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Our local Republican HQ

They must love their neighbors…

Jefferson County Republican Party

Posted in Madison

I just can't add the sheep to our collection...

We have some cool patrons who donate DVDs to the library.

For the most part, I add them to our video collection or use them as backup disks for that inevitable moment when our current copy gets scratched into binary oblivion.

But here’s one I received last week…

On the back cover of the DVD case, there’s a photo of this sweet-looking fluffy white sheep with a bloody, dismembered foot in his mouth. The teaser states “There are 40 million sheep in New Zealand… and they’re pissed off!”

I really dislike horror flicks, but for some demented reason, this made me laugh out loud. I guess the sheer chutzpah of making horror funny is funny in and of itself. (Yes, pun intended).

The movie is called Black Sheep and, for a B-movie-slasher flick, it’s received decent reviews. In a nutshell, geneticly-altered zombie sheep go on the rampage and the sheep-phobic protagonist is stuck in the middle of the carnage— all this with a sick sense of humor.

Horror is definitely a shortcoming in our library’s video collection, but when I flipped the case over and saw a sheep try to take a bite off someone’s head…

Well, of course… it was the “unrated” version. Definitely no go.

What the heck could make a horror movie “unrated” and who could possibly want to watch or film something so gory that it couldn’t pull an R-rating?

Oh well. Again, I just don’t get horror, but at least for a moment it had me laughing.

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Doesn't anyone believe in giving thanks?

Darlene’s been hearing stories of the poor electric line workers getting harassed so she put a poster up on our boarded-up window saying “Thank You Duke Electric Workers!” in hopes of giving them a little cheer.

We have no idea if any Duke workers actually saw the sign, but they’ve certainly been working like fiends trying to get everyone back up and running.

Meanwhile, people passing by were reading the sign. Darlene said she’d hear an occasional “that’s nice” or grumbling sarcastic comments (they probably didn’t have electric yet).

All that was expected.

However, one person read the sign then poked her head in and asked, “What happened did they break your window?”

Wow… have we become that cynical?

We’re supposed to get our broken storefront window replaced on Wednesday or Thursday.

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Waiting for the adjuster

Darlene’s getting impatient waiting for the insurance adjuster to show up so we can proceed with permanent repairs. So I called the adjuster’s company this morning to double check on the process. Their answer? Even though the insurance company told me Tuesday they were referring us to the adjuster… the adjuster does not have our claim on its records.

We’re just going to go ahead with the window repairs and hope they cover it. If not… oh well. With the damage so wide spread, I’m not really surprised we haven’t seen the adjuster, but I thought we’d at least be on the list. Go figure…

We have about half the estimates and we’re already looking at a few thousand in repairs. If this all had happened in any other fashion — say a drunk from the bar down the street being thrown through our window (it’s happened in this town) — I’d have stressed up a storm. With this, all I can do is shrug my shoulders. It’s just not a big deal compared to everyone else. I’m stunned over how many of my friends, coworkers and patrons have had serious damage to their homes.

My coworker who had a tree fall on their brand new-built home had a sense of humor about it. She showed me pictures of their cat hanging out from the now exposed attic rafters. “Boy you guys should have done this in the first place,” she said putting words into their cat’s mouth. The next photo, of course, was of their son climbing on the fallen tree. Boys… trees… what can you say.

Then there are the folks who still don’t have power— one family only lives three blocks down the street from us and they’re still out. The apartments across the street from their house had power. I asked them a couple nights ago if they were jealous having power so close yet so far. “No, they were pretty rowdy last night when they didn’t have power. so I’m glad they got it first.” That night they had a small bon-fire in their back yard with wood they helped up up in the neighborhood.

For us, this week’s been more cleanup. For the glass company to replace the window we had to dispose of the broken glass and clear the area around the window. Some prior owner had built display area in front of the window so I had to wrench it apart (it was a cheesy thing made of 2×4s. It was satisfying to take a hammer to it).

The process of getting all the broken glass out of the window was challenging. I now have a bit of empathy for my dentist when he couldn’t get my stupid wisdom tooth out of my jaw a couple years ago.

Finally I took more than a dozen boxes of broken coping tile, glass and a fridge and freezer full of food to the dump.

The last few days I’ve heard from a lot patrons at the library about being without power and having trees on their homes. I could obviously tell there was some definite stress, but oddly what made people the most growly was having to throw away a fridge and freezer full of food.

Tossing those bags… yep, that was the worst of it. Maybe having a freezer full of food is like a security blanket.

