Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's cold in here!

Well folks, it's that time of year again.
When it gets cold outside, I look for technology to fill the void for some reason. BUT, some of my best web work has come from winter boredom actually. (see gremlindog.com... really took off in November of last year)
So who knows what this year will bring.
Maybe an improvement here, or an addition? Who knows, not even me... It's just a lot of stupid ideas in the head right now.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Evolution of Lexi Ali

By request... here's some of the greatest photos of all time of our little Lex.
It's like you're growing up with her!

[nggallery id=6]

Friday, November 13, 2009

What's he up to?

Well, it's once again been a few months since my last update... So I guess I better try and fill everyone in on what's been going on.

Really, it's the same ol' stuff... and I don't know why I blog about it to be honest.
One day, I'll change this site into something useful... Which brings me to my first 'catchup' topic.

I love wordpress... no seriously, it's just awesome.  I've really been doing a lot of stuff with it, and to say it's a powerful blogging platform is an understatement.  It has become a decent CMS to me.
How did this come about?  Well, I got tired of looking and working on the original site I did for a friend. (back in 2006 mind you)
It needed an update in design very very badly, and I wanted to put it behind some sort of cms so if there was something to be added/edited, and I wasn't near my home computer, etc.  It could be done, and done well.  Plus, I'd love for the people I host sites for, to become able to manage their own content, rather than rely on me.  So I played around with several different cms's for a while, experimenting... I tried joomla, and liked it a lot... but the designing was not ever super easy, and some things took a long time to figure out.  Once I did, it sort of made sense... but it always seemed like I was trying to remember things like, ' do I need to go to section or category now?' or 'how many different modules do I need to make a stinkin menu!' etc.  Just was a much larger learning curve, and while I can see where it would be powerful... I just don't have the time, effort, and knowledge to make it work right.  I was closest with it though, and I'm still considering it for a couple of other projects maybe.
I tried others too, some too simple, not enough support, etc.  And I was going to try Drupal as well, but my age old hosting stopped me from that.  Something kept bringing me back to Wordpress though.

I use wp for everything... Honestly, if I buy a domain, I should just go ahead and install a version of wordpress!  In fact, I should probably look into MU so I can stop having to update 5-6 sites at a time.
So it was with little resistance that I looked into wordpress as a cms... there's a lot of articles out there about this.  And each one has different information, and a lot have the same.  The trick is figuring out what you need in your version, and then going out and making it work.  Try different plugins that do the same thing,  and don't be afraid to search for something that you don't think could possibly even exist!  Chances are, it does somewhere.  I know I was shocked a couple of times.  (It works the other way around too, as there was one thing that I couldn't believe no one created a plugin for... but I found a work around!)
So even though I had to fool with it quite a bit, and it's no where NEAR a normal blog site... it's functional, the friend likes it, I like it... and I had a lot less frustrating of a time building it, because it was based on a great system I'm more familiar with, etc.
Could I have used something else?  Sure... might it have worked better?  Maybe...  But it might have taken even longer to do because the learning curve would have been much higher.  With this method though, there's a huge community of people, striving to make wp be a wildly flexible platform... and I'll take that anyday.
It's also renewed my love for it... it's not like I ever didn't like it, but I just kind of forgot about it.  Now I'm thinking about it more and more again.  Coming up with ideas on how and where I can use it.  It's even got me posting on here again!
So don't dismiss a banana!  Just because it's normally your breakfast fruit of choice, don't forget there's lots of people putting it in ice cream with chocolate and strawberry toppings with whip cream on top and calling it a split.
Strange analogy, but think about it!  Take something good, add other things to it... makes the original thing better.

Next up...
Our little Lexi is growing up so fast!  I'll have to put a photo gallery up of her... she's without a doubt the most photogenic dog I've ever seen.  Anyone know how she could become a puppy model?  I think we've got the next Kathy Ireland on our hands here.
She's a great dog, and we're making it through all the tough puppy phases ok I guess.

Work is good...  Still trying to move forward with revamping the old studios, etc.  Quite a chore actually.  I like starting from scratch much better than clearing, cleaning and then building.

