Saturday, August 27, 2011

Riding the Storm Out (The Morning After Update)

Yes, that’s two REO Speedwagon titles in a row.

This is my half-hearted attempt to live-blog Hurricane Irene.  Here’s how this will work.  I’ll put up intermittent posts under this title.  I’ll place the most recent ones on top, so if you’re getting here later throughout the weekend, it will make better sense if you read bottom to top, starting at the 3:30 update.  You’ll know when there’s an updated posting because I’ll note it in the title.

Should power go out here, I’ll tweet it from my phone and you’ll find that tweet on my right-side panel, directly under the About Me section.  Remember… I’m Planning Guy.

Morning After Update
Well, we’re all good.

The power went out some time overnight, but I don’t know for how long.  I knew by the time on my blinking alarm clock that it came back on around 3:30 AM.  When I got up to pee around 5:00, I checked the perimeter and saw that there were no signs of flooding.  It was still raining pretty hard and was windy.  Still, I went back to bed with piece of mind.

The rain stopped around 7 or so, I guess.  It’s still pretty windy out, but the standing water outside from yesterday is considerably diminished.  All in all, it’s the best result I could hope for.

Now, how everyone’s doing up in New York is another story.

This concludes my Hurricane Irene Saga.  I’d like to thank the several people that looked in to check on me during this crisis event.  So now you know the kind of high quality reporting that can be done, when one is besotted with spirits.

Like the Carpetbagger says, would that Wolf Blitzer gives it a shot…

Midnight Update
I took my own advice and watched Prisoner of Azkaban.  It still rocks.

The rain has been coming down hard for the last couple hours.  Finally getting some wind (no, it’s not me) but it’s not that bad thus far.  If this is as bad as it gets around Baltimore, I should be OK.

Pretty dog tired now… it’s probably the whiskey.  So I’m hitting the sack.  If I wasn’t good and drunk, I’d probably toss and turn, worrying about the storm.  But since I am, no worries.

See you on the other side.

9:15 Update
Just watched “Timeline,” mostly for the Scottish genius that is Billy Connolly.  It’s a story about a crew of archaeologists that go back to the 1300’s to rescue their professor that got trapped back then.  Turns out the guy that plays the Bill Gates-type character that owns the company that makes the time travel possible is the same guy that plays Professor Lupin in the Harry Potter series.  Perhaps that’s a sign for me to watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban next.

Still just a steady rain.  Nothing dramatic, just rain.  Usually around here, rain doesn’t last very long.  It just comes, rains hard, then goes.  It’s been raining steadily since this afternoon.  I worry about the power going out overnight and my place taking on water.  Of course, I worry about a lot of things.  In the end, what will be, will be.  Shit happens.

6:45 Update
Still a steady rain.  Starting to look pretty soupy out there.  Just as long as the soup stays out there!
I’m ready to bail on Dexter.  Time to select an old movie… Something with a lot of SFX!  Popcorn movie!  I’ll have to let you know what I decide, y’know, after I watch it n’at.

5:30 Update
Naturally, the very moment I post that it's not coming down too heavily, it starts raining buckets.

5:15 Update
It’s still just raining very steadily.  No dramatics… no sheets of rain, no whipping trees.  Just a rainstorm, so far.

After the prior update, I poured myself a nice stiff drink, using the Bluz Family proportions.  We never measure our drinks.  When we want Jack on the rocks, we fill a glass with ice, and then pour in the Jack.  I measured it out once, just to see how many shots were in one of my usual drinks.

Answer: 5 shots.
No wonder bar drinks taste so weak to me.

Anyway, after starting my drink, I realized 2 things:

First, these updates may not be up to my usual standards.  I’ve never drunk-blogged before.  Please forgive me if typos and mushy platitudes run rampant.  I promise I’ll go back and fix them in the morning.  (If we still have power.)

The second thing is, why on earth am I starting a new DVD series when I’m drinking.  I’ll have to watch all of them again because I know I’ll have forgotten the details by tomorrow?  Idiot…  I really ought to be watching old movies I’ve seen a hundred times before.  Maybe it’s time to watch Forrest Gump again.

3:30 Update
It’s raining in my corner of Baltimore right now.  It’s been raining on and off since around 1:00.  So far, it’s just an average rainstorm, but the outer bands are only beginning to affect us.

