Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What the What?

The following surreal moment is based on a true story that happened while returning to my hotel from a restaurant in Zurich.

Picture, if you will, walking thru a back street in a European town.
It is dark and stormy.

You hear operatic singing in the distance.
You keep walking, and see a light glowing in a park.

You go to investigate, as one does.
The singing gets louder - there is a violin playing.

As you get closer still you see a 20-something girl walking around
She is singing opera while constructing a green-house looking structure

The violin player plays on from the darkness.
The girl sings and constructs.

She stops.
Spoken word springs forth from the structure.

More lights come on.
It is all bright and weird.
Culture shock ensues.

Makes me question exactly what was put into my Hooters burger.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

When In Zurich, Eat as the Zurichians Do.

They say that when one is traveling in foreign countries, one way to absorb the local culture is to eat the foods that the locals eat.

I am currently in Zurich Switzerland for work.  It is supper time and I got a little peckish, so I looked on Google Maps to see what was available on a Sunday night around my hotel, and picked a restaurant that we don't have in the town I live in.


If it helps, my burger did have Swiss cheese on it.

Interestingly enough Google Maps describes the place as "Chain grill known for wings and waitresses."   Really good description, I must say.

Also, tasty burgers.

Ain't cultural exchanges wonderful?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Hurricane Florence: A Status Update

Quick update on Florence for those of our friends and family who are not from around here.

TL;DR,  Florence is dull for us so far, may get more exciting later.

So unlike most of the state to the east of us, we've gotten very little rain.  It has been a slow drizzle all morning, but I suspect we haven't gotten much more than an inch so far here.

That may change this afternoon, but I suspect its not going to be all that bad.

This is the weather radar as I write this:

The green areas are "bring an umbrella, maybe" type of rain,  The yellows are getting closer to the "bring a canoe" levels of rain.  So for the afternoon were likely only getting a constant misting of rain.  If/when the yellow stuff hits, we may get 3-4 inches.

However that won't affect us much.  The creek behind our house, which has a tendancy to rise a fair amount when it rains, has only risen a few inches.  It has 8ft before it crests its bank (and another 2 before it would get to the house, which it never has), so unless something way dramatic happens beyond what is being forecast, I don't see that happening. Especially considering Florence is underperforming based on its forecasts (at least for us).

Schools are closed tomorrow, which is nice.

So, we're good.  Continue to send your prayers, concerns, and charitable donations to the east.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Still Honorable, Y'all!

Last month I found out one of my photos was accepted in a photography exhibit at the Burke County Arts Council.  Today I attended the reception, and found out my photo was awarded an Honorable Mention in the catetgory of "A Splash Of Red."

This is me being honorable:

I feel pretty good about this, considering I don't shoot portraits very much. 

Hurricane Florence Is Coming. We're fine.

tl;dr:  Hurricane Florence will hit us; we'll be fine.

 I have had the pleasure of making a lot of awesome friends from all over the world due to my geocaching and my photography.  As a result we are getting a lot of expressions of concerns about our safety due to the massive storm known as Hurricane Florence.

This post is intended to report what we expect to happen, and to allay any fears.

First off, thanks everyone for your concerns.  It is heart warming to know we're thought of!  It is appreciated.

So this is the  current weather map as I write this post:

It looks nasty.  However we are well inland, and the hurricane is expected to take almost two more days to really impact us.  By then it will have burned off most of its wind, leaving a lot of rain.

So we expect to get wet.

This is the current projected track:

So the main threat to our house is flooding.  We have a creek in back of our house that tends to flood when we get a lot of rain.  That creek has never threatened the house however, or even come close.

We are expecting 6-10" of rain, over 48 hours, starting Saturday afternoon.  This is a lot, but it is within the realm of "we've had that much before", at least since the 10 years we've lived in this house.  So I don't expect much damage, except some errosion at the creek bank, which is a long way from the house.

Even worst case expectations where we get twice that rain, the way our house is built (into the side of the hill, basement walks out to the back yard, main floor walks out to the front yard), the floods would have to rise a full 4 feet higher than its ever been before it causes is any monumental harm to our belongings (benefits of having never really finished the basement, and the parts that are finished could really use a refresh anyway).

Our current risk to our lifestyle at present is an extended loss of power, which we are prepared for.  Lots of batteries and non-perishable foods etc.  It's also autumn, so the outside temperatures do not range into life threatening on either scale (lows 60s, high 70s) so we should be able to survive without power for many many days.

I'll keep you all posted as to our status as the weekend progresses, but I expect it won't be exciting.  All the action is at the coast, so please direct your prayers, concerns, and charitable donations to the east.