Out checking the house and surrounding grounds for damage from the winds when I heard the generator shut down.

Mr first thought: A problem? Nope. AEP restored power to Chateau Thompson at 9:02 a.m. — almost 30 hours to the minute from the time we lost it in the wee hours of Sunday mornings.

Thirty hours of continous running of the Guardian generator means I will need to change the oil and filter. Generac recommends changes after 200 hours total use or 24 hours or more of continuous use.

Once again, installation of an automatic standby generator proved to be the wisest investment we made when purchasing the house in December of 2004. It has kept us warm, toasty and lit through nine power outages in the past three years — including four this year alone.

Our thanks to the men and women who get out in this frigid weather to get grouchy customers like me back online.

And a great big raspberry to the nimwits in the corporate suites at AEP who hurt the hard work of the linemen by putting the greed of stockholders ahead of the needs of customers.