Archive for August, 2011

Irene – the aftermath #2

So stil no power.  And as an added bonus, the system now won’t give out eta’s for power restore.  Which means who knows if we will have power on the 3rd.  Sigh.

On the upside my folks were able to bring down the RV with it’s generator to power a few critical things – the fridge, freezers, fish tank, and sump.  Even a light or two.  Other than the occasional normal pump, the sump seems to not be pumping water really anymore, so looks like the ground has gone back to it’s not completely soaked self.  So even if something happens the basement doesn’t look like it’ll flood.  Granted that’s with the rain coming again on Thur… and on sat… and on Sunday.  Yea let’s just say that I hope it doesn’t rain as much as the hurricane originally duped on us.

We tried to power the TV and internet… but apparently U-Verrse doesn’t work like cable.  There’s some box somewhere out in the world that has to have power in order to get that info to us.  That means even with a  powered up modem and tv… still no internet or tv.  So much for my “UPS backup dreams” I had set up.  We can have a home network.  Just nothing outside of the house connected to anything.  Very annoying.

Cell signal came back yesterday morning.  Looks like they got at least 1 of the 2 towers that were down up and working.  Bonus.  That means I have at least some internet connectivity at home, even if it is just on my phone.  Still something I suppose.

And to top it off, tomorrow was supposed to be Callista’s first day of school.  As in first day ever of school.  (more info on Callista over here) True just a 1 hour session to get to know the teacher and other students… but no power means the schools have been all out of whack.  It currently looks like the hour “get to know ya” PreSchool/Kindergarten session is been bumped to Friday, with the possibility of it being Tue.

Overall we could have faired much worse.  See the images of people’s homes washed away and tree’s splitting homes in half.  It’s still kinda annoying.

Irene – the aftermath

So we are without power.  Woke up sunday morning to find now power, and worse no cell coverage.  Looks like the storm knocked out (or the power to) a AT&T cell tower.  So we have very little if any phone or internet connection while at home.  Of course that power signal also means our phones are just sucking power.  No signal means it’s at full antenna strength trying to find a signal.  So, really short battery life at the moment.  Luckily our laptops can charge our phones and both of our cares have chargers as well, but still had to charge it three times yesterday without any major use.

Nothing major down in our areas.  Some branches the occasional tree.  As I walked around our house my foot sank into an inch of water saturating the ground.  Was like walking in a marsh.  The sump pump is running continuously.  I’d estimated about a gallon and a half a minute.  I’m hoping the battery for it holds out till the electricity comes on, or at least holds out till the water stops soaking into the house.  Although not holding out too much hope since power isn’t scheduled to come back on till Sept 3rd, 12:00am (anyone know if that means sat or fri night???).

Also around town there is a lot of flooding.  A lot of roads are closed.  When I went out foraging for some lunch and coffee ran into a lot of blocked roads.  Some were so bad that it looked like new lakes and rivers had formed over night.  Took a picture of one.  The road in front was way more impressive (was lower down) but didn’t want to block the traffic trying up.  On my way into work this morning, other than the one light in downtown Danbury, I didn’t run into another working stoplight till I got near work.  And not a cop to be seen.  So that made all those intersections interesting.

We also got lucky in a few areas.  We filled up the tub saturday night , and that coupled with the low water, high-powered toilet we installed, has allowed us to flush the toilet without too much trouble.  We had gallon water jugs downstairs so we have drinkable water.  We have the grill so we can do some basic cooking.  Also i only have small fish this time around so the occasional dumping of water in and out of the fish tank (in theory) should provide enough oxygen not to have them all dead).  We also luckily had the iPad. Even with me using it for a lot of the day and us watching a full movie on it (and me forgetting to turn off the wifi and bluetooth) it still had 50% power by the time we went to bed.  Pretty nice.

And here’s the report from the MTA about the trains I have to take… here’s the important bits:

  • The signal system is not fully functioning on any of the three lines.
  • Several sections of track in various sections along Hudson line have been damaged by mudslides and washouts. One mudslide in the area of Spuyten Duyvil has also undermined a home that is above the track. Another mudslide in the area of Scarborough has damaged 300-feet of third rail.
  • The tracks through Tuckahoe station are flooded with up to 4 feet of water as the Bronx River continues to overflow its banks.
  • There is significant flooding at stations and parking lots. The underpass at Beacon Station is completely under water as is the North White Plains station parking lot.
  • Trees have fallen on the tracks on all three Metro-North lines.
Here’s a video someone made of the bronx river parkway.  Egads… no wonder the trains aren’t running.