I’m mostly concerned with flooding.  For hurricanes Floyd and Isabel, both of which ran up the east coast, I had water rise up through my floor and saturate portions of my apartment’s carpeting.  The landlord replaced it, but it’s up to me to stuff all my furniture into the kitchen and bathroom.  It’s a bloody pain in the ass.  I’ll be looking for that this evening, but I worry that it will happen overnight.  I may go to sleep in the bedroom, but wake up having floated into the dining room.

Up until this May, my job involved “COB,” or Continuity of Business.  Parts of that job entailed tracking the path of hurricanes and making sure our branches that were in the storm path, were prepared.  We’d conduct conference calls every day to make plans beforehand, and assess the damage afterwards. 

Unfortunately, my department hasn’t yet hired a new “me,” so with my old boss on vacation this week, it fell to me to handle the entire hurricane prep myself.  Lucky me.  But that’s been the running joke… anytime he takes a vacation; it’s guaranteed that we’ll have a hurricane.  Or in the case of this week, we have an earthquake AND a hurricane.  Gah!  It’s been a rough week.

But I heard the line of the week on Thursday.  Right after we sent out our building-wide hurricane personal prep email, I heard someone on my floor take it to heart, saying “I’m gonna get my preparedness ready.”  She meant that shit.

I got my preparedness ready too.  Check out my power outage supplies:
I’m about 4 candles short of a Sting video. 

My parents live on the Florida panhandle so while they are not affected by this storm, they have a hurricane survival bin filled with supplies at all times.
I wanna ride the storm out at Dad’s place.

In the meantime, this is what our current conditions look like, off my back porch.
My apartment is about 3 feet below the ground.

So I’ve got beer laid in for the weekend, and in case of emergency where the power goes out and I don’t want to deal with warm beer, I have a small bottle of whiskey.  Not exactly up to my Dad’s stock level, but it will do for a long weekend.

Even though I should probably be working on cleaning up all the perishable food in the house, I nevertheless ordered some Chinese takeout.  That’s dinner for today and lunch tomorrow.  I also got my shower in, in case we have a problem with clean water.  I have several jugs, pitchers and 2-liter plastic bottles filled with water.  Cell phone is charged, MP3 player is charged… hey, I could have music after all… not only do I have a stash of batteries, I can cannibalize more from my various remotes.

The mailman delivered my Season 5 DVD of Dexter this morning, so I know I’ll have something to do tonight… unless, of course, I lose power.  I hate that.  No TV, no PC, no music, too hard to read by candlelight.  There’s nothing left for me to do but drunk-dial people from my land line.

But I am saving an activity or two for a power outage.  I still have to do my PT exercises.  Don't need any juice for that... Just me and my Jillian Michaels hand weights.

If I had a smarter phone, I could entertain myself with that, but I’m still rocking the dumb-phone.  Such is the price I pay for remaining in 2006.


Cassie said...

Change that hurricane preparedness bin to say Parental preparedness bin and I'd say you have a winner.

Please email me in the morning so that I know you're still alive. I do worry about you, you know.

bluzdude said...

Oh, you just made my night. Been posting my heart out all day and nary a comment to be seen. Then here you are, worrying about me.

I can assure you... my safety will be fine. It's the state of my apartment that is in jeopardy. It's simply a matter of how much hassle and inconvenience I can put up with. Or should I say, "how much inconvenience with which I can put up." I'm too buzzed to worry about grammar right now.

And I must say, the Parental Preparedness Bin doesn't necessarily require a hurricane, to come in handy.

sherry stanfa-stanley said...

Honestly, with a steady supply of beer and some shots going, I think you'll be fine. I'm sure this is why no one is posting comments, as of yet. We know you have yourself covered.

If you told me you were taking cover in a bomb shelter with some bottled water and freeze-dried food--THEN I'd be worried that you had nothing to sustain you in a dire emergency. Carry on.

Bea said...

We got lots and lots of wind up here in Harford County. No sleep for me tonight - we have a huge leaning tree in the front yard. I'd much rather keep it leaning than landing on my car. Not that I could do anything about it. Except drink. I'm doing that. A lot of that. Wine Wine Wine...Winey wine wine...down down down...down in my tummy...

bluzdude said...

Good point. As long as I have the juice going, I have everything I need.

For God's sake, move your freakin' car! If you tree is leaning, move the car out of the way! You don't need a COB guy to tell you that...

Don't listen to the wine... it lies to you. Even better... send the husband to move the car.

Burgh Baby said...

Stay safe!

