Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Thursday, July 1, 2010

On the Flip Side

I suppose I need a follow up to my problems during the great storm of last Thursday. Granted mine pale in comparison to how some suffered, certainly my tiny inconveniences are insignificant next to those people whose only access to the greater world was a bridge and that bridge washed away. Now several dozen families can only escape from their environs by climbing a steep and slippery hill. The state has said it may take months to replace the bridge.

Sometimes it pays to live on a hill with more than one entry-exit, even if you occasionally slide sideways in winter snows.

I worked on Friday and had no issues. Some were late because their streets were flooded. Several of the rivers and creeks crested on Friday. We got nine inches of rain where I live.

I got my morning walk in again on Saturday morning. I don't want to miss many of my hikes. I have dropped two belt sizes since I started these jaunts a few weeks ago. I was rather intrigued coming across a battered black bumbershoot laying along the path deep in Bringhurst Woods. I can't believe someone would have believed an umbrella would protect them from rain with the high winds that blew through these lands all day. There's not a brolly in existence that would have survived. Certainly this one didn't.



The coattails of Hurricane Nicole were too much for many trees, a fragile bit of wire and cloth had little chance, There were freshly fallen branches and logs all through the forest and the paths were strewn with all sorts of leaves and debris.

One poor tree had been blasted apart, half of it a prone corpse across the path. The top was blown to who knows where.

The innards of the standing stump was hollowed out and in was fried.

The hollowed part and the peeled off bark upon the ground were covered in black soot. This was most likely the victim of a lightning strike.

I made a few miscalculations on my Saturday outing. My first was the decision to go to Bellevue direct.

A number of state parks charge a fee in season. Saturday began chill, the second of October, early morning. The park is listed as open from 8:00 AM and I stopped at a store and got gas on my way, arriving at 20 after.

Here I discovered the season runs until November 1 and thus I paid $3.00 for the privilege to walk the woodlands inside. Too late to escape, I paid my fee and drove down the twisting road leading far back to the first parking lot.

As I reached this lot I was stunned to see it nearly filled. In the many times I have been to this park with the Little Woman and the children when they were children I have never experienced this lot this full. I had to park in the very last section down near the entry road and as I trudged up the hill noted others also trudging.

What is going on? And if the park only opened 20 minutes ago, how did all these cars get here so quickly?

Frankly, I like my walks to be fairly unencumbered by others. I like the quiet and solitude of these forest paths in the early day. All these cars promised something less desolate.

I do not know what the rallying force behind it was, but this park was full of vigor, vocal youth this day.  Out in the great green they had swarmed like buzzing bees on a mission.

Down another path, edged at cross paths with little orange pylons dashed teenage girls in some mini-marathon, people cheering them on by name and waving arms.

I soon discovered the further parking lot, one even larger than where I parked was also full of cars by now and out along the entry road I stood to one side watching people in safety jackets directing vehicles up into a field, which was also becoming covered by cars where before only clover bloomed.

It was rather obvious I should flee off of the main track and down the side trails to the more peaceful desolation of Bringhurst Woods.

And so I did and once again found some semblance of tranquility.

But having to forego my morning walk on Thursday was the least of the problems I left you with, wasn't it. I had finally crawled off to bed with my son's car missing its side window and the TV missing its picture. What happened there?

What a difference a day makes, right?

I drove my son to his work place just before leaving for my own job. His car sat sadly in our drive with the front driver's door encased with a hugh plastic drop cloth. It had done the job of plugging the dam, but he could hardly drive with it flapping about.  It occurred to me there might be a simple solution in the meantime, until he feels he is willing to take it to a shop and have this window situation more permanently resolved. What happens is his driver side window will slip down in the door and not come up. The wind drove it down Thursday night. He can pull it up with a coat hanger, but it just isn't staying.

I went to Home Depot when I went that evening to pick him up and bought a box of shims. I told him to tap a shim between his window and frame and see if that wouldn't keep it up. He did, it worked. Now it will be a nuisance if he has to go anywhere with a tollbooth, but for now it solves his runaway window problem at a cost of $1.35 for twelve shims.

The TV was frustrating and scary.

When the electric returned after being off all Thursday day, everything worked, except our main TV had no picture. The scary part was the possibility the electrical outage had damaged the set. I am in no position right now to replace that TV.

But it made no sense to think it was the TV. When I turned on the cable I not only got sound, I could bring up the program guide. I also put a DVD in our player and the movie played perfectly on the TV.

I deduced it was a provider problem.

I called my provider and got a recorded message there was a service problem in my area, technicians were working on the problem and sorry. This was a relief. It was a provider problem. Now it became how long a problem.

I called again late Thursday evening and got the same message. Perhaps by morning it will be resolved, I thought, but when I turned on the TV the next AM there was still no picture. I called the provider and got the same message.

I went to work and when I came home, still no picture, still the same message, but this time I chose to talk to someone. I didn't have to wait long until a rep answered, a nice friendly guy living in Newark who had worse problems than me. His place had flooded, he was up bailing out till midnight and had a carpet like a wet sponge now. He ran whatever tests they run and found I was getting a signal. There was a big service problem two streets over, which is probably why I kept getting that message.

He asked me to try unplugging the cabal box for five-seconds. I know, they always ask that. Well, I did and dabnabit if when I re-plugged that picture came back like it had never been gone. TV problem resolved, car window problem resolved and I am back on my walks and the sun has been shining.

Of course now we are supposed to have four days of rain.


1 comment:

Ron Tipton said...

Another nice posting Lar with beautiful pictures.

I know how you feel about missing your walk. I went down to the boardwalk this morning but could not do my walk. The wind was just that high. I almost literally could not move. So, I got in my car and came back home.

I'm glad you're TV is working again. When you described the problem I thought it would might just be a matter of rebooting your TV. So much of life in todays tech age seems to get down to rebooting. We need a reboot in our Congress too but I digress.

About the fee to the state park. Why don't you buy a lifetime membership? I did? It's good for all parks and it will only cost you $35 since you're a senior. I got one this year. No longer do I have to figure our what the fee is or when they're charging it. I believe the pass is good for all state parks in Delaware too. I had guests in the hotel last night that told me that yesterday.

Good for you losing two notches off of your belt by walking. I had similar results. I love it!

Ron