Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Storm prep: I own plywood

As we are on the northwest side of Houston, are in a sturdy dwelling, and not in a low-lying or flood-prone area, the mayor says to make preparations and not evacuate to keep the roads open for the people from Galveston who NEED to get out of here.

I went to Home Depot, and stood in line with a cart for plywood. It turned out I had the wrong kind of cart, so I went up front and hung around, helped someone load their plywood, and took their cart to the entrance.

As I came in, the returns desk lady offered me 5 sheets of plywood that had just been returned by some person who evidently realized loading plywood is hard work. I originally had been thinking 7 sheets, and said, "Hmm, not wait in line for 3 hours? Score!"

I snagged it, went back and grabbed the two nice 16' nylon straps with ratcheting latch and two boxes of screws, and a friendly fellow helped me load the plywood onto the Forester. As a reward, he got my cart. I then fought the not-nice ratcheting latches for a good 20 minutes, finally declared, "Y'know, I could be here all night if I keep obsessing. I'll have DAYS where a puzzle like untangling these latches might be all that keeps me sane." I strapped down the plywood sheets as best I could, based on foggy memories of knots I haven't tied in years.

There was a knot where you have a tree, with a hole, and the rabbit goes down the hole, then comes back out, circles around the tree, then goes back down the hole. My rabbits' paths looked like the trips Jeffy from the Family Circus takes, but the knots held all the way back home via the back roads. I have all the plywood locked in my patio. I'm still considering how/where to best apply it.

Tonight's Home Depot total, about $160. The plywood sheets were $17 apiece.

We have a case of water, and have several more large buckets that I'm going to fill as well, plus the tubs. Our icemaker is running full-tilt. We are probably headed to the grocery store tonight for a starting stock-up trip. I'm going to shoot for dry foods able to be eaten cold, plus probably bags of ice to fill the deep-freeze and freezer completely.

I got an email from my boss's boss's boss's boss's boss that told us all to show up tomorrow and at noon they will decide what our official status will be. I only wish I were joking. There are plenty of people in my department who, even as we speak, are en route to San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, et cetera. As his Holiness the Dalai Lama once said: "What are they going to do, fire everyone?"


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