Anachostic

My tagline, let me show you it.

Tag Archives: weather

After Irma

This guy.

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Way back in 2004, after the rash of hurricanes that I went through, someone gave me this thing as a holiday gift.  I’m completely stumped as to what it is.  A talisman?  Totum?  Spirit ward?  Golum?  Gargoyle?  Whatever it is, it was packaged with an explanation that the object was intended to ward away hurricanes.  After being through 4, it was a thoughtful gift.  It’s been hanging in the kitchen since the day I moved in.

Well, I’m not sure if the object has a shelf life or an expiration date, but 12 years later, along comes a hurricane.  My initial thought was, the hurricane is going to miss us and go to South Carolina.  Then the track changed and it was going to go just east of us.  Well, ok.  The west side of the hurricane is the less intense part. Then the track changed again and Irma was going to the west of us.  That’s not so good.  The track changed one last time and resulted in a direct hit on my neighborhood.

Good going, thing.  Way to do your job.

The power went out at about 8:30 that night, with the eye wall expected to hit at around 12:30am, in the dead of night.  We took in about 3 hours of sleep, which was becoming normal – 2 or 3 hour blocks of sleep here and there to keep alert.  Woke up around midnight with the weather getting steadily worse.  Since the bedroom windows were facing the storm, the rain was hammering the glass and being generally distracting.  We then moved to the living room.

I planted myself in front of the front window, on which I had finished putting shatterproof film before the storm.  Our neighborhood’s power was out, there was still light coming from somewhere in the distance, so you could see shadows of trees blowing around.  Sometimes you would see flashes of lightning or maybe power transformers, or car lights or whatever.

The eye wall came and it was impressive, although not exactly scary.  The only shocking moment for me was during one massive gust where the rain being carried dropped the visibility to near zero.  It was like being in an automatic car wash.  And within about 10 minutes, it was generally over.  We went back to bed.

I woke up the next morning to see what was left.

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My jerk neighbor, whose trees I’ve complained about for a very long time, finally got his comeuppance.  One full tree down and many limbs broken off.  One limb fell on my/his/our fence, but that section was already damaged from a previous fall, so it was not really new damage.

I knew those trees were going to be trouble, so we purposely parked the cars in another location so they wouldn’t take any damage.  They got pelted with leaves, but that’s about it.

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I immediately started clearing debris, and most of my neighbors had started doing so as well.  The winds were still gusting pretty good, but the skies were mostly clear.  The power came back on at 12:30 – an outage of only 16 hours.  Much better than I expected.

And after all that, My house and vehicle took zero damage.  No shingles were lost, no screens were torn, no windows were broken.

This guy.  He’s still on the job.

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Irmageddon Approaches

Storm arrives tomorrow.  All prep is done.  Everything is stowed away and vehicles are strategically placed to avoid the inevitable fallout from my neighbor’s shitty trees.  People have been contacting me non-stop.  There’s nothing to report yet.

I went out to get mail for the last time and my neighbors were out and wanted to chat.  They all consider themselves prepared as well.  One has his windows boarded up.  Another has what looks like painters tape x-ing his windows.  I finished installing shatter-resistant film on my front window.

Gas in my area isn’t as difficult to find as I thought it would be.  My car and motorcycle are topped off and the GF’s car is also topped off.  We also have 10 gallons of gas in cans.  I don’t know how much good it will do us now, since I was unable to get the generator started.  The old gas has apparently killed the carb.

Last night we went out to Lowe’s to get paint, since we’ll be stuck inside for a couple days.  It was rather what you expect.  The line for plywood went from the front to the back of the store.  The three people in front of me each had a window AC unit.

Today was a stop at Target for a few supplies, and a last meal at Olive Garden.  The hostess said they had a lot of employees bail on their shifts.  No rush crowd by noon, just a few tables.  We sat at the bar and let the Weather Channel explain how death was coming, but during commercial breaks, “Trust the Weather Channel”.  Kinda creepy when you think about it.

The cat was been acting super weird on Friday, very clingy and agitated, but today has been more calm and reserved.  So now it’s just a waiting game.  Oddly, Friday delivered the first rain band – a far, far outlier, but it still behaved like a tropical downpour.  Today, nothing.  it was nice and sunny, sometimes overcast, but no rain.

I’ve Got… Aunt Irma Visiting

Prep day 1 for the natural disaster, Hurricane Irma.  Recently upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane, which is supposed to be death from the sky, probably will be Cat 4 or even 3 when it gets here.  But hey, 3 or 4 cats can make a significant mess of things.

