Monday, June 23, 2008

Apologies for Being Absent

My apologies for being absent (and for not doing things like moderating comments), but both of us have been either absent or busy ... me, absent last week to Richmond, VA, on a software conversion trip, and Lauren, off to the wedding of our former minister, Fr. Mike Kyle's, wedding, followed by lots of teaching/weeding/sleeping.

As I mentioned, I was off in Richmond, VA for a week, on a client experience trip (read: software conversion) that my employer requires us to do every year. I figured that I wouldn't have very much time for sight-seeing, but Sunday evening, I discovered that me and seven other coworkers would be assigned to work 12 hour night shifts from 7 pm-7 am. Although I did sacrifice some sleep, I was able to sight-see a little bit in the daytime ... as a Civil War/history buff, it was a pleasure to see the American Civil War Center, located on the site of the former Tredegar Iron Works, the Virginia Historical Society, St. John's Episcopal Church, the site where Patrick Henry delivered his famous "Give me liberty" speech, and, although I wasn't aware of it at the time, actually stand on the site where Virginians ratified the US Constitution (West Hospital, part of the VCU Health System, now sits where this occurred). I also toured Maymont, an historic, Tudor-style home which now stands as a Victorian-era museum and garden estate.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Should We Start Building An Ark?

Just a quick update for the weekend: Lauren's prepping for her second summer class and I'm prepping for my work trip to Richmond, VA next weekend, where I'll be with a team doing a software conversion from next Sunday to the following Saturday.

Given the storms we've had the last few days (complete with storms since Thursday, local flooding, and now a new storm watch today), and the local flooding, we're both wondering if we should be building an ark. At the least, we ought to start moving faster on plans to build a full basement, given we dodged a bullet Thursday night: we spent a half-hour in the small storm shelter we do have waiting out a tornado warning (and wondering why the town didn't blow the sirens even though NWS had called an alert for the entire county???)

In any event, we came pretty close to having a tornado in town; at about 8:30 pm, we saw the alert, called our neighbor with a full basement only to discover that she wasn't home, decided to get together some bare minimum survival items (windbreakers, water bottles, lantern/flashlight, phone (so I could keep up with the alerts and radar), laptops, and a bottle of wine and corkscrew (just in case it was going to be a VERY long night)), and headed down to our storm cellar. As I pulled the doors closed, I turned to see the beginnings of a funnel cloud (not sure if it was a cold-air funnel or an actual tornado) start to form from the cloud base down towards the ground. Even though it was south of town and heading away from our area, needless to say, I slammed the door shut and prayed that we weren't going to do a Wizard of Oz imitation.

Fortunately, the storm was moving fast enough that the funnel didn't develop any real rotation, didn't touch down, and dissipated as the front moved on. Even so, we didn't get much sleep that night; I stayed up until 11:00 until the tornado watch expired, and after that, I asked Lauren if we could purchase a weather radio with an alert that will wake us if we get warnings overnight, and she agreed.

EDIT: The weather radio came in today (6/9), and it's already coming in handy.