island refuge

Shelter from the storm.  Barrett took me in at her 100-year-old house with a tower (in view of my place down on the ocean). She also took in a seagull with a broken wing that she was spoon-feeding canned tuna cat food. Apparently I will be ferrying it off tomorrow to a bird sanctuary person. The boats are running today.


beachfront property

The scene on the morning after. Everybody on the Island is out gawking. The road in front of our houses is destroyed, the freshwater pond is no longer fresh, the ferry can't run because of a new sand bar that has to be dredged, but we are all alive and well and our houses are intact. Oh, Sandy.
Some great pix from the BI Times.


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Location:Corn Neck Rd,Block Island,United States

block island report 8

How dare it be beautiful and sunny this morning? I have yet to go inspect the damage in the ayem, but it is grave. The road was eaten up. The houses, I repeat (mine over there far to the right in this view from Barrett's porch), are okay. Must go down to see what this high tide has done. A full report later.


block island report 7

 They say the worst is over. The seas took half of the road in front of our houses with it. The houses are ok, and we even have power. Just no access by road! It's hard to get a lot of places on the island because the tidal ponds have washed across the road. I will take some pictures that you can actually see tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight high on the hill.

block island report 6

Bailed! At the dying of the light I escaped the beachfront for higher ground just before the road was closed. And the rain came.

block island report 5

This is not the ocean! This is the calm, protected, tidal Harbor Pond.

Hannah's Hideaway is taking on a bit of water under the French doors, but not nearly so much as it would have had Hannah not siliconed the opening. . .
Claudia's French doors look like they will bust open at any minute.Put a propane tank in front of them and a couple of pillows. Haven't lived in the Ozarks for nothing!
PS more pix at the BI times.

block island report 4

The power is on and off. Rumors fly that it will be shut down at some point. Sea foam also flies, like cotton balls across the road. One of Johnny's windows in the big barn flew out; he does not believe in vinyl.
We think that we will soon be asked to evacuate due to the condition of the road. I am going to voluntarily evacuate in an hour or so, up to high ground. If need be, Barrett and I will take refuge in the tower, which is really high and should be readily accessed by helicopters.
 I have chicken soup, beef stew, swordfish (yeah, it just flopped up in the yard) and popcorn.

block island report 3

Your weather broadcast from the front lines. Waves came over the road between me and John and across the street at the Beachhead. Water fills the parking lot at the State Beach house but has not yet washed across the road as it did during Bob in  1991. The waves are wild and supposed to get wilder.
Why the boats aren't running. Old Harbor.

Why the boats aren't running. New Harbor.

surf's up

I am shouting commentary during this video, but you can't hear me at all. I am saying:
    "High winds, check.
    "High tide, check.
    "Surf's up, dude!"
And so far the surf is on the right side of the dunes in front of Claudia's Surf City, though Great Salt Pond is across the road down by Payne's Dock.

block island report 2

The house is shaking, buffeted by the wind, but not as badly as I've felt it before. Enough to wake me up, though.
Looks like the worst of it will be the high tides tomorrow. See marine forecast here.
Also a rather lame twitter feed here.
The ducks have taken shelter in our freshwater pond, so apparently they are not expecting the sea to pour in there. And the deer are living in the yard! I have begun to sing "I am the captain of the Pinafore. . ."


block island report

All ashore who's going ashore! The wuss boat, the last one off island before the storm,  left at 12:45, bearing my closest relations, who felt that their homestead required their attention. I suspect that people will have it rougher on the mainland than here, where I do not anticipate major power outages. We're used to storms, after all. And don't have much in the way of trees.


The wind began in the night, with an undercurrent of waves, a little voice calling mama and unidentifiable rattles. I looked outside (above) and saw choppy seas but nothing major. Then came the calls and e mails: Word of airport closings, subway closings, ferry service disruption, evacuation, danger. The news is whipping everyone up into a froth, and it's hard to be the eye of calm in the hurricane of warnings.
   Hannah and Chris are talking about taking the last boat off at 12:45. I am planning to go down with the ship, though I can always evacuate up the hill to Barrett's if need be. High tides tomorrow are at about 7:30, so we shall see. Just had the first spatter of rain.


