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:: The Basics
Age: 37
Ethnicity: Black-White mix
City, Region: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Country: United States
Sign: Aquarius
Education:
Gender: Male
Height: 5.11 "
Weight: 175 pounds
Build: athletic
Waist: 32"
Shoe Size: 11
:: Life Style
Style: Masculine
Closet: Out
Hair: Short
Status: boyfriend
Drink: Once in a while
Smoke: None
Tattoos: None
Unusual Piercings: None
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:: Interests
Friendships, Play Sports, Adventurous
:: I Am Looking For
Friendship and good conversation. If you ask me for more, you have proven that you didn't read the important part of my profile.
:: Who I Am
If you have read my profile this far, then you have gotten further than many people who only look at the pretty picture without reading the very basics. Now, if you want me to ignore you, then all you have to do is send me a one word message like 'sup'. If that is the best you can do, then there is NOTHING I can do for you. If there is anything else that you would want to know, then please by all means send me a message.
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loving all that hair!

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Mood : Sleepy

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Posted 2010-01-12 02:18:05

This is a series of logs that I kept while in Houston during Hurricane Ike this past week. Originally these were typed on my cell phone and sent out in email. I have reposted them here for my blog in their original format without making any corrections.



Greetings from somewhere in the northeast quadrant of Hurricane Ike. The time is now 2:30am on September 13, 2008.



I figured I would give all of you and update while I still have email access using my phone as the power went out here about 15 minutes ago.



The winds started to pick up here in Houston in the afternoon on Friday. The sky was mostly clear for the greater part of the early afternoon,and the gusty winds were a welcome change of pace compared to the normal muggy and humid Houston weather in September. As my cousin and I drove around the city hopelessly searching for ice, I noticed that several people were outside enjoying the weather, some even barbequing.



Since we had removed all of the projectile worth items from our yard and the next door neighbor's yard the day before, we decided to help some of the other neighbors prepare for the coming storm. I actually taped up the large windows on the front of a house a few doors down belonging to an elderly widow on our block. She was less concerned with it than we were, but better safe than sorry I guess.



Around 5pm, the gray clouds started to roll into the city. The clouds were not very dark, but very interesting to watch. In one moment you would observe the clouds moving in one direction across the sky, and then a few minutes later, you watch them going in an entirely different direction. It is a strange phenomina to witness.



My other cousin and his wife boarded up their house in Texas City drove up to Houston, along with their dog Duece, to ride out the storm with us at our house. (Yay.....Hurricane Party). Texas City is about 12 miles north of Galveston Island, the port city where Ike is expected to make landfall. Half of the island was underwater by Friday morning. Although Ike was still about 200 miles away from the coast this morning, the storm surge had already began to overtake the seawall.



One particular eery part to a hurricane blowing into town is that although the sky is still bright and a little cloudy, when the gusts blow, the wind howls. But what makes this different from say a winter snow storm howling is that the sound appears to come from everywhere and no where at all until you realize that it is the sky itself that is howling.



It was around 8pm that the first real signs of precipitation could be felt. Night had begun to fall and the air began to feel moist, but nothing substantial, just like a swirling mist that you could occassionally feel accross your arm or face.



9pm and we finally retreated into the house to begin playing "friendly" games of dominoes and cards. SOME family members take this a little more serious than others. LOL. The wind became almost a constant howl outside now, but still very little in the way of rain.duece was still blissfully playing in the backyard at this point. The wind picked up its speed as I looked at video clips from weather sites online. By this point Galveston Island was completely flooded and cutoff from the mainland as the one bridge to the island was now impassable. Point of reference here, Galveston is about 55-60 miles south/southeast of Houston. Since Ike is moving at about 12MPH there is a difference of about 4 hours between the weather there and the weather here in Houston.



