so this morning i drove to work and did not almost die hydroplaning across the interstate, did not get to work an hour late due to a five mile traffic jam, did not break down in tears of stress and did totally get a full hour for lunch.

the thing is that after a hurricane or tropical depression or whatever crazy act of nature tears through the place, the days after are just stunning, the whole Carolina blue sky thing going on, a crisp feel to the air that makes a high of 85 feel really nice and not at all like you’re living at the gates of hell itself.

and right about the time that the weather will start to get muggy again, i’ll trade it all for the most arid of dry heats, the 103 degree, 3 percent humidity of las vegas.

and then when i get back from vegas, i’m on vacation until july 5th. and i’m not going any damn where.

anyone who wants to come over for mojitoes, come on. i’m not growing that mint just to stare at it.


BPAL content: totally scored an imp of Lump of Coal!!! for the non-initiates, this is a hard to find scent that smells just like a RICH GOOEY CHOCOLATE BROWNIE. screw cake. i want brownies.

it just occured to me that it would be very amusing to track down some hemp essential oil to accompany this.

speaking of such things, i was at the grocery store sunday night after j left and there were these two people ahead of me in line. they didn’t have a basket or cart or anything, and they both had their arms full of EVERY possible kind of junk food. chips, sodas, salsa, and a dozen krispy kremes. i told “xta”: and il rossi about this the other night at federal, and i was like, they were totally high, right? and they both were like, OH YEAH. totally high.

i think if one worked the late shift at an all night grocery store, one would see many amusing things.


and speaking of j’s visit, we went on a walk downtown saturday, ostensibly to check out the progress on the “central park”: pavilion (which is starting to look amazing) but it wound up being a tour of all these lonely warehouse places that are so cool looking. i should have brought my camera. j asked me if i’d ever want to live in a warehouse/loft space and i think he was pretty startled that my response was HELL YEAH!

i am a wussy about walking downtown alone, but with j and the big dog i’m much braver, which is a lot of fun. i love my cool little city, and it’s always better and more intimate to see a place on foot.

on sunday j said, “i like durham”. given durham’s shitty rep, it’s nice to get that validation, that someone can see it through my eyes and see it as a nice place.

A watery fate

I don’t know who took this– someone at work. The black building in the background is the building where I work. This was taken around lunch time today; when I stepped out on to our balcony at 3pm, the water was gone.

For those who don’t live in NC, we have red clay soil, which is why the water is stained a reddish-orange.

Not for the squeamish: basement drain

I photographed the large drain in my basement floor. The flash reveals more about its structure than I could tell from the basement lighting. If you know something about old houses, and aren’t too squeamish, please “take a look”: and let me know what you think.

the diameter of the drain pipe inside this drain is about the same as the drain pipes outside the house that lead to the storm sewer. note that both of the pipes that go to the street gutter are clogged with tree roots, so the fact that water doesn’t back up in this drain (as far as i can tell) is a little mysterious, maybe it goes to the sanitary sewer. The other two basement drains have also always drained pretty fast, some of the fastest drains in the whole house.

moist and delicious.

well, i’ve come across more than one tale of flooded houses today and i suddenly have reason to be glad my basement is _designed_ to be wet. there are quite a few streams down there tonight, but it’s all draining right out through the drains in the floor, just like it’s supposed to.

it dawned on me today– and i can’t believe i never thought of this before– that the large square drain grate might house a long-dead sump pump. i lifted the grate just now and sure enough, there’s a well filled with water and an odd metal protruberance inside the well. i’ve never seen a sump pump before, so i’m just guessing, but i think that could well be what that is. which leads to interesting questions, like what might happen if i got it working again?

it feels a little like that part in “little, big”: when Smoky figures out that the orrery actually powers the whole house, including a whole house vaccuum system.

frickin’ end times

d. came to me in the hall and said, “do you have a weather icon for raining frogs and blood?”

for those not local to my area, it’s raining. a lot. it’s raining, it’s pouring, my co-worker a. is at home with a flooded basement, roads are closed due to flooding, and the old man is trying to take a nap* but really, the water is rising so he can’t sleep very well.

*you know, “it’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring…”

Panamericana 2006 – across the Americas on Biodiesel

“Panamericana 2006”:

Almost certainly I picked this up from “”:

Long before I knew what biodiesel was, I wanted to do this, except that I wanted to drive from the southernmost tip of South America to the Arctic Circle, then seek some means of crossing to Siberia, and then drive as far south as possible. In other words, I wanted to drive around the world.