Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In search of shelter

After cleaning up some storm debris from our backyard I turned around to find this rabbit on our lawn.  He/she was sitting there looking exhausted and interested only in eating a small apple it must have picked up from a few yards away.  I think I could have walked right up to the fury friend to pet his/her head, as I was not in the least bit scary compared to what the bunny must have experienced for the prior 24 hours.

Several million people are also glad that Sandy has left the neighborhood.  The temporary and, unfortunately for some, permanent moving efforts have begun.  Many people will be without power for quite some time.  Last year, during Irene, we lost power for four days so I was expecting to be without power for a week or more this time.  Yet for some thankfully strange and unexplainable reason we did not lose power in this storm.  Three large trees fell along our block but none hit power lines.  And even though I saw electrical transformers explode out our back window at night, the lights stayed lit. 

Some of the fatalities that have been reported are terribly heartbreaking and tragic. 

The footage of the extensive flooding and property damage is difficult to comprehend.  Evidently it could have been even worse as the eye of the storm moved in earlier than originally predicted and came ashore before high tide.

My heart goes out to all those who suffered losses.

I don’t think ‘surge’ describes what happened.  This hurricane certainly opened my eyes and no doubt many others about how far the Atlantic Ocean can temporarily relocate under the wrong set of conditions.

© 2012 Christopher’s Views

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Awaiting her call

Perhaps you are the lucky one who got that last loaf of seedless Rye bread before I rounded the corner of aisle 5 in my third trip to a supermarket.  

Or maybe you are the unfortunate driver now in need of an audiologist as you can’t escape the residual echo’s that bounced off your front and rear windshields while you were trapped by the line of blaring horns that follow and haunt your wrong side sidling trip to the gas pump this afternoon.  You may try to cozy up with a book on your sofa or easy chair but you feel stuck, jammed and unable to make a move without taking out the large cubed ice machine or pyramid stacked water bottle display as well.

I imagine that some of us who have charged every gadget in our domain will fall victim not to a tropical depression but rather will fidget, twist and linger in a back lit screen induced mode of sleep deprivation.

Conceivably you are still searching for ‘D’ batteries.  Hint: you have a better chance of capturing Big Foot.

I know you are feeling mighty connected to your generator about now and I hope it doesn’t get flooded.

I would recommend trying to ignore that constant clanging of the high hanging wind chime you forgot to remove from beneath the front gutter before stowing the ladder behind all the lawn furniture.  Soon the wind will solve your problem and also move up the timeline for remodeling your porch windows.

Optimistically, you haven’t overbought on meat and poultry for when the power goes out this week.  Or possibly you did and I’ll be invited to the luau.

Don’t forget to check the sump pump and if your driveway is long enough make sure to park the SUV away from the reach of the big oak tree soon to give way.

If you need any extra duct tape, I am really sorry.  But as Jane said from the stall, I can’t spare a square.

May the sand bags work, may the dry lock hold, may the water be forever running away from your home, and until we speak again may the cooler currents off the Jersey Shore protect us from the swagger of Hurricane Sandy.

I will stay put with my go-bag, LED key chain, a cup of green tea and a cat that seems to know something is out there.

And with all sincerity I hope that all of you stay safe and that the meteorological trifecta fails to show.

© 2012 Christopher’s Views

Sunday, October 7, 2012

hoping for more

Last week I spent some time revamping all of the connectivity services for our family.  I upgraded our smart phones from some dated clunkers to iPhones.  I purchased a high definition Bose Bluetooth that works better than the factory installed hands free feature in our late model vehicle.  And I waited the annoying 30 minutes on hold with our cable provider to negotiate a new triple-play program that provides us internet, TV and phone at a lower cost while adding on a total movie package. 

By the time I got to put my feet up and get ready to watch the first presidential debate I was feeling pretty good.  I mean hey, if I’m not sure about something I can ask my iPhone just about anything and get the right answer.  What a great tool, great invention, great company, great country…damn that’s great progress.
But then as I watched the debate and saw Jim Lehrer sputtering along at the speed of a turtle suffering from heat stroke, Mitt Romney looking like a low budget commercial for a 5-Hour Energy Boost and President Obama appearing about as excited as if he were conversing over math homework with a parent at a birthday bowling party for one of Sasha’s classmates, the bottom quickly dropped out of my optimism.
The huge and discomforting contrast is that in everything from bumper stickers to talk radio to political speeches, ads and rallies I am forever reminded about the greatness of our people, our workforce, our cities, our country, our military, our ingenuity, our technology, and our universities and healthcare nonetheless.
Yet staring me in the face from an adjacent angle is the news of the continual dropping of our SAT scores, a falling of our life expectancy, that handguns really are given out to crazy people legally, that our national debt is 16 trillion dollars, that there are elected officials in Congress who think our planet Earth is 9000 years old and that a woman’s body will nearly always reject the pregnancy of a ‘legitimate rape’, that we basically do run on Dunkin Donuts, that Mitt Romney announced his fondness for Jim Lehrer but that it’s important to our economy that he pull the plug on both Jim and Big Bird anyway, and that our President looked as if he was mindfully absent from the October 3rd debate while perhaps rethinking his bogey on the 9th hole of a recent golf match instead of challenging his contender.

So…is this it?  Is this the greatness?  Is this what we strive for?  Is this why we wake up at 6am, fight traffic, pay tolls, pay taxes, work all day and go to bed at midnight?  Should I forget the debates, write off Washington and politicians altogether and just watch sports or a repeat of Homeland?

Reverting to my August longing, I really do think that I want Missy Franklin for President.  Undoubtedly, I am going to skip watching Joe Biden and Paul Ryan go head to head, as my body is near its safe limit for cringing this month.  

But before I stop off at DD on October 16th, grab a medium decaf without sugar and put my feet up while I tune in to watch the next presidential debate that will travel east to New York, I sincerely hope that Mitt will speak with his advisors and understand that his proposal for replacing the Affordable Healthcare Act does not cover pre-existing conditions.  

I equally hope that President Obama will realize that the term Obamacare is a slur….and embracing it makes him look silly.

I will wonder if Mitt can make an attempt to sound like he cares about anyone more than 8 years away from applying for Medicare.

I speculate that Michelle will make certain President Obama stays up late to study his material. 

I hope enough flags are flying in the halls of Hofstra to serve as a reminder of the threshold we hope can be met.

And if anyone takes a 5-Hour Energy Boost I sure hope that it will be Candy Crowley.

© 2012 Christopher’s Views