At 11:30pm, the rain set in here. I ran out to the yard and fetched Duece and brought him into the house and into his new living quarters for the next day or so.....the attached garage. At the point you could stand in the patio door and watch the water swirl around outside and really hear the wind that was tossing it about. We played on for another hour or so, each of us retreating to our rooms around 1am. I watched the news for a little while. There is a restaurant in downtown Houston that had caught fire and was burning quite lively. Although it was mostly a brick building, a transformer damaged by the winds had blown up and started the blaze, now attempting to be controlled by 2 alarms. I can imagine fighting a fire of that size is hard enough on its own, but while a hurricane is blowing in is incredibly something worse.



I shut the tv off around 1:30am and settled in for sleep listening to the wind and rain whipping around outside my window. Although the activity out there is somewhat violent, the sound is kind of soothing whe drifting off to sleep.



I awoke at 2:15am when my phone made a chirp because the power had went out and it was no longer charging. I watched the vcr display flicker for a brief moment as the electricity appeared to fight its way back, but alas it faded out and died. My phone chirped again....as if to ackowledge this fact.



I crept from my bed and out of my room into the living room, so that I could get a better vantage point of the scene outside from the patio doors. Although very dark out there, the sky lights up frequently with the strangest lightning I have ever seen. Instead of being very bright and white, the lightning is a very deep blue color, casting weird shades on everything in sight. I am completely amazaed at hour far the branches on the trees are bending and swaying.



It has now been a good half hour since I began typing this on my phone and all the while the wind and rain is relentlessly beating on the house and my windows. Every now and then you can feel and hear small objects land of the roof and walls of the house. While that is a little unsettling, the adrenaline rush of it all is a little exciting too. Just the being here in the now is vaguely cool. Some people will think that is completely nuts of me, but life was not meant to be lived inside a padded box. Sometimes you risk a little to truly witness the beauty and ferociousness of Mother Nature.



One last observation before I go. I peeked out my window and it is very strange to see the whole neighborhood so dark and blackened. It is now somewhere around 3am I would guess and the wall of the eye and the calmness it will bring should be upon us in approximately 2 hours. THEN we will be in for the next 2/3rds of this monster of a storm that as of last night, measured about the size of the whole state of Texas from one end of its span to the opposite end. When daybreak comes, perhaps I will be able to get some pictures to send to all of you at a later date. Until then, wish me luck.



--Terrance



Sent from my Blackjack II Mobile Device.

 

Mood : Sleepy

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Posted 2010-01-12 02:16:09

This is a continuation from events starting from the end of yesterday's log.



I found it hard to find sleep after finishing up my recanting of details saturday morning. So once again I crept through the house, looking out various windows to catch glimpses of the storm wailing outside.



I went out into the garage and played with Duece for a few minutes. He was happy for the company and I was thankful for the coolness of the space, it being the last place that I could smoke a cigarette and still remain dry. The wind and the rain beat relentlessly on the aluminum garage door, imitating the sounds of bebes being rapidly fired against it. Every so often, the wind pressures outside would either give a heaving push on the doors making the sound echo throughout the 2 car wide area or suck it outward causing Duece's ears to perk up in alert. I reassured him all was fine and went back into the house.



I stood in front of the patio doors and peered out into the darkened scene before me. This alone was an active battle in my head. Part of me kept thinking that this is the worst possible place for me to be standing because of the sheer vulnerablity of it all. At any moment debris could come flying at the door, shattering glass and me too. But the other part of me just could not look away, kind of like the train wreck cliche. Outside at the fence line is where the back yard tree is located. Beyond the fence is an open field that is owned by the electric company because this field runs the lengths of several blocks with a long line of transmission towers that service all the homes in our neighborhood. The tree is what held my attentive gaze as it certainly appeared to be alive from all the sporadic motions of the swaying branches. The branches moved back and forth and up and down in no particular order, but merely to the whim of the winds that were rocking them. It was like a scene right out of Harry Potter with a certain willow tree. I gather that I must have watched the dancing tree for about 30 mins before heading back towards my room.



I stopped in the happy room (cousin loves her smiley faces......they are EVERYWHERE in this room) and spoke to her for a while as we listened to radio reports from the area. The voice on the wind up radio said that they had been down in Texas City, but had to retreat back North towards Houston because the conditions had deteriorated so badly and the flood waters were rising too quickly.



