RUSH: So I just took a look out the north windows of the EIB Southern Command, because I checked the weather radar before I did that, and no rain here, but the sky is pretty dark up there in the north, and I’ll sitting there, and I’m looking at bolts of lightning. Now, I have not mentioned this because I’m not a whiner and a moaner, and I’m not whining and moaning now. But Monday night of this week, about seven o’clock, one of the biggest boomers that I can recall sitting through went through the neighborhood where I live. There were lightning bolts that I swear I could see out the window, and the thunder was such that even the cat’s hair was standing on end. I didn’t lose any power, and didn’t think anything of it. It was no big deal — until I tried to leave. The gates were fried. I couldn’t open it gates. So I had to do a walk-through, and I have a number of little houses on my property that I’ve purchased so that I can be surrounded by friends. One of them was totally fried. Every piece of electronic equipment was fried. I’ve got surge protection redundancy like you wouldn’t believe, and that was fried. There must have been a direct hit on one of the poles close to this house, because the satellite dish, all the television sets, the toasters, everything, pshew! Gone.
The humidor computer was gone. Yes, the humidor computer. That’s a big deal because I could lose those. If the cigars get too hot in there, there’s the tobacco beetle, is what it is, and they can come to life. The larva is in it. They come to life. They bore out through the center, bore perfect holes coming out of there, and the cigars are ruined. (interruption) Can’t access the Internet? Yeah, go ahead and laugh about it. I won’t know if I lost any cigars for a while. It takes these things a little while to perk up. I hadn’t opened the door to the humidor because the rest of the air-conditioning worked. I’ve told you guys about my smoke eater that I have in my library which is thermal displacement. It works in the air handler on the second floor of the library and I have a switch underneath my desk and when hit the switch that turns it on and off. The wire from the air handler to my desk was fried! The security and the alarm system in that one house was fried, and I’ve got huge surge protection in there. It was a direct hit.
There’s nothing you can do. There’s nothing you can do to protect yourself from a direct hit. So I’m in there looking out the windows here and I’m seeing thighs lightning bolts and I’m thinking they’re hitting my house again! It was just amazing, and the rain was as hard as it can be. It was nothing unique. This was the biggest storm I’ve been through in a long time. I didn’t know the next day how extensive the damage was. I have a 62-inch plasma up in the gym, in the exercise room, up in the gym, that was fried. All of the remote control units, gone. I have Crestron systems. All fried. I still don’t know the extent of the damage. It may have to be rewired, some of this stuff. Some of it’s Ethernet, but I didn’t lose anything in the main house, which was just a stroke of luck, as it turned out. I’m just lucky neither of these places actually started scorching into flames, because I wouldn’t have known it, because the alarm systems were fried at the same time.
RUSH: You know, in every collection of great people, such as you, there are always going to be the smart asses. ‘Dear Rush: Many years ago, way before you were born, in 1752, Ben Franklin invented a device to prevent lightning damage to homes. He called it a ‘lightning rod,’ and, Rush, it works. Perhaps it’s time for you to have one installed. I find it hard to believe that you did not have one. That would be the first thing I would have if I lived in Florida.’ I doubt that he wants to sell me one. I thought I explained that the strike hit the power pole. It fried a transformer. I have more than lightning rods. I am well protected. The redundancy, the surge protection, I have all of this stuff. This was not a direct hit on the house. It was a direct hit on the pole that feeds to houses. I’m sorry, there not a whole lot you can do when that happens, except deal with it, and then the wise acres that you have to deal with after you tell the story.