mellificent: (breathe)
(Written earlier tonight)
We are at the Hampton Inn in Moline, Illinois, and there is no internet. There is supposed to be internet, but there is not. The front desk is extremely apologetic (especially since I am now a Hilton HHHonors silver member thanks to my frequent hotel stays) but there is no internet just the same, and they're not sure when it will be back. Sigh.

I got on WoW again before dinner, briefly, and it seemed to be working fine. Columbine, as usual, managed to find the answer even though he disavowed any knowledge of Windows Vista - he still knew where to look, or figured it out. (I had to left-click on the icon and click 'run as administrator' to get it to install correctly.)

I am going to have to post the entry I wrote yesterday - or maybe it was day before yesterday, I'm not sure - before I post this one so you will have the background about all the indecision about what route to take coming home. But we decided to take the more northern one. If we really had more time to screw around I would have gone all the way to Fargo, probably, because I am crazy, but this is about as far north as we are going. In case you are not all that up on your Illinois geography, Moline is one of the Quad Cities, across the river from Davenport, Iowa. You know last spring when they had all those floods? That was partially around here somewhere, I believe.

We went across Indiana and Illinois today, and made sort of a big circle around Chicago. Tomorrow we are going to drive ALL the way across Iowa and poke our noses into Nebraska before we start south. It's a long way to go just because I think I-55 is boring, isn't it? Well, I don't care.


Now it is 10:20 - at least if I have my time zones right, but I'm pretty sure I do because we are west of Chicago and I KNOW Chicago is Central - and the internet came back just about the time Col gave up on me showing up to play WoW and went to bed. Which is just as well under the circumstances but frustrating. We will have to try again tomorrow.

So let's see, what haven't I covered? It's rather difficult for me to remember right now. I applied for FEMA assistance yesterday morning (back at the Lima Panera Bread) and got an automated call from them last night saying we were approved for the hotel expenses - sort of frighteningly efficent, isn't it? We still have no real idea what is going on at home so we may try to find a place to use for a home base until we find out for sure whether our apartment is livable or not. We can have assistance for a month from the time of the storm - I think they said until October 14th. I think we were eligible for some other kind of reimbursement also but I forget what it was. Nothing big.

I am generally much better today, just mostly travel-weary. Regarding what I was stressing out about yesterday, my father-in-law correctly pointed out that if there had really been as much water in the vicinity of our apartments as my father was trying to imply there was, not only would my car have moved but the dumpster it was parked next to would have, too. Here is the satellite picture as linked from the Galveston paper:

satellite photo of galveston

The original is on flickr, and really gigantic, but if you blow it up all the way and look at the right spot, you can clearly see my car right where I left it, and the dumpster right where it was, too. So I think it is fairly unlikely that there was all that much water - at least not, you know, probably not six or eight feet or anything like that. That's not to say my apartment is not wet, but still. I am back to having hope. And I thumb my nose at my father.

(I put some annotations on the Flickr page, to give you an idea, if you're interested.)
mellificent: (breathe)
OK so. Where to start. I am writing this on the new laptop, which is a, um, shiny new Dell of some sort... apparently it's an Inspiron 1420. I'm sure that means something to somebody. It has a 14" screen, I believe, and a dual processor and 3gb of memory and a 250gb hard drive, as I recall. Which actually means it should theoretically be faster than my desktop. I really know next to nothing about laptops, as far as security and so forth. I am on the hotel's network and it said it was unsecured and then it asked me for a password, so I am all confused about that. Is it secure? Not? (I suspect it's iffy so I am being a bit cautious about logging onto things.) Everybody is welcome to chime in on what I need to fix.

We were late leaving Bryan yesterday, and we spent most of the day getting out of Texas. You either have to go to Dallas, which is out of the way, or cut across country, and after some waffling about it we chose the latter. It turned out to be fairly fast, though. We may just have gotten lucky there. We hit I-45 and Highway 59 at various times, both of which go to Houston, and we saw whole convoys of electric trucks along with the stream of people returning home. When we stopped for lunch you could tell that nearly everybody was an evacuee, most of them going the opposite direction from us.

