Thursday, June 5, 2008

Stormy Weather

Seems like everybody is mad at Washington, D. C. these days. Even Mother Nature got her licks in last night with a line of enormous thunderstorms that brought gale-force winds, horizontal rain, and hail. One person near here in the Virginia suburbs was killed as he sat in his car and a tree fell on it. Whenever a storm like this comes through, I wonder if our old maple tree in the back is going to survive once again or fall, either tearing up the deck or obliterating the roof. So far, so good, but a limb from our next door neighbor's tree did fall into our yard, in a safe place, thank goodness.

My walk this morning was an obstacle course in places where downed trees or major trunks thereof were blocking the way. I heard generators in various spots along my route, supplying electrical power where the grid had failed. Schools are closed because they are without power. (Even in good weather, we've been having more flickering and brown-outs here recently than at any time in my memory, as demand for power reaches the limit of the local company to provide it.) Comcast, our connection with the world, has been hit recently with breaks in its own cables as well as general power outages. Losing all Comcast service had been unheard of for years until very recently, and such a loss is worse than a mere nuisance. When Comcast and its TV, internet and phone services go, a lifeline goes with them, and a cell phone becomes a necessity rather than a mere convenience.

For now everything is normal in our little pocket of the metropolis, after a Comcast outage last night. This morning I turned on the air conditioning for the first time this year, anticipating high humidity with temperatures in the 90s while we are away. I must cut the grass today if it ever dries out; otherwise we will be faced with a hay field when we return on Monday.

À demain, chers liseurs.

7 comments:

Nan said...

Yes, it is a dark and stormy day . . .
Have you heard Joni's recording of Stormy Weather (she has a jazz standards album and she performs it on a jazz standards album with lots of other women performing other songs...) It is GREAT! I need to get an mp3 program so that I can upload some of the great music I have to share. I believe Cuidado recently featured Joni on SW! Great post.

Mim said...

Ralph,
Yesterday afternoon at 3;15 when the storm hit I was on Rt 28 N driving towards Dulles airport. Cars were stopped under underpasses and going about 5 miles per hour.
That stretch from I 66 to Dulles, 10 miles took us about an hour... takes usually 15 min,etc.
I was happy to safely drop off Megan and her flight was on time for SF! Yikes...
Then when I drove back I-66 W I saw the debris, but by the time I hit I -81 S the storm followed me home. What a 5 hour drive I had... No I'm not mad at DC!
But when I read the WP this a.m. I was not surprised re: the death or the debris as we were right in the center of it. Well it felt like we were even if we weren't.
I believe you leave for DE today, so at least you won't be driving in a storm, or hopefully not.

Ralph said...

OMG, Mim, what a story. That's one of those nightmare scenarios, being caught on the road in a storm of that magnitude. Glad you made it home OK!

I think the trip to Delaware will be uneventful, possibly a little rain but nothing as violent as what we had yesterday. They aren't predicting such, anyway.

Ralph said...

Nan, just to prove our great friendship, we've finally arrived at a point of disagreement. Somebody gave me "Both Sides Now," the orchestrated Joni album of a few years ago with some of her music and a lot of classic covers, including Stormy Weather. I think it's awful. Way overdone, the voice is a croak, a pure vanity project, in my opinion. All I could think was "why, why, why?!" All great artists are allowed one mistake and that was Joni Mitchell's (although the latest album, "Shine," while interesting musically, is sure a downer, with all her hectoring).

As to sharing your mp3s: do look into hipcast. I'd love to hear stuff from y9ur collection, which I'm sure is beautiful. I know we and Kat had a conversation about this a while back in which she said she paid something like $20/month for it. I don't know what version she uses but I pay a flat fee of $4.95 a month.
For that, you can see how many plays and dowloads there have been, custom-design the look of your player, etc. O think it's a good service.

Zoey & Me said...

Sounds like us in hurricane season, which started this month. When Charlie came through we had nine trees downed in our yard and the work to dispose of them took the rest of the year. But fortunately, nothing hit the house.

Ravel said...

Life (and weather) is full of surprises, isn't it?
Happy all went OK for you, Ralph.
The heat wave is coming to us tomorrow... Eeech.
For "Stormy Weather", the song, Lena Horne's last version on CD (a couple of years ago) is still hers, all hers.

Nan said...

Dear Ralph,
Well of course we can disagree. Our friendship is deep enough to weather a storm of disagreement ;-) The Joni version I like better is not the one on Both Sides Now - but on the compilaton called "Stormy Weather" that Larry Kline produced (jazz standards by modern divas). But I do like the rendition on Both Sides Now. High drama. Of course, who doesn't love the version by Billie!? Yes, I will have to get hipcast. Now for some extra time. Lately, I've struggled to find time for my blog - with no posts yet for the month of June. For shame!