We’re Alive

Well, it was a hell of a storm, but we made it through. I’m borrowing an internet connection so I’ll make this quick.

Our apartment suffered only minor damage but lost power, phone, and cable Friday night. Phone came back up first on Monday. Power on Wednesday and we’re still waiting on cable. We spent 5 days, 4 nights without power. We had enough supplies to make it until Tuesday when we moved ourselves to Friendswood which had power.

Our house in Friendswood, somehow, survived. The street and most of that town looks like a war-zone. Trees are down everywhere. It looks like someone marched across the area in tanks and randomly shot up houses. Streets were flooded until Tuesday when the water went back down. The house itself was surrounded by trees and every single one of them fell down, thankfully into the street and not ONTO the house itself. We’re missing a shingle or two and there was a ton of debris, but it faired ok.

The in-laws house wasn’t so lucky. The large pine tree in the front yard fell onto the top of the house. It was removed and roofers are estimating the roof to be a total loss. The fence along the back and sides of the property is complete gone. Non-existant. The have power and phone, so utility wise it isn’t doing so bad.

The area itself, like I said, looks like a war zone. Trees, powerlines, signs, billboards, anything over 15ft tall is basically laying in the street. Just now, on Thursday, power crews have gotten power restored to enough gas stations and grocery stores that are able to fill the need so we’re seeing the lines for food, water and gas start to shorten.

Other areas of town are just as bad or worse. Parts north of us, who should have had a signifigantly weakened storm once it made landfall, are still without power or even water.

I could go on forever, but the situation simply isn’t good. There is, at this moment, about 60% of the area without power. The latest estimate is that 60% equates to about 1.3 million people. It’s gone down from the 2.x million on Sunday.

We’re extremely lucky. Houses not far from us are completely gone, Galveston is completely gone, whole sections of the state are without power.

Life is starting to return to normal, little bits at a time. There’s a TGI Fridays that opened nearby, which was taking cash and making hamburgers for people. You should have seen the line.

I’d love to say that we’re 100% ok, but the area won’t be back to completely normal for quite some time. Businesses were really hit hard and “non-essential” things won’t be open for some time to come.

This was a real tough one, but we survived. No one was hurt and that’s the important part. Houses and fences can be repaired, people can’t.

One last thing, it bothered a lot of people down here that once we got power back and were able to turn on the news, the lead story in the national news was this financial bullshit. Houston was the #2 story. At the risk of sounding like some “victim”, this is some serious shit going on down here. People are barely hanging on. And somehow we’re #2. Sorry, but I’ve got to call that out. I’d love to see some Wall St. types try and live through something like this.

Anyway, I just wanted to give everyone an update. We’re alive, we made it, and we’re fixing and getting back to normal. My office will be closed until Monday, so that’s when I’ll be back in the office with (possible) internet and I’ll give everyone another update then.

Matt out.


Just wanted to let everyone know that we’ll be hunkering down for Hurricane Ike. They’re evacuating some of the surrounding areas and most of Galveston, the island to our south. We’re close enough to Houston city limits that we aren’t in the mandatory evacuation area and they’re telling most people to “shelter in place.” We’ve got a propane grill, peanut butter, a couple of cases of water and all that good stuff, so we feel pretty confident we’ll make it through ok. We do however live in a first floor apartment, so we’re a little concerned about the water. But I’ll be keeping an eye on it and making a judgement call on that as we go. This area isn’t prone to flooding, and hasn’t flooded before in big storms, but you never can tell. We’re also concerned about the new house since it’s surrounded by large trees and our home owners insurrance hasn’t kicked in a won’t because they don’t sell or activate new policies when there’s a potential danger in the gulf. Isn’t that awesome.

Anyways, just wanted to say that we’ll be here, in the thick of it, so be thinking about us. And if you don’t hear from me for a week or two, that’s probably because I won’t have any power.

See ya on the other side.

The Problem with Themes

Seriously, I can’t find one that I like. It’s rather pathetic. I flip-flop more on themes than presidential candidates do on issues. What I want really isn’t that complicated, I just need to actually do it. What I’d like is a nice combination of Hemmingway and Jason Santa Maria with maybe a little Web Creme and SharpFolio thrown in for good measure. I want something clean, modern, full of nice typography and easy to use. When I have more than 30 seconds I’ll sit down and get inspired by those references and come up with something on my own. Until then, I can only drool at the great web designs of others.

New Theme

Smashing put up a new theme this morning and I kinda liked it. There’s still some tweaks to be made (like why the damn XBL picture is lining up funny), but I think it could work. More on the house in the coming days, including photos. Very busy, be back in a jiff.

Working on it. Gonna need some tweaking.

Fridge Update

Since he stormed off in a huff after our last encounter, we haven’t heard anything from the guy who ruined our fridge. So, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I had given him until the end of this week to “make things right” as he said he would. Since it’s Friday and I hadn’t heard from him, I decided to give him a ring.

I was pleasent, I didn’t yell. Actually our phone conversation was very brief.

“Hello, Keith?” I said. “uhhh huh” was the reply.

“Hey Keith, it’s Matt, I was calling to talk to you about the fridge…”

“uhhh huh, yeah, well, I’m pursuing different avenues for that…” he says.

“huh? different avenues? did you get the message about what the Kenmore guy said?”

“yeah, and that’s like only getting an opinion from one doctor. I’m pursuing different avenues, I’ll get back to you next week”, and he hangs up the phone.

It’s abudently clear that he had no intention of paying for what he did. What’s even more aggrivating is that he still doesn’t seem to understand what he did.

I’m not really angry about it any more. I just want it fixed. I want a new fridge, one that’s capable of holding food without fear of contamination or poisoning us.

I don’t really think that’s too much to ask.

The Kenmore repair technitian came out on Tuesday. He thinks the fridge is totaled. He was concerned about the fumes getting up inside the frame of the fridge itself and not just the doors. He gave us a damage estimate of $1700. That’s nearly $500 more than the cost of fridge new.

We’ve called and left a couple of messages this week saying basically “you caused $1700 worth of damage, but give us enough for a new fridge and we’ll call it even, and you can even have the old fridge if you want”. We never got a call back. I’m actually surprised I got him on the phone. He must not have recognized the number.

That’s ok, *67 did what it was supposed to do, lol.

To round out the complete catastrophy of this fridge, while doing my research I found out that here in Texas you actually can’t sue unlicensed workers. Apparently the local contractors union or some bullshit got that added to the law books a while back. If you use an unlicensed worker, you’re on your own. A nice little penalty for not using union workers.

Isn’t that awesome! So, now I’ve got nothing left as far as options. I’ve got to get something out of him. And that’ll be like getting blood from a stone.

So, I’ve got a Sears bill for $1200 that I haven’t even started paying on yet, no fridge, and a douchebag who owes me a new fridge, money or both.

I think I’m getting an ulser. I can’t deal with this shit any more.

My grandfather always said that all a man really has in life is his handshake and his word. It would be nice if we still lived in an age when that meant something. It bothers me that it doesn’t.