Family is good... Brooke is hanging in there.  There's issues, but she's tough.
Mom is almost done with her radiation treatment now, and hopefully we'll all be able to put this behind us.
Dad is dad... he's been really good with mom through this whole thing.  I know they're both ready to get back down to Florida, and I don't blame them... it'll be a nice vacation from this year.
And everyone else is hanging in there from what I can tell.

Friends are good...
They're all busy like everyone else, but they're good... For the most part.  Not going to air their dirty laundry on MY blog anyways... they've got their own to do that with... (Billie)

The holiday season is approaching quickly!  Thanksgiving is right around the corner... We're going to be hosting again in Paducah, and even adding a couple of guests!  Not only have we been working really hard with Lexi on her 'park it' command so she doesn't beg during the feast... but now we'll have an actual animal joining us at the table!  He's more of an ape actually... which is part human.  The original Tarzan himself!  My uncle John will be comin down to join the Kieffner's and Elrod's is a feast fit for the heavens!  Should be a fun gathering...

And Christmas should be just as fun.  We've got our tickets, and we're heading to New York!  White Plains to be exact... The family get together continues, only has a change of venue!  I'm not sure if we've ever had a Christmas there actually... If we did, I don't remember it.
B's never been though, so she'll enjoy the trip to the city.  I on the other hand have become fond of much smaller cities over the years... guess I got that from dad.  But, I'm sure I'll enjoy it... even if I act like I don't.

Well, it's Friday... almost 5.
You know what that means!!!

a weekend full of leaf collection................. fun

Thursday, August 6, 2009

27 and 1 down...

I'm writing this with a snoring dog behind me... yes, it's that one cute dog.  So forgive me for any errors I may make.

A more detailed update for all;
We got that cute boxer puppy you see below, over 3 weeks ago.  She's 10 weeks old, and a handful.  We named her Lexi Ali... Lexi for Lexington (UK!  Go cats!) and a little for my favorite syndicated radio show that I visited not that long ago in Dallas, 'Lex & Terry'.  (Yea, I know it should have been Lexy, not Lexi in that case... but the 'i' is cuter.)  And the Ali middle name is for Muhammad Ali, the 'greatest of all time', native of Louisville of course.
Her father, whom she resembles, is named Duke... but I just could not let us name a dog 'Lexi Duke'.  It just wasn't going to happen.  (If you bleed blue, then you understand what I'm saying.)
She's fun, and has quickly established herself as the newest family member, and the talk of the town.

Also had our one year not too long ago!  For the 'Paper' anniversary... we got each other paper concert tickets to Coldplay in St. Louis!  Very fun, and actually a great concert.  They really put on a good show, and it reminded me why I did like them... (Till Brooke started playing the crap out of their music all the time, and got a little burnt out.)  So I'm back now, enjoying their music again.

And lastly, I had another birthday this past weekend.  27 years old... just doesn't seem like I'm that old.  I still feel really young most days... till I pay a house payment, or something of that nature.
Didn't really do anything super special.  We ended up spending the weekend in Jasper, and even went to Holiday World on Saturday.  Word of advice... Holiday World WAS a good kept secret.  Now, I would not advise going on a weekend, because the secret must be out.  Don't get me wrong, it's still a fantastic value... but if I had to actually pay for those tickets to only ride a few rides and wait in lines all day instead, I'd be a little ticked.

Anyways... It's been a rough couple of days for me for some reason.  Decent cut over my eye, cut my thumb a little, fighting a sore throat, and to top it all off... I got stung by a red wasp today!

On a good note, our new contemporary service at church is starting soon... and I look forward to playing drums in a service again.  In fact, I will be going to Nashville soon to check out a couple of electronic kits that I've been researching just for the church and this new service.  I hope it goes well, as it should.

So I think that's going to do it for this post... I'm going to try and get some rest and recoup a little.
And now, the pooch has stopped snoring, and is dreaming of something...  I would assume her mom, because she's acting like she's feeding... Like we don't feed her enough or something.   So spoiled...  But still so cute.

Later!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lexi Ali!

