Well, here we are once again! It is Sunday morning, and I am typing from my desk at home as I prepare for another work weekend.
As you all know, Hurricane Sandy is coming, and oh, this part of the nation has gone into its regular gyrations of screwing oneself into the ground with the impending FRANKENSTORM!
I want to know who in the media came up with this latest load of ignorant shit. They knew full well the below average population would go mad, rush out to the stores etc., etc.
Usually this happens in the winter time; from my years in Washington, and my sister will attest to it, if a snowflake even THINKS of hitting the ground, DC reacts like it's under nuclear attack.
Around here in Pennsylvania, almost the same thing.
Just in case you wonder, here's the current Hurricane wind speed probabilities. Reminder that a hurricane force wind is a sustained wind of 74 mph or above.
I'm not expert, but the feeling from me is that Sandy will be a tropical storm before it gets here. The conspiratorial bullshit idea that a storm from the west will make the FRANKENSTORM could occur, but snow? Come now; the temps are not going to fall anywhere near freezing in this area. Upper elevations, sure, it's possible, but again it's all about whipping the senseless masses into a frenzy.
Now that's a link to projected rainfall over the next few days. Yes, I think we're gonna get some wet weather; we may get some flooding, and some wind issues. It happens; we survive, we wake up the next day, and we keep on going.
I will admit to making a few precautions of my own, just regular stocking up of a few things. Better to be safe than sorry, true...BUT THAT IS WHERE OUR COMMON SENSE KICKS IN AND EVERYONE ELSE'S FLIES AWAY!
I had to go to a nearby supermarket in a shopping center of some size yesterday to pick up a prescription. I had no need to get anything else at the moment, because I was headed to work. It was like rush hour on I-83 or Route 30 (for those in other parts of the world...think, "Kenmore Square after a Red Sox game." That should help.)
The store had a fair to moderate number of people buying things out, but it didn't look too bad. Then I saw the woman rush by with a big shopping cart layered with plastic bottles of water. Gonna be thirsty, sometime along? The Lowes was crammed with people, the parking lot jammed up with everyone laying in their supplies for the End of the World as We Know It...
This is what everyone does...I don't know who started the "bread, milk, toilet paper" scam, but it makes supermarkets and grocery stores wealthy. The populace, who have never known real privation (if their internet connection goes out for more than 2 minutes, they howl like raving valkyries), stock up for the BIG ONE.
Last night, I decided to drop into one near Harrisburg to pick up the extra stuff. Two bags, all I needed; empty shelves. No water jugs, but for two. Cases and cases of little bottles everywhere; even the artisan and pretentious water was gone.
Yes, someone's kidney are gonna collapse, aren't they?
Didn't go down the toilet paper aisle, but it didn't look as devastated. There was still bread on the shelves, in some sections. I think there was a run on doughnuts, though...hmmm...
Not so many there that time of night, but it was amusing.
I wonder if they have bunkers like we used to back in the 50's and 60's for when the Commies bomb us. Around here, I'd not be surprised. Make sure the AK-47's are locked and loaded, and there's five years of ammo ready, while you're at it there...I was on jury duty with a religious whackjob woman who was going on and on and on about canned water, three years of dry goods in her underground whatever...you would not be surprised to know this is "normal" around these parts.
Or do people do this, perhaps...as a big adventure? As fun? Maybe this is their form of fun...they don't have the life they wanted, so this is how they excite themselves.
Being a broadcaster, how's it going around here? The TV stations are all in their 2012 Storm of the Century mode yet again. I'm sure they've all staked out their territory, at the markets, the Home Depots, the Lowes', the hospitals, and their favored spots by the side of the road, where the low-level wannabe reports can do their impression of Jim Cantore every 15 minutes.
Radio-wise...I can't imagine there's going to be much. Since most stations are now automated, and on satellite programming, there is little in the way of local, real radio any longer.
The few that do have local programming (I'm talking commercial outlets here), may lay on some extra coverage and all that, but there isn't much left for actual reportage.
There are state-oriented outlets that might do better, and in the bigger cities they have enough staff to be on top of it. There will be some work on the NPR affiliates, but hopefully it will be measured, and not as alarmist as the rest.
Will this be a FRANKENSTORM? I don't think so; a little discomfort, a little lost power, but oh, the wailing creatures of comfort and habit will howl if their power goes out! Satellite dish got skewed by the wind? OH NOOOOOO!!! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE...!!!
And when the power comes back on, they'll rouse themselves from their coma and be on the horn to their Congressman demanding action.
We all do get way bent out of shape on this stuff. It goes back to my feeling we as a nation don't have a clue about real privation or suffering, unless...you lived through a natural disaster, a real one. Hurricane Katrina, and you were in New Orleans. The earthquake in San Fran. in '89...the tsunami that hit Fukushima last year...that kind of thing.
We don't know what it's like to be hungry...really hungry, starving even...to have no light, heat, power, etc. Of course we try to make people think we know, with post-Apocalyptic TV shows, movies and all that. Most of which either does not scratch the surface or makes it all so fanciful.
We do not know, and we should not make light of it. Somehow this mass consumption and mass buying mocks the whole thing, because we don't know when to stop. Or shut up.
Sometimes, we do get a fascination with the weather, because we ourselves do not have anything to do. Often that is because we're in it; we are relatively safe, but cannot do much.
I remember the Great Ice Storm of 1998 all too well. My then-wife and I had just moved to Maine the week before. Layers of ice, everywhere; I'd never seen anything like it. It was seriously dangerous; I could not even drive the short distance to the station I managed, because everything was stopped.
"Ya got powah?" was the mantra, and it was for real. We were lucky; we did not lose it, but huge swaths of the region were knocked out.
This was a real, serious storm. Everything stopped. And it stopped for days. I think it reminded people, especially those with the short memories about nature, and what it sometimes can do.
Kaitryth and I watched the Weather Channel a lot; I admit it was fascinating to watch how the channel handled themselves. Back then, it was 24 hours of weather, not a few hours of weather, silly talk shows and fake reality shows like it is now. What a fucking joke it now is.
Anyway, you can get drawn into that, as long as you remember where you are.
So that being said, I foresee a storm with some significant power; we're gonna get dumped on, and we might lose some power lines, some roofs, etc. I hope not; I never want to see that, and I don't want to see anyone lose their stuff. But it does happen.
I do not know where I will be; I could be called to duty, or I might be about here. If so, I suppose I'll do my own reporting and see how it all goes.
And stand back and watch the world go made for something that is a pin prick to third world residents. Oh, it could be fun...fun indeed.