At 4:41 AM, lightning struck somewhere very close to our house. Awakened from a moderately sound sleep, I sat straight up in bed and shrieked. David was also awakened, but (miraculously, I think) the many other people sleeping in the house slept through it. It is the 15th anniversary NYRSF work weekend and we are gathering a celebratory crowd for a picnic this afternoon, so in addition to Peter and Elizabeth, Tavis Alison, Eugene Reynolds, Lisa Padol, and Josh Kronengold were also asleep at the time. None were awakened. However, their neighbors across the street were awakened; it set off their burglar alarm. I'm pretty sure that the lightning strike hit one of the telephone poles which are at the same end of the house as our bedroom.
In any case, the lightning strike seems to have fried our cable modem, and I strongly suspect it did so through the cable lines, since all the other electrical connections to equipment have very strong surge protection. I'm using the dial-up connection from David's computer now.
Is there a way to surge protect cable connections?
UPDATE: Despite our ISPs claim that the problem must be with the modem, this afternoon, our cable web connection spontaneously came back. While I still think that lightning took out our connection, it now appears that the damage was outside the house and that it has now been fixed. I'm still interested in knowing how to protect the modem from surges through the cable connection.