27 August 2008

At The Brink

A little bit of rain is always welcome, especially in the middle of August. When Tropical Storm Fay's original track veered away from the projection that brought it toward Charlotte, many locals were disappointed. Then stories started coming in of major flooding in the Florida towns where the storm made landfall four separate times, and some blessings were no doubt counted. We want all of the good, but none of the bad. A week after the original threat of rain, we began to see the remnants of Fay. Monday afternoon at the bus stop the rain started coming down hard, and it didn't let up until around 10:00 this morning. Some parts of the region received 6+ inches of rain, and it showed.

Today on the news it was reported that dozens of people, mainly motorists, required rescuing from the high waters. There was no widespread flooding like what I've heard about down in Florida, but it's washing out roads over rivers, and we Charlotteans are notoriously bad drivers when the weather turns. That fact was certainly taken into consideration when the decision was made to cancel school due to flooding. That's right, they cancelled school on the 3rd day. I hope my few local friends who are regular readers are being very cautious on the roads this week. Don't drive into standing water people.

When we got to the gym today, I saw an overflowing river where I did not even realize a river existed. I literally look out the windows of the fitness center in the direction of this stream/river every day I'm there, and i've never noticed water. You couldn't miss it today.

The activity fields were pretty washed-out too.

After the gym, and a trip to the mall, we swung by one of my favorite birding spots to see if the rain had flushed any migrants from their trails. It hadn't, but this Red-tailed Hawk was taking advantage of the break in the weather to dry itself off. Talk about soaked!

On the road home, we cross over Rocky River. To call it a river on most days is a bit bold, as especially in the summer months it runs at little more than a trickle. Today that was not the case. The water was well over the banks, and was dangerously close to coming over the bridge and on to the road.

Poplar Tent Road crosses the river a little further North, apparently with a little less flood protection than was needed. The local sheriff's department had the road closed off and was redirecting traffic.

Then there's the portion of Rocky River that runs alongside the nature trail here in Moss Creek. At the trail's Southeastern edge the river goes under Harris Road, and that was also extremely close to coming over the bridge. The water was moving very quickly, and additional rain will certainly only exacerbate the problem. This shot of the submerged utility marker really gives you a sense of how fast the water is moving.

This next picture is significant because it was taken 100 feet to the South of the actual river basin. The river itself has overflowed its banks at this point and is flowing down the floodplain. The rumor is that our nature trail is mostly under water . . I've been asked to survey the damage when it becomes safe and report to the developer what, if any, repairs need to be done. I suspect signage, bridges, and a good portion of the actual trails have been damaged. More photos of that reconnaissance trip will certainly follow these.

26 August 2008

A Birthdate

I am, admittedly, a bit of a dork. I think about silly little things that ordinary (read: sane) people would not. Take for instance the recent discussion Mandi and I have had regarding the scheduling of her C-Section. The most important thing is that we get the doctor she likes to deliver the baby. That should go without saying. But what have I been focused on? The date, of course.

It's well known that I was disappointed with Lily's birth date. She was born 5/4/05, just one day shy of what would have been a very cool 05/05/05.

I know, I'm ridiculous. It's my child, and the only thing that should matter is that he's born healthy and his mom comes through surgery OK. But for now, I have no control over those things. Those are delivery room worries. Right now I've got some free time on my hands, so I think about silly stuff like visually-appealing birth dates.

Until about a week ago we've talked about a delivery date of 10/14 or so, and I hadn't really said anything about it. Now, however, the doctors' call schedule has been written for October, and it was time for us to talk to the scheduler.

Before I go any further, I'd like to add that I'm not the only one with self-serving motives here. Mandi's main concern, other than her preference of doc, is that she not have to go back to work until after the new year. Valid, yes, but still peripheral.

So I made it known that my preference would be for a 10/10/08 delivery day, and today it was written down in ink! Mandi got us on the docket for 7:45 a.m., and Mason should be arriving shortly thereafter. Of course I couldn't let it rest at that . . I figured why not just throw the next logical thought in the dork-progression out there.

"Could you call them back and see if we could schedule it for like 9:45, that way he'd have a chance of being born at 10:10 on 10/10?" I asked her.

Surprisingly, Mandi had already run that question by the scheduler and got summarily laughed at . . I'm guessing that means "No way Jose". Oh well, at least I got my date! How cool will it be when his 2nd birthday party rolls around and we can schedule it for 10/10/10???

I know, I know, you don't have to remind me. I'm lame-o, but I'll bet you I'm not the only one.