electronic devices and, as a rule, they don't generally appreciate abrupt changes in power delivery.
Key to the general health of those items is the use of a surge protector, we have all been led to believe for the past twenty years or more. For me, however, this has always been an intellectual understanding only. I have dutifully plugged my devices into a variety of power strips over the years, but I've never had occasion to actually see them as more than just an outlet extender or fancy extension cord. In honesty, I've wondered on more than on occasion whether the "surge protection" part of the power strip wasn't just marketing.
How many times the power went out over the course of the night, and of the following morning, is unclear. What was clear, however, is that they took with them two power strips and a fuse.
The soldiers in the picture gave up their lives in service of our electronics. As best I can tell, the delicate devices all seem to be functioning as expected, despite their rough treatment. Apparently it's not just marketing after all.
For the record, on our computers we have not only surge protectors, but battery backup units. These connect to the computers via USB and, when the power goes out, keep the computers running long enough to initiate a controlled, automatic standard shutdown. This helps prevent the damage or corruption of hard drives that can occur with an unexpected shutdown.