September 18, 2003
Hurricane Blog I

Not having a lot else to say at the moment, I'll post comments on the weather here in Paradise, just west of Baltimore.* So far so good, though the worst (3-5 inches of rain and 50 mph winds) is supposed come after midnight, peaking around 4:00 or 5:00 AM. The morning was cloudy, quite windy, and pleasantly cool, but dry, and I finished moving most of my stuff into my new apartment. (No school today!) Around 1:00 or so a light but steady rain started, and it has continued since without any apparent increase in intensity. The wind seems, if anything, less than it was before the rain started. In other words, no big deal, but the day is not yet over. This is my first apartment with a garage -- located under the house facing a treeless alley -- so my car is quite safe. If I can find the cable that downloads pictures from my digital camera, I'll post a picture of my front yard, showing why I did not park out front: a thick-rooted and apparently healthy but rather slanted and very large tree looming over one of my neighbors' subcompact. Now all I need is to find which of 100+ boxes contains my flashlight, in case the power goes out.

Riddle: Speaking of flashlights, which prominent left-wing blogger just bought not one, not two, not three, but "four or five" of them for his family? That seems a bit excessive. They're in very short supply in the hurricane area, so it looks as if three or four other families will have to go without any flashlight at all because their patriarchs were too short-sighted or short-funded to buy them before Anonymous got there. When lefties allege that the reason some must do without is because others have too much, they're usually full of baloney, but in this case it seems to be literally true.

Hint: This particular blogger has been known to argue that Communism was really not so bad, and right-wingers shouldn't go on about its horrors. I wonder whether he includes shooting 'hoarders' of food and other necessities among the not-so-serious crimes of Communism.

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*Some of the more literal-minded classical scholars have tried to pin down Odysseus' adventures on a map of the real world. My favorite argued that Aeolus' island is Madeira and Circe's Iceland: since Circe's seems to be quite warm and well-furnished with vegetation, she must have lived near one of Iceland's volcanic hot springs. Best of all, the scholar places the entrance to the Underworld on the west coast of Scotland, near modern Glasgow.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at September 18, 2003 04:32 PM

writing here from west of Paradise, I'll mention that Tim Severin, who's made a career of analyzing and retracing legendary voyages, had a fairly plausible look at Odysseus' voyage.

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) on September 18, 2003 05:17 PM

Actually, he said he had four or five flashlights. He didn't say how many he bought, if any. So someone intent on assuming the worst could reasonably accuse you of lying.

Posted by: WrongAgain on September 18, 2003 06:37 PM

The anonymous coward hiding behind the name 'WrongAgain' is a bald-faced liar. Here is what the blogger wrote:

The Safeway was mobbed tonight. Most of the bottled water was gone. C and D batteries. We got four or five flashlights, ready to go. Candles. Boom box radio with batteries. My daughter insisted on getting batteries for her little flashlight, which has a frog floating in the handle. That will be invaluable when the twister hits. My wife demanded I buy some duct tape. She may have her disasters confused.

This could have been expressed a lot more clearly, but the author did not say that he "had four or five flashlights", he said that he "got" them. If the author were Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel, that could be colloquial English for "already possess", but the rest of the passage is not particularly colloquial, and "getting" two sentences later clearly refers to buying rather than having. So either he bought four or five flashlights yesterday or he wrote the passage so spectacularly ineptly as to imply to any reasonable reader that he did so, in which case it's hardly my fault if I misread it. Even someone "intent on assuming the worst" about me could claim no more than that I misread an ambiguous sentence and assumed it was written by someone more than halfway literate. (Using complete sentences always helps if you want your readers to know what you mean.) Even if we assume the best about our ugly little troll, his claim that the verb was "had" is a blatant lie.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil on September 18, 2003 07:30 PM

Besides, he's just been talking about visiting Safeway, yes? Context alone suggests that he's running down a list of purchases.

Posted by: Michelle Dulak on September 19, 2003 01:08 PM

"Best of all, the scholar places the entrance to the Underworld on the west coast of Scotland, near modern Glasgow."

He's not far off there, I can tell you...

Posted by: C.Bloggerfeller on September 20, 2003 03:59 AM

What crap, every one who has been to Scotland knows that the entrance to the underworld is Edinborough. What a hole.

Posted by: Robin Roberts on September 20, 2003 11:12 PM

Wrong again:

Are you implying that he STOLE them, since you insist that he didn't buy them?

Posted by: timekeeper on September 22, 2003 07:41 AM