We spent the night last night at Arkadelphia... oh, that reminds me. I haven't read friendslists or anything yet, and I'm sure this is not news, but gas has seemingly been going up up up since we have been on the road. We paid maybe $3.59 or so in Bryan last Friday. Yesterday on the way out it didn't seem that much higher. Rob swears that when we first pulled into Arkadelphia last night they all said $3.80-something and by the time we came back out to go to dinner they had all changed their prices to $3.99. And outside of Nashville this afternoon we paid $4.09 and we saw higher prices than that some places. (We still figure it's going to be cheaper than paying last-minute prices on the airfare, though.)

Anyway, we stayed at the Hampton Inn at Arkadelphia, and we are also at the Hampton here. The one at Arkadelphia was much newer and nicer, although this one is ok. They both seem to have identical breakfast buffets, from what we could tell coming in. It was pretty decent, we thought.

Sorry this is a bit disjointed. I feel disjointed. Aside from just being tired from the travel, I woke up in the middle of the night last night worrying about whether we were going to have to clean mud or whatever out of the apartment and how bad it would be and how long it would take... and I finally got up and took another half an Ambien to shut my brain down. I am trying not to think too much about that, and succeeding, for the most part. There's no use in worrying about it - bear in mind that we don't even know that there was any water actually in the apartment at all. And there's still no phone service to Galveston so we can't ask.

My boss said that the big boss said that it would be at least a month before they called us back, they thought. (There was 4 feet of water in the bottom of our building at work, for one thing.). Rob finally talked to his boss today and he didn't seem to be saying that they would be going back any earlier than anybody else, which was what we were worried about. I was intending to go to Austin next weekend to the quilt show there, and if nothing happens to bring us home earlier than that we will probably just head back and keep those hotel reservations. We are not inclined to think we will want to stay in Ohio any longer than maybe the beginning of next week, anyway. (For one thing, the bed in Rob's parents' house hurts my back.)

This thing is not bad to type on. But I am not too crazy about the touchpad - I guess I'll get used to it - and it bugs me not having a number-pad because I use mine an awful lot. I am going to get a lot better about navigating with the keyboard, I suspect.
mellificent: (breathe)
Alright, they finally posted a thang and said that there will be no classes for at least a week and normal clinical activities will not resume for at least two weeks. That's not to say they couldn't call us back earlier, but at least a week seems likely. So unless we hear something in the morning to stop us, we are probably headed to Ohio sometime tomorrow. We're just going to drive on up there and take our time (going, at least) and kill two birds with one stone. It doesn't sound like the power will be back on in Galveston any time soon and right now there's no water, either, so home isn't liveable even if everything turns out to be okay there. Hopefully they'll give us 48 hours on having to return and we can get back in that time if we really need to. (It's two loooong days or 3 shorter ones, from here to Ohio.)

We went to Wal-Mart and looked at the laptops and as usual with Wal-Mart and electronics, I got frustrated because they were all locked up and stomped out. We'll have to find a Best Buy somewhere, or maybe an Office Depot or something.
mellificent: (breathe)

They finally let the news helicopters fly over Galveston, and we have our first tentative "news" about home - a quick flyover shot of our apartment complex, revealing no visible major damage and no visible standing water, and cars sitting in the parking lot looking normal. It went by too fast for me to pick out MY car or anything, but the very fact that they moved on so quickly is sort of a good sign - because if they'd seen anything the news people thought was interesting they would've slowed down. So there's that.

