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The tornado watches and warnings aren't a joke. Please don't take stupid chances....like the guys insisting on working on our pool today. ARGH!
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60 hours later. Time to wash clothes.

Thank you SO much to everyone for the offers of assistance during this nightmare. And now the clean up begins.
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Well boy howdy is this getting old. At least now, our pals at Dominion Virginia Power will let you speak to a HUMAN who will brightly tell you that power should be restored by 5pm. Oh boy...63 hours from outage. A world record.

This is the only area I've ever lived where I've been required to have a generator due to the number of power outages. Only 4 miles outside the beltway, but I might as well be in another country. Dominion's response estimate on Saturday was 6pm. That came and went, and the next one was 8pm Saturday. Then the estimates stopped. It's Monday morning now and we have no idea whatsoever when the power will come back.

Cox cable was back up early Sunday afternoon.

Since I moved here 18 years ago and noticed the number of power outages, I inquired as to why the lines hadn't been buried given the amount of money and time spent trimming trees throughout the area. I've been given a myriad of ridiculous responses about cost effectiveness. This monopoly that is Dominion doesn't seem to factor in the costs to its customers each time they have to throw out a freezer full of food, find another place for themselves, their children and their pets, their frozen pipes, or the high costs of purchasing a generator to save them from the disruption and other costs.

Why they didn't coordinate with Verizon when they were burying FIOS lines is also a question that I'd like to see answered. Of course, they'll likely never be called to task on this sort of thing. After all, it's not THEIR bottom line that gets hit every time this happens.

I emailed boss to let him know not to expect much out of me today.
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We're still here. No power, no Internet, no estimates as to when either will be back. The generator is holding thusfar, and we're cutting way down on electricity used in order to keep it going as long as possible. Driveway is clear, road was plowed, dunno what is going on beyond our little road, so can't say what Georgetown Pike looks like. I'm sure it's a mess with downed trees, etc.

Verizon is not going to be pleased at the data usage, but that's life. AT&T is still completely out. We have microwave for cooking, our coffee machine (hooray) and a small sterno powered hot plate burner thing so we can have some kind of food.

Others are not as fortunate.
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Cox Cable told me at 8am that they were rolling trucks and I would have a tech "real soon now." I called back around 7 and was told "oh, they just said they missed you." Then I was told "oh, they didn't let anyone go out because of the snow." Fine enough, but it would have been nice for them to TELL me that at 8am.

VEPCO said "6pm." At 6, nothing changed, so I called back and was told 8pm. It's 8 now. No electric. The recording now says that if there's no electricity by now, we need to go "elsewhere." Elsewhere? Where are we supposed to go? How about those who can't get out of where they are?

No further information was provided. Oh joy.
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Forget tags and cut and puncuation cuz I'm on the droid since internet is down. But wes got the generator started after the sun helped him see a bit. Its supposed to start automatically but failed and didn't catch at 3am. So between about 4 and 7 I sat on the couch under blankets with a macaw snuggled underneath with me saying she's a blue chicken, a bucket under the leak from the reverse siphon from the fish tank, and taking every few minutes to stir it with a wire whisk in an attempt to keep air circulating.

The generator handles wrming the birds part of the house and powers the fish pumps so they are ok. Cox cable says they will send someone for the net since we have super duper whatever service, and wes is out with the snow blower. Pix should be on facebook.

I just wish I hadn't stepped on my glasses in the dark...

P.s. damn a hot shower feels great when you don't know when you'll next get one. Ditto for hot coffee.
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Due to the superhuman efforts of the [livejournal.com profile] dogpooh we're free and so are the doggies, with a clear path up from their cages. I am not sure if he is giving me a hint, however regarding whether we need to do laundry :-)


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And rising...
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I admit it, I was wrong. I didn't think the hype was going to amount to anything close to this mess. Thusfar, we have power (yay). We have snow blower (yay). We have food and stuff (yay). It's all good.
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...how did I get here?

Given that Walker Rd. and Springvale were both flooded and of course nobody bothered to let the motorists know until we were upon the barriers. Then I heard that an accident closed Georgetown Pike right outside my home intersection. All the traffic turning around and seeking alternate routes was pooled (like the water) into many ridiculous clumps of annoyed people whose 3 point turn skills were woefully inadequate.

My 20 minute morning commute = 70 today. And now back to weasel battles.
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I love my Prius, but it doesn't like wind or wet roads very much. And today, I don't know who turned on the wind machine, but I found myself steering into the wind and looking for rudder and aileron controls :-). Whoa was that ever something. Then these snow flakes fell from the sky while the weather was partly cloudy and the sun was peeking through. But looking up, the clouds were racing across the sky like they were late for dinner.

When I got to work, and walked from the car to the door, I thought I was going to wind up back in the parking lot several times with lovely wind gusts. WTOP said they were up to 50 mph. I'm damn glad I'm not flying today. Man, that must be one bumpy ride.

We might get out early today, which would be lovely. It would certainly make me a happy Toy :-)
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Thunder crashes, lightning flashes, rain is pouring, power is hiccuping, [livejournal.com profile] calvinthedeeple is shivering, the fish tank is sending out frantic "I have no lights, my pH, my pH!!!" emails, DirecTv is looking for its signal.

In other words, a normal summer day at the House of Chaos :-).
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Because we're among the 250,000 out of power and they're saying it will be a multi day event. We have no idea when we will get power back. The generator powers only some of the house...no AC units, etc. It's going to get pretty warm in here pretty quickly.

