So, late on Sunday afternoon we were sitting and reading and noticed a flicker in the light. Could have been a loose bulb... Then Jessamy came in and said the lights in the bathroom were flickering and there was a buzzing from outside. The transformer on the pole at the corner of our property was makin' noise. So we called the friendly PG&E people. They said they'd be out to check on us in the next two hours. I went and peeked at the transformer again and this time the buzzing was accompanied by arcing sounds and blue-white sparks coming out of the switch thingy that shuts off power to the transformer when needed. (like now) So we called PG&E again... Then there was one last fzzzptphzzpt! and some pieces of ceramic insulator fell from the top of the pole to the street. Then there was no power at all.
We went shopping, like any self respecting consumers without electricity.
A few minutes after we got back to our very dark street and house, the big blue trucks showed up with three fearless animated repair fellows who assured us that they'd have it all fixed in a jiffy. They replaced that switch thingy you see pictured (note the broken bit up on the top left) with a much improved thingy. To paraphrase the repair guy, "Oh we always replace these old things. See how lousy they are?"