Home > Computers and Internet, Life or something like it, Social > Entry 08/30/2011 12:23:47 PM – Mentat 619

Entry 08/30/2011 12:23:47 PM – Mentat 619

08/30/2011

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth.” – Benjamin Disraeli

So the remnants of what was once called Hurricane Irene has come and gone, and here in the Tundras of New England folk are doing what has been done every time some sort of natural disaster has struck: clean up. Here at the last house on the left, we escaped with just a little flooding in the basement, a lot of broken twigs and leaves in the yard, and what remained of the trees that were in the backyard still standing. Although not all of the area was so lucky, particularly when we lost power to the area at about 09:40 EDT when Irene made landfall in the area. Sure, we had power returned to this side of the neighborhood 12 hours after, but it’s been spotty the last 24. In fact, I woke up this morning at about almost 6 AM to the sounds of silence and my taking about 20 seconds to realize why the room was so dark and quiet. According to the UPS, power was lost about 04:03 AM EDT with it being restored close to 09:00 AM EDT. *knocking on wood* Hopefully this is the end of the black-outs and things will return to normalcy here in the neighborhood. When I go out later for my ride (as right now it’s sunny, comfortable, and pretty cloudless), I’ll see if I can’t survey the clean up and perhaps take a few pictures along the way.

On the other side, the preparation prior to the Hurricane-turned-Tropical-Storm was quite the sight to behold. For example, the two days prior to the storm making landfall here in the Tundras of New England, people were running about like Chicken Little and acting as though the sky were falling. For example, on the Friday before, I happened to have headed out to the local Supermarket to pick up some cat food for the heathen Hellbeast, and saw that the aisles where bottled water, cans of Franco-American and Chef Boyardee had been made completely barren from the runs of panicking people. Along with those, gone were the usual staples one would expect to see gone when a blizzard threatens the are: Bread, Milk and Eggs. While I knew that the place had to be packed, as the shopping trolleys in the front of the store were practically gone, what I didn’t expect was to see that the majority of shoppers were actually in the checkout lines in the front of the store, throwing dirty looks at each other while waiting to get out. Hell, even the express and self-checkout lanes were 10 deep each (easily), with people trying to ignore each other in order to get home and prep for god only knows what.

The next day, when my aunt and I went out to pick up a few sundries for the house, we decided on hitting the other supermarket in the chain that was on the other side of the border (in Massachusetts), which seemed to have been in slightly better shape — though not by much. At least we got there early enough that we didn’t have to deal with the long lines, but like the market nearer to the house, showed the same signs of a run having occurred in all the appropriate aisles. Further, the deli was a bit swamped with about 20 people waiting, and while my aunt waited there for being next in the queue, I sped things up by running to pick up the things that we needed to get out of there before more of the panicking people showed up. Though it was amusing with the gas station at the front of the supermarket being swamped with folk topping off their gas tanks… Like they were doing the emergency fill-ups in case they were needing to evacuate to maybe Canada or what have you if flooding occurred in the area.

During the storm, I tried to avoid my aunt and uncle as much as possible, given that when she was awake (she slept a lot because of boredom), she sounded like a spoiled teenager complaining on how bored she was without her television. I on the other hand took advantage of charging up my various electronics and hankered down to reading a couple of books as I monitored the tides in the basement as the Southeastern part of the basement had a bit of flooding from the torrential rains in the early morning. Finally finished off Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars and half way through The Gods of Mars by the time the power was restored 12 hours later. Cricket was not worse for wear through the entire storm and only occasionally looked at the open window when the winds blew in with gusts near to 30 MPH (48 KPH). Then again she’s survived more than a couple of tropical storms in the south, so it was no biggie to her as long as everything going on was outside the window and not inside the house.

Beside the power outages that plagued the immediate area during and after the storm, about the only other issue of note that I recall is that the cell tower that feeds this side of the neighborhood (located on Rhodes Ave about .7 mi/1 km) from here being down and the nearest signal I was getting was the next town over in Blackstone. Signal to the tower was restored sometime late afternoon yesterday (29/08/2011) when much to my surprise as I was chatting with friends and acquaintances in Skype, all the text messages that were queued up came at me like a deluge from a mad automaton.

Right now, other than being slightly miffed at the blackouts that I’m hoping are finally through, I’m pretty smug about the whole experience, given that I knew that when I was reading the news from the NOAA that when the storm was downgraded from a Category 2 to 1 and then again to post-tropical cyclone that it wasn’t going to be half as much as people were panicking about. Not to mention that I seriously think that the news and politicians of the area seriously need to stop with the over-dramatic statements that they’ve been making about it being “catastrophic” or “unprecedented” and so on. I remember worse storms hitting the area in my life. This is by far nothing when compared to the damage done by Hurricanes like Gloria and Bob and certainly nothing like the storms in the 50s named Carol and Edna.

