mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
Before the storm

This picture makes me a bit sad. I found it on my extra memory card yesterday; I had forgotten all about it. We took this on Thursday before the storm, when we were on the way out. I was driving and I remembered that I had been meaning to take a picture of this wreath, so I pulled over and Rob rolled down the window (only partway, as you can see!) and took this. This is a marker showing the location of the Galveston orphans' home in 1900. The home was actually across the Seawall from here - it was where Wal-Mart is now. The anniversary of the 1900 storm is September 8th-9th, and this was taken on the 11th, so the wreath was still relatively fresh. When we came back after the storm, just the pole was there - the sign itself, and the wreath, of course, was gone.

I've talked about the story of the orphans here before, I think. Here's a piece that talks about it, from the Galveston paper. (Here's the Wikipedia article on the 1900 storm itself.) It's a very sad story. The nuns tied the children to them with clothesline, hoping to keep them together, and some stories say that that itself caused so many of them to get killed, because the lines snagged on the debris. But knowing what I know now about what the storm this year did to that area - and bear in mind that I lived about a block from here, until September - I can't imagine that many of them would have survived no matter what, with no Seawall to protect them. The Seawall was the only thing that kept that area from being completely underwater in Ike, and of course some water came over anyway. And Ike was a smaller storm.


Note that Ike came in on the night of September 12th-13th. It was three months ago today.

mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
(Written earlier tonight)
We are at the Hampton Inn in Moline, Illinois, and there is no internet. There is supposed to be internet, but there is not. The front desk is extremely apologetic (especially since I am now a Hilton HHHonors silver member thanks to my frequent hotel stays) but there is no internet just the same, and they're not sure when it will be back. Sigh.

I got on WoW again before dinner, briefly, and it seemed to be working fine. Columbine, as usual, managed to find the answer even though he disavowed any knowledge of Windows Vista - he still knew where to look, or figured it out. (I had to left-click on the icon and click 'run as administrator' to get it to install correctly.)

I am going to have to post the entry I wrote yesterday - or maybe it was day before yesterday, I'm not sure - before I post this one so you will have the background about all the indecision about what route to take coming home. But we decided to take the more northern one. If we really had more time to screw around I would have gone all the way to Fargo, probably, because I am crazy, but this is about as far north as we are going. In case you are not all that up on your Illinois geography, Moline is one of the Quad Cities, across the river from Davenport, Iowa. You know last spring when they had all those floods? That was partially around here somewhere, I believe.

We went across Indiana and Illinois today, and made sort of a big circle around Chicago. Tomorrow we are going to drive ALL the way across Iowa and poke our noses into Nebraska before we start south. It's a long way to go just because I think I-55 is boring, isn't it? Well, I don't care.


Now it is 10:20 - at least if I have my time zones right, but I'm pretty sure I do because we are west of Chicago and I KNOW Chicago is Central - and the internet came back just about the time Col gave up on me showing up to play WoW and went to bed. Which is just as well under the circumstances but frustrating. We will have to try again tomorrow.

So let's see, what haven't I covered? It's rather difficult for me to remember right now. I applied for FEMA assistance yesterday morning (back at the Lima Panera Bread) and got an automated call from them last night saying we were approved for the hotel expenses - sort of frighteningly efficent, isn't it? We still have no real idea what is going on at home so we may try to find a place to use for a home base until we find out for sure whether our apartment is livable or not. We can have assistance for a month from the time of the storm - I think they said until October 14th. I think we were eligible for some other kind of reimbursement also but I forget what it was. Nothing big.

I am generally much better today, just mostly travel-weary. Regarding what I was stressing out about yesterday, my father-in-law correctly pointed out that if there had really been as much water in the vicinity of our apartments as my father was trying to imply there was, not only would my car have moved but the dumpster it was parked next to would have, too. Here is the satellite picture as linked from the Galveston paper:

satellite photo of galveston

The original is on flickr, and really gigantic, but if you blow it up all the way and look at the right spot, you can clearly see my car right where I left it, and the dumpster right where it was, too. So I think it is fairly unlikely that there was all that much water - at least not, you know, probably not six or eight feet or anything like that. That's not to say my apartment is not wet, but still. I am back to having hope. And I thumb my nose at my father.

