Hammer Time

We’ve been through a few hail storms over the years. I rather regretted not contacting the insurance company to have a look at the roof after seeing many of our neighbors getting new roofs on each occassion.

We knew our roof was getting to a point where it would need to be replaced and were dreading having to pay for this out of pocket.

Before Hurricane Ike we did have an inspector come out and have a look and he said it would only be a matter of a few years before replacment would neccessary.

After Hurricane Ike plowed through we noticed a lot of loose shingles in the yard and called our insurance company to have a look and they declared the roof a total loss and are paying to have it replaced (less our deductable).

I’m home now listening to the pounding of hammers as the old roof is ripped away and the frame is being prepped for new decking and shingles.

Dooley is terrified and probably learning some new sound effects and some conversational Spanish.

New roof being installed
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New roof being installed

New roof being installed

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New roof being installed

New roof being installed

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New roof being installed

New roof being installed

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New roof being installed

Post Ike Post

Traffic Cop

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Traffic Cop

As the city struggles to recover from Hurricane Ike, more and most people are hitting the roads. Driving to work, running errands, etc. Of course with a lot of the city without power there’s a lot of traffic lights that are just dark. Traffic during peak hours, while not all that great on a normal day, is extremely bad as those who barely (if at all) qualify for a drivers license vainly struggle to sort out the de facto 4-way stops that plague even the shortest trip on any given surface street.

Today was the first day I’ve seen the local police out directing traffic. It helps, but there’s still a lot of congestion. As I was driving into town this evening the traffic on 59 headed out of the city was the thickest I’ve ever seen it. And that was at 8:00 pm.

Lovett

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Lovett

I swung by KPFT to see how things were going. I’d heard that the station had gotten back on the air on Friday and actually played “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles repeatedly for an hour. For those not in the know, this was the first song played on KPFT when it went on the air on March 1, 1970.

As of now the station is on the air and returns to the normal schedule first thing on Tuesday morning. We’re actually hijacking our own Internet connection to send the signal to the transmitter over IP until we get things sorted out with the microwave.

Of course this means Technology Bytes will be back on Wednesday which gives me the happy. Anything to return my own sense of routine and normalcy goes a long, long way.

I Can Has Electricity

I Can Has Electricity

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I Can Has Electricity

Why is this man smiling? Because power to the house was restored at 5:00 am this morning. I awoke with a start when the hall light came on and the ceiling fan started spinning. I was like a child on Xmas morning running around the house declaring that Santa had been here.

I was shouting “Power! We have power!” which startled and confused the crap out of Cynthia who was sleeping soundly.

Earlier yesterday evening I had borrowed a generator from a neighbor who had his power restored the other day and had hooked up the TV and enjoyed some quality time with my TV and a box fan. I was not extremely confident in the generator so I turned it off prior to going to bed as I imagined how horrible it would be to burn the house down after making it this far.

Dooley was in much better spirits this morning, greeting us by repeating “Good Morning” and “I Love You” over and over.

If you had told me we’d be without power for six and a half days I wouldn’t have believed you. And I certainly didn’t think I could go that long in the Houston heat. The cool front was a blessing, but it still wore very thin. Once the power came on and the initial rush of joy passed I began to sag quite a bit. I’m still very tired and this load off my mind has allowed the fatigue to come to the surface.

Yes, I shaved the “Ike Beard.” That was my agreement with the universe.

Hurricane Preparedness Drinks

MANDATORY EVACUATION
1 1/2 oz. Absolut Ruby Red vodka
1/2 oz. vermouth
Clamato
Prune juice
Combine vodka and vermouth in cocktail glass. Fill remainder of glass with equal parts clamato and prune juice. Stir. Drink. Ask next-door neighbor whose ficus tree blew over and crashed onto your roof– even though you’d warned him for months to uproot it–if you can use his bathroom. Repeat.

