Camping out

I spent yesterday raking the yard and piling up about a zillion leaves and sticks. No major limbs or trees this time. We did drive around the area in search of gas. There is significant damage. Trees down and some trees on houses.

Fortunately, we were spared the mass devastation, but the entire area is without power and it will be weeks before humpty dumpty is patched up. Here in Covington, they predict 5 -7 days before power is restored. The area affected is vast and much of Louisiana. I have been impressed with Governor Jindal's handling of the event.

This time they are more strict about people returning home. They want to give people who are working on infrastructure time to work without having interference. It makes a bigger mess to repopulate the area before you can buy gas and groceries. Today in Covington, however, you can do both.

I have not returned to work yet. No power at the clinic. All I have to do is call into the administrative office and check in.

OK, I have to feed the pup, walk the pup, then go hook up my neighbor's generator to power his freezer, because he is stuck in Alabama somewhere.

We are safe, sound, and camping out.

Until the next time
John Strain


Seeking normal

It is still raining and blustery much like it was yesterday before the storm moved in. The house is hot and sticky with the un-air conditioned air. The generator drones on outside our kitchen and I am listening to the non-stop radio coverage.

Extension cords are running from my kitchen window around the corner to the den on one run and to our bedroom on the other run. I thought I had them out of the way, but Barbara fell over one last night. Two sore knees, but no permanent damage. The yard is strewn with limbs, many of them gnarly and sharp. Oaks are notorious shin scrapers. The yard will have to be raked to get them. I picked a few up when I had Bear out earlier. One stick must have been in an ant hill, because they got me.

I heard from work and I am supposed to report back tomorrow. No power or phones in the building. I think power will be restored in a few days. Even with Katrina it was only two weeks, for me.

Up to this point, hurricanes are really "fun." I am not trying to be funny or insensitive. It is the uniting around a common purpose, the sense of urgency and danger, and being with friends and family in an abnormal setting. Very much like snow days I suppose for my northern friends.

Now, the not so fun part is upon us - you pay for your fun. The process is a good way to test your mettle. These things bring out the best and the worst in people.

I am pleased with the leadership this go around. I am also encouraged by the progress made in New Orleans with the flood protection. If they can get it completed before it is destroyed, I think New Orleans will have a high degree of safety.

Now, it is time to get to work. Have a nice day where you are.

Until the next time
John Strain


Coming back

I fired up the generator at 6 pm. This is one time Katrina came in handy. She provided good training for coping without the usual services. I have Internet, DirecTV - I hooked it back up, lights, and the refrigerator is running. I am thankful. When I finish this post, I am going to fire up the grill and start cooking chicken.

There is a lot of debris around, but nothing like Katrina. I really have a limited perspective at this point.

We are OK. The rain and wind continue to blow through in squalls. It is raining more now than it did during the brunt of the storm. We are still in for some bad weather, but the worst is past.

Until the next time
John Strain


Power gone

At 11:34 am the odds caught up with us. I am posting this from my iPhone. Intensity is increasing. Near half way - I hope.


Fashionably late

Gustav is showing some kindness thus far. I had another night of sleep in the AC. I just finished walking Bear and the second pot of coffee is dripping as the first is in a cup next to the computer and in a big thermos.

Last night we had a couple of brief thunderstorms from feeder bands, but they come through quickly. The slightly westward shift may save us from the doom and gloom we were all expecting yesterday. You never know though, we thought we dodged a bullet with Katrina until the levees breached.

Here in Covington, it is blustery and the winds are gaining in intensity. There is a mist or a spray, and brief patches of rain. I was dry coming back from walking the pup, but that is part luck.

I took down my DirecTV dish last night rather than sacrifice it to Mr. G. With power still on, I could watch local news casts on the Internet. If you want to see them, just Google WDSU, WWL TV, or WVUE and New Orleans. Each has a link for their live feed.

We also watched an old movie, Jerry McGwire. That has some funny parts and laughter is good medicine when you are waiting for untold destruction to descend on you.

I am hoping it won't be that bad, but the worst is still to come. I suppose we are as ready as we can be. Thanks again for the thoughts and prayers - they are coming back to you with gratitude.

Until the next time
John Strain