The Blackout: I really have nothing profound to say about it, but since I reside in NYC, a few words. Luckily, I was not in Manhattan, so was not stuck with the rest of the mass of humanity trying to get of there. I was outside reading and had no way to know there was a blackout until I noticed the streetlights were out. Again, it was not immediately apparent anything occurred an hour or so earlier ... there really didn't seem to be any more people on the street, and it was obviously quite light out around 5PM on an August day. I heard the news on the radio and thought "oh okay." I basically staid home until the lights came on ... so "Blackout 2003" (please) was mostly boring for me. I was annoyed hearing how others had power (including some not too far from me) long before me, but I survived to 4PM when it came back on. Also, I heard the Yanks on the radio (they are in Baltimore) and only later in the night was it even really dark. Though some places are still seriously effected, NYC handled things pretty well ... though I was getting annoyed, I lived through 1977, and that was days.
As I said, mostly boring. The one notable thing is that the NY subways were knocked out ... still are ... and even on 9/11 one was able to ride them fairly regularly hours after the events. Some cities have water issues ... our only water issue is that the beaches were closed (some pools were open) today because of sewage issues. The blackout does suggest that we need to update our electrical grids, and so forth, but the quick and fairly easy (on the whole) way that even this major and pretty unique event was dealt with, is pretty amazing. And, a day without electricity ... well, I survived. Nothing much happens in August, anyway, right?