Sunday, August 28, 2011

Entire county is without power, i have never seen it so dark, house is wet and soggy. Trees down everywhere. I can only post blogs by cellphone email. And i am laying here in a wet muggy house that is about 80 degrees so sleeping is going to be real fun.
No phones, no lights, no motorcars, not a single luxury. Like Robinson Crusoe, it's primitive as can be!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday and what a wonderful day it is turning out to be! (Sarcasm Alert)  Driving down to NC in the morning if I can make it down. 


Latest report from the house - water has risen and is 2 feet inside the house.  Separate garage totally flooded.  Car sitting in driveway under water.  Several trees down, one crushing the large garden shed and another taking down the power lines.  Our house was built in the early 60's and has never flooded until now.  I'm already mentally totaling the damage - MANY things in the garage like riding lawnmower, trimmers, chain saws, power tools, bikes, fishing gear, sails, outboards, etc. etc.,  in the house furnace, central air, hot water heater, chest freezer, washer, dryer, fridge and of course furniture, carpet and who knows what all else salt water will damage like wiring, etc.  Going to be a BIG mess.  I'm going to try to drive down there tomorrow to assess the damage after the storm moves on through Baltimore.  And to think I have been cussing the National Flood Insurance Premiums that I have been making every year.

It's going to be a mess!

This is a cellphone photo I just received from my 24 year old stepdaughter.  It is looking out our bedroom window at the water that is against the house and rising from the storm surge.  She is frantically moving stuff higher in the house.  The remnants of the eye are at the house now so I am hoping the wind will soon shift and the water will recede.  Our home is located on a tributary of the Pamlico Sound so the strong winds from the East are piling up water on the West side of the Sound/Bay.  I was hoping the weaker than expected storm would not cause any problems but the direct hit made up for it.   Power has been out since yesterday evening.  It's very frustrating not being there.  Now the whole mess is heading up this way so it's going to be a rainy one for sure.  Looks like Nationwide will be getting a call this week.  (Oh, and I just got a text that a tree fell across my nice garden shed that you can see in one of the previous hurricane pics that I posted a day or two ago)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Batten Down the Hatches

Looks like Irene will pass right over my home in NC and I am sick that I am not down there to 'hold down the fort'.  Here is a link to several webcams in Oriental, NC, a fishing village just a few miles from my house.

Unfortunately, a great deal of the storm will be moving onshore during the night with major landfall being tomorrow morning.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Wow, first it has been severe thunderstorms, then an earthquake, and now it looks like a hurricane.  Hurricane Irene is now forecast to make landfall right over my home in coastal North Carolina (Stonewall, NC) Saturday afternoon then it is supposed to be here in the Baltimore area not long after that.  The governor of Maryland just declared a state of emergency for Maryland and they are talking about possible 100 year flooding which will flood downtown Baltimore.  I'm sure the University of Maryland Medical Center, where I work, will be going into emergency status soon so I'm sure I will be there for several days.  Best place to be though if the power goes out here.  I have a daughter, a dog and a neighbor at my home down in NC though that I am very worried about and will probably be urging to pack up and move inland.  Below is a pic that I took out my back patio in 2003 during the last hurricane in NC.  It was only a Catagory 1 and the water rose about 8 feet and made it all the way up to the foundation of my house.  Also lost several large trees during that last one.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Mercury Comet Sedan (early 60's I think) as seen outside McDonalds.  I wonder if it has airbags and no matter how hard I looked I couldn't find any in-dash GPS.

(Olympus E-PL2 with Panasonic 14mm/f2.5 lens - both pics shot at f2.5, ISO 200 at about 1/2000th sec.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake Photo Reenactment

This is how it would have looked if I had taken a picture during the earthquake today!


