29 August 2011

I Can See Clearly Now

Irene was a no more than a minor hitch for us, as I expected. Because the storm tracked inland, we got very little rain, and the wind was no more than we get in so many nor'easters that the weather reporters never ever freak out about. Not that we don't take the weather seriously, but we get enough bad weather of various sorts that we just tend to watch and be ready for it as a matter of course.

When I got home from work yesterday evening, I talked David into going down to the town wharf with me to see what was to be seen in the cove. Several of our friends and neighbors had the same idea, and we got to see a couple casualties of the storm washed aground.


A tow boat was at work trying to secure the nearer of the stranded boats and after a bit got it pulled off the shore and back into the water. It quickly became apparent, though, that the boat had a crack somewhere in the hull, as it was riding progressively lower and lower in the water. So the tow boat captain had to rush to move the boat around the wharf to the boat ramp and at least managed to keep it from going down in the deep water.


By then it was getting dark, so we headed home, had dinner, watched a Simpsons DVD, then went to bed. And that was our Irene adventure.


28 August 2011

I Felt the Earth Move, or Come on, Irene.

So Tuesday we had an earthquake. We all felt it at work, even though the news media apparently don't think anything exists north of Boston. It's not my first tremor and nothing even fell off a shelf, so it was really no big shakes (ba dum dum *ching*), but it was kind of fun to get to experience it.

Now, of course, there's Hurricane Irene, which will be downgraded fairly soon to AA+ tropical storm status. Apparently, this is "the worst storm the East Coast has seen in 50 60 70 100 1000 years!" Also apparently, "East Coast" in this case means New York City. For us, it's not going to be much worse than some of the nor'easters we've gotten over the past few years. For North Carolina, it certainly wasn't any worse than the double whammy of Bertha & Fran in 1996, or the devastation and widespread flooding of Floyd in 1999.

At any rate, my only concern is whether it will keep me from coming home after work this evening. Although I'm admittedly blasé about the storm as a whole, I'm not stupid enough to drive into dangerous winds and flooding, if that should occur. I just hope it doesn't make all the crazies insistent upon coming to see us today.

09 August 2011


Sheer criminality? Seriously, that's the best England's political class could come up with? Prime Minister David Cameron even went so far as to reject outright the possibility that the rioting going on in the UK might be due to any underlying systemic problems. Say, perhaps, the institution of austerity measures on the backs of the working class and poor? Chronic poverty and underemployment, maybe? A legacy of Thatcherite economic policies which continue to widen the gap between rich and poor, much as Reaganomics continues to do here in the US?

Nope, it's just people spontaneously being bad. End of story. Send in the the riot police with truncheons and rubber bullets so we can all go back to cosying up to media tycoons.

Which, of course, just begs the question of who, exactly, he was vacationing with in Italy. Bashir al-Assad?

Which is not to say there's no reason for the average Londoner to be scared. I'd be freaked out of my mind. But until the UK political élite remove their collective heads from their collective arses, I expect they'll continue to experience more of the same. And the political élite here at home would do well to pay attention.