Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Morning

So as the sun broke on the District this morning, my air conditioner was blowing freezing cold air and the sun was shining.  I put my feet down on the floor and they didn't get wet, so I'm alright.  I think the hurricane passed without much to do. 

I might be headed down to Virginia for work today.  Rented my SUV and I should be all set.  I'm glad to see that New York City is not underwater. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Watch LiveBlog

I thought it would be kind of fun to do a live blog like other actual news sites, even though I don't know what I'm doing.  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

8:58 AM: All is quiet here.  The Starbucks is apparently doing good business and my air conditioner is keeping my apartment like a meat locker, just the way I like it.  I'm closely monitoring the storm down in the Hampton Roads area, where I've done work and have some friends. I hope they do alright.

9:48: Just returned from Starbucks.  You can smell the desperation and the fear in the long line that people might be without their passionfruit lemonade or no-whip, half-caf, sugar-free mocha for 16 hours or more.  God knows what people are going to do without  Sunday brunch?  The rending of the garments has begun.  Also stopped by the ATM bolted into the pizza place to get cash.  I realize that I might need gold in the post-landfall environment, but cash will have to do.  I also realize that my card could have been skimmed and is now being used in Albania, but I'm okay with that.

9:50: Stiff breeze for about 14 seconds at 16th St. and U St. NW, I'm pretty sure Pepco dropped 12,000 customers right then.

10:52: I realized I took out $150 and spent $9 at Starbucks.  I'm not very good at this preparedness.  But I am caffeinated. Also, my friend who lives literally a block north of me as lost power, and there's still no rain.  This does not bode well.  Oh, and there's some jackass named Mike Seidel who reports from The Weather Channel and he's standing on Nag's Head beach getting pelted with sand.  He's clearly the dumbest man I know, and I hope that Darwin takes care of him.

11:35: The rain has begun.  God have mercy on all our souls.

12:23: It occurs to me that if we do lose power, this blog will go kaput.  So if I don't post for a few hours, that means I'm looking for the fattest people in my building to eat.  Which reminds me of the awesome South Park episode where they get snowed in and Jimbo wants to resort to cannibalism  because he wants a snack. 

12:30: The weather bunny on our NBC affiliate was on a remote shoot and said she felt stupid standing out there without any rain, but she's glad now that the rain has picked up.  We're getting some harder rain, but apparently not enough to stop soccer tryouts in Pentagon City.  Clearly this storm is terrifying people.

1353: There are reports of roving gangs in polo shirts looting stores in Georgetown for brown flip-flops.  Also, this hurricane is a flop so far.  It's raining but I'm going to probably hit the store for beer later.

1458: Going out for a drink at the local bar and maybe a bite.  You know what the worst thing about this hurricane is?  There is no good TV on.  I mean seriously?  Everyone is indoors.  Points to the naked guys in Virginia Beach though.  One love.

1740: Back from the bar.  It's good to know that you can get a great bocadillo at a nice bar that is still open.  Also we had hurricanes, which are sooo funny to have during a hurricane.  Very meta.  Now back home, though the rain has picked up with the wind a bit.  I think we'll still go out tonight, because in a city you only need to walk two blocks to drink and eat.

1918: The Starbucks has closed early, probably for the "safety" of their "staff." I think we've hit full panic mode now.  Even though the rain still doesn't seem that bad. You know what I found out tonight, there is some bad TV on. Like Community, for example.

2039: We have ordered chinese food for delivery.  I think we did it just to test the fortitude of the local asian community.  I love living in a city.  In the country, you probably wouldn't get delivery in a hurricane, though granted this feels mainly like a Noreaster.

2233: We also ordered Uno's. I'm toying with the idea of testing the fortitude of the delivery community over the course of the hurricane.  Also, the NYT has a current headline that reads "Wall of Water Rushes Toward NYC"  I'm sure this headline either scares people or makes them into disbelievers.  A lot of people wonder how Battery Park can flood.  It's called storm surge and the short explanation is as follows:

Water is pushed just like the air.  And so the water gets pushed towards the shore, which is okay when the water is deep, but as it gets closer to the shore, the land rises and pushes the water up and over the land.  Here's a cool animated graphic to show it.  There are also SLOSH (Sea, Lake and Overland Surge to Hurricanes) maps for coastal jurisdictions.  Here is the report on NYC's vulnerability to hurricanes.  The city has a bight which makes it particularly susceptible.

Sunday August 28, 2011 

0030: Watched two movies on Netflix.  The rain is expected to continue and thousands of people are out of power.  I'm turning in.  Hopefully my air conditioner runs faithfully through the night and I can update you that I haven't floated away.  But so far, so good.  Goodnight Irene.

On the Sidelines

So it's Saturday morning, and I just went for a run at around 7:45 AM.  I hate running.  And I love sleeping.  Indeed, the idea of leaving my beautiful girlfriend in the bed while I go sweat outside seems highly counter-intuitive.  But running clears my head.  And I'm distracted and couldn't sleep.  And it was a woman that had me all wrapped up.  This woman.....

Yes, Hurricane Irene has me feeling down.  Not because I'm scared of losing electricity or my roof falling off.  Though our power company is so awful it's like their Satan's Electricians. If you see the track of the storm, not only does it pass over my current city of Washington, DC, but it also passes over the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for whom I used to work.  And right now, I'd be 40 feet underground in a Cold War bunker west of Boston, preparing for landfall with a bunch of other people.  But instead, I'm sitting sweating on my couch. 

This is the first time in my professional career that I've not had a position that is working when other people aren't.  Living in Massachusetts, I never had to worry about my power going out or having enough food during Noreasters or blizzards.  Because where I would be was powered by huge Cat generators and there was always food 24 hours a day.  Don't get me wrong, I'm engaged in storm activities at my current job, but it's different.  It's about getting business and not helping people, though I suppose some could frame it as getting people's business will be helping them.  But I can't.

Even in DC, I want to know how where the city floods and how many boats we have and what the power outages are.  Although I should give Satan's Electricians credit for telling you in great detail where their customers are burning them in effigy.  I see I have neighbors out already.  This does not bode well, considering it's not yet started to rain. 

I want to be in a room with no windows and glowing plasma screens and terrible coffee.  And I want to sleep on an aerobed for 4 hours and consider myself well-rested.  I want to brief the Governor and have him know my name and trust my thoughts, because I had all that.  And it's hard sitting on the sidelines. 

I need to get back in...