In case you haven't heard... We got a new puppy a few weeks ago!
She is officially the cutest thing you've ever seen...

lexi-photos-012-resized

This is her during week 2 of being home.
More to come I'm sure...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Several cities... few days...

What an extremely long and tiring week this has been.  But it has been fun and interesting as well...  So while I wouldn't call these trips an actual 'vacation'.  I would say it was a vacation away from the ordinary.

Let's start at last Friday...  Brooke and I drove to Chicago for one of her cousin's weddings.  We had planned to take a train the day before... but that kind of fell through, so we just drove.  It was only about 5+ hours...
Overall, I can't say I was extremely impressed with the city.  Sure, it's neat to be in a city that big... I think it's probably 3rd biggest in the country, right?  And to see the towering skyline as you drive in... just spectacular.  But driving there was stressful!
And I'm not talking about direction wise... Mom and Dad returned the favor and bought us a GPS for an early b-day present.  That worked great, and I wouldn't take another trip without it!
But not only was there a million toll roads... every time you wanted to get off or on the interstate, you had to pay a toll!  Seriously... on the ramp!  It was just stupid expensive...  So after struggling to find 80 cents to get to our hotel that night, (After giving 20 cents to a begging bum earlier that day, not knowing we'd need it now) we decided we'd not go out much.

When we did get to Chicago though, we went to the Art Institute of Chicago museum.  This was very neat, and got to see a lot of things that we had studied about in college, but obviously never saw in person.  Some of the older original paintings were just breath taking.  And it's official... Claude Monet is my favorite artist... just edging out my uncle, Tate.
The strangest thing about this trip was not any of the modern art actually... It was when leaving an exhibit and hearing some one say my name.  Then turning to find a friend that I haven't seen since I left Jackson!  I would have paid money to see the expression on my face...
Mike Slater was visiting some friends of his in town and spotted me.  This is the guy that I lived literally a dry wall in between while in Jackson.  He even helped me move out!  And supposedly to this day, I'm still 'producer' on his show... Though the only thing I ever produced for him was a lack of extended dead air when he first started his show down there.  I would sit in my office which was a window away, listening to his show while he was on... and sometimes I would 'head' or 'hand gesture' to him about whatever he was talking about.  So he'd mention that his 'producer' Evan disagreed, or whatever it was.  So it just stuck... even when I left.
Great guy, and I'm glad I ran into him.  Strange thing is that I could have KNOWN he was in there, and been actively looking for him... but never found him in this place.  It's that big...

So the wedding was nice, party was fun... I danced more at this one than I probably did at my own!  Fun time had by all...
Got up the next morning with the intentions of going to the Field Museum.  After too big of a breakfast for B... it just didn't happen.  I know what it's like to feel crappy, and it's not like Chicago is that far away.  So we figured we'd just truck it back home instead.

A word about audio books... pretty fun.  It's all the good things about reading, only it's not as boring to me!  We listened to two different ones over our travels this week... and yes, they were both chick books.  But I still enjoyed them... sorta.

Yesterday we returned from Dallas.   Brooke hasn't flown since she was a kid, so when the idea of her going to a conference down there by her self came up... neither of us felt great about it.  Especially not her.
So with me tagging along, I kept her safe on the plane ride down from Nashville.  Then I was also her personal driver, luggage assistant, and dinner date for two days in the big D little a double l-a-s.  While she was at her chemistry workshop... I golfed, napped, and watched Wimbledon one day... and went to Clear Channel Dallas to meet and tour the studios of Lex and Terry,  (A morning show I got hooked on while in Chattanooga.) and wasted a lot of time in a mall the next day.
Obviously the highlight of the trip for me was getting to check out the station and meeting all the guys that I've been listening to for several years now.  Very cool... I know they're just regular guys like me in the business... but it's different there.  Market 5, awesome studios, syndication, etc.   Imagine meeting someone at the top of your profession, or a person you looked up to in the same business.  It'd be a little intimidating, and maybe a little star striking meeting them... right?
But it was cool... They were nice guys, Peter gave me the grand tour, and even introduced me to their chief engineer. (who I think MIGHT also be a reoccurring guest on the show called 'Genius'... still confirming that though)
Just the level of technical stuff there floors me... double and triple redundancy on anything and everything mission critical, state of the art equipment I wouldn't even dream about being able to afford here in Paducah.  Just amazing stuff on so many levels... very impressed with everything and enjoyed seeing how it's done in a top market.  They all sounded great...  Wish I had my Jeep down there so I could have checked out their HD-2 stations.
I also ate at a 'Whataburger' for the first time down there... awesome food.  Great burger, and even better fries...  Wish we had one here, though I know it would not be good for my waistline.

