Getting High at Work

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By John Wiley

Power was out all day Thursday on the western edge of Santa Barbara, and this is the reason. These guys worked at the top of a very tall high voltage line and barely finished by a little after five. With no electricity and time off from some chores, I managed to get some occasional zoom pix from a rooftop.

Apparently the crew had already prepared in detail, doing all possible before the shutoff.  Then they beheaded an old pole, leaving what looked like the telephone and maybe cable TV lines. It was impressive how careful they could be, while still getting so much done in a short time. After putting up a new pole they added two large transformers, followed by a lot of work connecting up all the wires.

If you've ever had the chance (and enforced spare time) to watch an operation like this, feel free to add details on the complex and dangerous procedure. I enjoyed watching from a safe distance, appreciated their excellent work, and unlike them had plenty of time to enjoy their perspective among the treetops.

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mp805 Oct 10, 2021 01:46 PM
Getting High at Work

Power for our area has been out on 2 of the last 4 Fridays for these Maintenance Outages pole changes. Really interesting to see what its all about. The outage map on the SCE you linked to is a great source of info. https://www.sce.com/outage-center/check-outage-status

John Wiley Oct 10, 2021 10:57 AM
Getting High at Work

These guys may be working on the crews at I.V. and Carp today. It's remarkable to watch if you get a chance. I'm curious why the company is still using wooden poles rather than the concrete ones that presumably last far longer. Maybe they anticipate all wiring being underground before the new poles need replacing? Or that electrical power will be decentralized with ubiquitous rooftop solar and new storage tech?

John Wiley Oct 10, 2021 04:31 PM
Getting High at Work

Funny to imagine a perplexed woodpecker mumbling in peckerese, "$#@&!, what happened to all the acorns I stored in this?!"

a-1633894207 Oct 10, 2021 12:30 PM
Getting High at Work

Our old wooden poles, just above San Marcos/Cathedral Oaks, were replaced with steel poles in a fire-resistant wrap. The woodpeckers and squirrels are not amused.

John Wiley Oct 10, 2021 10:59 AM
Getting High at Work

Forgot to add this link to see where the power's currently affected: https://www.sce.com/outage-center/check-outage-status

a-1633888186 Oct 10, 2021 10:49 AM
Getting High at Work

Thanks John! It's great to get a closer look at the power company linemen at work. It's impressive what they do and how much planning must be involved to have everything at the ready once they're in the bucket and up in the air. Nice to have some good news about SCE for a change.

John Wiley Oct 10, 2021 04:29 PM
Getting High at Work

I guess we pay for the helicopter flights examining lines & poles, along with the parts and labor for these remarkable crews, plus of course the legal defense fees and ultimate restitution for everyone devastated by previous defrayed maintenance. In the long term though, aren't we still way ahead going forward once this long overdue maintenance is done and true preventative maintenance can resume?

ParvoPup Oct 09, 2021 08:00 PM
Getting High at Work

Dang man - thought you had caught me for a second there with that title.

Cheeky mate.

John Wiley Oct 10, 2021 12:31 AM
Getting High at Work

It was cheeky, but fun to imagine a laugh for a few who clicked thinking it would be something quite different. Anyone want to share what sort of story/pix they thought it would be? Maybe a surgical team, politicians, or airline pilots? I once knew a carpenter who really did show up (late) for work well lubricated, and took some time off after putting his thumb between a hammer and nail. Anyone else care to share a true story?

d8vanilla Oct 09, 2021 07:50 PM
Getting High at Work

Yep, they've been getting high in my neighborhood too !! Probably explains why they are so nice and friendly all the time !!

John Wiley Oct 10, 2021 12:25 AM
Getting High at Work

Can you make out the guy in the distance on roof next to a satellite dish? I hadn't noticed him at the time, but in the full-res pic it looks like he may have been part of the crew managing the wires they laid down. But maybe he just happened to be there working on a dish?

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