woohoo ... it looks like my electrical problems have been fixed. what was happening is the refrigerator would kick in, send a surge across the line, and this surge would knock out my TV and computer equipment in different rooms and on different circuits. it would not trip the breaker. it would occasionally knock out the TV on an UPS with surge protection. just to screw with me ... it would not happen all the time the refrigerator kicked in.
the problem ended up being some loose wires (neutral) in the fuse box and a loose wire on the fridge plug as well. the added variable that was keeping it from happening every time the fridge kicked in was outside temperature, because my fusebox is located outside. on the cooler days (and at night), the wires would shrink just a bit, and the surge would knock out my equipment more often than on warm days.