Friday, Sept. 30, 2005
Pure Cane Booger
Ya know, sometimes this precognition thing isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Case in point: back around the time Michael predicted more killer 'canes this year, I made a remark somewhere about Arizona being overdue for a hurricane. We do periodically see storms come up the Gulf of Baja, but never an actual hurricane. When I said what I did, it was off-the-cuff, but I remember at the time thinking, "We really will get one this year. How weird."
Fast forward to today, whereupon Hurricane Otis decided to come out and play. As of when I started work at 6am, it was still listed as Tropical Storm Otis, with 40 mph sustained winds. Three hours later it was a category 1 hurricane with 80 mph sustained winds. There's virtually no chance that this storm will become a monster on the scale of Katrina or Rita. More likely as it moves up the gulf it will lose steam and become a tropical storm again, despite predictions to the contrary. Hurricanes have to stay over water to keep their momentum going. The Baja gulf is so narrow that when the storm gets to be any significant size, it'll have to cross land, therefore losing its power source.
I'll put together some emergency supplies just for kicks, though it's more likely if I needed them it would be to evacuate ahead of a forest fire. Which, come to think of it, is also a possibility. On this district we have almost no human-caused fires. Virtually all of them are caused by lightning strikes. Unfortunately one weekend this past summer we got 40,000 lightning strikes over the three-day period. Not pretty.
One of the interesting things I discovered during the course of researching hurricane history out west - there are no hurricanes along the California coast. As in, none ever recorded. While California occasionally gets storms that carry hurricane-force winds, there haven't been any storms that meet the criteria to be called a hurricane. And no, contrary to what someone told me previously, it's not that hurricanes are just called something different in the Pacific.
Arizona is landlocked and thus never actually gets hurricanes. Of course, in 1970 we did get the remnants of Tropical Storm Norma, which resulted in 23 deaths. All of them were flood related. The desert isn't equipped to absorb 11" of rain in a matter of hours, particularly not when you consider that about 99 percent of all structures lie in valleys. One of the creeks to the south of us crested at 36' above its banks that year (referenced in the linked article - I'm a few miles to the north of Sunflower, AZ.) Normal depth for the creek is about 6". The banks probably rise to about 5-6' to accommodate the occasional monsoon drenchings. You figure out the rest.
However, the projected path for Otis does have it raking its way through the middle of Arizona, with a projected path that'll take it right smack over my head.
Incidentally, I've been watching this storm as it's meandered and grown and done all of the stormy things it has done. I remember a few days ago looking at the formation on the maps and thinking, "Heck, that looks like a hurricane." I also kept thinking it would end up here, even though a few days ago it looked like it was more interested in vacationing in Hawaii.
Humph. Stupid storm doesn't know it's too early to be a winter visitor to Arizona. January's our peak season.
Last night while attempting to play an online game, I upended a box of beads - all over the floor of the computer room. While at least, thank God, the carpet here is indoor-outdoor (the computer room is in an addition to the place, built onto the back of the porch,) it's never bright enough to really see anything.
In the course of getting down on my hands and knees to find as many of the darned things as I could, though, I found a gold chain that broke shortly after I moved here. I knew it was in this room but had forgotten all about it. I'd planned to try and fix it, but it is so extremely fine that there's simply no way, even with a magnifying glass. I was afraid it would cost me a fortune to take it to a jeweler, but decided today to take it in for a quote. I was pleasantly surprised to get a quote of only $20. Considering the delicacy of the chain (the metal on the links is about the thickness of a human hair) I consider that a bargain. The guy who took it in said he didn't know if it was gold or not, as it wasn't marked. But it's an older chain and even he acknowledged that as fine as it is, he didn't know where it could be marked. (It was given to me and the person who gave it to me told me it was gold. I assume she knew what she was talking about.)
I'm virtually certain it's the real McCoy because I wore the thing for months before it broke. It didn't turn my skin and didn't tarnish. As fine gauge as it is, it's a pretty safe bet that any plating would have worn away. Besides which, the links aren't much thicker than a layer of gold plating.
I spent the money for six more paid months on Diaryland. Not sure what possessed me to do so right this second, but there you go. It's a done deal. I only had one night I couldn't get in to post this past week, too. Guess I figured it was worth it to pre-empt being ready to post something awesome, only to discover I couldn't get in. Since that isn't going to happen, I'll be able to post frequently but without the awesome part.
I told former boss I would do his website for the $1000 - and he's already starting to yank me around on the timing. He implied he wanted it done right away; now he's telling me maybe January. I'm ready to tell him what he can do with himself. Sometimes no amount of money is worth the grief.
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )