At 5:15 p.m. Thursday, in the midst of our daily news meeting in the Mirror editorial conference room, the lights flickered, and we could see the power lines on Cayuga Avenue shaking.
Seconds later, the emergency lights popped on.
It seems a tractor-trailer driver at a nearby company overestimated the entry to a parking lot, and 20-plus businesses began an exercise in patience while Penelec hustled to restore power.
We were first told four hours, which became eight. (Penelec usually hits its preliminary prediction better, but this one was more complicated with a new pole having to be installed.)
Powerless, our staff dispersed to dinner, and a contingent, waiting for the green light - or any light! - followed that with a trip to the Meadows and then happened by Sports Editor Buck Frank's house.
On vacation and juggling a hectic dance-recital schedule with his wife and three daughters, Frank probably thought, as unannounced vehicles approached full of his co-workers, he was living a bad dream but was accommodating enough to offer socks to those who needed them for the next stop - a trip to Holiday Bowl.
Other than copy editor Shasta Kurtz's performance, there were no scores whispered that would have mobilized Mirror bowling coordinator Esther Poorman, but her liaison, Scott Franco, got enough information for a future column, which was apparent as he held court at midnight outside the Mirror with a dozen tired writers and page designers around him.
In his quest to get lifetime inning-by-inning updates of the Texas Rangers, Franco missed his calling as a stand-up comic.
Part of his routine on this night, or so I half heard, included the menstrual cycle of his mother's dog.
Power in 15 minutes, we're told at 12:28 a.m. Those 15 turned to another 40 before photographer Pat Waksmunski, of course, was the first to detect the lights in the parking lot.
At 1:20 a.m., we piled into the office and completed an eight-hour process in about three.
"Anybody have some Captain Morgan?" copy editor Kate Morris wondered aloud.
By 4:50, with help from technician Matt Leaper, the paper was rolling, and, incredibly, many routes were completed by 8 a.m. with the majority of other papers delivered later in the day.
Our thanks to WTAJ and its community treasure of a news anchor, Carolyn Donaldson, for helping us get the word out, to drivers, delivery personnel and readers that the paper would be way late.
It was the roughest night the Mirror had in about 10 years when a 2000ish system crash delayed us to a 10 a.m. press start one night/morning and necessitated a bare-bones paper of just 16 pages.
On Friday morning, many of us drove home as daylight broke, caught a few hours of sleep and returned to start the cycle all over again.
The most notable fallout has been the temporary loss of our voice-mail system (please see Page A2). Then again, anytime we have a late paper, the voice-mail messages are all about the same.
And so is our response: "Thanks for your patience."
Email Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel at firstname.lastname@example.org.