Saturday, December 15, 2007

Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk & Squawking the Squawk

Earlier tonight I had the TV tuned in to a soft rock music station with the volume turned down low ... my eyes were closed ... my head was empty of thought ... just relaxing.

SQUAAAAAWK! I nearly jumped out of my skin!

"This has been a random test of the Emergency Broadcasting System. If this had been an actual emergency ..."

Had I any heavy object close at hand, there would have been an actual emergency. Any thing in my line of fire, television screen not withstanding, there would have been some damage to something. Luckily the remote wasn't in my lap. Its mute button is absolutely useless when that public service message is aired.

I have had enough emergencies over the past week, and at that particular moment I certainly didn't need their friggin' test! The emergencies of which I speak, however, were weather related. For the second time this week our region is under a severe weather watch and emergency parking advisories were in effect.

(Now that I was wide awake, I noticed that the program I had been recording on my DVR was over. I had been recording one station while tuning in to one of the music channels. My plan was to watch the recorded show later that evening. I decided that I might as well watch it earlier, why wait? I readied it to play and thought I'd try to first come on line and put up a post on my blog.)

Let's see, on Tuesday we were advised of a fast approaching storm. That storm was forecast to hit after the rush hour traffic on Wednesday and was projected to drop 2 to 6 inches of snow before turning to rain after midnight. In reviewing the scorecard for the local meteorologists, the storm hit us at 1:00 PM and at times dumped snow at a rate of between 2 and 3 inches an hour.

At 1:30 I noticed that driving conditions were becoming hazardous and decided to head home. Although I was only a mere drive of fifteen minutes from my house under normal conditions, it was 3:45 when I finally pulled into our driveway - two hours and fifteen minutes to drive five miles!

Before it turned dark I gassed up the snow blower and crossed my fingers it would start without too much effort. By that time we had already amassed about 6 inches. In just under an hour I had the driveway and the sidewalk cleared. So on Wednesday night I went to bed just after midnight. It was still snowing. Since the weather man had said it would turn to rain, I went to sleep thinking the worst thing I would wake up to was a coating of ice.

(Oh ye of too much faith!) Thursday morning I awoke to - 12 inches of snow crusted with a layer of ice. Thanks to another six inches during the wee hours and the snow plows "impeccable" work, I had my work cut out for me. The end of the driveway was blocked with a three-foot high, ten-foot wide mountainous ridge of snow and ice.

It would be 12:30 before I finally left the house for work, versus the usual 9:30 start. Driving conditions weren't too bad, but finding parkings spaces was the real challenge. Not many driveways were clear. Most streets were narrowed to half because of cars still buried where they'd been parked the night before.

By the time I completed the remainder of the week's schedule, I was left with five clients, four from Wednesday and one from Thursday, that had to be made up today, Saturday. The day went okay without a hitch and i was home by 5 o'clock PM.

That brings us back to where this post opened, me in my recliner tuned to a music channel. It was a long Saturday capping off a long week. Now that I have something posted, I'm off to watch ( Can you believe it?) a special about the melting polar ice cap and the vanishing environment of an endangered species, the polar bear. After that, I'll watch the movie I recorded.


BLOG EDIT (Sunday,12/16/07, 8:30 AM) What the hell am I doing up at 8:30 on a Sunday morning anyway? I think my wife thinks I don't deserve to sleep in after last night.

(This post originally ended with the last sentence before the blue post number. It was at that point that I was going to retire to my Lazy Boy to watch the program I was recording before I was rudely interrupted.)

So there I was at about 10:30 PM Saturday night settled in watching one of my favorite funny movies of all time, The Party (starring Peter Sellers). About halfway through I had to answer that certain "call of the wild." My wife was asleep so I quietly crept to the bathroom to take care of business.

When ... SQUAAAAAWK! All hell broke loose! The dogs were barking! My wife was yelling! I was "washing" the inside of the toilet seat and lid! "This has been a random test of the Emergency Broadcasting System. If this had been an actual emergency ..."

Yep, that "test" had also been broadcast on the station where I was recording the movie. Naturally it was blaring at about three times the decibel level of the movie.

I snapped the disc in half. (I guess if I want a copy of that movie bad enough, I'd better fork over the bucks and buy a copy.)
This is the end of an emergency edit to this blog about the Emergency Broadcasting System that almost created an emergency last night.

1 comment:

Jack K. said...


This is NOT a test of the Emergency Broadcasting System.

Thanks for reminding me about such alerts and taping shows.

Hope the weather gets better up your way.