So What Happened In Your Neighborhood This Weekend?

Before you go scouring my Flickr stream for photos of this weekend’s destruction — don’t. I chose not to take any. Plenty of people have uploaded great photos, just go to Flickr and search for “Atlanta + tornado”.

Read Along With Me
Today’s passage from Notes To Myself.

It is equally as useless for me to be disgruntled about having had the thought I just had as it is for me to criticize myself for something I did last year. Okay, that is what I just thought — now this us what I am thinking.

To all who have helped me — Thanks.

Damn The Torpedoes Tornadoes
Friday night’s tornado which ripped through downtown Atlanta on its way to Cabbagetown and East Atlanta completely altered my weekend. Luckily my house was relatively unscathed. I live in one of the cities worst power grid. I lose power whenever a squirrel walks the wrong way across a wire, but from what I saw on Saturday I completely understood why I didn’t have power restored until about 11:15pm Saturday evening.

Oh Hail No, Times Two
With the power out on Saturday I started reading “The Making Of A Chef” (ironically as I noshed on Triscuits and Cheez-Wiz), and later napped. Around 3:30pm I awoke and decided that I shouldn’t let the weekend’s situation get me down and that I should go out for my scheduled five-mile run.

The weather was warmer than I expected it would be and the sun even seemed to be breaking through the clouds. I started the run in my new(ish) sneakers then the sunshine was replaced with drizzling rain. Since I had already started sweating and was committed to running I made a decision to push on. At the two-mile mark the rain increased and I followed with an increased pace; I was now drenched. In the next half-mile I detected small hail and then increasingly larger hail. Because I knew that I couldn’t make it to Tony’s (Niplets) house in order to get out of the hail I quickly headed for a porch of a stranger’s house in Grant Park (who thankfully was either not home or didn’t see me out there) and waited out the hail. With the sun returning I started up my run again, struggling due to the energy spent elevating my speed earlier. I made it to Glenwood Park when I had the correct premonition that hail was going to hit again. This time I found a breezeway and waited out the hail as the wind blew through the breezeway making me cold. When the sun returned again I hightailed with all I had back to the house. I have no idea how long it took me to complete the run and I frankly did not care.

I’ve now run training runs in sub-freezing temperatures, darkness, windy conditions, traffic, rain, and hail. I’ve also all-but-given-up photography time, as well as canceling routine plans such as some hashing in order to train. This better be one damn good half-marathon in a few weeks.

ITP Flickr Pic
Because I was without power for over twenty-four hours I had to turn to “alternative” sources of entertainment.

Weekend Companions

What you see to the far left is soon (or so they say) is to become a dinosaur — it’s a battery powered, analog television. Once analog signals are turned off next year it will become obsolete.

Will ATL Be Ready For ING?
It dawned on me as I headed out for my eleven-mile training run on Sunday that the ING Half/Full Marathon is a mere two weeks away. It also dawned on me that the start and end of the race is Centennial Park, arguably one of the hardest hit areas by the tornado. With windows sucked out of buildings and damage in and around the start/end area I wonder if Atlanta will be ready for the race. Of course I also wonder if I’ll be ready, but that’s another story…

Like A Magician I Turned An Eleven-Mile Run Into An Eight-Mile Run
Cleverly I constructed my eleven-mile run using two of my regular routes, a six-mile route which takes me around Grant Park, and a five-mile route, which takes me through East Atlanta Village. This decision was made in part because I had yet to replace the bladder in my (imitation) CamelBak so I needed two water bottles in its place.

I headed out at a moderate pace and was not doing too poorly, although I wasn’t setting any land-speed records either. Toward the end of the six-mile loop I felt fortunate that I was near the house because a pit-stop was in order. I contemplated not going out for the remaining five miles, but didn’t want to be a quitter.

The other reason I wanted to complete the eleven miles I had scheduled was that the EAV loop was to take me through some of the hardest hit sections of East Atlanta. The path of the tornado was fairly evident and as I covered the first mile I saw no fewer than eight large trees downed. Around the seven-mile mark I started to experience gastro-intestinal difficulties, and a half-mile later was forced to make a tough decision — cut the route short. I walked back to my house through even more tornado-torn sections of East Atlanta, and barely made it back to the house before internal mayhem ensued.

The last leg of the run proved to be disappointing, but it also taught me how lucky I was that the storm did not come even a quarter-mile south of its path, because had it done so I don’t know what would have happened to my house.