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I wish all these CNN storm reporters had a mic in one hand and a Bluz-style cocktail in the other. THAT would be entertainment. They all act pretty drunk anyway... standing on a beach during a hurricane, stumbling around. At least they could slur their speech a bit and go emotionally blubber a bit. Six hours in, I could imagine Wolf Blitzer: "Sholedad McBrien, I love you. You know that. Why... why don't you respond to my texts. Ooo, I'll tectst you a shpecial picture!"

Ah, I can dream.

Cassie said...

@Bagger, you totally just made me giggle.

bluzdude said...

Burgh Baby,
Thanks, Michelle. All is well, as the hatches remained battened down overnight.

I think that's a great idea, and is sure to draw ratings.

Gotta love the Live on the Scene storm coverage. I still remember being wildly entertained when we were holed up in a Miami Marriott, riding out Hurricane Jeanne before a Steelers game, watching the local coverage.

Intrepid reporter Juwan was out there in his slicker, explaining how dangerous things were, while a group of skateboard punks were hamming it up in the background. It was about then that he said, "And anyone coming out in this storm is going to get blown." Which made we 3 dudes watching sit up and go, "Say what?"

Christy said...

I've been thinking about you. I'm trying to keep up with everything on CNN. Hopefully it gets better soon.

bluzdude said...

Thanks Christy. But we're good. All systems 'go.'

A Beer for the Shower said...

Dude, your hurricane emergency kit is genius. And I'm glad that the only thing that got drenched were your brain cells. Good to hear! Good call on Prisoner of Azkaban by the way. That's one of my favorites.


Ducky said...

I'm diggin the Emergency tote! The only thing missing was some extra batteries and a vibrator! Hope this morning finds you well and dry *grin*

bluzdude said...

My Dad’s the evil genius… that was his Hurricane Prep bin… If it were mine, I have doubts that it would last until a storm ever hit.

Funny story… when I first started working in COB, I put that picture in a company newsletter as an example of how not to stock an emergency supply bin. The Powers That Be put the kibosh on it though. No fun…

Azkaban is one of my favorites too, right behind the last installment.

If I was a chick, it would have been included. What better way to kill time than get myself drunk and take advantage of me.

DG said...

Glad you made it through unscathed. Hope everyone around you gets back to normal soon. This whole earthquake followed by a hurricaine thing has me a bit spooked.

bluzdude said...

Yes, all last week, when I wasn't being all COB Planning Guy, I was running around on the street yelling "It's the End of Days! It's the End of Days!"

Judie said...

I hear that Michelle Bachmann told a group in Florida that the earthquake and hurricane were a sign from God that the politicians had better shape up.

Glad you stayed safe, Cowboy!

Your Hot Arizona Auntie

Jessica R. said...

I'm jealous of your hurricane rains. Your yard looks so nice and green! Ours is still sort of singed. But I live in Louisiana, so asking for a Hurricane would probably not be wise.

Glad you made it through ok! And Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite Potter movie (though I still haven't seen the last one).

bluzdude said...

I saw that too, although today she’s backtracking and saying that she was joking. I suspect one of her non-insane handlers told her to wind that sh*t back in because she’s scaring people again.

What’s wrong? The swamp run dry? Do the alligators have no place to go?

Once you see the last installment, it will either be your favorite, or you’ll hate it. I’m betting on the former.

Judie said...

You think she actually has non-insane handlers? If she does, I bet she has to pay them a hell of a lot to stay on board!

bluzdude said...

Yeah, she has to have SOMEONE to keep her from running off the rails. Must be a bitch to be a sane person surrounded by all that crazy.

Jessica R. said...

Oh yes, the swamp is damn near gone. They are putting us on water restrictions.

Kernut the Blond said...

I'm glad you made it through unscathed! Earthquakes are nothing to us in California, but hurricanes scare the begeezus out of us all!

And I love the live blogging updates! (I tried that once, but it didn't work so well. Actually, it didn't work at all.) Watching some good sci-fi is always the way to go - no matter what the natural disaster. They are filled with useful survival tips, like how to kill zombies or make a an airplane from left over fridge parts.

bluzdude said...

I was telling the people at work, when they were starting to panic, "Folks in California are laughing at our asses right now... 5.9 isn't even worth mentioning at breakfast..."

I like doing the live blogs, when the situation warrants. I did it last during "Snowmagghedon" last winter.

Mrs. Bachelor Girl said...

So glad you didn't flood! I was thinking about you, Bluz!

bluzdude said...

And the same to you. Tropical Storm Lee didn't get you too badly up there in Shreveport, did it?