N'awlins at heart

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hey man, how's it going?

Currently I am still at work. I will be flying out tomorrow at noon to visit my angel and the rest of the family in NOLA. I am really excited. Two weeks without electricity really sucks. I've been hanging in there though. I have a laptop at home with a TV tuner card so I have been able to watch some boob tube at night. Mostly news, Simpsons, King of the Hill, you know, fun stuff. According to Centerpoint's website we were supposed to have power back last Monday. That was not the case. As each day went by I have been hoping it would be on when I got home. As you have probably noticed, it has not.

Yesterday when I got home, one of the neighbors was pulling in, and we had a conversation for about an hour or so. He informed me he was told the complex electricity was not up to code and would not be on for 30 days. I was not impressed at all. Fortunately W1 was kind enough to call Centerpoint and get the real scoop. Apparently we sustained major damage. That is why EVERYONE else around us has power but we do not. They did inform us that there are no issues with code violations, and the power will be back by Friday night at the soonest, or Sunday night at the latest. But we've heard all that before. It was supposed to be up last Monday and that did not happen, so I'm not sure how much I trust the latest forecast. But at least I am not expecting light tonight when I get home.

Work has not been bad. I am wondering if they consider stealing electricity a fire worthy offense. Because I have been stealing it like crazy via charging batteries on a daily basis. Who knows? They must be pretty happy with my work though, since I got a tee shirt today. One of the companies who made a mouse I had tested sent me a shirt with the mouse logo. I'm not sure if they did it because they are pleased with my work, or if they just know I am running short on clean clothes. Either way it's pretty cool.

My boss got his power back yesterday morning. I am very glad because he did not seem to be taking it as well as I have. He had been very snappy and definitely stressed. He seems to be in a lot better mood. I have gotten closer to getting back on track and catching up on the work that was piling up earlier so I'm thinking he was pretty happy about that too.

In another hour and a half I will be at my 40 hours for the week, so hopefully I can make it that long. If not, oh well. I should be able to get pretty close to it though since I still need to type up my weekly report. Then once I get home I start packing a suitcase of dirty clothes and preparing for my flight. I don't mind working late right now since W1 is not here and it is dark when, or soon after I get home. Having no lights I am unable to read "A Confederacy of Dunces" which I started after the storm. This is my third attempt at reading the book and I think I may actually get through it this time. I've never been big on reading (if it's not on a computer screen) but it is a really good book.

Okay, looks like I'm going to get back to work. Hope you all enjoyed the update and I look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More of the updates.

Thanks to Hurricane Ike I am pretty far behind on my work. And when I have worked this week, my mind has been elsewhere. So I'm currently at work making up time I missed Monday. I was planning on coming in Saturday for 8 hours to get my 40 this week, but now that W1 is in NOLA I decided to work late. That way although I will still need to come in Saturday, it should only be for 2-3 hours. Russell said I should work as late as I can manage to have both weekend days off, but I think it is better this way. I noticed one of the issues I had was I didn't want to go anywhere. I mean, I wanted to get out of the house, but wasn't in the mood to really "go" anywhere. But if I have to leave the house Saturday and come all the way to work, even for a few hours, I will be more motivated to go visit friends who do have power. Whereas if I had both days off, I would spend at least one of them sitting around the house, sleeping all day, then being unable to sleep at night and feeling miserable in the morning.

I decided not to give W1 a choice and told her to leave. She fought tooth and nail but I would not back down. Had I known the power would be out until "after next Monday" (We're 77063) I would have made her leave sooner. The situation here is still bad, and she does not belong in this environment. But the deal goes both ways, she agreed to go to NOLA as long as I agreed not to sit around the house in the dark all weekend. So I already made plans to go to Russell's apartment Sunday, and either Russell's or Co-worker B's (the one who gave me all the ice yesterday) on Saturday after work. I think it's a fair trade.

The Gas Station lines have gotten better, or maybe I'm just going at better times. There are plenty of places open to eat, and grocery stores and Wal-Mart open also. The main down side is the lack of power. No A/C sucks, no refrigeration sucks, no internet sucks. But it sort of feels like Kartina II. And I think it pretty much is. But it will get better soon I have no doubt. It has to.

