Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hurricane Emily, middle day

number forty-nine

Part two of my experience with Emily: her category intensity has lessened but she continues to head right for our house. Break out the towels and candles (and bread and cheese). 894 words.

© the Weather Channel[NL]—7/20/05 10:35am EST—Good Morning. Some real rain started hitting the ground about ten minutes ago, seeming to fade in and out in intensity. There is still very little wind, but visibility is, like, nothing: I can maybe see a hundred yards. This place is surrounded by mountains (We are on one of them), and there is no way to tell. The temperature on the patio is 72 F, several degrees cooler than I keep the air conditioning in the house. Looks like Emily made landfall about 6:30am EST, and is trucking inland at ten miles an hour. Centrally, after several hours of being on land, her winds are still turning at right about 110mph. Brownsville, Texas has reported gusts of up to 63mph. Currently, I have no information on the storm surges (coastal México was supposed to endure tidal movement up to twelve feet higher than the norm). Nor can I seem to ferret up any information on exactly when Emily heaved ashore in Laguna Madre, about 90 kilometers south of the US/México border. She is still heading maybe a little north of where I am sitting.

As I have written this, the rain has eased up a little, and visibility had increased enough for me to barely make out some of the mountains around me. It is still pretty quiet out there.

7/20/05 2:45pm EST—Pitched and less-pitched rain all morning, but seems to have leveled off a little now, so I suspect that we are between the arms of Emily’s pinwheel. The wind has still not gotten dangerous here, while Matamoros (on the Texan border coast near Brownsville) is reporting gusts of almost 70mph. I can hear it at times howling around the house, but not terribly often or sustained. The temp has gone up some, but is still a freakishly cool 76 F. Visibility has improved over this morning, but the day remains hazy and dark. Emily is still headed right towards our neck of the woods, and after being land bound for nearly seven hours, is still turning at 85mph. She’s also speeding up, heading cross-country at 10mph.

© the Weather Channel7/20/05 5:19pm EST—There’s actually very little new to report. The rain is still happening, but it has settled into a easy pace unlike the gusty rain of this morning. Otherwise, it still looks very much like it did: cold (70’s F), gray, with low visibility. In Monterrey, the dry riverbed running through the south of Centro is raging with water, and there are multiple areas out of power. Several main roads near the riverfront have been closed. This is more of a way to limit people from driving around, probably, than any real concern that the usually non-existent river would be over spilling her banks or flooding out the raised roads around her. But Emily is almost here, and is still coming right for us at 12mph, and swirling at 70. We still have power (obviously), so I am going to go make a sandwich.

7/20/05 8:54pm EST—Emily's eye folded in and she became a tropical storm around 6:30 EST earlier today, and that tropical storm continues to move directly over our heads at 12mph, wind speeds are 50mph, just five miles per hour less than the hurricane category one. We are still not experiencing the kind of winds that have ravaged the Gulf Coast of México, but the gusts that we are getting don’t seem to be slowing down much. Local broadcasters are stating that the worst is yet to come. This worst will apparently be when the center of TS Emily passes overhead in about four hours or so. It has continued to rain non-stop, and portions of Monterrey seem to be enduring some pretty heavy flooding. Several airlines have discontinued service today already, and the airport is scheduled to close later on tonight. Sunshine's workday has been cancelled again for tomorow. A main bridge over Rio Santa Catarina has mostly washed away. Thousands have been evacuated from lowlands and poorer, surrounding neighborhoods. From where I sit, looking out the window, the visibility is lowering again. I can no longer see our neighborhood, just rain and clouds that reach all the way to the ground.

© the Weather Channel7/21/05 2:50am EST—Now the wind is getting gusty. Occasionally it howls around the house, and blows the rain straight at the windows. Visibility has become odd now that it is night. The lights of downtown San Pedro are very clear, but the giant, iconic mountains surrounding us are completely invisible in banks of clouds. This includes the top of the mountain my house is on. Tropical Storm Emily is pretty much overhead now, though she doesn’t necessarily have a defined center anymore. After about fifteen hours, the rain has again become intermittent, and right now seems to be taking a break. Sunshine’s employers made the decision several hours ago to close again tomorrow mostly taking into consideration that many would not be able to navigate to the building in the possibly increased overnight flooding. Since there has been little phenomena besides heavy rain, the cats haven't freaked out too much. Many of my windows are leaking, but nothing has broken, including the plants and things outside. I keep finding frogs clinging to the concrete walls around the yard. I’ll bet I don’t have to water that yard again until September.

Quiet Reading Room

This is a quiet reading room. Often, I find it is uncomfortable to digest long tubes of columned text directly off a computer screen. This journal is dedicated to the collection, percolation, and ultimate integration of my personal experiences. Subjects that I want to examine and then talk about--sometimes talk a lot about--€”are presented here. This central content can tend to thousands of words, maybe millions. I was afraid that readers were leaving the presentation boggled, spinning, googly-eyed. Or perhaps when confronted with twenty-four inches, or yards, of monitor sprawl they were just giving up. I am not even certain that I have necessarily solved this inevitable content problem of modern information enjoyment, but here is what I have done.

After long and highly scientific routines manipulating double-blind control- and test-subjects, peer reviewed journal publications, and hours and hours of hands-on experimentation, I have crafted this quiet reading room. There is no scientific way to control the length of the articles I write, but careful handling can somewhat soothe the contextual presentation. In other words: I have dropped the traditional speculation about lexicon, and attacked the question of the matrix itself instead. Brilliant. After years of diligence what I eventually crafted is this reading room.

The walls are contoured to relax instead of constrain; the paper is made to soften instead of reflect. The light is dimmed--just so--€”to prevent strain, angled to prevent umbra, and color-coded to soften harsh red lights and deepen wimpy light reds. There is nothing I can do to control aural environment, but my recommendation is that it should be kept quiet. About ambient sound: these entries are probably best read as far as possible from emergency vehicles, preferably from beneath the muffler of a vintage fire fighter pilot's scarf, puffy old duvet, or snow that is still falling.

My theory is that the wide web world is filled with potent and material opportunities that are just too difficult to digest for many people to take part. Enjoyment of this stuff is regulated to the routines of crawlers and robots at the peril of humankind's peaceful future survival. In an attempt to delay this likely outcome: welcome to this quiet reading room. It is for people like you to relax, kick back, and hate my content for better reasons than the dizzying vertiginous specter of its lousy dpi presentation.

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