# Power!

The power is finally back on! It only took 11.5 days, but we have lights, A/C, cable, internet access… In short, we have our home back, and it is good.

# Post-Ike Update

As I said in my last entry, we survived Hurricane Ike just fine. In fact, we don’t seem to have suffered any damage except for the power outage and a front door that no longer opens due to swelling (the wind blew water right at the door all night, and it swelled to a point it can longer be moved except with kicking). The power is still out for us and about a third of the metro area. We have been blessed by wonderful friends who have put us up for the last week, but we’re hoping to get power back by Thursday; our zip code is scheduled for 80% or better restoration by then.

Meanwhile, life goes on. Work is starting to pick back up after the storm, and life is generally good. Now if we could just get power back and reduce our commute to something resembling sanity, all would be well here.

# Alive and Well

Just a quick update that we are alive and well, but still (as of last night, anyway) waiting for the power to come back on. ItÂ went out a couple minutes after my last live-blog post. More to follow soon.

# Hurricane Ike Live Blog

To all who are checking this site out for Hurricane Ike info, I’ll be live-blogging the storm. My wife and I live in The Heights neighborhood of Houston (map here). That’s quite a distance from Galveston and the coast, but right in the path of this monster. I plan to blog until I lose power or need sleep.

Friday 5:31 PM: First live-blog post. It is definitely getting very windy on our street; trees are whipping around nicely and the chimney is starting to whistle at us. No rainfall, yet. Estimate winds at 10-15 mph with 30 mph gusts.

Friday 5:39 PM: My friend Phil is also going to be blogging about the hurricane here.

Friday 6:10 PM: First power outage (for a few seconds) at 6:01, about 8 hours before landfall. This brought to mind two things: our router wasn’t on a surge protector yet (remedied), and I’m not sure where our power lines run; it dawns on me they may be the lines nearby that run through lots of branches, in which case this little experiment in live blogging will be little, indeed.

Friday 6:16 PM: First signs of wind damage; a few huge limbs broke off of a tall (~45 feet) tree at the end of our driveway, taking out part of a fence and falling at least partly in a neighbor’s garage. I think it dinged his SUV (the door was open for some reason).

Friday 6:33 PM: This is what neighbors are for! A bunch of people (myself included) went out and removed debris from the common driveway, so no logs become window-smashing projectiles, at least not on our windows… Sarah and I haven’t even met all of our neighbors, yet, but these seem really nice: good folk, just waiting out a storm. (Oh, and their SUV is fine. Don’t think the fence is gonna last the night, though…)

Friday 6:46 PM: Two more mini-power outages. This is either going to get cut off abruptly by the power going for good or it’s going to get long quickly. So, if you want to keep reading, click the link below.

# More Thoughts on The Shack

Joe Holland has posted an altogether excellent review of The Shack (hat tip: Tim Challies). Meanwhile, my blog has attracted a couple comments on the topic. Granted, there are not too many comments, but they contain themes worth a little discussion.

# The Death of OPEC?

I sure hope so. America’s dependency on foreign oil will be much more easily reduced if we’re not fighting off a cartel. Three cheers for the Saudis and capitalism. Source: The death of OPEC.

# No More Work

I have work to do, but serious connectivity issues mean it’s time to stop. So, just waiting now. Nothing much going on outside, yet – it was breezy (like 10-15 mph gusts) a while ago, when I retrieved a small pot from the back patio before it could reenter the house on its own.

Right now, just enjoying the power and A/C while we have it.

# Ike Update

Well, all our preparations are complete. Our windows are taped – boarding them was not a realistic possibility, as the exposed windows are all both very large and very high above ground level – and there’s plenty of water (bathtubs and bottled) and food. Work due today is all completed, too, so it’s down to a few random tasks like laundry and waiting it out.

Many people in Houston, as you might expect, are completely out of their minds right now. Most are fairly together, but it only takes a few people talking to themselves and (literally) throwing things around a grocery store or crashing shopping carts into parked cars to make everything seem chaotic and unhinged. Fortunately, we don’t have any more running around to do, so we can avoid the insanity now.

I will start live-blogging whenever things start to get interesting (i.e., at least noticeable wind or rain in this part of town). Expect that to be around 5 or 6, give or take.

# I (Don’t) Like Ike

As you may be aware, Houston is staring down a major hurricane (currently Saffir-Simpson category 2, but probably about to become a 3 or maybe even a 4). I’ll be working from home the rest of the day and all of tomorrow, given the craziness that is Houston’s roadways during a coastal evacuation. Our place is new, well-built, and nowhere near either the coast or flood-prone areas, so that’s not much of a concern; we just have to ride it out.

Anyway, for those checking in on us: we’re fine; we’re staying; we’ll be in touch as/when we can, though you should expect us to lose power for at least a while on Friday or Saturday, which could mean several days. I think, for kicks, I’ll live-blog it to the extent I can, starting tomorrow evening. So, if you’re looking for up-to-the-minute Ike reports, I’ll try to oblige.

Meanwhile, the best sources of information are StormPulse, The Weather Channel, and the National Hurricane Center.

# I Don’t Get It.

I have nothing against credit card companies or other commercial lenders. They provide a valuable service at the rates (prices) the free market will bear, and that’s a good thing. That said, I am sometimes amazed at some of the great deals a credit card company will offer me. Like the cash-back program one credit card company wants me to enroll in. I can get 2% cash back, up to a maximum of $100 annually, for a semiannual fee of$64.99. Say what? I may be a math major and lawyer (though not licensed yet), but I do like to think most people can comprehend how this works. Is that really the best offer my bank wants to throw at me this month? I’m a little offended.