Friday Update:

I started this post yesterday but it was starting to sound a lot worse than it is. It does suck around here but it is tolerable. I have been working late just because there is nothing better to do. Plus my work is piling up. My boss has been without power this whole time too and I can tell it's wearing on him. He was getting a bit angry with me today because the work is piling up. It made me mad at first as I was like "Um, hello, a hurricane blew through here! My mind probably isn't 100% on my job." But that wasn't totally it. The current item I was testing is a piece of garbage. It isn't even stable enough to merit me testing it yet. I finally told my boss that he needs to let them know there is MAJOR work that needs to be done to it before they even consider shipping it. He agreed, sent them a nasty email, and gave me 3 more items to test. That is going a little better, but still slowly. I think a lot has to do with the fact that I know I have other items that have come in this week waiting in line behind them. It's like the work load where you can't see an end. Whatever, I get paid by the hour.

On a better note I went to look at any updates to the repair info and found this. It made me happy since our area is numbered 063. Which now says we should be up Monday. It may be a mistake, or it may be progress. Either way I ain't counting chickens. I'll believe it when I see it. It would be nice though. On the down side my bosses is 070. That one says after Thursday. He is already bad mood dude. Hopefully if his is out that long he will take a short vacation. Who knows, either way we are both in the same boat right now. I wish both of us luck. Speaking of work, I guess I should get back to it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another quick note.

Still no power. I was sent this link and was saddened to see that we seem to be right on the line of "Power up by Monday" and "Power up after Monday". I mean really, seriously? No es bueno!

On a better note though, we went out to eat at a really nice place a few miles away from the apartment last night. While we were out I sent a text to my stunter friend who was in the accident last year. Short story long, he was eating at a restaurant about 2 blocks away from us. We went by there and found out he moved into the apartment complex across the street from ours. He still has no power either. But he said they were going to do some stunts tonight at a place pretty close to our apartment. So when I get home we are going to grab some food and take the bike out that way to watch them for a bit. The weather has been great, and W1 has not been on the bike in a long time. (Sorry my love.) I think it will be nice to get out of the house , instead of sitting in the dark, and watch them cut up for a while. And believe me, they do cut up. Ha Ha Ha. Too bad there won't be any lights out there or I would film a bit.

Another co-worker got power back on Monday. I drove the truck in since he was kind enough to bring us a huge ice chest full of ice and bottled water. There are some good people over here I have to say.

The mayor said #1 "Hunker Down" and more recently #2 For people with power, share your refrigeration with people who don't. Since he's the one who told us not to evacuate in the first place, I wanna show up at his house with a sixer and toss it in his fridge. Then commence to dining on whatever he has in there. It was his idea for us to stay in the first place, right? Tell him I'll leave when my power is back. Or is he a "do as I say not as I do" sort of individual? I'll bet he is. JERKFACE!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quick update.

We are alive and well. Eating fairly well. Walmart has been getting fresh meat (aw yeah, fresh meat) so I have been giving our grill a good work out. Luckily I ran out of propane about a week before the storm so I had a full tank. You'd be amazed at what you can cook on a grill. (I keep singing "Bean's don't burn on the grill. Took a whole lot of try-y-in, just to get up that hill...")

We have water but no electric since Friday night. The biggest problem we're running into is a shortage of ice. W1 and I have both returned to work today. I've never been so excited to go to work in my life. It's nice to be able to watch the news and check email. From everything I've seen so far, FEMA is doing a great job of dropping the ball. Tax money well spent.

We have been playing a lot of cards, and watching movies on the laptops until the batteries die. Maybe we'll get lucky and W1 will find some open fast food on the drive home today. If not I guess we can hope Walmart is still open. It looks like our normal grocery store is open on generator power. No meat, milk, or anything like that, but some wine would be nice.

One last thing I found funny. I noticed you can tell which guys at work still don't have power yet. Those of us who don't are sportin some mighty nice beards. Ha Ha Ha! I guess that's all you get for now.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Maybe it's the drinkin.

I say it again. Maybe it's the drinkin. But I'm really curious about the squirrels. They were all over before this but now they are nowhere to be found. The winds have picked up more since earlier, but they aren't insane by any stretch. It does make me wonder where the squirrels went though. I haven't seen any. Are they under ground? Are they up north? What's up with em? I'm really quite curious. How far have they traveled since this morning?

There were also birds still chirping around 6:30. Where did they go?

We just had spike #4 so I'll go ahead and post this one.

Love to all.

9:45 PM and such.

We've lost power twice, but it has come back on withing 5 minutes. We are currently honing up on our guitar hero skills. The hurricane party has been going swimmingly. We are still not getting the weather they are showing on the news. We went out to check the bike and visit the parking garage. There we ran across some other people apparently returning from their own hurricane party.