Anyways... traveled back last night to put an end on a lot of transit for a while hopefully.
Next and last wedding of the summer is coming up next weekend, though it's just in Murray thank goodness.

I'm so tired from all the traveling that I don't even know how to end this post!
so....

see ya!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I hate titles...

Seriously! I think deep down that's why I don't post more. Everytime I'm ready to post something, I wonder to myself... whoa, this is going to cover too much stuff for just one title! So I end up doing some stupid blanket title that has something to do with updates or whatever, and I go on about my life. I might just start using the date as a title... or date range maybe? Or maybe, as my good friend Billie suggested, I should just post more often so they don't have to be multiple topic updates! Yea right.
On with the post!

So we finally have finished new studios! We switched the last station over to the new building a week or so ago. Just glad to be done with it, and I know everyone is glad to be working in the new conditions. I know they're not the best, or the most cutting edge studios... but I'd like to think that they're some of the best in this area! I've got to take some photos once everything is cleaned up, looking good, and organized. When I do... I'll post them here, and maybe even put them on the radio bio page for future bragging rights! ;-)
Now we start tearing into the old stuff... dust bunnies, here we come!

On a mixed emotion note, that I really haven't told a lot of people about... We found out that my mom has breast cancer.
Yes, is a sad and worrying thing to say... But she's already had it removed and will start radiation soon. But the good news is that she caught it early. I guess the bad news is that the cells are prone to rapid reproduction.
As I told people that have found out and talked to me about it... We're just trying to be positive till there isn't anything to be positive about, and we're a long way away from that. But if you don't mind, say a quick prayer for her when you have some time. Never hurts...

Also still a little worried about the newest member of the family... Elisabeth (my cousin) had a baby boy not too long ago! But little Graham had/has high bilirubin numbers which is cause for concern. Although at last report, he has gained weight and is up to 10lbs, and being considered a "healthy baby." Which is fantastic news, but I'm sure they're going to keep a close eye on his early development. Again, never hurts if you've got some time.

Back to the happy stuff!
My best man Allen got married this past weekend! I was honored to be his best man as well. The wedding was beautiful, short and sweet. (the best kinds!) I'm sure they'll enjoy a life full of happiness together. Enjoy your honeymoon guys!

Trying to watch as much of the French as I can, though I can't say I'm watching as much as I want to. I guess now that Nadal is out, my pick is probably Fed... though I think he'll have a tough time with Del Potro, and might even go down. And I have been extremely impressed with this Soderling guy... if he gets by Gonzo, watch out... that'll be a goooooood match for the final!

Yes, I'm still on the golf kick, and can't get enough of it. Playing, watching, talking other people (mainly Brooke) into playing, etc. Actually bought her a set of clubs so we can play together! Might even take her dad to a par 3 up in Jasper this weekend! How fun would that be?
I don't know if it's a phase or not, but I don't understand why I didn't 'get' the sport in high school like I 'get it' now.
And yes it IS a sport... If I can be sore from it the next day, it's a sport... not a skill set.

