Posted in hurricane, weather, weight loss


I went out for a walk around 9:15 this morning. Again, in situations like this (you know, IKE) I can get a lot of nervous energy that needs spent and I know I won’t be able to go outside much longer.

So, I thought, why not go to St. Arbuck’s for some coffee? And the above sign is what I saw. Sonic is across the street and they advertised lattes but it’s just not the same.

The good news is I’m not stress eating and I’ve walked about 2 1/2 miles in the past 30 hours, so maybe Ike will be good for weight loss?

Posted in hurricane, weather


I had originally created this list a week or so ago while waiting for Gustav, which went East to Louisiana. So, I tweaked it a little and this is the list, redux.

The top five games to play while waiting for Hurricane Ike are:

5. Writing sentences with words that start with the letters from abbreviations of the computers that are giving us the spaghetti models. i.e. HWRF: His watch ran fast.

4. Finding synonyms for the word, “swath.” “Swath” was apparently before Roget’s time.

3. Wondering aloud what Hawking would say about the Cone of Uncertainty and whether or not Jim Cantore can tell the future… because Cantore showed up in Galveston long before it was in the middle of said Cone of Uncertainty.

2. Crank up the static electric flashlights! If there was another person here, we could actually race and it might be fun.

and the number one game to play while waiting for Hurricane Ike:

With an ode to Carmen Sandiego… Where on the Gulf is Jim Cantore? (and unfortunately, we found him in Galveston last night and he’s still there!)

Posted in hurricane, weather


This is why I am not evacuating. Much like what happened with Rita, the freeways were clogged today with people who needed to evacuate, and many people who did not. Though the freeways are not as packed as they were three years ago, I still had no desire to go sit in traffic and go 5 mph for hours on end.

This picture was taken around 3:15 PM at Blalock Road and I-10. I was dismissed from work at noon and the freeways were not nearly this busy. Even now, six hours later, the freeway situation has not improved much. We may see contraflow lanes open in a couple of hours, but still, I feel the need to stay put.

I walked over to my neighborhood grocery store and the parking lot was full all the way to the freeway. Either people are staying put, or they are buying supplies so they can cook dinner while they wait in traffic. Either alternative is plausible.

That poor lonely loaf of bread… but it was gone when I went back with Jene’ a couple of hours later.

And of course, the obligatory shot of the bottled water aisle.

What I’m sure will be a more common sight by tomorrow morning:

Right now, the most I expect are some fallen tree limbs, and some loss of electricity. I am as prepared as I can be, and maybe I’ll sneak out for more pics tomorrow.

Posted in hurricane, weather


Last night it got down to freezing or below freezing for the first time this year… and really this is the first sign of “winter” we’ve had all season. I will not whine, though, most of the northeast is buried under a foot or more of snow, so I consider myself fortunate to just be cold. I’m loving the coffee this morning.

I forgot to cover my fern last night and have not checked on it. I doubt it was freezing or below for more than two or three hours, but I should at least go check and see how Ferny is doing.

The heater actually kicked on several times last night, so the upstairs is significantly warmer than downstairs. The only downside of this is the dry skin and nosebleeds I’ve been experiencing this morning.

Now I’m watching qualifying for the Daytona 500, which I am really excited about. I love racing. Anyone who could get 90mph out of a 1979 Chevy Chevette with year-round snow tires on it should love racing. My goal is to get to a race by 2008, which gives me plenty of time to figure out how to pay for it and decide which race I want to attend.

And, a little update on the shingles episode… I feel much better, but the fatigue still clings to me and I’m doing all I can to overcome that. The itching is gone (thank goodness), but I’m still dealing with the lethargy and the mental confusion (i.e. “blondness”) so, keep praying for me, if you are so inclined.

Back to qualifying…

Posted in hurricane, weather



2:09 PM – Windows taped up. Clouds are rolling in and the wind has picked up as well. Roomie bans me from watching the news or the Weather Channel for at least two hours.

2:38 PM – Neighbor across the way sees his hanging plants being thrown around by the wind and decides (FINALLY) that it might be a good idea to take them inside!

5:34 PM – Rain finally accompanies wind.

5:40 PM – Rain stops. We pop Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in the DVD player to help keep me from watching the news.

7:10 PM – The sun is setting and we can see a wall of clouds headed toward us.

7:17 PM – Beautiful periwinkle/pink sunset.

8:01 PM – Rain again, but the air is still. Wait, rain…wind…no rain… it’s still… no, wait, it’s windy…

8:31 PM – Roomie terminates a moth who has taken shelter in our house from the storm. She says we are not an inter-species shelter and we are definitely not a moth-approved shelter. Poor Mothie.

