The USS Alabama is a BIG boat! It’s a bazillion levels tall (I looked it up) with lots of stairs. No, really – LOTS. OF. STAIRS. And narrow hallways and little cramped rooms.
There are three levels below deck, and at least eight levels above deck. I started with the bottom levels and then went to the upper levels, looking in each of the many little rooms. Normally, I can withstand small spaces and large crowds for short periods of time without any effects whatsoever, but I stopped after the fifth upper level because I was starting to get too claustrophobic and agoraphobic – I can only stay so long in small spaces and crowded places before my skin starts crawling and my anxiety level goes through the roof.
And people lived in these cramped quarters for years. I would’ve jumped ship.
The USS Alabama – too big to fit in the picture frame.
Bugzilla’s relative, made an appearance a few weeks ago, but quickly darted to safety behind a drawer. I’ve been cautiously opening drawers ever since. Until today.
Bug Killer Rating (BKR) reaches a new low.
Bug Killer Rating (BKR) definition: The BKR is assessed on a scale of 1 to 10, similarly to the PSR (Primitive Survival Rating) from Naked and Afraid. (Do I actually watch that cheezy show? I don’t know. Maybe. Sometimes. I’m not saying any more. Stop asking me questions.)
A few years ago, after she chattered to Bugzilla as if inviting it to play, I thought Checkers was of little help when it came to bug killing. She was given a BKR of 1.5 because, after about ten years of training, she would occasionally chase, slowly torture, and then eat a very small bug. But mostly she’d just pester them until they died.
However, I have reassessed her BKR, essentially doubling it, from a 1.5 to a 3. Why was Checker’s BKR raised when she’s not even here anymore? Because Pye lowered the bar… But, wait! There’s more…
The river I’m parked on rose to over 40 feet in some areas – 9 feet over flood stage. Many RVers in other parks were evacuated. We were lucky here, no one had to relocate. But a few of us, myself included, were given the suggestion to “pack up and be ready to move, just in case.”
Unlike my usual “panic like a lemming” mode, I didn’t sit inside waiting for the water to rise. Instead, I went out and took a bunch of flood pictures from the water’s edge. For you, my dear Kernutties, for you I braved Mother Nature’s destruction, risking life and limb, to get y’all some photos. You’re welcome.
Before you say, “Hey, wait a minute. Your photos usually stink”, you should know these came out pretty good. (I know, I’m shocked, too.)
I’m going to let all you City Slickers in on a little secret. Unlike the natural disasters I witnessed when I lived in a big city, I had free access to all areas of this one. No one stood guard. No areas were blocked off. In northern California the authorities would have had all areas cordoned off, guarded by officers with a nasty demeanor, at the ready to shoo you away like a pesky fly.
Yet another thing I like about small towns; they just don’t seem to panic. But maybe it’s just Texans.
As you will see in the better-than-usual photos, it was a lovely sunny day when the water rose. Believe it or not, it didn’t rain all that much here, but it did rain a lot upstream a couple days before. So much so, the dams up river had to let out water. This means flooding to areas like my little ol’ cow/chicken/oil town. The good news is we all get a day or two advance notice of the impending doom.
Without further ado… The Flood Photos
All I had to do in this small cow/chicken/oil town was shove some fellow looky-loos out of the way so I could get this shot. For you, dear Kernutties, for you.
I know how much you all love my poetry, since Train and Tumbleweed got such rave reviews… (<—dripping with sarcasm), so I wrote another poem for you. This is what happened the other night to my neighbor’s awning during another huge storm in Texas.
Ode To An Awning
A fine product by Dometic,
All shiny and new,
It blocked out the sun,
Providing shade for a few.
Holding twinkling lights
And wind chimes by the ton,
It was a silent witness
To all sorts of RV fun.
One stormy night while doing its best,
My neighbor arrived home only to see,
His awning lay in a crumpled mess.
Mother Nature won against the Dometic A&E.
Twisted metal and canvas covered the side of his rig,
His poor dog trapped inside had started to wig.
What’s left of the Dometic A&E. Do you think you could cut straighter in a thunder storm? I don’t think so.
‘Too Cold To Snow.’ I heard that phrase for the first time just before I left for the Frozen Tundra. (no, this is not about football – it’s about snow and ice)
I now know there must be such a thing as too cold to snow because yesterday I landed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, aka ‘The Frozen Tundra’, and am experiencing bone-chilling cold as I’ve never known.
Here are some pictures taken before I knew better than to stand outside.
The Frozen Tundra, aka South Dakota.
Ok, ok, so I took the photos from inside the rental car. It was still really cold out.