We're toying with the idea of driving up to Ohio for a few days. We're guessing that it's going to be at least a week before things can get back to (semi-)normal at work, maybe more, so we're thinking we may just take off and go. We're trying to get hold of our supervisors and see if we can get any confirmation that we wouldn't get in trouble there by doing this. If we can't get them we may just go anyway. If worse comes to worst we can get home again in two days, and surely we'd have that much notice.

mellificent: (Dr Who - blink)

We are starting to cautiously hope that the fact that we haven't seen our apartment building on CNN (or anywhere else) is a good sign. There are some indications that there was a lot less water west of the San Luis. But we haven't seen any pictures whatsoever from down that way, so we don't really know. And we won't be able to get back onto the island for at least a couple of days so the suspense will have to continue.
 

mellificent: (Totoro: bus stop)

Not much news out of Galveston yet. We are just waiting to hear. My dad called and said the oak tree in their front yard came down and hit the neighbors' house, but luckily the neighbors weren't there. He lives in the middle of a damn pine forest (on the north side of Houston) and they had pretty severe wind so there are trees down all over the place. Still not much wind here, but a lot of rain. Looking at the radar I'm not sure why there's not more wind.

Morning

Sep. 13th, 2008 08:13 am
mellificent: (breathe)
I just woke up - hooray for sleeping pills. It's windy here but not bad, and obviously the power is on. (I've had my cell phone turned off because among the things I forgot to bring was the recharger.) If what Rob is telling me is right, about the storm surge, our apartment has probably been underwater during the night.

Oh man.

Sep. 12th, 2008 04:20 pm
mellificent: (Totoro: bus stop)
If you really want Ike overload, somebody on the [livejournal.com profile] houstontx  community linked to this mashup site: http://flhurricane.com/ikecoverage.html. The four main Houston stations, the NWS and Weather underground all on one page.

If we're lucky, the hurricane will go a little east of Galveston and we'll get the weak side, by a bit. I don't think we can expect it to miss by much more than that. We are probably going to have a very soggy apartment.

Waiting

Sep. 12th, 2008 12:21 pm
mellificent: (umbrellas)

OK, well, here's what I just posted over at TUS:

We are safely in Bryan - a pretty long way inland, although they are expecting big winds and power outages here too. (We just made a expedition to Wal-Mart and they told the cashier while we were standing there that the store would be closed tomorrow.) The pictures of Galveston on the news are really scary-looking. The old-timers and the weather experts always say, "It's not the wind, it's the storm surge," and it sounds like that's correct this time.

The traffic was not too awful - nothing like Rita. Also, during Rita people were pretty hysterical even here and the grocery stores were stripped of all the bottled water and all that kind of thing. It's not at all like that this time - everybody in Galveston was really calm and here too, for the most part. (Although I gather that there are some people in Houston getting worked up about whether they OUGHT to be worried or not. Possibly with good reason.) 
 

We got here in less than five hours and we went by a roundabout route and made a couple of stops, so that's not too bad. I suspect that it would have been longer had we gone straight through Houston. (For those of you who know what I'm talking about, we took highway 6 around to 59, took 59 down to Rosenberg, and cut across to Hempstead on some highway I forget the number of - 379 or something like that. Then highway 6 again to Bryan.)

Jitters

Sep. 10th, 2008 03:55 pm
mellificent: (umbrellas)
It's hard to relax with a hurricane breathing down your neck, as it were. We have been reading up on various storms this morning - this article (which also talks about my place of employment) mentions the 1900 storm, which a lot of people know about. Less well-known nowadays is Hurricane Carla in 1961, a very large category 4/5 which came in at Matagorda Bay and did a lot of damage in Galveston. I knew a lot about Carla, but I didn't understand until now how very big it was. I don't actually remember it - I was a toddler - but it's part of the family lore. I may have told that story before, but if not I'll have to explain later, I don't have time now. I still have to work.


Later: the new tracks seem to be shifting our way. Damn. My boss is gone to a meeting about it so we may hear something new when she gets back.
mellificent: (umbrellas)
In case anybody's wondering, no, we are not evacuating. Nobody in Galveston is, apparently - we just went out and it was very much business as usual, tourists and all. The hurricane watch actually ends at High Island, which is maybe 25 miles east of us. That's not to say we're in the clear, because if you look at all those maps we're still in the "cone of uncertainty" - but we're at the very edge of it so we're just in wait and see mode. And crossing our fingers for everybody in New Orleans.

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