Remember, this is Dominion Virginia "We don't need to bury the lines" Power. Gotta love these bastards. Gouge your wallet and provide very little when the emergency happens.
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Brand new UPS units do not work during an outage, the mega expensive generator doesn't auto start the way it should, power goes boom, leaves and branches fly around everywhere, and doggies try to hide under their doggie beds because loud booms are happening.

Glad the outage didn't last too long.
recalcitranttoy: (panic)
It generally happens at least once per year, so get OVER it already, folks! Yes, it's that strange phenomenon that occurs when precipitation occurs when the outside temperature is below freezing. And what does that cause in the DC area, boys and girls? That's right....car accidents.

Everyone wants to be the first on their block to drive their car off the road, into another car, into a tree, or just flip it over a few times. Extra points if you close major arteries in both directions.

I've lived in VA since about 1985, and in all that time I still don't have any idea what causes the IQ of the average metro driver to plummet every time white stuff falls from the sky. Common sense, and everything ever learned through however many years of previous driving experience vanish into thin air. I wouldn't be surprised to find that gravity itself somehow changes its characteristics throughout the DC metro area during snow given the way that people seem to drive.

On our way to the doctor this morning we were treated to a person who felt that stopping at the stop sign before careening onto route 193 was somehow more dangerous than almost hitting us. Another decided it was safer to speed up to the light, then slam on the brakes BEFORE the light turned yellow, just in case it turned red unexpectedly, then wondered why he slid into the intersection. When we finally got onto Walker Road, we found that someone else felt that looking both ways before pulling out from the Safeway parking lot was obviously a lot more dangerous than trying to broadside our truck. A woman with cell phone glued to her ear figured she should drive 7mph cuz that was obviously a lot safer than hanging up. Several others felt that the extra brain power necessary to use a directional signal was far more than they could handle, and we'd obviously figure it out when they slammed on their brakes for no apparent reason.

Perhaps we need a new kind of driving test. Wait til it snows, then give them an IQ test. If IQ drops more than 10 points due to snow, don't allow them to drive in the snow :-).
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Chaos reigns at the House of Chaos. Apropos, no? First off, the dogs do not like to go outside, or "go" outside when it is raining. Step 1 of the morning routine was therefore complicated by having to shove each dog out the door then close it else dog would return immediately. This became difficult as the more dogs outside the door to attempt to nose in when it was opened, the more difficult to close it after you shoved another out. Since the dogs cleverly would run immediately upstairs and into their room, "going" on the floor since they didn't want to get their delicate tushies wet, I closed the dog door so that they couldn't perform this feat of annoyance.

Or so I thought. Using "Dummy Dog" as a battering ram, they bashed their way into the room before I got back up the stairs, and began depositing gifts. Catching many in the act, I did the nose rub and out the door routine, carefully barricading the door so there would be no return trip. Watching 9 dogs under a beach umbrella was most amusing. When I was sure that most of the going was done, I let them back in.

W00f and again W00f
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Last night I confirmed that I'm going to have serious difficulty if I continue classes at Glen Echo during the summer. Man does it ever get hot! I took the last in the series for intermediate swing and the last lindy class and it was really a lot of fun. Everything kind of clicked, despite the heat, and even most of the leaders had things down well (cept for the one that kind of decided that leading involves muscling the follower around which generally leads to a brain interrupt for me as in "what the HELL do you think you're doing?" but even he got better as the night went on and Donna admonished him).

It's tough to leave that venue because it's so nice and so convenient to drive to, but it's just SO hot. Waaa.

We learned Lindy circles, more Charleston stuff where balance is actually improving, more nuances in keeping frame and "listening" to leads, more "how not to lead" lessons, etc. Now I have to practice a lot and find some other classes for the summer in air conditioning. Preferably during the day. Yeah, I ask for the world :-)
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Tra laaaaa laaaaa. Mosquito time is here again. Gnats too. Out here in Great Falls in lots that haven't chopped down every tree in sight, we have cute little woodland forest creatures, and not so cute ones. Yesterday I got to watch a mommy and daddy robin feed their fledgling which was really cute, some squirrels, a fox and a raccoon stealing cat food, and numerous deer crashing through the trees. Then..*OUCH* what the hell? Ah yes, our friend the mosquito. And what's that in my eye? Well, it's our friend the gnat.

Watch the Wiccan nature lover run for chemicals and advocate murder of all mosquitoes and gnats. Guess it's time to start up them mosquito magnets again. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have such a strong reaction to the damn bites. Grump.

I still love my woods. I hope we have a bumper crop of bats this year to take care of the small critters I don't love quite so much as others :-).

Oh, and today I got to ride on the tractor with Wessiepooh. Vroom vroom. He let me touch his manly tractor. I feel blessed.
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SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WS 278
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
303 PM EDT WED MAY 16 2007

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 278 REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 800 PM EDT
FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS

----------

Be careful out there, kids. This is a seriously nasty line of storms extending from about Lewiston, ME through Knoxville, TN. It's also knocked out my HD satellite. Now ain't that just the pits? Right when Charmed was on, too! Of all the nerve.

The rain has started here, and it's pretty damn heavy. And there's the first thunder. Oh boy! The season's first nasty thunderstorm. I would go singing in the rain, but last time we had a big one, it hit one of the trees in the woods. Serious firewood time.

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