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We've been Ike-d

Madison got hit hard (by our standards) by the remnants of Hurrican Ike as it came up through the Midwest. Weird storm. As best as I can tell, the area north and west of the former eye got rain and the areas south and east got hurricane force gusts.

We had the library open for a couple hours. Power kept going on and off, but we stayed open until the power gave up the ghost at 2:30. I came home and we could literally feel our building shake in the wind.

More than a million customers lost power in the region. 650,000+ in Cincinnati, 275,000 in Louisville and 150,000+ in southern Indiana and thousands just beyond the Ohio Valley (Lexington and Indy). I read the number was more than 15,000 just here in Madison.

After the hours of winds finally passed, but before we realized we were under a category 1 state of emergency, we went out to take photos of property owned by our out-of-town friend’s.

Here are some of the photos we took of damage around downtown Madison.

Most of the damage was roofs peeling off and trees hitting homes. Pretty ugly for us (though obviously nothing compared to what the coasts experience in hurricanes).

Here’s the article from the Madison Courier on the storm

The last 10 or so photos in the set are of our property. We lost about a third of our roof shingles. The parapet wall cap on our warehouse came down in a shower of tile — we are SO glad no one got hit by them. Darlene’s Mudcat Pottery sign came down and slammed into and shattered one of the front windows.

Darlene was in the back of the building when it happened. She peeked out and saw the sign was hanging to the guywires and bopping into the building. With help of passing strangers, they managed to hold onto the sign in gale winds until and our neighbor (the sign creator) came to help take it down. The whole time they were being peppered with debris flying down the street.

If I had done something like that, I think Darlene (who ushers us into the basement at every tornado warning) would have yelled at me for being out in a storm. Nonetheless, she easily saved a good chunk of our store front. (I missed it all as I was still at the library. I was floored when she called to tell me).

It’s bizarre. Because we’re right in the middle of the business district, we were in the first group of people to regain power. We lost power at 1:30pm yesterday and came back on at 10:30am today. At first I was giddy, but now I actually feel guilty for having power because some people in our county won’t get power until the end of the week.

Nonetheless I’m feeling blessed. A neighbor of a friend had a tree fall on their house and they didn’t have insurance. The wife has MS and the husband works at an office shop, they just couldn’t afford it. To add insult and injury to injury, they were walking home down Main Street during the storm when a 5lb. bucket of roofing glue blew off a room. The bucket itself missed them, but the glue did not.

I equally feeling blessed because I just looked at our policy and we have a $500 deductible. No wonder our insurance costs so much. (I didn’t know, Darlene worked out the policy and even she couldn’t remember what she ordered).

I’m now glad for the low deductible because we got our first estimate— the roofing repairs alone will cost $2,400. We don’t have estimates for the glass or sign work yet. I checked with our local brick place and he’d never even seen parapet cap tile (apparently called coping) and had no idea where to find any let alone getting an estimate. I’m going to send a photo of the coping to the state historic preservation organization to see if they’ve seen a supplier anywhere.

We’re not expecting rain any day soon, but a friend who does contracting work brought around the roofing company he works with to put a tarp up on our roof.

This evening we’re just cleaning. Darlene cleaned up the studio and found glass everywhere. We were stupid and left our kitchen window open and there’s stuff everywhere.

Nonetheless, I’m feeling really blessed right now.

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Our library's Christmas party...

I just came back from our library’s annual Christmas party. Of course we do the Secret Santa thing.

Our staff always exchanges fun stuff because they’re all creative and many share handmade gifts. Actually, I was probably the worst gift giver of the bunch. I did my shopping two hours before the dinner (but hey, at least I did do my own shopping).

Either way when I opened my gift I laughed my head off. I told everyone what I received but no one got it. Of course they wouldn’t — it was the ultimate geek gift.

It was a geek gift because our network/hardware guru got my name. Andre’s great to work with because he knows everything I don’t so we usually manage some serious damage as a result. But he gets brownie points for thoughtfulness.

So what is this awesome geek gift — an original Bondi Blue 233ghz G3 Apple iMac. It’s a landmark computer that changed how computers were sold. From the moment Apple introduced the computer design mattered. Arguably, it’s the computer that saved Apple Inc.

But what had me laughing so hard? He had installed Debian Linux on the puppy!

Admittedly, that almost an inside joke. I’m doing a presentation on open source software in April and now I have my very own Linux box to play with. It’ll be a blast to see what I can manage to do with this old computer.

Posted in Life

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