Okay, we just had outage #3 but it only lasted for a few seconds. So as of now we are watching Americas Funniest Home Videos. I'm sure we will resume Guitar Hero as long as the power allows. Stay safe everyone, we's all good here.

8:00 PM or so.

All is still well. We are just watching TV and relaxing. I went outside a few times and we are getting a few gusts of wind, but nothing bad. The rain has not started.

I spoke with Russell a few minutes ago. He is in Pearland. He is in an evacuation zone but opted to stay with his parents who refused to leave. He said they are getting a little wind but no rain either. Judging from the weather channel it is pretty close.

Just wanted to check in with everyone.

4:30 PM Friday

So far all is well. We have moved everything off the back patio into the house. The bike is in the wheel chock and hopefully isn't going anywhere. We are not feeling effects of Ike yet. They are showing some crazy storm surges in Galveston, but it's nothing like that here. I think for now we are good to go.

I will try to keep everyone posted as long as we have power and maybe if I'm bored enough I'll try to get some video. I guess we'll have to see.

5:00 PM update. I just heard on the news we should start feeling hurricane force winds around 6:30 PM. I guess we'll wait and see.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Hunker down!"

That's right. That's a direct quote from the Mayor of Houston. He said if we were not in a mandatory evacuation zip code (we aren't) that we should "hunker down". So, everyone out there concerned about us need not be. But I appreciate the fact that you are. Don't worry though, we have food, water, booze and smokes. What else do you need? Other than a place to cook it. Oh wait. We just refilled the propane tank for the grill last weekend. I think we're good.

We also have a Black & Decker flashlight with 2 - 14v batteries fully charged, a battery powered florescent lantern, and a ton of matchbooks thanks to Papasitos (and Ian, thanks buddy). The Wikihow today happened to be How to Purify Water. Thanks Wiki. Good lookin' out.

I also brought home a laptop with a digital TV tuner, and a spare battery. So even if we lose power we can watch the news on the laptop. (As long as we get a signal.) A zippo lighter with extra fluid? Check. Digital camera is fully charged. I even found an old box of firecrackers. And if worse comes to worse (probably a result of the firecrackers), we have the GPS with cigarette lighter adapter so we can get the Hell out of here.

On a good note I got off of work early. As did W1. She braved the supermarket to load us up with supples. And instead of having to wait in lines, she was able to check out at customer service. She rawks!

Nothing exciting has really been going on at work. Coworker S is only there half of the time, and he's actually gotten a lot better. I have not run acropss any wild animals, but I'm sure they knew the hurricane was coming before we did. I knew for sure last night. As soon as I saw Jim Cantore on the news in Galveston. As we all learned from Jeffie Pants, Jim brings the hurricanes and has the power to summon lightning.

I can't think of anything else right now, so I'll leave you with an old photoshop I did a few years ago.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Lemon Pepper is my bottom ho!

Okay, according to the container the name is "Lemon & Pepper", but I stand by it. I use it in almost everything I cook. Oregano is also fun. Remember that when you are cooking. Spices are your friends.

I don't think Texas is very ethnically tolerant. We went on a picnic / outing yesterday with a few people I work with. It was mainly for one of the old bosses who had retired. Every year they would do this picnic thing. He is a really cool guy, and one of the last things he did before retiring was get me a job in a different group right before the group I was in got laid off. When we arrived at the park we noticed a sign. I had to take a picture.

I wonder if any specific group of people are being singled out with that sign. Probably not. I remember having a Pinata at every birthday party I've ever been to. Or maybe, actually, I don't. I could see "no alcohol" or "no fireworks". "No nudity" maybe. But pinata's? Come on now.

There was also a skate park right next to the entrance. And it was packed with kids. We were wondering who takes liability when someone breaks a bone, or their face. All of the ramps were metal. It was cute when the kids showed up bumpin Shimmy Shimmy Ya in their mom's SUV. And it was even cuter when W1 started singing along. But I can't say much, it's on my iPod too.

I was very excited when I started to blog. Apparently I can make a difference. (Okay, it probably wasn't my post that did it but I am still going to pretend it was.) One of my earlier gripes was about spell check always saying the word "okay" was misspelled. (Last Paragraph. Thanks to W1 for finding the post.) Well it appears they finally fixed it. They did not give me the ugly red underlined misspelled word thingie this time. Sweet.

Other than that things are well. For now. Although they are now forecasting Ike to come our way. Whatever, it is what it is. Maybe I can take some footage like Jeffie Pants. I'm sorry but that's just funny. ***"Jim Cantore is an elusive bastard".

*** Hurricane Gustav Update 2 From Jeffie-Pants