CATEGORY 5
1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. tequila
1/2 oz. rum
1/2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. gin
Sweet-and-sour mix
Splash of fruit juice
Combine vodka, tequila, rum, bourbon and gin in a tall glass. Fill remainder of glass with sweet-and-sour mix and splash of juice. Stir, then garnish with an inverted drink umbrella. Drink during peak storm hours, and vow not to believe anyone who tries to tell you the hurricane that flooded your garage and destroyed your shed was just a Category 1.

CONE OF PROBABILITY
1 oz. cinnamon schnapps
1 sugar cone
Pour the schnapps into the sugar cone. Every time you hear a TV weatherman say, “cone of probability,” bite off the end of the cone and down the shot. If you hear Weather Channel StormTracker Jim Cantore say it, drink two shots consecutively. (they should change this to the “Cantore Zone”… damn him.) Have you ever noticed that, despite all the cone of probability talk, if Cantore is parked in front of your house your ass is toast?)

FEEDER BAND
2 oz. Midori
2 oz. rum
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
After your home loses power, combine Midori and rum in a cocktail glass. Add a scoop of the vanilla ice cream that is melting in your freezer. Stir, and drink through a straw.

BEACH EROSION
1 1/2 oz. Goldschläger
1 1/2 oz. apple brandy
1 pack Sugar in the Raw
Combine Goldschläger, apple brandy and sugar in cocktail glass. As you drink, seriously contemplate moving your Yankee ass back to New Jersey where it belongs.

DOWNED POWER LINE
1 1/2 oz. rum
5 oz. Jolt Cola
Combine ingredients in a cocktail glass. Drink while trying to figure out how the heck you’re supposed to go two freakin’ weeks without television and AC.

FLOOD ZONE
2 oz. Kahlúa
2 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
4 oz. rum
Serve in a 6-ounce glass and laugh-cry deliriously as the mess spills all over the countertop.

COLD SHOWER
2 oz. Blue Aftershock
4 oz. Sprite
Combine in a cocktail glass with crushed ice you received after waiting in line for three hours at a mall parking lot. Take a deep breath, sip and scream like a little girl when the cold beverage hits your tongue. Repeat.

LOOTERS WILL BE SHOT
1 oz. Jack Daniel’s
Splash of sarsaparilla
Rock salt
Load both barrels of a shotgun with rock salt. Climb to the roof of your house with gun, bottle of Jack Daniel’s and can of sarsaparilla. Fill shot glass with Jack and splash of sarsaparilla. Watch for looters. When you spot one, blast his ass with rock salt. Drink shot. Repeat.

THE CHAIN SAW
1 oz. Goldschläger
1 oz. Rumplemintz
3 oz. Jim Beam
Splash of vermouth
Combine Goldschläger, Rumplemintz and Jim Beam in an empty soup can. Add splash of vermouth. Drink. Remove chain saw from garage and attempt to cut up fallen tree limbs in yard. Ask neighbor to drive you to hospital when it all goes horribly wrong.

FOUR-WAY STOP
1 1/2 oz. vodka
1 1/2 oz. vodka and Midori
1 1/2 oz. vodka and Galliano
1 1/2 oz. vodka and grenadine
Pour each ingredient into a separate shot glass. Serve one to yourself and three other people. The person with the clear shot of vodka drinks first. The person to his right drinks the Midori shot, and so on. If somebody drinks out of order, develop a quick case of road rage and beat the living crap out of him.

BLUE TARP
1 1/2 oz. Curacao
2 oz. pineapple juice
Splash of lime
Combine ingredients in a leaky paper cup and serve. Wait six to eight months for someone to repair the cup. If you’re impatient, hire an unlicensed, out-of- state contractor to do the job for an exorbitant sum and pray he doesn’t hurt himself in the process.

FEMA FIZZLE
1 1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
2 oz. sloe gin
Tonic water
One week after the storm has passed and your neighborhood is still in ruins with no sign of help on the way, combine Southern Comfort and gin in a cocktail glass. Fill remainder with tonic and add a dash of Angostura bitters. Serve with a nut brownie. Before drinking, raise the glass and say the toast, “Doing a helluva job Brownie.”