Archive for January, 2005

Ice storm Atlanta

January 30, 2005

Well I spoke too soon. Around four o’clock this afternoon we lost power until just before midnight. This meant we huddled into bed with the dogs and tried to read by candlelight. Without the heating it got decidedly frosty in the house. When the power came back the heating thermometer read 57 degrees fahrenheit, so that’s about 12-13 celsius? Hmm, felt colder.

I was rather annoyed as I’d been looking forward to getting out of the house and going to the StarBar anniversary show. Still, when I managed to get back online the StarBar didn’t make it this evening either and the Satanic Mechanics (all-star Star Bar performance recreating the music from the Rocky Horror Show) has been rescheduled for Thursday night now. Hmm, a work night for Bill but we still might make the effort.

Also I’d been hoping to take my maiden solo voyage this weekend and that isn’t going to happen. Bah humbug.

BTW Bill tells me that over here they don’t bother gritting most roads, just major bridges and things. I guess it would be rather pricey but I’m not impressed.


January 29, 2005

Oh, and I also dreamt that I turned a corner and discovered a Sainsbury’s in Atlanta. I think I was dancing in the aisles at the sight of all the nice English palate food and being able to buy vodka off the supermarket shelf.

Which reminds me.

My first post of the New Year was supposed to be this motto that I found in my fortune cookie that day:

“Keep in mind your most cherished dreams of the future.”

Frozen toes and more info on the driving test.

January 29, 2005

Still cold. Peeked out the window when I woke up this morning and it’s rather white out there, though not with snow but with a thick layer of ice. I’m not braving getting out of my nice bed surrounded by a snuggly Quince and Genghis just yet, though Bill was of course up bright and early and engaged in pixel warfare mere hours after climbing into bed at silly o’clock in the morning.

Certainly looks like the day is going to be one of bedding down, trying to stay warm (even with the heating on the chill is beginning to seep through the duvet) and hoping we don’t lose power. Normally it seems in bad weather our neighbourhood electricity is the first to go, and the last to come back on. All good so far, hope it stays that way and I haven’t spoken too soon.

We were planning on going to the StarBar tonight for their anniversary celebrations but I guess we’ll be waiting to see what the weather is like later. Rats.

A little more info on Tuesday’s driving test:

We showed up at the DMVS and there were huge queues stretching out of the room and meandering around the shopping mall. Thankfully we didn’t have to join it and could just march straight up to the front desk as it was a booked appointment. Muahahahaha.

Had to sign some forms claiming that I had done the requisite number of daytime and nighttime driving hours. Yup, think I had that one covered. Then I got sent to get my eyes tested. As each desk had these great big testing machines I thought this was going to be a bit more involved than the British method of standing you a set distance from a license plate and asking you to read it aloud. But no. I peered into the interface (like one of telescope machines you get in seaside towns or on cliffs) and there was a line of numbers to read out. Then a quick pulse of light to the right and the left and that was it, vision deemed ok. Back to the front desk with my paperwork I trotted.

The next step was to be sent outside and told to park the truck in a space with a yellow DMVS sign and wait. Ok, did that. Parked and waited.

We watched several people get taken out for their tests and while they were out a guy came over, some girl’s Dad I believe, and warned me that the instructor had already failed two girls that morning for not indicating enough. Should be okay on that score, I’m a big fan of indicating.

Another lad who went out before me must’ve been an instant fail. He didn’t seem to speak much English as his accompanying driver was shouting at him repeatedly to turn the engine on in response to the examiner’s request. Though that was no excuse for then driving off the wrong way down a one way road and then cutting straight across the marked spaces to get to the exit. Ouch.

Bill and I then had a quick panic about the truck and did a run through to make sure all the lights were working. Truck passed muster, phew, as that was the first thing the examiner checked when it was my turn.

Ok, so with Bill replaced by the examiner it was finally my turn to take my test. We tootled through the parking lot into a cordoned off section where there was a bunch of traffic cones set up to emulate parking spaces. Ugh. She stopped me just before I turned a corner to come up to the cones and requested I parallel parked up ahead. There were 3 cones in front, 3 to the back, and 2 to the side which I supposed to park 18 inches parallel to.