Went to see the newest X-Men movie a while back. Not bad really... although, they really should have named it Team X since the movie was pretty much based on those characters. This movie also messed around with the timeline of the actual comics and didn't make things any better. But actually knowing a little about X-Men from being a kid of the 90's, I knew that this was going to be a lot like the other three movies, in that they were exactly that... Movies, based on the comic book characters, and not actually the comic books, etc. In fact, in this one I think they kind of combined characters into each other? Example... I don't know whether Logan's lady was Silver Fox or The White Queen? Judging by what I've found on the net, no one else does either!
Same goes for Wade who I think is Deadpool, but then is turned into Weapon XI?? so, that's got to be a combo.
At least they stayed pretty true to one of my favorite characters of all time, Gambit.
Overall though, I can't say I'm disappointed, but I wasn't blown away either. It was a good movie, and as a big fan of the movie series too, I can say I was satisfied for the most part. And when it comes out on disc, I'll get it. Look forward to another movie in between if they can fit it in before the first X-Men movie. (Timeline thing again... but let's face it, they'll just create another storyline that average fans like me will be completely satisfied with, even if they don't follow along with the comics at all)

Also saw Star Trek a while back on a dude date with Doug. The girls went to see Angels and Demons, and we went to enjoy a much better movie... I don't care what you say. It was better!
Honestly, I wasn't ever a HUGE Trek fan... but I did watch it on the couch a lot with dad when I was younger. So it was good that they stuck to those characters and not the next generation or anything like that. It was quite enjoyable, and I'd look forward to another if they made it in the same fashion too.

Oh, and the trip to Louisville for the Derby was a fun one. Everyone had a good time, and we look forward to getting up there again soon.
Also had a good visit with mom during her retirement tea. Although there was no actual tea, a good time was had for her, knowing she was done, and had a good impact on a lot of kids lives. We decided that tea actually stood for Taught Enough Already... And that she has.

Looking at the calendar for the next couple of months... if you're not booked with us, it's too late.
Though one wedding is out of the way, we've still got at least 2 more than we know of. One in KY, and another in Chicago. That will be interesting, as we decide if we can afford to go up early and sight see, etc. though we are at the least taking a train up there from Carbondale. So we'll get to do two things we've never done... ride for an extended period of time in a REAL train, and go to the windy city!
Also just found out that Brooke has a trip to Dallas for a educational workshop... There's a chance I might be going with her to that as well.
We're also both going to be music geeking out together as we teach a band camp come the end of July. Should be interesting since I haven't taught in a while. I'm sure I'll pick it right back up.
So as you can tell... the summer is just full, and jam packed, week in and week out.
I'll try to keep everyone up to date on here, but don't forget that I've joined the masses now and started "tweeting" on twitter. Not that I'm super committed to that either, but it's typically easier to write a quick little something on there than it is a long something here. I've stopped using Myspace enough now to feel pretty comfortable about deleting it. Same goes with last.fm, del.icio.us, my photo blog, and picasa unfortunately... sad day. I'm just pitiful to be honest... I don't keep up with anything as I should!
Have I ever told you I hate titles?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Louisville update (Late, as usual)

And so continues the trend of me only posting every month or two.
I suck... sorry.

Had a good Easter weekend in Jasper, and a little happier trip from Louisville.  Had a great visit with family in both cities, and really glad we got a chance to get up there.
Got to see a GREAT concert on 'Good Friday' night in Louisville.  One of my all time favorite bands was playing at the Palace theater. (neat venue)  Death Cab for Cutie!  Sounded great, and was extremely satisfied.  Even the first opening act was great!  I ended up buying their CD which is rare.  Ra Ra Riot, who I had never heard of before seeing them, really played well and had an interesting sound with the addition of a violinist and cellist.
Also before the concert, got to receive the latest Louisville Magazine from my uncle John.  And so becomes another yearly tradition... trying to find what photos of mine made it in!
This year was a very mixed bag.  I think this is the most photos I've ever had in the issues... but they're all celebrity shots except for one.  So I'm excited, and disappointed all at the same time.  And then I remember that I'm not a trained photographer, and I get excited again!  So I will try to improve my derby shots for this year, and maybe swing that trend in 10'

As always, I will show you the unedited versions, but you can always view the actual magazine online.
John has the cover this year, and I think it's an extremely neat photo too.

[caption id="attachment_300" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Actor Adrian Grenier"]Actor Adrian Grenier[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_301" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Big Brown, right before derby"]Big Brown, right before derby[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_303" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Heroes star Greg Grunberg"]Heroes star Greg Grunberg[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_304" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Poker player Rober Willianson III"]Poker player Rober Willianson III[/caption]

And three others that are shot vertically, and I'll have to rotate before I put on the site. :-)
But just in case I don't get to it, because I tend to do that... they were:

Former NFL star Warren Moon and his wife Mandy
Actress Bonnie Somerville
and daytime soap actress Mandy Bruno... Honestly, I thought the dude was famous, not her.

