Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Irene August 28, 2011 Long Island Under Water and Trees

In addition to the most rainfall ever in the month of August, Long Island, Suffolk County and other surrounding areas in the North East got smacked with Hurricane Irene.  Town workers clear a giant fallen tree.
 Huge old trees toppled over due to the soggy soil and winds.
The park near the Jarvis House suffered broken limbs and fallen trees.
 Electric, and phone cables have been out due to down wires as trees fell over.  Without electricity for more than a day, cell phone batteries died.
 This huge limb, the size of a medium tree, in my back back, fell on the wood pile, missing anything important.
 I heard this tip on the National Weather Channel, stuff the freezer with 3/4 full baggies of water before the storm.  After they freeze, not only would they keep the frozen food longer, but they would keep the refrigerator below cold longer.
 These are my highest rubber boots which I needed.
 The back yard flooded, but there between the barn door and the chair, underground is my outside sump pump.  It can run with a gasoline generator to empty out the water, and is piped  underground down my driveway.
 My old, but really good generator.
 The generator needed tweaking and two very nice gentlemen from the Greenlawn Centerport Historical Association got it going well.
Water in the basements.
 The outdoor sump pump does its job.
 The Huntington Volunteer Firemen helped me get half of the water out, because it was coming in faster than the pumps could remove it.
 Their pump does its job.

My candle holder that works best during the evening's darkness.  Usually I never burn candles in this old house, but I tried to make it a safe as possible.
 I have a gas range, so a cup of tea was possible, but no hot water for a shower.
 This is a siphon pump that my neighbor had.  It worked so well that it is now on order for the Jarvis House.
 It works just like the fireman's pump, and no one has to go into a dangerous basement full of water.
 The many branches and leaves that were down and needed to be raked up.
 The outdoor sump pump.
The only piece of mail on Monday (LIPA, the Long Island Power Authority).  They did their best, but it was daunting to get power back to the North shore houses.
 With so many people unable to cook, the bagel shop was buzzing.
 Fans drying out the furnace which is a steam system with a natural gas heater that I converted to in the 1970's when we had to wait on gasoline lines.  Remember that?
 I opened the basement windows for cross ventilation.
 A tall fan by the Bilko doors leading outside.  Here's hoping the water heater and the furnace start up again after they dry out.
Since the Jarvis House was built in 1838, many other things have developed, such as the paved road, other houses, and general development.  Only the basement is below grade.  The foundation is  way above grade and not in any danger of flooding on the first floor.  Nothing of value is kept below grade, and with electricity, the two sump pumps in the cellar and the outside pump can handle most rain situations.  This is the first time in 35 years that the electricity was out for such a long time during a storm.  With the new shopping list of generators and siphons things should not be this crazy again.  This old house suffered no tree damage. As with many of the area's historic neighborhoods, huge old trees hit houses.   We were lucky this time, but two trees that we removed last spring, would probably have blown down this week.  Two older dying and rotted trees are scheduled to come down before the Nor'easters hit this winter.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Goddess of the Market Ayn Rand and the American Right a Book by Jennifer Burns

When I was in college, in Art school getting a BFA, I spent most of my time in Art studios making paintings, prints, and photographs.  I did take Spanish classes during lunch, but I guess I missed out on things like Philosophy, Psychology, and Economics.
 I spent most of last year's free time reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. 
 Eventually the book fell apart as I took notes on quartered pieces of discarded printer paper.
I did find the film version of the first part of the book, which was only shown in a few sparse theaters.  It was done in a cold flat format, straight out of the book's pages, but not in the style of the Fountainhead film.  It was panned, for good reason because if you had not read the book, the film wouldn't make much sense.  The Fountainhead had wonderful actors and was guided by Ayn Rand herself.  She was a screen writer since her youth and came to the United states from Russia and became a successful Hollywood writer.  
The book by Ms. Burns was incredibly well researched and skillfully written.   There was so much anecdotal information about the personal lives of Ayn Rand, her faithful and long suffering husband, her followers and her critics, I had an renewed understanding about Atlas Shrugged.  
An interesting photo, included in Ms. Burns' book was a scene of a street with a large billboard with the "Who is John Galt" slogan.  She relates how a young Ted Turner put up 200 of these signs in the Southwest. 
If you are open to reading another viewpoint of Economics, Objectivism, and haven't read Atlas Shrugged, (1069 pages) give it a try.  If you have read this classic, delve into the world of Ayn Rand as chronicled by Jennifer Burns.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Walking Down Park Avenue Last Year

 A short quiet walking tour of Park Avenue, Huntington, Long Island, New York.  The pictures were taken a while ago which just goes to show that things change over time, and that real people live in these wonderful houses.

I hope that you liked walking through the neighborhood.