bjarvis: (Default)
For us, the recent hurricane became a non-issue this morning. The sun came up through overcast skies and we found we were still dry, still had electricity and there was no damage to our property.

The ban on non-essential driving was lifted by about 11am, the Metro system was running again by 2pm and nearly all businesses, schools and gov't offices will resume regular business Wednesday morning.

For me, the past 48 hours was even more normal that all of that. Since I regularly work from home, I do my thing so long as I have electricity and a working Internet connection. [profile] kent4str had Monday & Tuesday off as his office was closed so he was able to enjoy some quality television time while I kept the Internet in working order.

Tomorrow, I will attempt to drive to the data center. I know the major roads are just fine, but I have some questions about the back roads I use to avoid paying road tolls. I also have no idea how many vehicles to expect; some folks may need extra time from the office to work on their homes while others may not have a working office to go to yet. Then again, since all have been away for two days already, perhaps every worker out there is chomping at the bit to get back to the office to address their backlog. We'll see tomorrow.
bjarvis: (Default)
The rain started yesterday evening, around 9pm. It was relatively light but constant until the early morning when the wind picked up and the rain became heavier.

By the late afternoon, the wind was gusting very strongly and the rain was coming down in buckets. I expected the power to fail at any moment, but now, at 9:25pm, it's still on. We were prepared for an outage in any case: all our toys are charged, food is stocked, batteries & candles are on hand, etc.. Our electric utility is so incredibly unreliable, we've had this drill many times in the past few years.

Schools and gov't offices --federal, state & local-- were closed today and will be again tomorrow. Needless to say, there's no square dancing for us until Thursday now.

My data center is still up and running so I haven't needed to leave my basement computer cave. Indeed, if [profile] kent4str wasn't upstairs (his office tracks the US Patent office), today would be a work day like any other.

The heavy rains and winds will continue until about 6am tomorrow morning. At that point, the rains will continue but the wind should die back considerably.

It's going to take a while for everything to catch up again to normal. With all of the major airports in the north-east and mid-atlantic areas closed, the network of flights is an utter mess. Friends in Europe are trapped at various cities there for the next few days until they can get flights back to the US. I have no clue which intersections don't have working traffic lights or which roads may have been flooded out and/or closed because of debris.

Fortunately, we have Facebook, Twitter, the TV and various web sites to update our friends & family who aren't in the immediate splash zone: that's saved me making a tonne of extra telephone calls. With a little luck, all will be well again by Thursday for most of us in the greater DC area.
bjarvis: (Default)
Executive summary: nothing to see here.

The storm has come & gone. While we still have light showers and overcast skies, the wind is non-existent. Indeed, we barely got more than a few gusts all night and while it rained steadily from 4pm to the present, it was never torrential or excessive.

The electricity flickered a few times, mostly around 2am or so. The satellite tv signal was intermittent but never died completely for more than a few seconds.

We're the exception though: there are large swathes of the greater DC area (mostly the east and south-east of DC) which are without electricity and our county gov't is warning of over 100 intersections without working traffic lights. The transit system is starting back up on a regular Sunday scheduled this morning.

In all, I hope NYC fares as well as we did.
bjarvis: (Maryland state)
I've been in the data center for several hours but have been too busy to write much. I'm awaiting the results of some system tests so this seems like a good a time as any...

The drive to work this evening was horrendous: we've had incredibly electrical storms and heavy rain for a couple of hours, including flash flood alerts for every county around DC until 10:30 PM. During a short break, I listened to the television news in the staff lounge which showed a long list of road closures due to high water, including two lates of southbound I270. PEPCO's outage maps online show electrical outages in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Wheaton, Olney and north-west Silver Spring although our home seems to have escaped it as my server is still responding. North-east DC and parts of Prince George's County adjacent to DC seem to be without electricity, as well as Fort Washington to the south.

Looking outside currently, it seems the worst has moved on so I'm hoping for a reasonably gentle commute home.
bjarvis: (Maryland state)
I've been in the data center for several hours but have been too busy to write much. I'm awaiting the results of some system tests so this seems like a good a time as any...

The drive to work this evening was horrendous: we've had incredibly electrical storms and heavy rain for a couple of hours, including flash flood alerts for every county around DC until 10:30 PM. During a short break, I listened to the television news in the staff lounge which showed a long list of road closures due to high water, including two lates of southbound I270. PEPCO's outage maps online show electrical outages in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Wheaton, Olney and north-west Silver Spring although our home seems to have escaped it as my server is still responding. North-east DC and parts of Prince George's County adjacent to DC seem to be without electricity, as well as Fort Washington to the south.

Looking outside currently, it seems the worst has moved on so I'm hoping for a reasonably gentle commute home.