The temperature last night was 28 degrees. WTF? I don’t own clothes for 28 degrees! I own bikinis. (It was originally going to be 16 degrees but I panicked and changed my flight. Twice. I TOLD you people I’m not well.)
Do you know what temperature it was a couple nights before I left Texas? 73 degrees! SEVENTY-THREE degrees at night!
This is the current temperature in Sioux Falls. (Why, you ask, are my butt-cheeks turning blue in Sioux Falls? Another one of those “anniversaries of my 29th birthday” is rapidly approaching and I need to renew my driver’s license. Why South Dakota? Because South Dakota is one of the few states that caters to full-time RVers. SD is awesome!)
Can you guess where Chickenbone (my sister) is? She’s in HAWAII. Again. What is she doing in Hawaii? She’s posting pictures ‘from the lanai’ where she’s having breakfast. Bitch.
Chickenbone’s picture from ‘the lanai’ in Hawaii. Did you see where I am? Not there.
A park in Sioux Falls, SD. Not at all like Hawaii.
This is just so wrong. She likes to snowboard, she should be in Sioux Falls. I like the beach and have no plans to ever try skiing again. Once was enough.
Let’s review: My cat/RV copilot can’t read maps, and doesn’t deter rodents. This is just wrong.
In her defense, at the ripe old age of 18 she probably can’t hear the mouse chewing up the inside of my kitchen drawers.
How do I know there’s a mouse?
The other morning I opened the silverware drawer to see one of those crushed red pepper packets you get when you order pizza broken open, contents spilling out. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the packet wasn’t broken, but chewed open. Finely shredded bits of paper and of the drawer lining lay in a small pile.
The Sacred Laptop, holder of all photos, articles, and videos, has decided to take a vacation… just when I have a deadline for a Yahoo! News article. All 200 photos of Slab City, the town on which the article is based, are on said dead laptop, along with the aforementioned, soon-to-be-due article.
I’ve rewritten the article from (what’s left of my) memory and notes. If worse comes to worst, I do have ONE back up photo. Just one photo for the article. I certainly would have preferred choosing several from the 200 photos, but at least I’ve got a Plan B.
Meanwhile, all is not lost. As a 30-year resident of Silicon Valley, some things you just learn by osmosis… like how to rescue your hard drive. It’s been a long time since I’ve done this, and some memories are hard to retrieve. Like what I had for breakfast this morning, never mind the basic programming I learned 20+ years ago. (And how do you get to the DOS prompt in Windows Vista??? Gees, it used to be so easy.)
The Yahoo! News article is due tomorrow (Tuesday). Yeah, no pressure.
I know, I know. I can hear you all saying… ‘Kernut, who? Kernut the Blond?Hmm, that sounds vaguely familiar.’
Sorry. (Assuming you’ve missed me.) Honestly, I’ve missed you all.
Believe me, I’ve wanted to write, but I’ve got nothing.
A big fat nothing.
And I’m On My Way To Hell In A Hand Basket
Limbo looks like this, just so you know.
I feel like I’m in limbo. Waiting to get a great job (six months now, but I’m loving my freedom and mobility!). Waiting to start The Great Roll-About in my RV (more fantasy then reality at this moment, but it makes me happy to envision the possibilities). Waiting to win the lottery jackpot and/or become a multi-millionaire because I really don’t want to go back to work for someone else (see previous note).
Waiting for something to change so I can tell you about it.
When we left off in part 2, Martin Sheen and I were parked with driver’s-side windows together, our cars blocking the small neighborhood street. Meanwhile, the stalker in the white pickup was slowly coming up behind my car, most likely realizing I’d just obtained A-list mother-fucking help.
Oh, …and we learned that I’m as bright as a cliff-jumping lemming when panicked.
As the white pickup approaches our cars, he pulls over to the side of the road as – if waiting for me to finish my conversation – so he can then continue on with terrorizing me.
Martin says to me, “Turn your car around and pull up behind me. I got through to the Sheriff’s office and they’re going to meet us at the old Malibu station.” He said ‘US’ !!! 🙂 Yay Martin!
(It’s important to note two things here: A, The police agreed to come out for Martin Sheen – not when it was just little old, not-famous me calling, but for Martin. And B, The lazy cops still only agreed to meet us so far – at a station closed years before, in an empty parking lot about 15 minutes away from where we were now.)
I do as Martin says, and the stalker also starts to maneuver his car as if readying to make a u-turn like I did.
But then Martin Sheen, A-list megastar and rescuer of blond-haired lemmings, starts yelling at the stalker!!