The “Great Flood of 2017”

. . . and it’s not over, yet.

Taking a break from The Great Flood of 2017. *heh*

Earlier today, the water in our back yard rose to about 1.5 feet [correction: that was when I got up Saturday morning. Later investigation of our west basement wall and a storage area under the house not directly connected to the basement rvealed the high water mark to be at least 3.5 feet above the level of the basement floor] on our basement walkout. Almost 3” of water in the basement, because weather-proofing on the door was not quite proof against the pressure. Packed sandbags against that door to slow the flow, and then I left to get more supplies.

Water has receeded a GREAT deal, now, but it’s still raining and more rain to come, so. . .

As soon as I finish here, I’ll be at that back door improving the waterproofing and stacking more sandbags, spreading pool shock on the 1.5” of water that did not make its way back out as the waters receeded (partly because I had sandbagged it so heavily, no doubt), and then, later, pumping as much of the rest out as possible, gathering everything that was irreparably damaged for disposal, then. . . stripping out all the carpet, deep cleaning everything that was even dampened, and finishing the floors out. . . in other than carpet.

But some of that will have to wait until the power is restored. *heh*

Oh, and as usual, when power is out for an extended time, we can expect the city to issue a water quality warning. That’s OK, since I have a bunch of 4-gallon containers of “wash water” for hygeine and a LOT more (in gallon and individual serving bottles) of potable water put back.

  • Pantry with plenty of food? Check.
  • Adequate emergency water and means to treat more (filters/purification methods)? Check.
  • Camp stove and fuel? Check.
  • Bugout bags? Check.


We’re OK and will remain OK, it looks like, even though the water’s going to rise again tonight.

On the positive side, we’ve been meaning to get to the downstairs remodel, so this just moves that to the top of the list. Plus, while there are only two weeks left in my Wonder Woman’s school contract for this year (not counting Summer School), school will no doubt be called off for the district, at least for a few days, given the countywide flooding (and this is exactly the kind of situation where the governor has waived requirements for total days in the past).

N.B. We are NOT within the “100 Year Flood” flood plain (I have FEMA maps showing where the local flood plains are, and one specifically detailed for our property), so this flood exceeded those boundaries by quite a bit.

All these pictures were taken at least eight hours after peak waters. If you look carefully at the house on the right in the first video below (the house is south of us on an adjoining street), you can see the high water mark. Note also that at the time of these pics/videos, the waters had receded at our house to well back off our property and back well within the “100-year” flood plain as designated by the FEMA maps.

Stupid Information for Dunning-Kruger-ites

Saw a silly article, “Science reveals why your shoelaces come untied.” Silly. Tie them correctly and they won’t come untied until you want them to.

But I’m sure the wide-spectrum incompetents who have inflicted Dunning-Kruger Syndrome on themselves (and who then inflict everyone else with their undeservedly confident incompetent behavior) would find the article comforting.


There’s a Term for This

. . .but I can’t find it where I thought I filed it.

Needed a refill on coffee. Turned to pick up my coffee mug from the coaster on the end table (where it belongs *heh*), and. . . nope. Went hunting for where I had put it down.


Went back. There it was. Four inches from where it belonged.

Signs of Subliteracy

Here’s one. When folks either misuse a word entirely (“effect” for “affect” for but one of many examples) or spell words phonetically (or nearly), it’s a pretty good sign that their literacy skills are pretty thin.

For example, I saw “amuck” used by someone whose verbal vocabulary exceeds his literacy. The word he was groping for, of course, was “amok.” (It’s a fascinating word.) I’m willing to give folks credit for trying, but I’d really rather folks used words they actually KNOW (as a result of good literacy) than spout off with words they really don’t know at all.

Actually, I’d be more charitable had the fellow typed, “amuk,” since that’s an early 17th Century variant spelling. Both spellings derived, of course, from “amuco.”

Oh, and yes I do know that some contemporary folks are arguing for “amuck,” but that’s really just because they’re too lazy to learn how to spell and use words well.

Racing Thoughts/Anxiety

A FarceBook acquaintance (longer acquaintance online–mostly blogging) suggested a method for dealing with “looping racing thoughts,” etc. Here’s a (still long for a FarceBook post) snippet:

If you have looping racing thoughts, or an escalating anxiety or depression cycle… or even if you have problems with attention regulation because of ADHD or emotional stress… try this…
Carry a pair of polyhedral dice in your pocket… it’s better if they’re two different types, both large… say a D12 and a d20. It has to be physical dice… You need to get out of your head and connect to the world.

Any time you have a thought loop you need to disrupt, shake the dice and read them… on your hand, on a table, doesn’t matter.

Then multiply them.

Then divide the result by the total number of sides.

Then take that number and add it to the letters of your name, in a simple substitution, where A is 1, B is 2 etc…

Then alternately multiply, divide, add, and subtract the numbers.

Then start squaring them, or raising them to the exponent of each other.

At some point in this process your loop will disrupt. . . and you can insert your control thought that says something like:

“these emotions are not in control of me, they are simply an excess or deficit of emotional energy caused by too much of some neurotransmitters and not enough of some other neurotransmitters, and they are lying to me [about reality]. . . “

Very good technique(s). I have used visualizing musical scores, performing them or directing them, while either listening to a recorded performance or simply listening to them in my head. Taking [semi-quasi] “random” dictionary words or sentences from a book and using them to compose a fugue or another form via letter-number substitutions for both tones and rhythms, etc. Actually singing or playing one of these (or even just one line while “hearing” the rest in my head) has proved useful to me.

It’s more complex than that, but that’s the basic framework. Playing math games with minor (or maybe even not so minor would be more interesting?) linguistic twists seems likely to work as well.

Aside: From the FarceBook post,

“Recite a dice roll number of words or lines of a poem or song from memory. . . ”

*heh* very close to one of my methods for devising pass phrases (though I also choose one of several techniques to encode the phrases, usually from Renaissance at songs, though only in Italian, French or _maybe_ English).

Danger! Danger!

Back when I was a lad, I used to have some seriously dangerous thoughts. For example, driving “into town,” as I thought of it, in my ’53 Chevy, there was a place in the road where the road curved to the left and ascended a wee bit. To the right, just over the curb and a wee bit of verge was an arroyo. Every now and then I wondered what it would be like to just keep going straight and launch myself off the roadway. Oh, these weren’t serious thoughts, and I was in no way (consciously) suicidal, but every now and then. . .

This morning, I had another such “dangerous thought” as I reached into the fridge to get the cream for our coffees. I almost picked up the buttermilk thinking, “I wonder what buttermilk in coffee would taste like?”



Always Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight

Because one should take a knife (or several) everywhere one goes, anyway. Now, using a knife at a gun fight is a good idea or not, may depend on the circumstances. I have been (I believe) reliably informed that at the right distance, and in the right circumstances, a knife can be more useful than a handgun.

It would take a willingness to be up close, personal, and very, very bloody, though. I imagine it would help to have gutted a few deer and pigs beforehand. I’ve only used rubber knives for simulating the former, but field dressing game is mainly just a bit messy.