(I put some annotations on the Flickr page, to give you an idea, if you're interested.)

Breathing

Sep. 19th, 2008 11:33 am
mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
The longer this goes on, the tenser I get. It busts out occasionally, although mostly I am holding it together pretty well. Mostly.

I'm at McDonald's. Not surprisingly, McDonald's internet is not great. I have also done some internetting from the Celina Wine Store, which is a combination liquor store and restaurant that (surprisingly) has good and free wi-fi. I spend a lot of time on the Galveston Daily News website, trying to figure out what's going on in Galveston. I also have spent some time banging my head against the wall because I couldn't see the damn screen, but today I found a plug to hook the laptop into, and so the screen brightness is not as much of a problem as it was. (Yeah, I know there's a way to fix it, but that was part of the headbanging, that I didn't know anything at all about how things work with a laptop. It's just the learning curve.)

I bought some clothes, including a hoodie because I was afraid I was going to be cold up here, but so far I haven't actually needed it. I don't get up early enough in the morning - it's warmed up by the time I get outside anyway.

Sitting in McDonald's and hearing people talking makes me despair. I guess I should not take the Celina McDonald's clientele as representative of all of Ohio. (Middle-aged mom: "Sarah Palin is awesome!" And then she claims to be a Democrat. I had to bite my tongue. I'm of the opinion that if you admire that woman you can't be much of a Democrat.)

Tomorrow I am probably going to go meet [livejournal.com profile] karen_d  somewhere in the vicinity of Toledo. We figured out (or rather she did) that that was sort of halfway. There seems to be a bead shop around there somewhere. Karen and I tend to put on the shopping when we get together.
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
Alright, they finally posted and said that there will be no classes for at least a week and normal clinical activities will not resume for at least two weeks. That's not to say they couldn't call us back earlier, but at least a week seems likely. So unless we hear something in the morning to stop us, we are probably headed to Ohio sometime tomorrow. We're just going to drive on up there and take our time (going, at least) and kill two birds with one stone. It doesn't sound like the power will be back on in Galveston any time soon and right now there's no water, either, so home isn't liveable even if everything turns out to be okay there. Hopefully they'll give us 48 hours on having to return and we can get back in that time if we really need to. (It's two loooong days or 3 shorter ones, from here to Ohio.)

We went to Wal-Mart and looked at the laptops and as usual with Wal-Mart and electronics, I got frustrated because they were all locked up and stomped out. We'll have to find a Best Buy somewhere, or maybe an Office Depot or something.
mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)

They finally let the news helicopters fly over Galveston, and we have our first tentative "news" about home - a quick flyover shot of our apartment complex, revealing no visible major damage and no visible standing water, and cars sitting in the parking lot looking normal. It went by too fast for me to pick out MY car or anything, but the very fact that they moved on so quickly is sort of a good sign - because if they'd seen anything the news people thought was interesting they would've slowed down. So there's that.

We're toying with the idea of driving up to Ohio for a few days. We're guessing that it's going to be at least a week before things can get back to (semi-)normal at work, maybe more, so we're thinking we may just take off and go. We're trying to get hold of our supervisors and see if we can get any confirmation that we wouldn't get in trouble there by doing this. If we can't get them we may just go anyway. If worse comes to worst we can get home again in two days, and surely we'd have that much notice.

mellicious: pink manicure (Dr Who - blink)

We are starting to cautiously hope that the fact that we haven't seen our apartment building on CNN (or anywhere else) is a good sign. There are some indications that there was a lot less water west of the San Luis. But we haven't seen any pictures whatsoever from down that way, so we don't really know. And we won't be able to get back onto the island for at least a couple of days so the suspense will have to continue.
 

Oh man.

