Monday, October 10, 2016

Old Raw Shrimp: De Bait of Choice

The glacial-paced arrival of Hurricane Matthew dominated the past week. Here in central NC we were first soothed by predictions that the storm would stay on the coast, then even further calmed by predictions that it was going to turn to the east before it even got to the NC border. But, in a fact not predicted anywhere at all that I saw--and I spent Friday and Saturday watching various weather channel and local weather coverages--in fact the storm came ashore at McClellanville, SC, and may have more or less looped over the central NC Piedmont region before sweeping back out to sea somewhere around Cape Lookout. We were on the far western edge of predicted effects, so I watched TV on Saturday, and kept an eye on the swirling wind in the tree tops just outside the slider. I didn't bother to set up water catchments as I've done in earlier storms. (For Fran, in '96, I had tied up a big aluminum canoe to a basketball goal out in my cleared field, and found after the storm had passed and the power was out that it had filled completely with very clean rain water, which was then available for dish washing and toilet flushing for the whole week that power was out.) I'd thought of the canoe, but it looked like we were really going to be missed. Then, at about 6:30 Saturday night, the power went out and stayed out--not even a flicker.

We did have candles and a bit of water. I'd ground up two rounds of coffee in advance. A gizmo we got to run things like radios, sort of a fancy encased battery with too many functions for its own good, ran a radio as we sat in the candled darkness and listened to the Raleigh TV station tell us what was happening. It was cozy and romantic. We woke on Sunday with still no power, though Duke Power did tell us in a recorded message that people were on the job "assessing" the situation. We were sent to the Duke Power website, difficult without power admittedly. I rigged up the gizmo Sunday morning to run the DSL modem and indeed we appeared as a green dot on a Duke Power map. I was considering a hike down the hill to the creek for buckets of water to wash and flush, or perhaps a drive around to find some neighbor who still had power and a hose. I have a few garbage cans with lids that can haul quite a bit of water. Before I got around to it, the power came back at 1:30. Sunday--and today--was otherwise beautiful, the air quite washed of dust, the sky blue, the leaves green and probably on their way to fall colors. We're back to the future. As it does usually, "things did work out."

I was happy to see, in the late afternoon, that Jimmie Johnson would win the Charlotte 500, and that the Washington Nats would even up their post season series 1-1. The power outage cost me a chance at another DCI Banks, a show I've grown very fond of lately. It's not being rerun later in the week on our PBS affiliate, but there's a new one coming on Saturday. We may be down in Greenville playing a dance that night, so the show's already set to record on the DVR. And we may be here, as Greenville is far downstream and predicted to hit flood stage on the Tar River much of the latter part of this week. Turns out NC's version of Hurricane Matthew is much like the horrible flood experience of Hurricane Floyd in 1999. In that storm we lost 53 citizens to drowning, mostly in the days after the actual storm, when all the water flowed downhill to the sea flooding many roads and towns along the way. Last night the news said Princeville, a little mostly-black town on the Tar, was being totally evacuated. During Floyd Princeville was entirely underwater. I-95, I-40, and US-70, are all closed in places due to flooding.

I felt a civil duty to watch the second "debate" last night. I did, mostly, with quick checks over to the Giants/Packers game. The best moment in the latter was a new ad by Peyton Manning, where he finds his jingle melody sung back at him from every direction. He really could manage a nice comedic career if he likes. The debate was depressing in the extreme. The punditry aftermath pretty much the same, as Fox commentators galore opined that Trump had saved his campaign yet again. His campaign, it would seem, is much like a marriage:

Hannity and the rest of Fox have given him yet another chance. They love him, after all. As for boring things like what to do about Syria, or about monster hurricanes for that matter, pretty much the answer from all quarters is "whatever." The rest of the media rides the wave of interest. Everyone's interested in the train wreck. Nationwide is on your side.


After some reading: I put "debate" in quotes when talking about the Presidential Debates of 2016 because there is never any sort of debate, just a kind of shouting match. Indeed, as the blogger above states, Trump "won" or "tied" because he never ever admitted that he didn't know what he was talking about. Stone-walling works, until in a few rare cases such as the Watergate Hearing, it doesn't. For that to happen we need Col. Butterfield. Time has moved on from the elysian fields of Sam Ervin and Howard Baker. Hugh Hewitt would call the Butterfield testimony "oppo research." Problem solved.

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