This was written late Wednesday...my little 'date' setter has disappeared from my blog.
First of all, thanks for the comments below. The utilities people finally got here at the end of the day only to assess the problem. This, by the way, isn't a problem a generator or solar panel would handle. It's a problem of fluctuating power. Right now I have it. It could start into brownouts unexpectedly, flicker, or just go. The brownouts put a tremendous strain on appliances and even the computer despite the surge protector. As my friend Lloyd said, the brownouts are most likely what fried my first computer. The problem is a bad electrical connector on the two poles behind our house which pipe power to our house and also one wire is wrapped around another wire. Theoretically, a crew will come today to fix it, but they were supposed to come to assess AND fix early yesterday, so we'll see.
I'll be back when I know I won't kill a puter. Best off for now.:-)
11 a.m. update Thursday:
I hope the power problem is now fixed. The power people were just here. They fixed a connection on a pole, untangled the twisted line and checked voltage. These two were older and seemed more experienced than the two who were here each of the last two days (and they're heard nothing of yesterday's visit or the guy's report..they came because I again called first thing this morning to verify the appointment and--big surprise--no, nobody knew about it. I'm typing this and then keeping my husband's puter off for the day just to make absolutely sure no other problems pop up. If the power stays okay all day, my life saver, Lloyd, will come tonight and get me back online with my own computer...well, I'll be on with the basics. Next will be the job of reloading programs, fixing settings, getting address books back in etc...step by step.