I was here in 2004 when we had four hurricanes cross over us.  I remember at the time it became a joke – another weekend, another hurricane.  At the time, I was living in an apartment in a newer apartment complex on the middle floor.  So I had no potential for roof damage and no potential for flooding.  The events were all pretty easy going.  The balcony was always to the back of the storm, so I just sat out there and watched things go by.  I saw part of a metal roof get ripped off and I saw a displaced alligator walking around.

When I got my house in 2005, I was fully prepared.  I got a generator, a chain saw, a chest freezer and a dorm fridge.  That should keep me going for as long as I needed.  And when did the next hurricane come along?  It never did.  Until now, 12 years later.

Today, I dug the generator out of the shed where it hadn’t been used once except for a test of the electrical output.  It was surprisingly clean, but its functionality is still unknown.  I need to change the oil and get some gas in it.

Speaking of gas, there’s a general hysteria going around now.  Of course, when I’m out of gas in my car right now.  So I stop at one station.  I tried a pump and it didn’t work.  Odd.  I went to another pump and waited for a guy to fill 6 five-gallon gas containers.  That pump didn’t work either.  But it was just working!  It dawned on me that the station was out of premium gas.  So I went to another station.  As fate would have it, they were out of regular gas and only had premium.  So I got my car filled up.  But in both places, there were cars everywhere.  Luckily, everyone was civil (so far).

I also noticed that people were eating out a lot.  Everything was crowded.  I guess people didn’t want to deplete their stock at home.  After eating, I went to a small store and found pretty much what I expected:  no water, no bread.  I bought other things, like pop-tarts and canned tuna fish and chips.  My idea of survival is different than others.

And you know what, there will be more shipments.  I’ll get some bread eventually.  I have cases upon cases of Coke and drinks.  One paranoid thing I did get tonight?  Cash.  Can’t use credit cards when there’s no power.

I Never Really Believed in Curses Until…

…I started travelling.  There’s some pretty bad mojo brewing up whenever I want to go back to my home state.  Last time, I was delayed a day and it was because I took the last flight out and because of previous delays, it was impossible to make my connection.  This time I scheduled the first flight out, meaning I got up at 2:45 in the morning to get ready.  Despite the plan that I could be bumped to later flights and do to people what they did to me the first time, the flight was still a no-go.  Thank you, blizzard.

And I thought I did everything I was supposed to.  I checked the flight status before I went to bed and when I woke up – all good.  When I checked in, I asked “any news?” – no, the flight is still active.  I got to the gate and within 10 minutes I hear my name paged.  Damn it, I know what this is about.

Similar to last time, I could make my first leg, but the second leg was cancelled.  I had the option of going to the first airport and trying to get on the next flight at 5:30.  That’s a 10-hour layover with a great chance of the flight either being overbooked or cancelled.  No thanks.  So after rescheduling for tomorrow,  back home I went.

I call the car rental company and modify my reservation.  Apparently, when you take one day off your reservation, you’re not in the “special rate” anymore and it suddenly costs you over $100 more.  So a brief check on Yahoo and I’m now renting from another company.  However, I’m still out $5 for my brief time of parking at the airport.  And gas, and time.  Luckily, no hotel reservations to change like last time, where they knocked me for $90.  I swear, companies make the most money when their customers are miserable.

Snow more taxes!

Yup, Hoss’s was good.  That completes the gauntlet of food places I need to experience.  But that success was dampened by something I haven’t seen in years: snow.  And a pretty decent bit of it.  A few inches, I’m guessing.  By the time I hit the road this morning, it will be clear, and it wasn’t sticking on the roads by the time I got back last night.
It dawned on me why there probably aren’t any tolls on that stretch of turnpike I drove the other day.  It is a connector between one of the major interstates and the road to the airport.  It would make sense to not charge airport users a toll to use the most expedient route to the airport.  Wait a minute, no it wouldn’t.  This is America.  You have to pay to get an improved experience.  This state gets more weird every day.
Another weird thing noticed while travelling in a neighbor state (The State of Beautiful Women): there’s no sales tax on fast food.  What kind of incentive is that?  No tolls, no taxes, I don’t get it.  Visitors like me pay these fees because we don’t have much choice.  If these states are making up the lost revenue from these tax breaks through city/county/state taxes, they’re biting the hand that feeds them.  My (albeit small) savings at Wendy’s and on the road is being subsidized by the residents of the states I’m visiting.  Your pain is my gain.  Thank you.  That kind of adds another perspective to "It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there."