Saturday, August 27, 2011

3344 In hiding

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the axe.
-- RockyCat --


I'm now in a hotel in Reading, Pa. It's funny - the parking lot is full of cars with NJ plates. Huh? It's not like Reading is an obvious place to run to. Weird.

Irene is 500 miles wide, and I'm now about 180 miles from the projected eye, so I'm not completely beyond the effects, but at least they'll be less.

Before I left the house, I filled two bathtubs and a few gallon jugs with water, took up the downstairs rugs, put all the outside flower pots in the garage, gathered important papers and good jewelry, and parked Fred on the lawn across the front of the house. Maybe he'll protect the front windows a little. At least I'm sure my auto insurance will cover him, where I'm not sure how much the homeowner's insurance will cover. Turns out I don't have flood insurance. If a window is blown out, and the house fills with rain, is that "flood"? I hope I don't have to find out.

I tried to put Fred in the garage, but he didn't fit. His rear end hung out a good foot.

I feel bad that Jasper is alone to ride out the storm. He'll hide under the bed, I think. I had to leave him because even a big storm at home would be a lot less trauma for him than a long car ride, or boarding. Jasper's the one who has seizures in the car. It really freaks him out, even with sedation.

I was careful to ensure that no matter what happens, he won't be closed out of "his" rooms. In case you ever have to do it, the way to ensure a door stays open is not to jam something under the door. If the door is worked back and forth, a doorstop can eventually be dislodged. Instead, a surer method is to squeeze a paperback book upright between the edge of the door and the door jamb on the hinge side, below the bottom hinge, resting on the floor. It isn't going to move, and in filling that space, will prevent the door from closing. In fact, if the door is "worked", the book just gets tighter.

I have this room until Monday morning. Daughter, Hercules, and the Nugget are at Hercules' father's house, just down the road. The plan is to return Monday, but there's no guarantee we'd be able to get home Monday. Depends on whether roads are open and so on. Daughter has people she can call to find out.

Friday, August 26, 2011

3343 Missiles

Friday, August 26, 2011

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
-- RockyCat --


I just realized that the old house is going to get hit by Irene, too, and I have had no opportunity to batten down the hatches there. That worries me a bit.

At first I wasn't too worried about wind damage here, but walking around the neighborhood, I am now worried.

What makes people think that turning a patio table upside down is going to save it from 100 mph winds? Then there's the guy two houses down who has taken his enormous rowboat off the trailer, and turned it upside down on the front lawn. It's curved, so upside down makes it MORE likely to catch the wind.

And then there's the immediate neighbors, right over the fence to the north. Their back yard is so full of stuff, toys, benches, awnings, that when I first saw it, I thought they were running a daycare center. It's all still there. I'm afraid all their crap is going to end up in my dining room.


Post #3341 has been updated with current status. We are evacuating.

3342 I think, therefore I say

Friday, August 26, 2011

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.


I was just reading a book review, some guy's book (James Pennybaker, The Secret Life of Pronouns), about how one's use of pronouns and sentence structure reveals what one is actually thinking.

Yeah, ok.

The comments kicked off some memories.

When I first started working for The Company, in 1968, I was a rare female in a male-dominated area.

I noticed that I often seemed to turn the guys off, offend them, when it came to technical discussions. No matter how much sense I was making, they would turn away and stop listening, until I was talking to a wall. I finally asked a friend what I was doing wrong.

He explained that I make definite statements, and that's not allowed for females. Males can say "This is blah blah." Women, especially small women like me, must say "I think this may be blah blah", or "It seems to me that..." or "Do you think that..." For a female to make a definite statement is seen by males as challenging their authority. A woman should appeal to that authority, not challenge it.

He was serious. This was 1968. Before women's liberation was in full swing.

His analysis infuriated me. "If I say it, it's obvious I think it, that it seems so to me, so why should I have to say I think it or it seems so to me? And especially if I know that it IS, if this is my area of expertise, why should I say it may be? That's stupid!" Especially when the guys don't have to weaken statements of fact.

Infuriating. Even worse was when guys would later take my analysis, when they rejected it coming from me, and present it as their own conclusion.

Young women don't know what it used to be like. The subtleties. How difficult is was to get past that. I'm afraid that young women now are backsliding, wagging their tails to appease men, not knowing the dangers and what it can lead to.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

3341 Hurricane, Omnipotence

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Isn't it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction
listen to weather forecasts and economists?"
-- Kevin Throop III --



According to the latest TV maps, Irene's eye is going to pass directly over us. Sunday promises to be interesting. They are predicting a 12-15 foot storm surge, on top of an astrologically high tide. I'm a half block from the bay. Neighbor George says we are 30 feet above sea level. I can't decide whether to stay here, or get Hal, Daughter, and the Nugget to someplace safer. I don't mind wind damage, as long as the house doesn't collapse wind damage is manageable, but I absolutely don't want to be stuck in a floating garbage cesspool for days, with flooded cars and no way out.

I don't know where that safer place might be.

Daughter, Nugget, and I had planned to head upriver for the weekend, she to a commitment in Poughkeepsie on Saturday, and dropping me off at the garage where Suzie the Susuki has been vacationing for the past six weeks, thence to a Mensa dinner on Saturday in New Paltz, and then I'd bring Suzie down here. Daughter and I would be driving back separately on Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Yeah, sure.

According to the maps, the eye will be tracking right up the highways to the mid-Hudson valley, right over Poughkeepsie and New Paltz, and I absolutely don't want us on the roads in that mess.

Governor Crispy-Creme is urging people to leave the shore areas, but has not yet ordered evacuations. Note the "yet".

Are they kidding? The roads around here on ordinary summer weekends are impassable. The Garden State Parkway is a creeping parking lot, full of people headed to or returning from the shore. The locals speak of "shore traffic", and they're not kidding about how bad it is. And that's just people headed for the beaches. The governor is on TV assuring everyone that they can get half a million residents out on short notice, via "marked routes". Uh huh. Sure.


Maybe I should buy an inflatable life raft.


Back in the mid-70s, Dr. K. said that one of my problems involved feelings of omnipotence, that I felt I was personally responsible for everything bad that happened. No wonder, given that my father blamed me for everything.

Anyhow, it's awfully hard not to fall back into that.

I mean, there's a lot of circumstantial evidence. People have been convicted of murder on less.

Let's examine:
I bought the house last fall.
This past winter was the coldest and snowiest here in decades.
This summer had the worst heat wave in decades.
Last week we felt seismic activity for the first time ever here.
Now we're to get a hurricane, and the last time an eye passed directly over this area was in the 19th century!

I rest my case.


I'll be updating this post as conditions change.

Thursday 8/25 5 PM - NJ has declared mandatory evacuation of the most southern parts of the state, Cape May area.

Friday 8/26 10:45 AM - Heading north is no good. Irene will just follow us. West (inland) is best, so I went to Google maps to find out what's the best route west and what's a good place to head for. Reading, Pa., is directly west, and by marvelous coincidence, Hercules' father, brother, and grandmother live in Reading. There's a fair chance I can talk Daughter and Hercules to go to Reading. Hercules is currently in a training class just northwest of Philadelphia, planning to come home tonight. It would make more sense for him to go directly to Reading. Daughter talked to him on the phone last night, and in typical young proud homeowner / new father fashion he wants her and the baby to go to Reading, while he comes home and HAND PUMPS the basement to keep it from flooding. We have to convince him that's not feasible. His father had already invited him to ride out the storm in Reading, so maybe....

Friday 8/26 5:55 PM - I have reservations at a hotel in Reading, Pa., for Saturday and Sunday night. Daughter will be leaving this evening, joining Hercules at his father's home in Reading.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

3340 Earthquake!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Education does not produce intelligence; knowledge does not convey the means to use it intelligently.


I just felt my first earthquake. I've been in places where the news folks said we'd had earthquakes, but they must have been small because I never noticed. This time, my house moved a good half inch, and creaked a lot. Luckily I was leaning against the kitchen counter or I might have fallen.

It felt like a tractor trailer had hit the house, but there was no sound other than the creaking. I went outside, thinking there was something wrong with the house, like the roof fell off? Or a very big bird had hit it? Neighbors were outside up and down the street saying "Did you feel that?" and that's when I figured it out.

There must have been some very small movement or something for several minutes because even standing on the porch I felt a little dizzy.

Jasper is totally freaked. His fur is bushed, eyes are wild, and he won't let me anywhere near him.

Which reminds me, aren't dogs supposed to howl and stuff? Or is that just near the epicenter (which was between Charlotte and Richmond, Va., 5.8). If Jasper were a dog, I bet he'd be howling.

Whoa. It's a lot later now (about 25 minutes from quake) and I just felt another wave of nausea. Didn't feel any movement, though. Just a wave of dizzy.