I returned to my room. I could tell that the eye wall of the storm was nearing because the winds had picked up even more outside my window. The wall of the eye is always the fiercest part because from this center is what generates all the movement of the hurricane. The headboard of my bed sits up against an exterior wall of the house. Lying there, I could feel vibrations. I placed my hand to the wall and realized that the whole house was shaking from the storm raging outside.



I attempted to find sleep again, but a loud snap and crack from outside brought me back to my feet. I was sure that I had heard a branch break, but could not make it out from my room window. I went back into the happy room and looked out from there. I could see the branch that had broken from the great oak tree in our yard and that it was now laying across the hood of my visiting cousin's wife's truck. I could not see how much damage, if any was done from my vantage point. I spoke to my half sleeping cousin and told her what I saw.....she mumbled something I didnt quite catch. Since it was parked only a few feet from the front door, I opened it to grab a quick peek. The pressure inside the house immediately changed and I could only bear to peer out for a brief moment. This of course woke the sleeping cousin who cautioned me NOT to do that again. Lesson learned. Duh.



Next came a hard single shake to the whole house. I could only tell what side it felt like it came from, but not which end. I looked out all windows I could see from, but did not find the source. Oh well, it was time to try for sleep again as it was now 6am. This time sleep found me and I was out within moments of shutting my eyes.



I awoke and fumbled for my phone next to the bed. 10:30am. I could still hear the rain outside, but the wind had died down somewhat. The sky was light, but not necessarily bright...typical with a gray cloudy morning as if this was just another regular rain storm. I surveyed the inside of the house. My visting cousin and his wife were still sleeping, evident by the deep snoring coming from beyond the bedroom door. My other cousin was no where to be found inside, so she must have gone out already. I returned to my room to dress. Digging through my suitcase, the irony did not allude me that I was dressing as if it were an autumn morning back home in Wisconsin. I pulled on jeans and my hooded RENT sweatshirt and a pair of boots. Securing the hood, I walked out through the garage, camera in hand, patting Duece on my way out.



The rain outside was still pretty constant, but light. The wind was still blowing, but gusting at probably only 30-40 mph. The debris was everywhere my eyes could see. Our yard was littered with tree leaves, limbs and branch sections. I got a better view of the large branch laying across the truck and it appeared to have escaped anything more than some possible scratch damage. The 2 large trees in our front yard had several snapped branches, both on the ground and still clinging to tree by thin, yet resilient tree skin and bark.



My priority was to survey our house first, but I could not help but look at the carnage up and down our street. There is a wooden fence across the street from our house that runs from the start of our block all the way down to the dead end at the other end. Parts of this fence were a casuality, laying flat in the middle of our road. Best I can tell, this happened because for that stretch of fence, there was a wide open parking lot on the other side so there was lots of area to build up the wind gusts. Also, judging from the fact that it blew towards us instead of away from us, the fence breaking had to have occurred during the 2nd stage while the winds were blowing from north to south. But again, that is all just my uneducated speculation. Alas, I digress...



The next door neighbor's large pecan tree had uprooted and was laying on their house. It appeared to have fallen over in stages instead of crashing into it because it did no apparent damage. My guess is that it just came to finally rest upon it after slowly loosing ground to the gale. That neighbor was outside, busily sweeping her front porch amidst the still swirling debris of the storm. My initial mental picture compared that to straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic as it sank. But, if she needed to keep busy and distracted, that was certainly an ideal activity. This particular neighbor has the tendancy to be full of nervous energy anyways.



I ventured further down our street to see if the windows I had taped up the day before had held and I was pleased to see that they had. As far as I could tell, no windows had blown out on our block.



I doubled back down our street to our house which sits on the corner. It was then that I saw we had lost a section of wood fence on the side of the house and the gate as well. The fence had been snapped from the ground, the posts splintered from the buried section and lay flat, creating a makeshift bridge into the backyard. I carefully stepped on to it and over, concentrating on keeping my balance on the soaked wood from the wind gusts still blowing about.



