01 June, 2008

TS Arthur Jumps the Gun

I was planning to write about our new furniture, and that we had finally gotten our basement burglar bar doors and bars all installed and were about to start unloading the rest of the stuff from the big truck.

But Tropical Storm Arthur changed a lot of those plans. We did get the furniture... but, first this news about Arthur.

Arthur sprang up from nowhere out in (I'm guessing here) the Gulf of Honduras or or possibly the eastern reaches of Bahia de Chetumal, anyway somewhere close to shore in the Caribbean. Took us by surprise, I'll tell you. It actually started before the rainy season or hurricane season's official start. Arthur began on Saturday, May 31, 2008 and today, June 1, 2008 is the official rainy/hurricane season start.

Here's the chart of it's projected path as of yesterday evening. Arthur has stayed pretty much on track and is now well past us.
TS Arthur's Projected Path
In case you didn't know it, we are getting some rain. the Belize Weather Service is calling for thundershowers for the next few days. I'm not sure about the thunder or the showers, but we are getting gusty winds (up to 40 mph) and nearly constant rain more reminiscent of some of the heavy drizzle in the Northwest. Where's the thunder? I don't know.

Anyway, not much that we can do except batten down the hatches and the louvers (windows) and surf the Web. With our satellite connection, we seem to have pretty good and steady Internet capability through all of this. Here's Dianna in makeshift quarters for her office doing just that, well, unless she's playing a game.
Surfer Girl
So, the rain I mentioned. Just a few minutes ago, I snuck (The Oxford English Dictionary ( says it's almost a real word) - sneak (verb) Its origins are shrouded in mystery ... From the beginning, and still in standard British English, the past tense and past participle forms are sneaked. Just as mysteriously, in a little more than a century, a new past tense form, snuck, has crept and then rushed out of dialectal use in America, first into the areas of use that lexicographers label jocular or une ducated, and more recently, has reached the point where it is a virtual rival of sneaked in many parts of the English-speaking world. But not in Britain, where it is unmistakably taken to be a jocular or non-standard form.) out and took these pictures of our patch. A bit water-logged to say the least.
The Street-side back garden
Driving in or out of our place is problematical at the moment. I didn't have enough time time to bring in several loads of gravel for the driveway. As you can imagine, it's a mess. There's the lake at the gate, then the quagmire of mud in the driveway itself, and the palapa, which keeps rain from hitting the Isuzu and the scooter, but doesn't keep water already on the ground from infiltrating into the palapa area itself.
The Gate Lake
Muddy Ruts
The septic drain field looks like it's pretty well saturated as well. but everything seems to keep running fine, if you get my drift.
Puddles, Puddles, and More Puddles
Immediately beside the house, between it and the drain field there's a lot of standing water. We'll be bringing fill in to here as soon as we can, and topping it off with gravel. I say we... I mean Cody. I just pay the freight and direct traffic.
Impromptu Lap Pool
But, enough about that. We got our furniture for the office in and installed. We had Guillermo Magaña make it for us at his cabinet shop out of beautiful mahogany and a nice, hard cedar. We provided a drawing and he took measurements, and about a month later - Shazzam! Here we are with an office!
The Drop-down Desk and Bookcases
It comes complete with two file drawers and a storage cabinet.
Plenty of storage
We even have a clothes closet and linen closet shelves.
And More Storage
And, it's still raining...
 Oh, yes. Before I toadally forget, I have a bit more to write about on another topic.

It seems I've been struck by some karmic influence of the aquatic kind. I seem to be doomed to give all my possessions the "float test", as we used to say in the Navy. So far, it's a camera - fail; binoculars - fail; wallet - pass, cause it was in a sandwich bag; and now the phone - fail.

Anyone ever tell you to empty your pockets before you jump into the pool? No? Me neither. At least, not that I remember.

It would have been cheaper if they had, and a lot less work too.

As it turns out, my old Samsung clamshell phone just isn't waterproof. I jumped in and I'm sitting in our inflatable pool enjoying the sunshine and a nice cold Belikin, when my hand brushes something hard in my pocket - no, not that. Where is your mind? It was my phone.

Dang it. I had stuck it into my pocket to bring down to the pool with the idea that I would take it out and place it on something dry outside of the pool. But, the lure of the warm water and cool beer was just too much and my brain went into standby.

So, I only had two hundred fifty eight contacts and numbers in the phone. Yes, it had a SIM card installed. But do you seriously think I had any of those numbers on it? Of course not. At the time, when I found out you could put numbers on the card, I already had about 150 numbers in the phone. I figured (using my superior reasoning) that I'd get unpacked, find the cable for the phone and download all of that to the computer, then reload everything onto the SIM card. Uh huh. Just like that. It would have been so easy.

I took the phone out of my pocket and then placed it, dripping, onto the dry thing it should have gone onto in the first place, taking care to disconnect the battery, for all the good that would do now. Of course, there was nothing I could do at the time other than to relax once again in the pool and enjoy the Belikin. Ah, life is good.

So, after a day or so of letting it dry out, I tried connecting the battery. Nothing. I thought I was dead. Doug and Twyla even brought by some desiccant crystals for me to put the phone in to try and speed up the drying process.

After about three days, I took it out and tried again. Nothing. I even tried charging it. Nothing. Hmmm. Serious brain matter activity. What to do? Ahh, I replaced my batter with Dianna's. It did come to life then. It asked what the date and time was, which I entered. Then it asked for my location, I told it. Then it promptly died again. I guess I scared it to death.

So, In the meantime, I went down town and bought a nice new Motorola SLVR, "Moto" to those in the know apparently. I wasn't. All I knew was I wanted to get a phone that would let me hook up to the PC and maintain the phone book in both places.

Well, now that I had "Moto" I was still faced with trying to recapture some of the numbers from email, business cards, scribbled bits of paper, you name it. Not a good prospect at all. I continued to play with the old Samsung.

Finally, I got it to fire up, but the screen was still dead. Back into the desiccant for another day or two.

That did the trick. The phone actually is ok now. Well, there's some weird water spotting on the screen, but everything is readable and, wonder of wonders, I have been able to figure out how to transfer all the numbers and contacts to the SIM card and then over to the Moto. Whew! What a relief.

Now, if it ever stops raining, I can use Moto to order some gravel for the driveway, black dirt for the garden, and call Marcello's... for pizza!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a lot of water. If your driveway has turned into a lake I hate to see what other areas look like.
The custom made office look great. The woods they have in belize are beautiful. I like the idea of having furniture made to fit a home rather than having to fit in pre-made stuff.