I’ve Had It Up To Here With Online “Security” Questions
On Friday I tried to log on to my State Farm account to pay my homeowner’s insurance. I entered my user name and password and then was presented with three “security” questions. In order to access my account I had to answer each question correctly. The problem I had is that I can’t recall ever supplying answers to these initially, so even though I answered the questions correctly I was denied access to my account.

Of course I then tried to call customer service to get some technical help and was told that the wait was more then ten minutes. I promptly hung up the phone.

I am really tired of this false security. These open-ended questions are hard to answer correctly online, especially if the answer is case sensitive, and answering three correctly is nearly impossible. I could use some crazy scheme to answering them like typing in the last word of the sentence, but then I have to remember what scheme I use for each website. Enough already!

UPDATE: If you call companies like State Farm don’t tell them that their policy is “fucking stupid” because the voice on the other end of the phone might threaten to end the call if you don’t stop using such harsh language. 😉

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal…
Current Mood – okay
Current Music – listening to the “Sound Opinions” podcast
Website Of The Day – Damn! It’s St. Patrick’s Day and I forgot to wear green. 🙁 Go find out all about this holiday at St. Patrick’s Day.
Exercise (b)Log – Saturday: running (disjointed) 5 miles; Sunday: running 8 miles
Monthly Foot Mileage – 59 miles
Monthly Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Monday Morning Weigh-In – 196 pounds
Mode Of Transportation To Work – My car
Monthly Marta Rides – 0

March Goals
1) Run no fewer than 75 miles
2) Ride Marta no fewer than ten times (five round-trips)
3) Read at least one book

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

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8 Responses to So What Happened In Your Neighborhood This Weekend?

  1. Martha says:

    You’re a better man than me…I didn’t run at all this weekend.

    I was too freaked out by the weather and feeling a little rough from Friday to make much of an attempt on Saturday (I’ve been caught out in a hail storm before and once is enough). Instead I took the bike out, checked on folks and took some pictures.

    Glad your power is back, but the boys were excited about the possibility of spending time with Uncle Paulie…

  2. Stacy says:

    A) I’m glad you and your home and belongings are OK! I read where Martha had posted on the forum about you being powerless; I’m glad that’s no longer the case!

    B) Mmmm Cheez-Wiz! Not real cheese, but I really don’t care. It’s Cheez-Wizzy goodness.

    C) I am stick to death of those security questions, too: I hear ya there. I have a pretty good guess why your wait was so long though (what with all sorts of insurance claims happenin’ that day I’m sure).

    On that same note, it annoys the crap out of me when I have to log in to comment on folks’ blogs. I always forget whatever password I used to set up whatever account that allows me to do it. I tend to just skip commenting then.

    I like that I don’t have to on yours. 🙂

    D) Honestly, your training is just now starting to scare me!

  3. Thanks. I was glad to at least have the internets via cellphone even if I couldn’t do all of my normal activities. Martha, with the exception of a short outing to go to a baby shower on Saturday night I decided to stay home and be at the homestead. Besides, I go a lot of cleaning done on Saturday — the storm produced something useful at least. 🙂

    My training is starting to scare me. 🙂 Yesterday’s emergency was quite unpleasant, nevermind all of that tornado activity.

    What’s funny is that the security question fiasco was on Friday. I wrote that part on Friday with the update this morning. I was so scared that if I went to pay today that I’d get a message… “We’re sorry but due to recent activities in your area we are going to have to recalculate your insurance…”

    Stacy, I’m with you against logging in to comment. If I have to create an account, especially on a “personal” blog, I ain’t commenting.

  4. Dave C. says:

    Glad your house came out of it ok as well. Looks like most of the big stuff in the roads has been cleared.

  5. Barb says:

    I try to pick the simplest security questions, ones I can’t screw up. But sometimes it still doesn’t work. I’ve never tried to pay State Farm on line, but it is only my car insurance. My homeowners is paid thru the escrow account, so I don’t have to deal with it.

  6. Thanks Dave. I forgot to mention the EAVers who went out yesterday and did all sorts of cleanup out of the goodness of their hearts. I was a slacker and didn’t go out because of my scheduled training run.

    Barb, I always figured that answering with true answers was the best idea. I must have chosen these questions, but I do not remember doing so.

  7. Dave T says:

    Glad to hear you are OK after the storm. Good Luck with the half marathon.

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