The backyard was more of the same scene. Copious amounts of debris were scattered about, again mostly tree limbs, leaves and small branches. No structural damage to been seen. Small miracles.



In the front of the house, on the corner, water was pooling and creating a small flood into the street. I quickly located the problem. Debris had stopped up and blocked the water from reaching the storm water drain. Time for the dirty work. I yanked down my pant cuffs to cover the tops of my boots and began sweeping the debris out of the way, hoping all the while against disturbing any critters that may have lodged there as well. Soon there after, the water began flowing in and the puddles were shrinking.



About then, my cousin returned from checking on the neighbors. Together we walked down the other street to survey the other houses. The house on the corner across from us looked like a jungle, tons of wild plants and trees covered the yard making it very difficult to even see the house itself. About 5 houses down a tree had fallen into an attached brick garage, cracking both the wall and the foundation. That was pretty devastating to see. We knocked on the door to see if the inhabitants had fared ok, but no answer. The fence on this block also lost a section of it to the blowing wind. There was also the mangled roof of a tin shed that had blown from the electrical contractor company a block away. The shed was twisted every which way and the roof had flown a good 100 feet or so to have landed here at the curb.



Further down the block at the end of the street, a house had boarded up, no cars in driveway. They got the hell out Dodge remarked my cousin. Aww...spoil sports.



Back at the house, I was very dismayed by the improbabilty a being able to brew coffee. The generator was not operational yet and the power inverter in the truck was no where near able enough to produce the power necessary to run the coffee pot. Certainly not for a lack of trying though. In the end, I had to settle for bad instant coffee.



Around noon, 3 of us set out to explore the rest of our neighborhood, checking on friends as we went along. 2 blocks behind us, a very large pine tree had completely uprooted. It had missed the house next to it, but demolished the front yard tree. Amazingly it had also missed the pickup truck in the driveway by less than 6 inches. Up close to the fallen monster, the smell of pine permeated the air...obviously from the pine needles now strewn all over this mans yard.



Further down that street, a huge oak tree blocked the whole street from the yard on one side to the yard on the other side. The entire root system and patch of grass around the mighty trunk was uprooted and exposed for all to see. We had be cautioned by a passer by that there was a downed power line, so we walked around the entire area, circling through someone's front yard.



At the next corner, we took a turn to head back towards our house. There was a power line that hung so low across the road, we needed to duck as we went under it. The corner house at the next street belongs to a friend of ours. We stopped in to check on him. His house had fared well and he graciously offered wine. (One of us accepted and it wasn't me.....I was still carrying my mug of bad, but hot, coffee. Bad mix in my opinion).



Back at the house once more, I placed calls to family and friends back home, assuring them of my safety overnight. Now the rain had finally ended and short of few wind gusts, the aftermath had finally begun.



Around 2pm, my cousin and I set out to the local spot for picking up day laborers. As we drove, I was in awe of the destruction layed out before me. Trees were down all over the place. Billboards had collapsed upon themselves, no longer recognizable to what they once advertised. Power lines were all that restrained light poles from crashing to the ground, some hanging at 45 degree angles with the street. Traffic was slow in places because you needed to drive around lines dangling from above. Every intersection was a wait and see situation because the lack of stoplights. Some drivers are better than others.



Despite all that had occurred in the last 12-14 hours, there was still a group of men hanging out in the lot where they gather. After a few minutes of haggling in a foreign tongue that I did not understand (I took french in school), we had 3 guys in the back of our truck, headed for home and a long day of work.



Over the next several hours and the amazing bonding of neighbors in a time of need and crisis, 4 yards on our block looked remarkedly like no hurricane had been here only mere hours prior. Well.....save that tree next door resting on the neighbor's house. I just had to hunker down and not think about all that I was touching. I could feel the heavy air cling to my body and feared that a shower would still be days away.



Around 7pm, the sky turned the strangest color of yellow and orange. This was noteworthy because only 15 minutes before, the sky was clear and blue. Nightfall was approaching and quickly. The curfew was still in place because of the lack of power in the city. 3 million customers were still without electricity and the estimates are at 2-4 weeks for restoration. It would be a pitch black night for most of us.