Wow, we just had a 5.9 magnitude earthquake here in downtown Baltimore!  I was sitting on the couch watching TV when I heard a roaring noise (looked out the window to see if it was the wind) and felt the couch moving forward and backward quite a bit (2 full forward and back cycles each second).  This lasted about 10 or 15 seconds then I heard a louder bang, stood up and realized the whole building was moving (at a slightly slower but stronger cycle than before) then watched the light poles out in our atrium swaying back and forth a LOT (the pic is my view looking out - there are 6 of those light poles out there).  Lasted about 30 seconds total.  The first thing I thought was "we never have earthquakes out here" then I thought "Oh God, I hope DC didn't just get nuked" (I'm only about 40 miles away).  I was too busy standing under a doorframe and wondering if this was IT to grab my camera and switch it to video but I'm ready now if we have any aftershocks:o).  If we have another one and the building collapses, have them pull the memory card from my camera and you will find exciting video of the whole thing.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nothing but Fun!

Severe weather is following me around lately.  Big storms in Baltimore thursday and friday.  Storms yesterday afternoon before the wedding in Michigan and to add insult to injury, we sat in the Detroit airport all day today while flight after flight was delayed because of severe storms in Baltimore, our destination.  Here was a quick snap in the Detroit terminal this afternoon to give you an idea of what hours of waiting will do to you.  I thought the big guy in red had died at first but then he took a big gulp of a breath:o)

I just walked in the door and I don't think I have ever felt better to be home.  I don't want to see another human being for at least several days:o)  Flying during the summer months will do that to you especially flying standby (I get to fly unlimited for free but it has to be standby status).

(Olympus E-PL1 with Panasonic 14mm f2.5 lens - 1600ISO shot wide open)

Saturday, August 20, 2011


My friend Bevan just got married!  Bevan and Allison had a beautiful outside wedding at her parents home outside of Lapeer, Michigan.  We had a brief torrential thunderstorm which had everybody worried but it calmed down, stopped raining, cooled off and turned out to be an absolutely wonderful wedding at about 7pm.

(Olympus E-PL2 with Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 lens - ASA 200 shot at f1.8)

Almost Made it In

I was watching planes land at BWI yesterday evening as a severe storm was rolling in.  This Southwest flight was on final approach to land with very gusty winds and lightning all around when it suddenly hit the power and flew away to the north (this is looking south).  No more take offs or landings were allowed until after the storm moved through.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This is not Baltimore (but I wish it was)

Somewhere in West Virginia last week.  I'm off to Michigan tomorrow for a friends wedding in Metamora, about 70 miles north of Detroit.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I dare you to tell me that this International truck (Lonestar Series) isn't cool!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trotter Brothers are OK in my Book!

From a roadside sign on Cheat Mtn in West Virginia.  I like the response from the Trotter brothers to the Postmaster General in 1855.  I guess problems with Washington D.C. are nothing new.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Seneca Rocks

Just another pic from eastern West Virginia.   Spent the last several days in Elkins, WV, and I have loved the visit.  Beautiful country and wonderful, down to earth people.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

The End

This is a photo taken from the International Space Station of the re-entry of the last flight of the Space Shuttle.  For me it is a beautiful picture but one of the saddest that I have ever seen.  I grew up watching man land on the moon.  My imagination was fueled by rocket ships and dreams of space travel.  I thought that there was nothing that Man could not do and I wanted to be a part of it all.  I thought then that man would be on Mars by the time I am at the age I am now.  Was it expensive?  Sure it was but in my opinion it was a grand, shining example of mankinds greatest achievement and it helped fuel so many of the technological advancements that we all take for granted today.  Some say the money is best spent in other ways.  Many say it should go to social programs, to be given to the 'needy'.  I'm sorry but I live in Baltimore and I see first hand what giving money to people does.  It kills desire for advancement.  It kills creativity and initiative.  It fuels drug use and associated crimes.  It creates an entitlement subculture that is destroying this country from the inside.

I don't mean to be negative or to say that some people don't need help.  I'm just sad and angry when I see this picture.  To me it represents where this country is going and that our greatest years are over.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Salemburg, NC

Work tonight then off I go for a couple of days to the mountains of West Virginia.

Friday, August 5, 2011


I can't begin to tell you how badly I want to go in there but I am trying to stay "on the wagon".

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011


This homeless Baltimore dude is going to stay with me for a few days then I am shipping him off to get married in Michigan on the 20th.  He and his wife will be moving to Seattle after their honeymoon to start a new life out there.  He has been a good friend of mine and will be sorely missed.