Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene is heading my way--though I have to wonder if it will still officially be a hurricane when it gets here. According to, the highest windspeed predicted for my zipcode is only 47mph.

I'm certainly not evacuating. While New York City has ordered everyone out of the lowest-lying areas, "Zone 1," I'm not even close to the highest evacuation zone--"Zone 3." I'm sure I'll be quite safe right at home.

I did get some extra cash, and filled up a bathtub with water, just in case the electricity goes out. (You read that right--buildings over a certain height here need water tanks on the roof to supply water to the higher floors, and the tanks are filled by electric pumps. So, no electricity, no water, at least not after the tank empties.) I know I have plenty of batteries and some candles, and an emergency radio I can power with a hand crank.

I also checked the emergency food supply my wife put together a while ago. I was a bit shocked to find what was in there. I don't care how many cans of peaches and green beans there are, I think I want more than a 1.3oz can of tuna each day in the protein department. So I went to the supermarket (an hour before it closed), and got some cans of chunky soup.

They shut down the entire NYC mass transit system at noon today--which I think was a bit early. While I realize it can take 6 to 8 hours to move all of the trains to safe locations, I don't see anything in the weather forecast that would interfere with the trains very much before at least midnight. Mayor Bloomberg and company are being over-cautious, after the major criticism they received about the city's poor response to a snow storm last winter. I also have to wonder if Bloomberg realizes that many people do actually go to work on Saturday, and had no way to get home this afternoon.

It did start to rain a half an hour or so ago, not terribly hard from what I hear through the window--though they have added a tornado watch to the things people have to worry about. The rain seems to have tapered off. The forecast says there's a 100% chance of it continuing for the next 9 hours or so, before the probability starts to decrease. But then the winds will pick up, with the maximum 47mpg at 8:00am, and remaining near that until noon. We'll see how good the prediction is.

UPDATE 1:22am Sunday, 9/25: It looks like the website is having problems, and the wind is going to be much heavier than it says. Accuweather now says 68mph on the front side at 10am, 71mph on the backside at 2pm. This storm is going to be worse than I thought.

Semi-random thoughts

  • One day, for half the afternoon I was in and out, running errands, and the summer relief doorman was always jumping up to open the door or scrambling to grab the elevator for me, always super-polite. What he failed to do was the important thing: to give me the package I've been waiting for, which was delivered in the morning.
  • Another doorman failure to deliver: upon returning Monday morning from my Sunday night outing, the doorman gave me a package that must have come on Saturday. It contained make-up, which I could have used Sunday, but the Saturday night doorman failed to give it to me. 
  • My blog recently got a hit from someone in Abbottobad, Pakistan. That's where Osama Bin Laden was hiding.
  • When I get a campaign mailing that doesn't mention the candidate's party affiliation, I know it's about a Republican.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Maybe add another jerk

Well, maybe only a semi-jerk.

Pataki Visit Stirs Speculation About Presidential Bid

Pataki to visit Iowa ahead of possible 2012 bid

He is what passes for a moderate Republican these days. This means he has zero chance of winning his party's nomination. Also, there is the factor that I kept saying about him four years ago: He is a household name only in the Pataki household. Practically no one outside of New York, and not all that many inside New York, has any idea who he is, save for a few professional politicians.

I will say this for him, though: I doubt there is a better public speaker in politics. In 2002 he spoke at the reopening of my then-employer's building across the street from the World Trade Center, and I was really struck by how well he communicated, even though I disagreed with a great deal of what he was saying.

UPDATE: Former Governor George Pataki Won’t Enter 2012 Presidential Race

Earthquake? What earthquake?

I didn't feel anything, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The only time I ever felt an earthquake was in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1968 or 69.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Micro movie review

The Help: Start engraving the Oscars.