Although it was now after curfew, my cousin's wife and I set out for a store I had spied to be open earlier. Upon arrival, the scene looked dim. The parking lot was crowded and so was the inside. We walked around a bit, but the pickings were slim. No batteries and no ice to be found. We decided that the wait of AT LEAST 30 minutes in the line that wound all the way around the store was not worth it for a few bags of chips we would manage.



On the drive home I saw a pretty horrific image. At an intersection, a stop light tower had twisted around completely so that it faced the traffic going the alternate direction. The steel beam was badly bent and mangled and I wondered to myself what kept it standing.



Dinner was ready when we returned. Thank goodness that the gas was still working even though we had no electricity or water pressure. City water pumps had been shutdown at some point that morning. We still had water but it trickled slowly from the sinks instead of ran. Water was not an issue though because we had stockpiled about 50 gallons for cooking and drinking the day before.



Dinner was barbequed sausage, pork ribs, chicken, okra and rice. I had a still ice cold miller lite to compliment it.



A glorious discovery after dinner was the fact that a shower was still an amenity we had. Because the hot water heater is gas, there was still plenty of hot water. City officials had cautioned during the day though not to ingest the water from the city supply due to possible/probable contamination. Shower with a closed mouth, got it. So as, not to tempt fate, I opted to shower the way they do in some small towns in Mexico where fresh water is a luxery. I stepped in and wet myself down. Then I shut off the water. Next I lathered up my hair with shampoo. I then rinsed out the shampoo and repeated this process with conditioner and soaping up the rest of my body. I was relieved to get the film off of me from the cleanup, the heat of the day and god only knows what else I had come into contact with. I dried off and put on my apparrel for the rest of the evening...swim trunks and an undershirt. The humidity was definately rising outside and I wanted to be as comfortable as possible given the current situation.



My cousin tinkered with the generator outside, lighting the house with one lamp. But, it began to have issues, so he shut it off. Instead, I rigged the inverter in the truck to power my laptop. 3 of us decided to watch dvd movies. My cousin and my visiting cousin went off to their rooms, respectively. So, myself, my cousin's wife and a family friend who decided to stay with us, stuck it out to watch the movie.



At some point during the movie, we heard noises from the front of the house. At first I had thought it was my cousin's snoring, but Duece alerted us that he had heard it too from the back yard. I went to my room and retrieved my service weapon and went outside. The family friend asked if it was loaded. I shot him an incredulous look as he handed me a flashlight. (nah, I figured the bad guy would just give me time to load it if the situation called for it). I searched around our property line and all of our vehicles, but found no one and nothing disturbed. Perhaps the dog had scared them off or they realized someone was home and alert. Either way, I was not taking chances. There had already been reports of looting in the city and several people arrested. The friend called me paranoid and I reminded him that we were 1 mere step above Marshal Law with Houston in darkness and the city enforced curfews.



We returned to the house and finished the movie. Afterwards, I retreated to the back yard and listened to the symphony of generators running throughout the neighborhood and across the field. Although there was not a light in sight, the sky was lit by the full moon. Once your eyes adjusted to it, you could see things pretty clearly. The sweat was beginning to stick to me again and the mosquitos were savage this evening, but still it felt good to be in the night air instead of inside the house without breeze.



After a while, I joined my now awake cousin and the friend at the front of the house. It was 2am and the lightening was flashing in the distance. Over time, we watched the storm get closer and heard the thunder begin to roll. At 3:15am, the rain began slowly falling. Within 15 minutes, it had turned into a heavy downpour. The promised thunderstorms had arrived and were drenching the already overly saturated city. I retreated to my room for the night and found sleep. It had been a long day.



I was going to go on to describe my Sunday, but this has already become a longer than anticipated entry, so I will end here. I have taken lots of pictures and will post them in an email when I am able. The power is still set to be out for several days, if not longer. I hope you have have all enjoyed my retelling of the last few days and my adventures.



--Terrance



Sent from my Blackjack II Mobile Device.

 

 
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