Monday, September 26, 2005.

This is a picture I took the other night of my mother-in-law Virginia's clever culinary skills in serving leftovers.  Everything was really good.

Today was my first day back at work.  I didn't quite go straight to the office, though.  We got up at 7 and it took us until about 8:30 to get everyone dressed and out the door.  This was the first day Madeline had to go to daycare, and both Andrea and I's first day back to work - 30 days after we left!

I tried to get breakfast, but McDonald's was too crowded.  I had an appointment at 9:30 at a client to bring their servers back online, which I did.  Then I went down to the post office and canceled my change of address order.  There was a line of people out the door, but we were all served fairly quickly and without much fuss.  Mail service went full time in my area again today, and I did actually get mail today.  

After the post office, I passed by McDonald's, and since it wasn't crowded decided to pick up lunch at that point.  I had a boxed lunch with me, but I was having a craving for French fries...  When I got to my office, I was surprised to see that the pine tree in the back parking lot had broken in the storm.  I really liked that tree because it was two trees growing out of one trunk.  I'm sad to see it broken.  

The neighbor's fence, fence around the dumpster, and neighbor across the street's fence are all blown down, apart, or broken.  The dumpster is full of smelly garbage and I'm not sure when we'll ever get service again.

When I finally got to the office, I fired up my computer and just sat in my seat for awhile.  All the events of the past weeks hit me rather suddenly, and I had a quiet moment to reflect on it all.  Larry came in and we had a visit and discussed our future plans and got some things organized, and then I actually got to work.  I couldn't quite set my mind on it, though, and it's going to take me a few days to get back to 'normal'.  Andrea called me and said that Virginia was having a hard time at the new day care.  We aren't really thrilled to have her at Kindercare and can't wait for Prime Step to open up again.  

Larry and I left early, so I went by Steve's apartment to see how it was.  He has power now, and his place is livable.  His carpets dried out and the place needs some cleanup, but it doesn't stink and it's livable.  He lives right near Clearview Mall, and they were giving free inoculations so I thought I'd take a stab at it - but I figured that the line would be long.  Surprisingly enough, it wasn't.  I filled out the form, went right in and got my shots.  I was tempted to ask the nurse if it was really an inoculation or if they were using us as guinea pigs in some kind of secret government experiment and if I'd grow another head in a few weeks or something.  He didn't seem the fun type, though, so I left it alone...

From the mall, I went down to the aid station where the Pennsylvania 28th National Guard unit is passing out supplies.  I figured that I could use some more free food and some extra tarps.  While waiting in a quick moving line, I took a few pictures.  The electric sign says PA 28TH DIVISION THANKS YOU.  What they're thanking US for, I have no idea...


Near the entrance, by the unused gas pumps, there is a public clinic.  Here's the sign.  There are primitive signs like this everywhere...

Here's the aid station, set up in the Sam's parking lot.  You can see the Guard's gear and guns stacked up front.  Fork lifts take the aid out of trucks and drop it at the little tents where each car pulls up in turn.  They open your trunk and drop in the supplies.  Full service.  

Waiting in line...  The lines actually move really fast.  I wasn't there more than ten minutes.


See?  Full service.  Food, water, ice, and tarps!  All free!  Well, paid for with tax dollars anyway...

I didn't need ice or water, and they were out of tarps, so I got a few MREs and drove on out.  Now I can save some money on lunches for a few weeks...  

I went by Billy and Paulette's house since they're right close to the aid station and took some pictures of our handiwork from Sunday.  Here's the north side of his roof.

Here's the south side.  It looks pretty good.  At least it shouldn't rain in his bedroom anymore.

Driving out of Billy's neighborhood, I saw that the United Glass company had done some quick repairs and put out a help wanted sign.  There is work to be had everywhere.  Everyone needs employees.  Larry is lucky I'm so loyal.  I mean, I could have gone and got a job as a glass installer.  ;)

From there I drove back into Harahan, and drove by the place I do my firearms training.  Looks OK.  The glass is all there and it doesn't look ransacked or damaged.  There is some stuff out on the street, though, so they must have had a little water inside.

I went down a back street near the range and took some shots as I drove along.  This is nearly to my house.  As you can see, these houses all took water, and everybody has got all their damaged property out on the curb waiting for pickup.  Trash and garbage collection has been really slow.  As you look at these, think about your own house.  Think about having a foot of water in your house, and everything the water touches has to be tossed out.  Furniture, appliances, cabinets, walls, carpets...






Well, that's it for tonight.  I'm pretty tired.  Going to bed early.  More tomorrow.





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