So you can see where I might kind of be feeling like a bad photographer not getting any really cool photos in this year.  But John has already said he's going to work with me before we go out this year, and hopefully that will help with my quality of shots.  But like every year, my favorite shots of course didn't make it!

So with this weekend being Derby... I look forward to another year of good times and being a "professional" shutter bug for the weekend.

Parents made it back from Florida, and are actually coming up to visit today.  In like, 5-10 minutes...

Other than that, things are going pretty good!  Brooke and I finally officially joined our church here.  Doing more landscaping work around the house, including growing grass in back yard!  Finishing up the new studios at work.  Last one will be next week... then to the old studios. :-(   Got new irons last week, and I still haven't played a round with them.  House is coming back together after the ice storm.  Got the gutters replaced yesterday finally.  Now if I can get that fascia nailed back in, I won't have to worry about those birds living in the attic!
You know... just the normal stuff.

Also, I've broke down.  I've been trying twitter for a little while now... it's kinda fun.  It's simple which is something I like... It's social without being super annoying yet like Facebook/Myspace/linkedin, etc.  And actual real celebrities use it.  One of my favorite twitters to read actually is John Mayer's.  Pretty funny guy...
I've also been hooked on Heros, which had the finale last night.  Pretty good...  Hated to see it end though.

Anyways... wish me luck this weekend.  I'll leave Thursday, maybe even in time to get up there for the parade.  Then after the yearly festivites, I'll be coming home to Russellville to celebrate Mom's retirement with a "Tea".  So congrats to her, even though she's already teaching again for a maturnaty leave.  Figures...

Have a good May I guess!
Out

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

First day of spring... everything starting to bloom and come back to life.
And most importantly...  Tourny time!  And even though UK isn't in the big dance this year... and My Racers didn't make it either...  My Tops did! And even though I didn't graduate from there, WKU will always hold a special place in my heart.  After all, I was with that team in New Orleans when they gave Florida a run for their money back in 01'.  So yea, they're still my team.  (And Georgia will never know how good of a coach Felton was)

Anyways... I love March Madness because it's the only thing that can get my heart pumping like I'm watching a horror flick or something.  Honestly, I was up last night watching Illinois chip away at Western's comfortable lead... and it looked like they might pull it off!  But thankfully, UK turned down Pettigrew (Ky's Mr. Basketball a couple years ago) and he sunk 2 free throws when they counted most.  ahhhh Go Tops!
Oh, and UK looked pretty good in the first round of the NIT against UNLV too the other night.

After the first day/night of the big dance... I have only missed one pick.  Though I'm sure that luck will change today.
But the three Ky teams are holding it down so far!  Moorehead, though an OVC rivial of the REAL MSU (Murray) won their first round... and they get to play overall number 1 Louisville!  So honestly, even though UK isn't in it... The state of Kentucky is well represented.
I am pulling for the Cards this year, as I think they've got a great team, and I still like Pitino a lot.  Best all around coach in college basketball if you ask me.  But really, I just love watching good basketball, and this is the most wonderful time of the year!  Even Tennis and some golf is starting back up!  What more could a person ask for?!

As every year... I'll post my bracket.  Sorry it took me till half the first round was done.  My bad.

Friday, March 13, 2009

just fantastic...

So most of you that still visit the site, probably know me pretty well, and already know about my grandfather.
The family and myself would like to thank you for your thoughts and prayers in this time of loss.
He will be greatly missed.

And to top it all off...
17 years down the drain

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ice Storm 09 (part 1)

Hey everyone...
Just wanted to let you all know that we're ok. If you've watched the news lately, or live anywhere near me, you know about the ice storm that came through a couple of weeks ago today.
We actually have power now, and the house is ok for the most part.

