We’ve got a generator humming noisily in the backyard, connected via a 100-foot cord to our refrigerator. We had to throw out a couple hundred dollars’ worth of frozen food yesterday, even after we’d iced it down, which made me sick to my stomach. BG&E still claims we’ll be online sometime Friday evening, but I don’t believe anything they say right now. It seems like Baltimore County is the only place left in Maryland having problems getting power back.
We’ve got alternate housing plans for the Outer Banks next week; a house has been reserved in our name between Duck and Corolla north of the bridge, which means we just need to get down there in time to avoid Hurricane Katia. Special thanks go to Mr. Scout and his lovely wife, who did the legwork to save Christmas.
I took Finn across the street to try out her bike with the training wheels (can you believe she’s big enough already?) and we worked on it for about 10 minutes and one rest period. She hasn’t gotten the concept of moving her legs in revolutions yet; she tends to stomp down equally on either side, hitting the coaster brake and stopping herself as soon as she gets some momentum going. We abandoned the bike and walked over to the playground, where she asked me to push her on the swings for a total of 45 minutes or so.
We made it through the hurricane really well, and escaped my greatest fear—that of losing the roof, or at the very least, a leak. The backyard looked like a Civil War battlefield when it was finished. Our trees held firm but dropped piles of twigs, sticks, and dead branches everywhere. The neighbors lost an older oak tree across their driveway, and friends in Paradise lost their entire porch. We contented ourselves by watching Toy Story 3 in the living room while the wind howled outside. Our power actually stayed on until 5:30 or so Sunday morning before it finally got cut off, and we’re still without it Monday.
In better news, I’ve finally got the cash to call a roofing company. We’ve been coasting along under a slate roof that’s about ten years past its sell-by date, and I’ve given up on my dream of replacing it with the same material. We’re going to go with a 30-year asphalt shingle and have them replace the gutter on the back roof, as well as add a ton of snow guards to keep the gutter from getting flattened again. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ll be happy to have it done for the winter.
We’re most concerned about our vacation in Hatteras, which was scheduled to begin this Saturday. The word from our realty office is that there’s mostly wind damage and lack of power, but the houses in general are in good shape. Rt. 12 north of Rodanthe is breached and there are several other spots where the road is washed out, so we’ll have to wait and see if there’s a way to get onto the island that doesn’t involve a ferry (but I doubt it).
I spent a little extra money on a set of OEM Honda roof racks and ordered them up the other day. Finn and I ran over after breakfast to pick them up, and this evening I installed them on the ‘V. Then Mama and I dropped the clamshell on the roof and I got it cinched down tight; it’s full of bug guts but one good washing will clear that right out. Outer Banks, here we come!
I was plugged into my headphones at work when I felt the first rumble, and at first I thought it was just another big truck driving by on Redwood Street. The rumble went on for too long and was too severe to be a truck, and just as I was pulling my headphones off, my coworkers were asking what was happening. We all started saying Earthquake at about the same time, and that was right as the first wave passed. Then, the second, more powerful one hit, and I felt the floor start moving in ripples underneath my feet. Another coworker came tearing down from upstairs, yelling, “Get out of the building!” and we all jumped from our desks like we’d been shot out of a cannon. Feet down pounding the stairs, outside to the street, where other people emptied out of their buildings and stood around gaping at the sky like us. Sirens wailed across the city. People stared into their cellphones and texted frantically. I’d left my phone, wallet, and keys on the desk upstairs, so I stood around feeling stupid until we decided the coast was clear, then went back upstairs to an “all circuits are busy” message and the magic of the Internet to confirm my girls were OK.
Strangely, suddenly, my Flickr feed is acting very wonky. That’s why there are no thumbnails showing below the masthead (I had to remove the code pulling them in). Stranger still, when I use Flickr’s auto-posting feature to post a picture from my photostream, it’s stripping out a bunch of characters between here and there so the HTML I get from them is useless. Now I have to go figure out what’s going on.
Update: Looks like my xmlrpc.php file was corrupted. I downloaded a clean copy of WordPress, renamed the old file, uploaded a clean copy, and then went to settings -> writing to make sure the service was enabled. It looks like everything is working again.