Snowed In

Mar. 2nd, 2009 12:58 pm
bjarvis: (Olympus SP-500 UZ)
We had several inches of snow fall overnight and this morning. For the most part, it's done and we now await the inevitable slushy melting.

Here's our street:


Under this layer of white fluffy stuff is my car:


And here's [livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr beside his buried chariot:


[livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr and I cleared out the driveway, our walkway and our sidewalk. Being good neighbours, we also took care of Isaac & Goldie's sidewalk in front of their house. [livejournal.com profile] kent4str did the good husband thing of preparing hot tea and cider for us to sip leisurely when complete.

Now back to the office work...

Snowed In

Mar. 2nd, 2009 12:58 pm
bjarvis: (Olympus SP-500 UZ)
We had several inches of snow fall overnight and this morning. For the most part, it's done and we now await the inevitable slushy melting.

Here's our street:


Under this layer of white fluffy stuff is my car:


And here's [livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr beside his buried chariot:


[livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr and I cleared out the driveway, our walkway and our sidewalk. Being good neighbours, we also took care of Isaac & Goldie's sidewalk in front of their house. [livejournal.com profile] kent4str did the good husband thing of preparing hot tea and cider for us to sip leisurely when complete.

Now back to the office work...

Iced In

Jan. 28th, 2009 10:35 am
bjarvis: (Lake Temiskaming)

Iced In!
Originally uploaded by bajarvis


I tried to get to the data center today.

When I stepped outside I found my car encased in snow with a glaze of ice. It looked like someone was trying to make a plaster cast of my Honda Civic. Digging it out was relatively easy as one good smash on each panel caused it all to loosen, lift and slide off en masse.

The next problem was insurmountable, however. The streets leading out of our neighbourhood aren't yet salted or sanded and there is a gradual upwards grading to the streets. My little car and I got 30 feet along the street then came to a complete halt. I wasn't sliding backwards but I couldn't go forward either.

Not wanting to lose what little vehicular control I had by doing anything dramatic, I put the car into reverse and gently guided it to the curb, turned it off and walked back to the house. The main roads and streets may be better than my immediate neighbourhood but there is nothing so important that I need to take any risk whatsoever.

[livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr and I just spent the last hour or so digging out the sidewalks, driveway and walkway of our house and our elderly neighbours, Isaac & Goldie. It wasn't fun but it was a good workout.

More freezing rain is in the forecast. *sigh*

Iced In

Jan. 28th, 2009 10:35 am
bjarvis: (Lake Temiskaming)

Iced In!
Originally uploaded by bajarvis


I tried to get to the data center today.

When I stepped outside I found my car encased in snow with a glaze of ice. It looked like someone was trying to make a plaster cast of my Honda Civic. Digging it out was relatively easy as one good smash on each panel caused it all to loosen, lift and slide off en masse.

The next problem was insurmountable, however. The streets leading out of our neighbourhood aren't yet salted or sanded and there is a gradual upwards grading to the streets. My little car and I got 30 feet along the street then came to a complete halt. I wasn't sliding backwards but I couldn't go forward either.

Not wanting to lose what little vehicular control I had by doing anything dramatic, I put the car into reverse and gently guided it to the curb, turned it off and walked back to the house. The main roads and streets may be better than my immediate neighbourhood but there is nothing so important that I need to take any risk whatsoever.

[livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr and I just spent the last hour or so digging out the sidewalks, driveway and walkway of our house and our elderly neighbours, Isaac & Goldie. It wasn't fun but it was a good workout.

More freezing rain is in the forecast. *sigh*
bjarvis: (Lake Temiskaming)
It's snowing in DC right now. It's not a heavy, driving snow but it does promise to accumulate 1-4 inches around the region.

I was supposed to head to the data center to receive some delivered parts and possibly have a field engineer work on an HP blade issue, but I'm not thrilled about sharing the road with DC drivers under these conditions. Which is harder: driving around DC with people who can't handle snow or explaining to my San Francisco-based employer (a) that it is snowing here in DC even if it isn't in SF, (b) why that is a problem and (c) that we may have to reschedule some activities?

I was also supposed to call for the Chesapeake Squares tonight but I see the Baltimore County schools are closed so it looks like that's a non-starter. Figures.

I'd better get myself into the shower and dressed to figure out what I'm going to do with this day.
bjarvis: (Lake Temiskaming)
It's snowing in DC right now. It's not a heavy, driving snow but it does promise to accumulate 1-4 inches around the region.

I was supposed to head to the data center to receive some delivered parts and possibly have a field engineer work on an HP blade issue, but I'm not thrilled about sharing the road with DC drivers under these conditions. Which is harder: driving around DC with people who can't handle snow or explaining to my San Francisco-based employer (a) that it is snowing here in DC even if it isn't in SF, (b) why that is a problem and (c) that we may have to reschedule some activities?

