Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Hurricane Chronicles

Went into work for a few hours this morning. It was amazing how quiet the office was even with the wind whipping around outside.

As I started for home the rain was beginning to fall, but the winds were the most notable indication of what was to follow. The streets were littered with clumps of fallen leaves and a multitude of pine needles. There was the occasional limb, but nothing significant.

Safely home and snug inside the winds increased and the trees swayed. The two large trees next to the street took quite a battering. I was expecting them to give way and fall over at any time. Their canopies make the perfect sails to catch the gust of wind and propel them right over (just not this time). After much huffing and puffing a limb did break out of the one on the corner, just as Kelly was pulling up to the house. It gave her quite the scare.

The kids spent the afternoon out - at the indoor shooting range. Well at least they were dry and had something to do.

After dinner was well over our real excitement began. We lost power at 6:45 pm right at the end of Dire Hard. Darn it - missed the part where he blows up the plane full of bad guys at the end. Well maybe next time. It wasn't too long after that, that we made the rounds checking out the condition of the yard when we discovered that the 2nd largest tree on the property had begun to uproot. We knew it was only a matter of time before it went on over. Luckily it was falling towards the back of the yard and the woodpile. With any luck it will make it all the way to the ground by morning and we won't have to call in anyone to take it down. Additionally there are more branches down in the front yard with one big one still hanging from the tree (that's the one that is going to be difficult to get down). Maybe it too will come down by morning.

In the middle of everything, Walter got an urge to go out for a Coke from Sheetz, since it was before dark we thought it probably the safest time to make the run out for 'supplies'. I have never seen so many people at Sheetz. It was almost unbelievable. I don't think that I've ever seen a line like that before. Not even on a holiday weekend with other things closed.

I did talk to one woman there who said that she couldn't get home due to all the trees being down. In talking with her I discovered why our power was out, it seems that a tree had come down on Newby's Bridge Road and hit the power pole just around the corner from the house. Last time we lost power to a car hitting that same pole and knocked it out. Took about 16 hours to get it back that time. So we shall see how long it takes this time - although that was an isolated incident and not part of a larger over all event.

The drive home from Sheetz turned out to be the real adventure of the night. We took one of the side streets home only to discover a tree across the road with the power lines down as well. NOT GOOD. We reversed direction and tired another route. Not to be out done by the first road block the 2nd had a huge tree across the entire intersection. Backing up and making it to Gregory Drive we headed on over to Fordham only to find yet another tree across you the road. We weaved around through a few more streets and finally made it back out to Hull Street. Where we proceeded to come home right back on Fordham. Home at last Walter went out to check for more damage and to check on a neighbor or two.

I had the house all lit up with candles and was getting settled in while waiting for him to get back - which took forever. He had gotten together with a number of the men in the neighborhood and cut up a tree that was across the side street next to us. It didn't take them long at all and reminded me of the evening that our tree had been struck by lightening & fallen. (The men had all come out with chainsaws to get the road opened up.

Walter has definitely become part of the neighborhood.

Tomorrow we shall see what the final tally of the damage is.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All Shook Up - Earthquake in VA?!

Today has been a doozie! I started out the morning seeing what looked like a 6-inch piece of gray string on the floor. Turned out what I thought was a string was actually a dead snake in my bedroom floor. One of the lovely four legged children, must have brought it in from going out to potty during the night. The cat use to bring me presents like this, but now the dogs are getting in on the action. It was 'sweet' but I surely hope that they don't get into a habit of bringing things like this into the house.

Then there was the earthquake this afternoon, the very first one that I've actually felt. Amazing! I had been through two others before and never even knew that they had happened. Today however was a totally different story. We were all visiting in the conference room when the ceiling tiles began to shake (sort of like when a heavy duty AC unit kick on), but then there was the noise that sounded like a freight train. Since the office has a train track behind it I ducked outside to take a peek. No train derailing, but the windows on the daycare center next door were ripping. It was quite surreal to watch.

UPDATE: There have been several aftershocks. Nothing big, but aftershocks nonetheless. Heard on the radio that the earthquake was a 5.8 and that the last time there was one of that magnitude here was in 1871. There was also a rumor that the Washington Monument was leaning, which turned out to be incorrect but the monument does have cracks which has caused the National Parks Service to close the Washington Monument until repairs can be made.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School

Time for college students to start getting back to school for the fall. Classes started this today for John Tyler and boy are they having some issues. Walt tried to get into his class and it came back with an error telling him to try back later. The second class is also having problems. You would think that the community colleges wouldn't be plagued by this type of technical difficulty since they do operate year round.

If Walt's frustrated I can only image how many other students are suffering from the same thing. He gave it a full hour and tried again. No luck, the system is just having major issues. After a couple of emails to his professors he found out that the system is actually down and was told to try back again tomorrow. What a great way to start the semester off. Unable to actually go to class.

Here's hoping that things will be better tomorrow.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Great Turn Around

So sitting at the front desk this morning, getting things under way and in come two sales people making cold calls on various offices. We're polite; take their information and promise to pass it along. Then it happens.

They ask a couple of questions about the office and before they know it we've got one scheduled for a hygiene appointment and the other all set to give us a call back to get hers scheduled after her move.

What a way to turn the tables! It was a great way to start the morning.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

365 Project Year 2

I wasn't too sure that I was going to begin a second 365 Project, but after much encouragement here I go again.

I began year two on 7/15/2011. I decided that by posting this as a single blog entry it would be easier for others to check back here and follow the progress as opposed to trying to keep up with several Facebook links. (Facebook only allows 200 photos per album). I will be adding the link to the last 165 images when I get to that point in time.

I'm looking forward to what the next year of photos will look like.

365 Project Year 1

After seeing a couple of people on Facebook proposing to take a photo a day for a year. I jumped in with both feet. What an interesting way to chronicle the year. It turned out to be a really interested experience - it is amazing what you see if you just look around.

The majority of the photos that were taken for this first year (7/11/2010 to 7/10/2011) were taken on the route between my home and the office where I work.

First 200 days of images
Remaining 165 days of images

Wednesday, August 10, 2011