May 21st, 2006

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Powerless (Tornado, Part 3)

For most of us, it's fairly easy to thumb your nose at the weather. You're inside, nice and dry. The air is the temperature you want it to be, you have lights, you have the Internet, you have TV -- you have power. Life is good.

You have power. All that air sitting on top of you has more power, but as long as that power isn't focused in your direction, it's easy to forget just how unbalanced the equation actually is. It's easy to maintain the illusion that your power is greater.

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In the dark (Tornado, Part 4)

It was still raining like all get-out, but the wind had calmed enough that I felt safe making some quick supply ventures. First item of business: I knew I had a battery-powered lantern over by the Mac. I felt my way though to there and got it. Next: Into the bedroom to shut off the weather-radio alarm. Oh, yes, that was why I hadn't brought it into the bathroom with me: It had a battery backup (thus the alarm going off), but the power cord was permanently attached in back. I spent a few entertaining seconds working out which outlet behind what it was plugged into, then got it unplugged. I also grabbed the pocketwatch and checked the time: It was about 1 a.m. now.

Back in the bathroom with the loot, hanging the lantern from the shower-curtain rod. Listening to the weather radio, I remembered the second reason I hadn't brought it in with me: It wasn't telling me much new, just cycling through the voice-synthesized watches and warnings. (One of the few new items: That last alert had turned out to be a flash-flood warning.)

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