Current power estimate restore is sept 3rd. Wtf!!!


So woke up this morning with no power. Luckily filled the bathtub up with water last night. That coupled with the new low water power flush toilet we installed we should be good for a while. Have bottle water and everything charged up. There’s a few down branches by nothing major.

So that’s the good news. Bad news is the sump pump is constantly running, so no idea how long the battery on that will last. No hot water (obviously), but that also means no coffee… Hmmm. Upside the storm center is almost here and the electric company can start going out and fixing lines.

Will update as things progress.
P.S. Kinda neat to be able to update from my phone when I need to…

Lunch in new York city


Odd internet week…

It all started on a Wed…  wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  This week I’m actually been rather lax about writing blogs.  I’m desperately trying to keep up writing a min of one or two, but would love to actually post one each day, or at least one mon – fri.  However I know I’m not that good yet, nor can seem to think of enough interesting things to post.

So this week started out like any other.  Forgot to post on Monday (although WOOT Steelers!)…

Remembered tue that I didn’t post the day before and should write something.  I had been looking at figuring out what foods and drink to enjoy while down in Disney for Food and wine, and was commenting to myself how odd it was that the info wasn’t in a nice list.  Sure it was out there, and accessible, but no checklist had bene made for planning or marking what you’ve tried.  SO I decided, in my own planing, to com up with one.  And I figured since I had it and I had looked online for one, might be useful for others to grab.  Even if just other family members and the occasional Facebook friend since that’s (I assume) the only people who really know about the blog.  So that was posted, and so far a normal week.

Wed morning I decided I should probably write again.  Nothing came to mind so figured I’d look into my bag of ideas I have as half drafts saved on the sight.  Noticed I started one about AD HelpDesk.  Its something i use daily at work, so figured i’d make it an app review.  Made some screen shots, found a video walk-through.  I wrote how much I user it every day at work, and the pros of using it over the computer version.  Again posted it without any real thought.  and that’s when the oddness started.

Started off small.  I’ve gotten comments before on the blog, however, it’s still very, very rare, so I don’t normally go looking at things to approve, check, etc.  I had a comment on the Food and Wine Checklist.  The name sounded familiar.  AJ.  Simple one word comment “Awesome”.  Then I checked his web link on the post. and it hit me.  I had listen to him quite a few times on the WDW podcast.  Cool, I thought. Well, I did post for people to use.  So that’s something I guess.  so far so good.

Then I checked the stats.  One of the reasons I’m pretty sure that my blog isn’t really all that popular is that 1) it’s new, and 2) my stats normally only register 3-5 hits on a day when I actually decide to post something.  I had to look twice to make sure i was reading it right.  38.  It was 11AM in the morning and I had already gotten 38 hits.  I checked the reference links, and nothing out of the normal.  It came up with the normal few search terms, and mostly Facebook.  Checked an hour later was at 45.  And in came another post, asking for the numbers file (which wasn’t in it originally).  By the end of the day I had hit 103.  egads.

So figured that it was a one-off.  And of course being lazy I didn’t write anything on thur.  Another post came in “Haha! I’m telling John you said his video was dry. Great review!”  Odd.  Wait this was a comment on the review I did the previous day.  His URL linked to his Facebook page.  But I did notice two new view links coming from , which happens to be the site that makes AD HelpDesk.  I went over to the site and was greeted by my review linked and quoted on their main page.  In fact it’s the first review listed.  Neat. Checked the stats, another 24 that day.  This time with nothing posted.

I don’t expect it to hit that again,but then you never know since as far as I can tell the review and the food & wine checklist aren’t posted anywhere.  All I know is need to just keep writing.  Or writing about interesting things.  Or both.  or something?

The internet is odd.

mmm lunch

Brought in some fix-ins to make a burrito bowl today.  Rice, beans, Meat, toppings.  Delicious.

Rasberries… err… Blackberries?

Forgot to post that my Raspberries are coming in. Or maybe Blackberries. No idea which at this point.

Backpack, Backpack

So short version… anyone know of a good backpack to buy? What?  Need more info than that?  Ok then…

My backpack I was given by TracyLocke for general use has seen it’s day.  The zipper, more times than not, comes unzipped and in overall it’s getting worn down.  To be fair a lot of that is the fact I use it for everything, and put way more things in there on a regular basis than I should be carrying around all the time (it weighs in at 23 pounds.. without anything extra) probably doesn’t help.  TracyLocke IT is willing to replace (since it is there’s) it but with a much smaller design (at least last time I checked), and to be fair since I use this for everything, work and personal, I should probably get one for myself.

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