hurricane prep

Weather's a little different here than Austin (above). My cousin Glenn—of New Orleans, where they know something about storms—sent those of us planning to weather Sandy on Block Island some advice.
   Eat everything in your freezer first, then fridge.
   Freeze bottles of water and leave in your fridge if you can't clean it out.
   Make sure you have water, batteries, radio, flashlights, pet food if you have a pet.
   Beer, booze, chips, Valium and sleep aids.
   Lawyers, guns, money.
Not having taken the last piece of advice, we just put up the storm windows I picked up on the mainland yesterday (having had the foresight to order them two weeks ago). We have a crank-type emergency radio, pet food, propane stove, xanex and guns. Well, we know where to get some guns anyway. And lots of candles, Block Island power being iffy at the best of times.
   As for the booze, in the wake of Hurricane Floyd, I helicoptered into Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks with a medical team. The local who picked the doctors up at the airfield was somewhat dismissive about our mission. "If they wanted to save us," he said, "they shoulda sent AA!"


thinking of you

Check this out on Chirbit


happy trails

There is live music everywhere in Austin—in the parks, on the streets, in the bars and even at the grocery store. We stayed in a fab craftsman-type bungalow near the UT campus (above), swam in the delicious Barton Springs and yakked quite a bit. And the Tex-Mex food is outrageous, particularly the fried avocado tacos at Torchy's food cart. But now I'm back in the Northeast, in Woonie headed for Block Island manana, jonesing. I might have to move to Austin. If they can keep it weird.


youngest and oldest

The Lo Ladies had a blast at Barton Springs in Austin, Texas.



20 years of Lo

With the lo ladies at Austin, Tx.

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off again

The weather is now divine
But I've left for another clime.
I thought about Boston
But decided on Austin
So I'm leaving the north for a time. rhyme. sublime.

Oh brother: Frank Martin's Facebook limericks are catching!


what's in the truck?

Actually, this time I'll tell you what's in the truck: Trash. The real question is: How long did it take for one person to produce this amount of trash? And btw that person is the one pictured, not me.
  But it was a truly The Bozos go to the Dump experience. We loaded everything up in separate sections—recycling, garbage, metals, construction material etc—and set forth. This is when this optimistic picture was taken. I had checked Friday's Block Island Times for the current hours, because about this time of year the "transfer station" opens less frequently. The paper said it was open every day but Thursday. Not. It was closed. So I had a truck full of junk for a day. However, the seagulls didn't get into it and it didn't rain much, so all was eventually disposed of.


duck walk

"I don't know, Hon, what do you want for dinner?"

. . .or caption by you


just one more

As long as we're doing pix that are too wide for this blog format, let me share this one of the interior of the Goose that Kathleen took with her new panoramic app. It makes the downstairs of the 16x22-foot cement block building look much more spacious than it actually is. And you can see why I'm always painting floors someplace.


helping the competition

 Yesterday I helped Pam make a video to put up on VRBO to advertize their big house on Block Island. My editing skills being nonexistant, we tried to do it in one continuous iPhone shot. Alas, I ran out of memory and had to splice. You'll be able to tell where, trust me.


houses by the sea

The sun came out, and Claudia's Surf City and Hannah's Hideaway have never looked better (this is the view of them from Johnny's Summer Breeze master bedroom this morning, where I was filming a house tour). Sparkling inside and out. I wish I was out, but alas I have a story about clipper ships due tomorrow, so I'm writing about the sea rather than looking at it at the moment.


bit of a blow

The boats are still running, but the waves are pretty big and it's blowing steadily. Feels like time to put the outdoor deck chairs and hammocks away, though I know it will get warmer and sunny again. The islanders are getting cozy in their houses and speaking to one another again at season's end. The grass is greening up, and the poison ivy is turning red. The seasons go round and round.


life lessons

I'm glad to see that my daughter is teaching her daughter the important things early on.
I'm off to Block Island today.


it's all happening

I promise to chill with the kid pix soon, but in the two months I was gone she has learned to talk in sentences, all the colors, some of the letters and the entire layout of the zoo, perhaps her favorite place in the world because it has animals. I will teach her to read next week.



"Watch me! Watch me! Wings!" I don't know what kind of tree these leaves are from, but they're mighty big.


babe in her woods

Well, they're about to be her woods in a couple of weeks. New England is beautiful in the fall.


on beale street

Kathleen tried out her new panoramic picture-taking ability in the land of Delta blues before heading up onstage to do a little number, which she sang with all her might. No word on whether she's converted.