I was also supposed to call for the Chesapeake Squares tonight but I see the Baltimore County schools are closed so it looks like that's a non-starter. Figures.

I'd better get myself into the shower and dressed to figure out what I'm going to do with this day.
bjarvis: (white hat)
Because of tropical storm Hanna drifting through the area, all rodeo activities at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds are canceled, including our square dance demo. Bummer.

I'm guessing the evening dance at the McLean Hilton is still on. We're not scheduled to perform at tonight's dance but might attend anyway, depending on our mood and the weather.
bjarvis: (white hat)
Because of tropical storm Hanna drifting through the area, all rodeo activities at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds are canceled, including our square dance demo. Bummer.

I'm guessing the evening dance at the McLean Hilton is still on. We're not scheduled to perform at tonight's dance but might attend anyway, depending on our mood and the weather.
bjarvis: (home)
The storm has moved east of us. Shortly after my last posting, I powered down & unplugged all of our electronics, just in case. Having thus taken such good care of my cheap, disposable electronics, I proceeded to grab my camera and go stand outside in the middle of it all.



Clearly, I survived and I now offer the attached in triumph. I recorded this looking into the backyard, over the neighbours' house. The first 10 seconds are dark, then it starts lighting up. There are big flashes at 0:30 and 1:05 approximately. Enjoy!
bjarvis: (home)
The storm has moved east of us. Shortly after my last posting, I powered down & unplugged all of our electronics, just in case. Having thus taken such good care of my cheap, disposable electronics, I proceeded to grab my camera and go stand outside in the middle of it all.



Clearly, I survived and I now offer the attached in triumph. I recorded this looking into the backyard, over the neighbours' house. The first 10 seconds are dark, then it starts lighting up. There are big flashes at 0:30 and 1:05 approximately. Enjoy!
bjarvis: (home)
Just a few minutes ago, a heavy rain began. There's nearly continuous lightning across the sky; our electricity, Internet connectivity and satellite signal are all flickering in & out. I think I'm going to pull up a chair on the front porch and watch the fun.
bjarvis: (home)
Just a few minutes ago, a heavy rain began. There's nearly continuous lightning across the sky; our electricity, Internet connectivity and satellite signal are all flickering in & out. I think I'm going to pull up a chair on the front porch and watch the fun.
bjarvis: (Maryland state)
Outside of losing power for about six hours yesterday and the associated angst of being largely out of touch when I was supposed to be the office UNIX primary point-of-contact, we escaped largely unscathed. Our trees are intact, the satellite dish is still on the roof and our dinner didn't get blown into another county.

There were reports of two, possibly three, tornadoes touching down in the area as of last night but no further mention on the radio this morning. I've heard of one death but nothing more.

There are still an estimated 100,000 homes in the greater DC area without electricity. In our immediate area, the Georgia Avenue corridor doesn't have power so police were manually directing traffic through major intersections; I don't know at the moment if our Forest Glen metro station is affected. Several major roads are closed because of bank erosion damage or downed trees.

Schools in our county (Montgomery) and neighbouring Prince George's County are closed today because of the lack of power... it's a good day to be a kid in our area! :-)

Outside of lots of broken trees and a lot of leaves along the side of the roads, my morning commute was largely uneventful. I only encounter two traffic lights along the way: one had a team of police directing traffic and the other had functioning lights. One particularly hideous billboard advertising space for lease along I270 was flattened but I don't consider that a loss. :-)

Back to the boring routine of office life... *sigh*
bjarvis: (Maryland state)
Outside of losing power for about six hours yesterday and the associated angst of being largely out of touch when I was supposed to be the office UNIX primary point-of-contact, we escaped largely unscathed. Our trees are intact, the satellite dish is still on the roof and our dinner didn't get blown into another county.

There were reports of two, possibly three, tornadoes touching down in the area as of last night but no further mention on the radio this morning. I've heard of one death but nothing more.

There are still an estimated 100,000 homes in the greater DC area without electricity. In our immediate area, the Georgia Avenue corridor doesn't have power so police were manually directing traffic through major intersections; I don't know at the moment if our Forest Glen metro station is affected. Several major roads are closed because of bank erosion damage or downed trees.

Schools in our county (Montgomery) and neighbouring Prince George's County are closed today because of the lack of power... it's a good day to be a kid in our area! :-)

Outside of lots of broken trees and a lot of leaves along the side of the roads, my morning commute was largely uneventful. I only encounter two traffic lights along the way: one had a team of police directing traffic and the other had functioning lights. One particularly hideous billboard advertising space for lease along I270 was flattened but I don't consider that a loss. :-)

Back to the boring routine of office life... *sigh*
bjarvis: (home)
Oh, precious electricity! Thank god you've returned to work your magic on my Internet connection and our AC!

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