8:45 PM – Decide I need protein and eat eggs for dinner. Find it is possible to have an entire conversation with words that include the letters or sounds of “egg.” For example, “eggs-actly,” “eggs-ponentially,” “eggs-aggeration,” and “eggs-cuse.” I finally “bEGGed” for it all to stop. We were so silly.

11:11 PM – Nap. We have about three hours until the bulk of the storm hits.

11:25 PM – First big downpour of the evening, but nothing to write home about.


1:11 AM – Power finally gives out. The wind is howling and blowing rain around, but we are all right so far. Will sleep for a while.

3 something AM – The wind gusts are so intense, the wall of my bedroom shakes and I sit up in bed wondering what the hello is going on.

8:27 AM – Still no power. Across the street, they have power… apparently they are on a different grid. Lucky them. Over 500,000 people in Houston are without power, so we aren’t alone.

For breakfast: butterscotch pudding and a cup of diet coke for the caffeine fix needed to survive without power for the coffee pot.

Crack the doors open for a little breeze.

10:42 AM – Went out to survey the damage — mostly downed trees, branches, and leaves. Still no power, but a lady across the street who lives in #38 said we could come over any time if we needed. Very happy indeed that we live in Texas during this sort of event in our lives.

NOON – REFRIGERATOR EVACUATION After nearly 12 hours without power, we decide it’s time to relocate what food we can to the two soft coolers we have. Many items in the freezer are sacrificed to the dumpster, but we save things like milk, yogurt, mayo, lunch meat, and some frozen veggies.

6:00 PM – the sun comes out in the early afternoon, heating our home to a very muggy temp. Roomie has heat exhaustion and doesn’t feel well at all. Mostly, I’m just bored.

6:01 PM – Lights flicker on. A loud cheer is raised outside by those who stayed or came back only to find their home without power. Lights immediately flicker off. Loud, unprintable screams float across the complex. I decide to take a shower to try and cool off.

7:55 PM – It’s too dark to read by candle light downstairs and the mosquitoes are getting hungry, so we shut the doors and retreat upstairs and light more candles. I rip the plastic off my windows and open them (mosquitoes don’t fly that high). A beautiful, almost cloudless sunset follows.

8:00 PM – Roomie lays down in the hallway where it is cooler for her. She is very hot and I’m concerned that an emergency room trip may be in order. She then announces that she shouldn’t be that hot and sweaty without sex but we virgins can’t find a loophole in the whole sex before marriage clause, not even one that would allow for sex privileges during natural disasters. She is disappointed, naturally, but assures me we don’t have to go to the emergency room as she is still sweating.

8:45 PM – Roomie goes out to sleep in the car. It is at least 80 degrees downstairs which means it’s at least 90+ upstairs. Her strategy is to turn on the a/c, cool off the car, sleep until the heat wakes her up, turn on the car again, and repeat the process as needed.

I am getting a cool breeze through my window, so I stay indoors.

Several times in the last hour, the transformer begins to buzz and then shuts off and the people setting up places to sleep on their balonies are trying to cheer on and coax the transformer to work for us.

9:15 PM – POWER!! Everybody outdoors shouts and I stick my head out my window and “yee-ha!” with the rest. Roomie comes back indoors and we wait for the house and fridge to cool down so we can relocate what food we have left back to the fridge.

MIDNIGHT – Food has been relocated to the fridge. Must cook all meat soon as it has thawed too much to refreeze. Freezer has 2 bags of ice and one package of bagels left in it. Roomie goes to bed. I finally go to bed after checking the news and posting on some message boards that we are okay.


Mayor says, “if you aren’t essential, please don’t go to work,” so, I am off work until Wednesday morning. Roomie apparently is essential. She will go to work.

Decide to use this time to continue moving stuff around my room. In that process find a place where some water dripped down my windowsill to the floor, but it is insignificant. It’s the part of the window where the satellite cable feeds through and I didn’t get it quite sealed enough underneath.

Cleaned off back porch, relocated plants back outside, vacuumed all the leaves out of the house, and tried to get the house looking/feeling as normal as possible.

AND BY THE WAY, I am so proud of Roomie for the bungee cord/satellite dish idea. It did not move one centimeter. I will post more of her hurricane survival tips later. So many of them were good… and I want to keep them for later!


Today, will continue to clean my room and restore Hurricane Central back to the kitchen table. Roomie will go to work soon. I may work in a nap. All told, I will have had a week’s “vacation” and by the time I go back to work, my sleep patterns should be nice and messed up.

Thanking God, as always, that we are safe and sound in Houston…. and I’m on news restrictions again because I am saddened by pictures of Port Arthur and Cameron and Beaumont… that would have been Galveston and Houston if Rita had not shifted at the last minute. So the tv is on a radio station and now, I must keep with the program and continue arranging and cleaning.

