Fun Week

So, yeah, hurricane Irma. She came for a visit on the 10th. Didn’t stay very long, but left a total mess behind. The internet stopped working about 2035, and the power went out at 2106. Of course I was sitting in front of this very computer, so I know exactly what time this all went down.

One of the first things I bought when I moved down here in 2006 was a fairly good sized generator: 13.5 kW peak, 8 kW sustained output, which is far more capable than what I needed. Being a curmudgeon has certain benefits, you know.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Florida, south of about Orlando is the Tropics, at least weather-wise. We have two seasons: a hot, wet Summer and a cool, dry Winter. The change happens mid-October and mid-April. This being only September it was a balmy 92-94 degrees all week. Talk about fun times.

I had guessed that the power would be out for only a short time, and had stocked that amount of gas. Then I found out that the storm had done such damage that we’d be out of electricity for about a week. Swell. So we had to go out and sit in hours-long lines to refill the gas cans. There was plenty of gasoline around, the problem was there wasn’t any juice to run the pumps. It took a few days for the County to coordinate getting gennys to the various gas stations to get them up and running. Fortunately, I didn’t lose any food, although I noticed tonight that there were a couple of packages that got frozen together, so it was close. By the end of the week things were operating smoothly, but Wednesday was a bear getting fuel.

A giant branch came off one of the oaks and tore a foot-square chunk out of the eave, but not into the house itself. Another oak from the neighbor’s yard came down onto the garage roof, snapping beams and rafters like matchsticks. That’s gonna cost a bit to fix. Thankfully there’s insurance for that. The looming problem there is that the garage/workshop had gotten a severe termite infestation which we took care of last summer, so everything is shot full of bore holes. It’s not gonna make much sense to hang a new roof on a basically rotten structure, so I’m hoping I can talk the adjustor into writing off the whole thing and build new.

The neighborhood was safe and quiet. This is a Southern high-trust area, and we’re all armed to the teeth, so there weren’t any break-ins or other such nonsense. The local radio station had some moron crawl under their van and stick a Phillips screwdriver into the gas tank to take the fuel. There were a couple (like, literally two) curfew violations, and that’s about it crime-wise. No looting, no rioting, nothing.

The other neighbor had one of her trees come down and block the driveway. I had had the sense of parking the car up close to the house so it wasn’t touched. Anyway, she had one of her nephews come over with a chainsaw and he cut most of it up sufficient to let us get the car out and on the road.

The big mango tree had a big branch break off, but the tree itself came through fine. I also lost one of my bananas, but the other guys are doing fine. Jalapenos and pineapple are all OK. In fact, I was taking pictures of the storage shed for the insurance and found two pineapple plants that I didn’t know about growing back there, so it looks like I’ll be getting a second crop of six of the guys in about a month-and-a-half or so.

The cats managed to get out. FloCat, who is about elebenty, stayed on the back deck. The young Lord, on the other hand, thought that this was the bestest thing ever and refused to come inside until Saturday night because he was hungry. I had been patching stuff up, but hadn’t yet gotten to one of the screen doors, so they all staged a break-out again last night. It was threatening to rain as the sun went down tonight, so they all decided that watching the rain from the nice dry inside was a good plan, so they’re all back inside. I, of course repaired that door, so when the brain trust decided that it wasn’t going to rain they couldn’t escape. Deathwalker (who is sacked out next to me right now) was particularly miffed about that. He’ll get over it.

The power came back on about 9AM Saturday, and THE ALMIGHTY INTERNETS returned about 2:00 yesterday (Sunday). It was glorious sleeping in the air conditioning, especially after 5.5 days of doing without. I’m still catching up on all the stuff I missed, and I see that the world didn’t descend into too much chaos while I wasn’t able to see.

So that was my week. Fun times, fun times.

One Response to “Fun Week”

  1. Glad you made it through with minimal damage.