Sep. 12th, 2008 04:20 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (Totoro: bus stop)
If you really want Ike overload, somebody on the [livejournal.com profile] houstontx  community linked to this mashup site: http://flhurricane.com/ikecoverage.html. The four main Houston stations, the NWS and Weather underground all on one page.

If we're lucky, the hurricane will go a little east of Galveston and we'll get the weak side, by a bit. I don't think we can expect it to miss by much more than that. We are probably going to have a very soggy apartment.

Waiting

Sep. 12th, 2008 12:21 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (umbrellas)

OK, well, here's what I just posted over at TUS:

We are safely in Bryan - a pretty long way inland, although they are expecting big winds and power outages here too. (We just made a expedition to Wal-Mart and they told the cashier while we were standing there that the store would be closed tomorrow.) The pictures of Galveston on the news are really scary-looking. The old-timers and the weather experts always say, "It's not the wind, it's the storm surge," and it sounds like that's correct this time.

The traffic was not too awful - nothing like Rita. Also, during Rita people were pretty hysterical even here and the grocery stores were stripped of all the bottled water and all that kind of thing. It's not at all like that this time - everybody in Galveston was really calm and here too, for the most part. (Although I gather that there are some people in Houston getting worked up about whether they OUGHT to be worried or not. Possibly with good reason.) 
 

We got here in less than five hours and we went by a roundabout route and made a couple of stops, so that's not too bad. I suspect that it would have been longer had we gone straight through Houston. (For those of you who know what I'm talking about, we took highway 6 around to 59, took 59 down to Rosenberg, and cut across to Hempstead on some highway I forget the number of - 379 or something like that. Then highway 6 again to Bryan.)
mellicious: pink manicure (agnostic)
I've had an ambien and I am hoping I will be able to go to sleep in a while, and then conceivably get my sleep back on schedule. Cross your fingers.

This may well be a sort of "bits and pieces" entry, since my mind is going off in a bunch of different directions, as usual.

I want to record something actually useful that I heard somebody say on CNN today. It was some expert talking about the evacuations in California because of the wildfires, but it would apply just as well to our kind of evacuations - it was what to grab if you have to evacuate in a hurry. They called it the "six P's" although there were really more than six. Luckily they said it a couple of times so I was able to get it all scribbled down:
-- people and pets
-- pills or prescriptions
-- papers, the important kind
-- plastic, as in credit cards, or money
-- your PC - I don't think they meant the whole thing, really, but your data burned to a disc
-- pictures

Also, I am watching "The Dresden Files" which I sort of like, although I don't quite understand why. It's not great, but it's oddly watchable. (I'm told that everybody does not agree with this opinion.)

Oh, and when I read back over what I wrote in the last entry, it reminded me that my 6-year-old cousin Laci really did not know what to make of the box of ashes yesterday. She has presumably been indoctrinated into some varation on evangelical christianity, and I know at least some of those types think that you have to preserve your body after death, because you'll get your same earthly body back when you go to heaven. (Which personally I think is a really appalling idea. Yuck.) Anyway, from the questions Laci was asking, it sounded like maybe she had been told some version of this story. Her mother had to explain to her that Aunt Billie Dell wasn't in that body anyway, she was in heaven and she had a whole new body which wasn't sick any more. Stephanie (the mom) also said later that she figured that my mom and my grandmother were up in heaven watching us and laughing. All I know is, if they were watching, she would be right. They would totally be laughing. Both my mother and grandmother had a fine sense of the ridiculous.

I don't want to go to work tomorrow. I want a day to recover from the weekend, dammit. But I guess I'd better go to bed, since I'm not getting it.
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
I am a hoarder of receipts. I keep all my debit card receipts at least until they've gone through the bank - longer if I think there's anything there that I might conceivably want to return - and I make most of my purchases with the debit card these days, so that means I keep practically everything. And I'm not at all good about going through and tossing them as often as I should. This morning I grabbed a handful off the bottom of the stack, and it turned out to go back to 2004. Then I have to go & get all nostalgic over the damn receipts, at least if they remind me of a dinner or even a shopping trip that I especially enjoyed.

Too much detail )

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