Here's a quick rundown
Monday January 26th... We brace.  Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel is actually in downtown Paducah, and telling everyone that this will be the storm of the century for us.  Everyone knows that this can't be good.  When the WX channel is in your town, you know it's about to get bad.   At work, we know pretty early it's going to get bad, so we had people work ahead as much as they could.  We all went home to try and get a good nights rest.   Here we go...

Tuesday January 27th... It's here, and starting to get bad.  By the afternoon, EVERYWHERE is out of power.  Running generators where we have them at work.  Brooke stuck at home calling me to tell me limbs and trees are coming down.  The ice is just cracking the tops of trees left and right.  By the end of the day, there's one tree on the roof at home, looking like it's ready to bust through the kitchen window, and limbs/branches down everywhere. treedoor

We stabilize everything at work as much as possible with our one good underpowered generator and the two other antique workhorses.  Brooke and I end up staying with Nikki and Doug for fear of the tree to come crashing though the sliding glass door.
Wednesday the 28th... I swing by the house to find another tree in the back has fallen on the house.  Doesn't look like a lot of damage, and they somehow are at rest.   We now turn our focus at work on keeping the generators running, because we know it's going to be a while until they get to the studio.  Disel fuel is at a premium because no gas stations have power to pump.  FEMA is coming, and the entire state is officially in emergency/disater mode.  AT&T cell phones are not working, luckily I have a Verizon work phone... but everyone else is out of touch too, so it's not like you can call a lot of people.  Basically just listening to a battery powered radio to get any kind of info on what's going on.  It's getting colder, and no power or sun for a day doesn't equal comfortable sleep.  So with that thought in our heads, we slide on back to the house where we can at least lay a couple of matresses down next to the fireplace and keep somewhat warm for the night.  Looks like we're in it for the long haul.

house1stday

From here on out the days start to mix together, and events start getting jumbled.
Things do eventually start to get better.  Cell phone service picks back up after a couple of days, and places start to get power within 48 hours.  So there's food, gas, and heat in select places.  Shelters being set up to help people in need in every county/city.  Things are starting to patch up at least.  Nikki and Doug ended up getting power 4 days afterwards, so we stayed with them for 3 more nights until we got power back on Wednesday afternoon. (Feb 4th)  We consider ourselves extremely lucky, because even today there are thousands in the area without power.   And even though life is no were near normal yet, atleast there is now light at the end of the tunnel.  Both trees are off the house, and the limbs and branches are picked up for the most part.  We were very lucky to only see slight damage done to the roof.  Several gutters will have to be replaced, and our fence is demolished.  (Not necessarily a bad thing with our fence) And our yard is pure mud from the equipment used to get the trees up off the house so they could cut them down.  Insurance will be coming out soon to look at the damage.  So I'll know more then about just how bad everything is.
Work is starting to get back on track as well.  We ended up having to get 2 replacment generators brought in by EOC, but now we have power at every site except one in Illinois.  (and it's a long way off)  The biggest damages were to tower sites actually... not because of trees, but because of the massive amounts of ice that broke free from the tower and come crashing down on our buildings.  The roof in Illinois is destroyed and even came through the building and hit the actual transmitter.    Again, we consider ourselves lucky here too because we stayed on to inform people of exactly what was going on outside their homes.  It's times like that, that make me remember why I love radio and why it's such a great community service to people.

I've spoken with several power crew workers both from here in Paducah as well as some from other states that have come to help.  And I'm hearing them compare the damage to trees and power lines as devastating as a large tornado, or Katrina.  We see the damage, but I haven't ventured out into the real rural areas where trees are everywhere and people are trapped in.  So I can only image the other destruction this storm has cause to make this a disaster area.  It's a strange site to look at these trees that used to tower over everything.  As a co-worker described it, there's not a tree over 50 foot anymore.  Like someone just came through with a buzz saw on a chopper and cut all the tops down.

If you take nothing away from this other than knowing our saftey... think about the people out in the rural areas that still don't have power, and won't see it for days, weeks, or even months in some extreme cases.   Power companies from everywhere have come in to help, and are doing the best they can.  The damage is just THAT extensive.  Kudos to all the workers who are putting in long hours to get everyone back to normal.

beyer