EMP Pulse Dancing

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As if Islamic extremists flying airplanes into buildings and snipers wreaking havoc around this area isn't bad enough. To bring up my stress level, consider this"

Two weeks ago, I headed off to my local EB to see if Red Faction 2 was released. Since this is the start of the busy holiday title season, I wanted to get a head start. After all, we are talking Red Faction 2, Contra: Shattered Soldier, Shenmue 2, Metroid Prime, Metal Gear Solid Substance, Splinter Cell, etc., etc., etc.

As usual, I found out that RF2 was actually coming out the day after (once again, that shipping date BS), so I decided to head home and log in to check my email. However, upon turning on my TV monitor and computer, all I noticed was a blank screen.

Checking my surge protectors, I noticed everything was plugged in, but only some items were working. At first I wanted to check with my landlord, who was doing construction on the upstairs level, but he told me that he was not down on my level doing work. I then checked the breakers, which were all working. He told me that there was a power surge while I was away. My house was not the only one that was hit as a result; my entire street was affected.

We are not talking about a tiny surge. We are talking about a massive power blast that knocked out the electronics along an entire street here. Surge protectors are apparently no protection against this.

It seems as though some NASCAR racer wannabe decided to slam his pickup truck into a power line, causing my entire street to be blacked out. The crash apparently caused a localized EMP, if you will. Many of my neighbors lost their TVs as a result of the surge, but for me, the diehard computer gamer, it was a lot worse"

27" S-Video TV".$300"FRIED!

XBox"$200"FRIED!

PlayStation2"$200"FRIED!

Nintendo GameCube"$150"FRIED!

13" backup TV"$120"FRIED!

VCR"$80"FRIED!

But fortunately, the good news is"

Customized PC"At least $1000 in parts"SURVIVED!

5.1 Surround sound system"$200"SURVIVED!

Nonetheless, we're still talking about $1100 worth of equipment, a major casualty of an attack by one insurgent driver. What sucks more though is the fact that neither my power company, nor the idiot driver, will claim responsibility for what happened. Now I have talked with my neighbors about the matter, and needless to say, we are very pissed! If said power company or said driver will not provide us some form of compensation for what happened, we might have no choice but to go all the way to a class action lawsuit. We should not be held responsible for someone else's mess-ups.

Until then, the rebuilding begins. I have already taken both my PlayStation2 and XBox to a local gaming store called Starland, which fortunately for me was the same placed that fixed the dreaded DRE message on my PS2. The repairs only cost $175 for both systems, and they estimated another $50 for the GameCube. This is definitely a lot better than spending $550 for three brand new systems (not to mention having to lose all the files on my XBox hard drive). I was also able to get a backup computer monitor to hook everything up to, so when I get money put aside, I will be able to get the television replaced.

However, this serious blow was NOT what I needed right now, especially during this hectic holiday release period. Just when I thought I didn't have to buy a new system, something like this happens.

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