What’s that smell?

Oh boy! Some excitement at work today. Apparently a group of people smelled what they described as “natural gas” making them sick inside. That’s all it took, and the whole building was evacuated quickly. The fire dept and paramedics from two local cities came in and did a search inside for the culprit. Everyone had to wait outside, and normally this would not be a bad thing, but it was close to 30F outside. Shivering and waiting almost 2 hrs, I assumed there was a real disastrous leak.

After a thorough search, the cause of the strange gas like-smell was due to fumes emitted from equipment left by some roofers working earlier.

That is the official explanation. Back to work please!


Cursive Curse

Lets face it, cursive handwriting is fading out fast in our black computer keyboard filled world. I remember in elementary school learning how to first write block letters and then eventually cursive. A good amount of class time was spent just practicing how to properly draw each letter cursively. In fact, each day was devoted to learning a single letter! I can’t imagine schools doing this now with students bringing their mobile laptops, PDAs, and SMS enabled cell phones to class.

Its so much faster and easier to type everything on keyboard that when I do have to write cursive those few times, it is embarrassingly bad. It takes more effort in that I have to really concentrate on forming each letter, line, and curly Qs. The finished product is something that hardly resembles what I intended to start with: a pseudo print and cursive mix that doesn’t look relaxed or naturally written. The appearance at times looking faked and childish resulting from years of cursive neglect. The worst part is the distraction to the reader from the written content due to the illegibility of some words. It is precisely the reason why I loathe writing essays and papers by hand.

However, I think we have really lost the subtle meaning behind writing in cursive and what it can offer the reader. Receiving a birthday card with a hand written message is much more appealing and substantial to one’s heart than an email message or typed out note. Nothing can emphasize more the importance and time it took for someone to sit down and thoughtfully write letters and words with a pen in hand. No backspace or delete keys here. Any messy mistakes are shown in its entirety no matter how well you try to cross it out in black or blue ink. There is an element of finality in ones writing that goes beyond what a word processor can edit out.

For now, I stick to the keyboard as method of choice for thought transfer to the digital screen. Everything else is regulated to my broken cursive writing that maybe one day will see a resurgence.

Ok, probably not.. but at least I still have cursive fonts to use in MS Word!

I’ve got the power!

From the immortal lyrics by Snap:

I’ve got the power hey yeah heh
I’ve got the power
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh yeah-eah-eah-eah-eah-eah
I’ve got the power
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh yeah-eah-eah-eah-eah-eah
Gettin’ kinda heavy

Can you believe it? After 7 days of total darkness and cold, Puget Sound Energy finally restored power to my home in Woodinville, WA. I knew the day of the storm on December 14th, that this one had some significant punch. Leaving work and stepping into the parking lot was like walking into a small river. It was incredible the amount of rain and water just flowing everywhere.

At 5pm, streets were already getting flooded and traffic was a mess. But the worst was yet to come. Power to all but a few pockets of Woodinville was out and a complete blackout suddenly took over. Street lights were in-operational and the wind started to pick up real strength.

The Aftermath

Living in complete darkness really is the epitome of inconvenience and boredom. Just doing basic things like taking a shower or eating takes considerable more effort as you try to use whatever available light you have. Without a real light source, it is impossible to do anything constructive or fun except just sleep. Unfortunately, as the power shuts off so does also the heat. The cold just creeps in under you and makes you feel totally helpless.

The next morning, Friday was a day to be remembered. Trees were down everywhere including the single road that leads out of the cul-de-sac. I couldn’t even make it to work due to 3 down trees blocking the exit. However, even if I did somehow get out, I still would have to negotiate the war-zone scattered tree branches, live power lines, and debris. You can forget driving safely on the roads for a while.

Not surprisingly, Woodinville got the brunt of the wind and rain storm and it definitely showed. Years without trimming the tall trees that so dangerously hugged the power lines was the root of the problem. Its obvious no one expected this much damage and utter carnage that ensued after the storm. But who’s to blame? The homeowners who refused to give permission to PSE to trim the trees back or the power company for not being better prepared?

It doesn’t matter.. as the winter season now begins I have a feeling we ain’t done yet!

Scary Mary

I used to like the film Mary Poppins as a kid, but after watching this remixed cut trailer… a spoonful of sugar sounds creepy! Very nicely done and brings new meaning to Supercalifrajalisticexpialidocious.

Note to author: Please make ones for Bedknobs & Broomsticks, The Love Bug, and The Cat from Outer Space! Gracias!

Food for thought

Sometimes you just get a craving for foods that defy reason. Case in point, today I felt like eating Mango Salsa with tortilla chips. The home made kind that you can’t find in any store with freshly chopped mango, tomatoes, cilantro, and a little onion. Combined with some crispy cut tortilla chips, and you are one happy camper. That is summer food for me, and its a long way before the first hint of any real heat here. Time to bundle up!