bunt sign

Sunday, October 22, 2000

Picture this: I'm sitting on the couch Saturday night, winding down after the longest game in World Series history, and the lights flicker, then die. Suddenly it's totally dark, and it seems quiet. Then I realize that the silence is an illusion. What I'm hearing is the proverbial dull roar. The wind is blowing so hard through the trees surrounding my house that it sounds like a train station.

The lights come back on, and I reset all the electronic clocks, on the VCR, the microwave, the answering machine. The computer reboots and warns me testily to shut it down properly next time, okay pal?

Just about as soon as I have all the clocks set, there's another shudder, but this time the power stays on. For about thirty seconds. Then it all goes off again, briefly. When the lights come back on this time, I wonder if I should even bother resetting the clocks, but after fifteen minutes it appears that all is well, so I do.

This scenario happens twice more before I learn my lesson.

Somehow it's gotten to be 3:30 in the morning when it all goes pitch black again. Since this has now been happening for a couple of hours, I decide to wait for the lights to come back. And I do. I wait and wait, until I come to the conclusion that I should find my flashlight and go to bed.

But I can't sleep. Can't watch TV, obviously. And the light from the flashlight is fading, so I'm not inclined to use it to try to read. After lying there for awhile, I doze off, but the wind is still roaring, and I'm awake again. I hear the windows rattling, and it sounds as if things are banging against them. I'm waiting for a limb to come through. I peek out on all sides of the house, but I can't see much. I can see the tops of the trees swaying violently.

After dozing for a while longer, I can't stand it. I grab the flashlight and find the phone book. The utility company has a toll-free number where you can report an outage. When I call the number, a recorded voice tells me my address and asks if it's correct. Yes, it is.

"PG&E is aware of your problem" --good-- "and is waiting for personnel who can trace the cause." Doesn't sound like much is going to happen at six o'clock on a Sunday morning, does it? "If you would like a wake-up call, press 1." No thanks, I'm already awake.

But I did sleep for a couple more hours, until I heard the fax machine turning itself on. Clock radio starts blinking "12:00". I lie around for an hour or so before getting up and setting all the clocks again. I open the drapes to survey the damage, but nothing stands out. I breathe a sigh of relief. It's the only deep breath I take all day, as the wind continues to blow. My eyes are burning and my head seems to weigh ten or twelve extra pounds.

This afternoon I took a walk around the grounds to survey the damage. I found little to justify my manic vigilance of last night. Despite the roar, only a few limbs were separated from trees. The hollyhocks at the corner of the house, upright yesterday, are now parallel to the ground (below left).

fallen hollyhocksa branch on the doghouse

One small branch was resting on top of a structure I call the dog house (because that's what it looks like). It's in my backyard, along the fence that separates me from the barn next door.

On the left below, you can see just a few of the trees that surround my house.

home in the woodsroaring trees

The trees on the right are on the vacant lot that lies between my house and the two surrounding roads. These are the main source of the mighty roar that I heard as the wind blew so forcefully last night, and they continued to roar off and on today.

The wind is blowing hard again tonight, and I have no idea what Monday morning will bring.

World Series Notes: Roger Clemens is a little high strung, isn't he? If you accept his explanation, he didn't know Mike Piazza was running out the foul ball, but he fielded the barrel of the bat because he thought it was the ball. With the same fury that helps make him such an intimidating pitcher, he chucked the bat angrily toward foul territory.

The bat came dangerously close to hitting Piazza, and that was enough to raise emotions in both dugouts. Here's one reason I shouldn't be a manager: I would have ordered my pitcher to throw inside (or behind) the Yankees' leadoff hitter in the bottom of the first. That would have been the wrong thing to do, but it's what I was thinking at the time.

The Yankees took advantage of gifts from the Mets, in the form of walks and errors, and gifts from the baseball fates, with balls falling in just out of reach at just the right time. And they had just enough of a lead to withstand the Mets' rally in the ninth.

They should have confidence going into game three, with Orlando Hernandez pitching, because Hernandez has never lost in postseason play. But he won the ALCS finale despite giving up six runs in seven innings. That, plus the three runs surrendered by the untouchable Mariano Rivera tonight, makes the Yankee pitching look vulnerable.

previousbunt signemailnext

Latest recommendations:

Michael knows how to tell a story.

Willa's Halloween Weblog


Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.
Subscribe to the list to be notified of updates.