Then, about a week before we had all the brouhaha from the Earthquake that hit Virginia that we felt some of the tremors here in my hometown. While the two tallest buildings in the Social area were evacuated for routine safety concerns, here at the homestead, I didn’t feel a thing. That’s probably because I was running the vacuum at the time and doing the routine housecleaning. Though thanks to Irene, the news about the earthquake here took a back seat and later forgotten faster than you can say, “what happened again?” For the day or two afterward though, I had to play teacher to those folk in the area that have short attention spans and remind them that earthquakes and tremors aren’t uncommon (as the map on that page from 1975 – 2010 shows), they’re not usually the kind that are reported from the left coast and people clucking about California falling into the ocean with the “next big one”.

As for what’s been going on, on the homestead… All things considered it’s been relatively peaceful. My aunt and uncle had zipped off to Orlando for a week to celebrate a friend’s wedding anniversary and they’ve come back all the crankier. Seems my aunt caught herself a head-cold which is making her a badger to be around while she’s sick. While they had been away I watched their pets and came rapidly to the conclusion that my aunt’s dog seriously needs to go through obedience school. Not at all surprising given my aunt raised the thing like a cat instead of a dog. Unlike a cat though — when her dog is feeling abandoned (or betrayed), she’s worse than any cat I know pissing on sections of rug in complete defiance. She also has a habit of tearing things up (books, papers, letters, shoes, etc) if they’re within reach of her mouth and will wreck the house if given half the chance. Quite the chore given that not only did I have to watch her, and wanted to stay to my own space as well. And it wasn’t as though I had the time or the inclination to introduce her to Cricket, as I’m sure that would end rather badly given my aunt’s cat is de-clawed and Cricket isn’t. So it was routine trips up and down the stairs to make sure both houses were in order (which my aunt’s wasn’t given the tantrums her dog throws). At least by the end of the week her dog stopped throwing tantrums and actually seemed rather well behaved when left alone for longer periods of time. Just had one issue with her the morning before my aunt and uncle’s return where she took the liberty of eating the cat’s food because I left it down longer than I should have.

In my last entry I had made mention that I was up for quite a challenge in chatting with someone that I had been chatting casually for the last 5 months. Turns out, I was both right and wrong about that. It was a challenge, yes — but not the sort of life altering challenge I thought it was going to be. Basically what I had done in my being open is end up giving him the sort of information he could use to make me feel uncomfortable and betrayed. While it might have worked on me some years ago, I was fortunate in that I never trusted him enough to be fully engaging with him that he could use it to hurt me. And when he used that against me, I found myself mixed between disgusted on the man’s selfishness and disappointed that he was truly that manipulative.

The good thing that comes out of this is that I’ve finally come to realize that I am finally healed of the damage that I had suffered at the hands of my ex (Rick) and that there’s no way in hell that I would have a repeat performance with another human being. The bad thing is that I feel it my task (and my responsibility) to demonstrate to this twenty-something that the games he plays online aren’t the sort of games anyone should be playing in a social setting.

From what I’ve been able to determine about this individual is that for all the intelligence that he demonstrates; for all the insight that he might possess; there is no compassion that drives him and no wisdom that guides his actions. And worse, he’s done things that I loathe so much in teenagers: trying to admit to damages (e.g., psychological problems) to make himself “special”. I took the piss out of him in public when he tried to play the “I’m damaged” card, telling him that he’s nothing more than a pathological liar and garden-variety manipulative tit and that all the self-diagnosis he’s done is just showing how like so many of the kids that he mocks incessantly.

Since then though, I’ve been watching his actions in the chat room we both frequent; and it’s like he’s trying to repeat the same game that he’s played two other times. He vies for my attention as though we’re peers in order to try to get closer and play the same mind games that he plays. He doesn’t realize I live by the saying, “…fool me once…” and the only thing he’s going to get is the same thing he’s been getting the last couple of weeks: my read on the attitude that he presents in the channel for all to see… That he’s a disingenuous creature who lives off of manipulating other human beings into feeling like shit and acting like a douche-bag in order to feel superior. That for all the games that he plays with other people, the only person that has ever matched him wit for wit is the person that he should’ve never played games with… And finally the one that certainly sets him off routinely is how much of a closet case he acts like, trying desperately to get my attention; like a student that’s hot for teacher.

The rest of the kids and denizens in the chat are sufficiently entertained by this dance that he and I go through routinely because as one person said to me in a voice conference, “…you’re the only person that has the guts and the gumption to put him in his place…” From my standpoint though, I have to say that I’m rather surprised at the great lengths that he goes to get my attention. Not even Rob on Yahoo! Chat ever did the things that this one does. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he has a whopping huge mancrush to actual crush on me. Still though, it’s amusing how he thinks every time he challenges me that he might end up on top, and how he ends up storming off when he realizes I got to him first.

Well that’s about it for the time being. Cricket and I are going to enjoy some Cheez-Its while I watch some of my queue on Hulu and then I’m off for my 20 k. Until the next time.

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