Gah, this didn’t really go too well from the start because it was hard to even line myself up properly in the truck from where we’d stopped, and then the truck is so high I couldn’t even see the cones. I had to reverse and straighten up to even give myself a decent chance of completing this manoeuvre. Tried not to get flustered and continued to park, managed to get into the spot just (was barely truck sized) and then tried to see saw my way in. Parallel parking is usually fine, but this was a nightmare.

Eventually the examiner stopped me and we moved on to another cone setup where I had to pretend I was backing around 90 degrees into a space. No problem. Easy.

Then we had the reversing straight back for god knows how far. Wasn’t really sure how fast to go with this so went for slow and steady. I guess maybe this came across as hesitant because despite the lengthy parallel park this was the only thing I got docked points for. *shrugs*

An emergency stop followed (felt very weird without a clutch) and then we left the cordoned area for a tootle around the neighbourhood. I wanted to laugh because this section seemed so obvious…righty’s a 25 limit stretch, and now it’s changed to 35, couple of stop sign, turning left, turning right and some lights. Heh.

This little jaunt over it was back to park in the mall lot again and without much ado to be told I’d passed. In fact she even said I’d been the best she’d had in a while…though I’d have hoped so considering I was probably up against 16 year old virgin drivers! Still, nice of her to say so *beams*

Thanks to all the people who sent congratulations. Last night I also dreamt I got a card from Nanna Downes, just like the one she sent me when I was 17 and got my UK license.

Icicles and doggy please don’ts!

January 29, 2005

It’s rather chilly out here at the moment and I could really do with my Christmas present from Mater and Pater that never turned up thanks to an typo’d zip code and a not very clever US postal service…boooo!!!!

I’m apparently experiencing my first ice storm tonight. Bill informs me that that is when everything outside gets so incredibly cold that when it rains ice forms over everything. He also tells me that this icy rain is what they refer to as sleet over here, not the slushy rain that I think of it as, but hard as nails ice rain (but not hail).

He dragged me outside into the iciness earlier to show me the truck covered in a cocoon of frozen water. It’s got little icicles hanging all over it and actually looks rather cool. Bill says it’ll look even more impressive in the morning.

However ice storms can be rather nasty as everything is slippery slidey, and worse, often it causes limbs to fall from trees. On the plus side news of the forthcoming bad weather meant that Bill’s work closed up early and sent everyone home. Bill got a pizza and we have had a nice long evening playing World of Warcraft together, me on my Mac and him on the PC, all tucked away in the office with the dogs probably wondering what on earth we’re up to.

And speaking of dogs. Quince is being a freak lately. At the moment he is highly interested in the heating vents, but that isn’t what I’m referring to. That must just be some animal that’s crawled beneath the house to try to seep some of the warmth from the boiler.

No, Quince is being a freak because suddenly he is refusing to go out into the backyard. When we send him out he won’t go down the steps, and if we do manage to entice him down to the ground level he races back inside as fast as he can.

This came to light the night before my driving test. I went to bed early so as to have a refreshing night’s sleep, but Quince would not stop pestering me. He was very wound up, agitated and being very odd. He kept me up very late and when Bill decided to take him outside for a bit Quince peed non stop for ages and ages. He’d obviously been bottling it up for a long while. The doggy door is always open so getting outside is not a problem, he’s just refusing to do so.

However, worse, when we got up in the morning Bill went into the front room and was astonished to find not one, not two but three huge piles of dog turds. Thankfully we’ve not had that experience again since, but Quince is adamantly not wanting to go into the back yard and this is somewhat problematic! What on earth has got into him? I hope it’s just a phrase.

Anyhow, it’s terribly late right now and I have no idea why I am still full of beans, going to go snuggle up under the duvet and listen to the rain fall outside. Brrrr.

Parp parp!

January 25, 2005

I can drive!

This morning Bill accompanied me to the Georgia DMVS and I finally took my test. Needless to say I passed….hoorah!

Was terribly nervous beforehand and as usual on such occasions my tummy was all of a flutter. Bill perked me up with lots of hugs and encouragement while I was waiting though.

All done now though. Tonight we’re going out to celebrate!