Friday, August 19, 2011

Power Outage, Storm Damage, and a Link Round-Up

I was going to write a second blog post last night before going to bed. There was going to be a link round-up and I was going to post some updated pictures of the doggies, because doggies are awesome. But, the weather decided that wasn't happening. We had some serious storms last night (one of my links is about that), and we lost power a little before midnight last night. It didn't come back on until about 6:30 this morning, so I'm just happy that Firefox saved my tabs, because I hadn't bookmarked my links or anything yet.

Anyway, about the storm - it was really cool to watch it come in before we realized how bad it was going to get. Both kids were in bed and I'd just finished up my evening session of Final Fantasy X (this is something like my sixth time playing that game, but will only be the third time I've actually finished it, if I do), and S suddenly said that a huge storm was coming in with straight-line winds and possibly hail. Of course, because we're weather people, we went outside to watch it come in. It was actually really awesome, there was a lot of cloud-to-cloud lightning in the storm, and I could see its progression by where the lightning was in relation to me - it started out only being north of us, and within five minutes was directly over us, and the wind went from almost completely calm to about 20 miles per hour, and it was just starting to rain a little bit when we suddenly had a huge 60 mile per hour gust. The wind was groaning; I was absolutely terrified that there was a tornado and that the sirens weren't going off like they're supposed to, but S told me that it was because of the way the wind was blowing through something. We had to run for the door to get back inside because we were getting a lot of debris, and we both got some small bits in our eyes.

A few minutes after we came in, the power went out momentarily before going out completely a couple minutes later. I started spazzing out because power outages freak me out (the only reason I was freaked by the storm was because I was terrified a tree was going to fall on the house), but S totally kept her head and just went and started lighting the million candles we have around the house, which gave us enough illumination to see. I imagine that's what it looked like in here when the original owners of this house lived here, back when it was a farm in the middle of nowhere and there wasn't electricity.

Of course, no event can happen without the dogs going completely nuts at some point, and they decided they were in love with my flashlight and chased me all over the house. They were really excited the whole time and both really wanted to go outside, but I wouldn't let them because I like having alive doggies.

While the power was out, S stepped outside to see why there were so many emergency vehicles around and to see if it was just our house that was out or if it was the whole block (it was), and I stepped out to see if I could see anything else and whether the dead tree branch in the front yard was still up or not, but my trip outside was abruptly aborted when a giant flash of lightning exploded right above me (it felt like it was, anyway), and then there was this massive clap of thunder immediately afterward while I was frantically scrambling with the door to get inside. I spent about half a second feeling sure I was about to die.

When S went to bed, I had to leave a few of the candles in the living room burning because I'm so afraid of power outages. I think it's because the house is too quiet and dark and I have a vivid imagination. Somehow, I managed to fall asleep, only to be woken by J coming home from work around 6:30, which was immediately followed by the power coming back on. I managed to stay mostly asleep until probably about 8:00, though, so I definitely got enough sleep to function, which was nice.

Anyway, S and I went to QuikTrip this morning, and on the way there, we'd seen a little bit of storm damage, so decided to drive around the neighborhood before going home and discovered houses that barely escaped being crushed by trees and one street was so blocked off by fallen trees that we had to turn around and go a different way, which led us past the neighborhood elementary school, which is right next to a little park. That park was seriously torn up. A giant walnut tree directly next to the playground had completely broken and landed in the middle of the playground equipment, breaking the only bench.

Later today, after J went to bed, S and I took the Toddler out to that park to get a look at all the damage. Clean-up crews had already done some work moving the branches out of there in the two hours since we'd seen it last, and while I was impressed with the speed and efficiency that they were showing, I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to come earlier to get pictures of the damage before it was touched. It was pretty impressive. I saw at least three uprooted trees, lots of torn up limbs, and just general debris. S and I are pretty sure that there was an undetected F1 or F2 tornado last night, judging by all the damage. I took many pictures. The Toddler got really excited on the playground equipment (it was safe to play on, miraculously) and decided his face was an excellent tool for descending stairs, which is also known as sliding down metal stairs with your face. That kid is seriously resilient: he didn't even cry; he was just really startled to find himself upside down on the stairs.

Anyway, we decided to leave the park when the crew that was removing all the trees came back from what I assume was their lunch break, and drove past a pretty impressive downed tree across a yard. It had missed the house by only a few feet. After I picked my book up from the library, which I've been waiting to read for six months, we drove by it again so we could get some pictures. It was truly epic. I know getting it out of there will be a bitch, but those people are incredibly lucky that their house is still standing.

After we got home, I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood to chronicle some of the damage. I found two possible culprits for our power outage in this area last night - a huge tree on the main road we live on, about a block away from us, had fallen and hit the power pole, which is now leaning awkwardly over the street, and the lines are all screwed up. There was also a couple of awesome evergreen trees I always liked that were covered in thick vines on a side street, which broke and hit the lines there, too.

Storm Damage Photos
(Click to enlarge)
This was the tree in the park next to the playground.

These people got very lucky.

This was the tree that took out our power last night.

I really liked these trees and am sad about how damaged they are now.

Okay, so now that I've dithered on for pages about the storm and the resulting damage, let's move on. I've been talking to E today, at least when I've been home, and she's decided that we must go on a vacation somewhere together. The lunatic wants to go to Europe, somewhere like Italy or France, where neither of us speak a word (or at least a complete sentence) of the native language, or somewhere ridiculously expensive like Australia. I suggested Iceland as a joke, and then Canada, because if we went to Victoria, we could also visit Seattle, which I don't think she's ever seen. She shot both down, so I suggested Alaska. She surprised me and greeted that idea with some enthusiasm. Of course, we'd have to go shopping to get supplies like hiking boots, so it'll have to be after I get a job, and oh god, I'd need about three extra memory cards and a whole case of damn batteries for my stupid camera. This is going to be awhile off, anyway, due to the me not having a job thing. But she's planning on coming back for a visit soon so we can truly hang out and spend some time together, instead of the short, fleeting visits we've been having for the last few years.

I tried to get in contact with the driver's license bureau again today, and once again, I was hung up on because they have no hold system. I'm so sick of that crap. I just want to know if I'm ever getting unsuspended or not, because I'd really like to get a driver's license so I can try to fix everything else. Seriously.

So, that's about all I have to say.

Links Round-Up 

Apparently, Missouri got the worst of the storm last night, so I'm feeling very lucky to be living on this side of the state line, especially since we got our power back so quickly compared to the poor people on the Missouri side, some of which are still without power.

I doubt that this will ever actually work, unless some truly motivated, good-hearted people are very involved in the process, but it's a pretty cool idea.

Pottermore is now in full beta, due to be open to the public sometime in October.  This article makes me wish desperately that I'd gotten into the beta.  I'm very impatient to see what all the content will be like.  Also, I'll never be bored again.

Anderson Cooper completely loses it on live television and giggles like a girl.  Hilarious.

Animals with their heads stuck in things.  Because.  Just because.

Some of these things were some of my favorite things to eat when I was younger, and I'm very sad that they're gone.  Seriously, bring Surge back, Coca-Cola!

(Also, this post had a ridiculous amount of technical difficulties!)


  1. I'll miss Mountain Dew Pitch Black and 3D Doritos. They were yummy, even if they were bad for you.

  2. Why is it all the yummy stuff is the stuff that goes away?!