Posted in hurricane, weather


After losing power at 1:11 AM, our electricity finally came back on at 9:15 PM. The people sleeping on their balconies gave a big ol Texas WHOOP! when their lights and A/C units flickered back to life.

Tomorrow I will blog more about our adventure, but tonight, I’m just too tired. The sun came out this afternoon and by evening time, it was about 92 degrees upstairs. Heat really sucks the life out of me.

Time to go reunite the food we evacuated from the fridge back to the coolers back to the fridge…

Posted in hurricane, weather


It’s nearly 11 PM and we still have power and have yet to see any significant rainfall amounts. We’ve had wind, though, but we are so glad we secured the satellite dish with the bungee cord. It has not moved, even with the wind gusts.

We’ve got about four more hours until Rita makes landfall. After she moves through, I’ll feel a lot better, because the worst is still yet to come… but so far a lot less worse than it could have been.

I will blog more later about our day. You can check out Roomie’s The Tour De Tape on her blog from our morning walk.

I’m going to take a nap. It would be wonderful if the weather didn’t wake me up, but Jene’ assures me it will, she guestimates about 3 AM… either that or when she gets up to bake, the smell of warm bread will lure me downstairs.

Good night!

Posted in hurricane, weather


…so far.

Just went out for a walk. The sky is blue with a few intermittent white clouds and a cool breeze has replaced the 100 degree eerily still air.

EVERYTHING is closed. A few stragglers are pulling up to Kroger’s and the gas stations and pulling away in disbelief. One guy even thought the 24-hour Fitness would be open! We got a chuckle out of that.

The streets are practically bare and it’s rush hour. We walked past many taped windows and overflowing garbage dumpsters (Thursday is trash pick up day in this neighborhood). If people have stayed, they are staying indoors and it’s a shame. It’s a beautiful day… so far.

We don’t anticipate any rain until late this afternoon. The “eye” of Rita is expected to go east of us, sparing us the highest winds, so now we are hoping for the best — not losing power.

Rain, however, is another story… Rita is slowing down and Allison did that as well. Still, we did not flood then, but we may not be able to get out of the neighborhood quickly if we get a lot of rain.

That’s the update for now. I will try to update later this afternoon if I get the chance.

Posted in hurricane, weather


People have spent a good chunk of the evening criticizing the traffic conditions of the Houston exodus. Finally, Dr. Neil Frank, an authority on Hurricanes from KHOU NEWS, explained the evacuation plan as such: He said the evacuation plan was made to evacuate those on the coast and in flood prone, low lying areas (the now famous zones on the maps: A, B and C). The evacuation plan was made to evacuate these two million people, not the entire population of the Houston metroplex.

The problem is, he said, is that about half of the four million people not in the evacuation areas decided to evacuate as well. That’s where the breakdown occurred. So yes, many things went wrong because of that. He did say, however, that all in all, after watching the death and destruction of Katrina on tv for two weeks, people who would have normally stayed put panicked and decided to leave. Most, if not all, people on the roads right now should be able to get out of harm’s way before Rita’s landfall.

Not that he blames them, but the extra surge of people during the evacuation led to the traffic jams on the freeways. That’s the best explanation I’ve heard all day.

The best newspaper report on the Houston Exodus comes from across the pond in London.

From the Times Online: Exodus is “breathtaking in size.”

The exodus from the Texas coast, and 60 miles north through Houston, was breathtaking in size. In essence, a coastal suburban area of two million people was being ordered to evacuate through the Houston metropolitan area of four million.

Highways leading inland out of Houston were gridlocked, with traffic bumper-to-bumper. Petrol stations were running out of fuel. Police cruised along the queue with petrol for drivers running low. Shoppers emptied supermarkets of food and water.

Breathtaking in size. I love that.

Going to bed now to get a good night’s sleep because I doubt I get much sleep tomorrow night.

Personally, I’m more worried about all the rain we are going to get for the next five days. I’m glad I know how to swim.

Good night.

Posted in hurricane, weather


The Roomie took these pics and posted them on her blog.

We first went down to Walgreen’s for batteries, but they were closed. We walked past Starbuck’s on the way to Kroger and it was also closed. She posted signs in windows and empty shelves at the grocery store. You have to see it to believe it.

By the way, I am listed as the “Reluctant Roommate.” Walking around in 100 degree heat wasn’t my idea of a good time, but I did work off a lot of nervous energy.

In about 20 hours, we should see the first of Rita’s outer bands of rain, so first thing tomorrow morning, we will start moving things away from the windows and secure the satellite dish.

I will post updates as long as technology allows.