Everything Ripped Away, What Would You Do?

I don’t watch the news.  So when I flew into Memphis, TN this morning I was in for a big surprise!  Last night they had quite a few tornados.  I don’t know all the details, but I did hear someone say that a tornado reached the EF4 status.  An EF4 has winds anywhere between 207 to 264 miles per hour!

As I was looking out the window of the airplane as we were coming in for landing in Memphis I saw something simlar to this…

Jackson, Tenessee Tornado 2/5/08

This is one of those big power line towers that carry the high-voltage lines bent over and touching the ground!

I left Memphis and started driving to Jackson, TN where I was working today.  On the way I saw tons of damage.   The median on the interstate was full of branches and trees that had been pulled from the highway.  Whole trees (roots and all) were lying everywhere.  Trees were snapped off like little twigs.

I heard on the radio that within a five mile stretch on the interstate there were over 20 semi trucks rolled over from the wind last night.  They were cleaning up the mess from the last truck as I drove by.  I had a hard time finding my exit because all of the road signs were bent over so far that they were touching the ground!

I thought the damage I was seeing was bad, but I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to see.  Once I got off on my exit I was greeted by this…

Jackson, Tenessee Tornado 2/5/08

And right next to that was this…

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The amount of damage down here is just unbelievable!  I have never seen this kind of destruction first hand.  The pictures do not do it justice.  The feeling I got driving through this area was horrible.

Seeing the damage down here is a real eye opener.  It makes me realize how small we all are in the world.  No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you prepare, no matter how big or smart or tough or powerful you think you are…you are nothing compared to the forces of nature.  Everything you have could be ripped away from you without warning.

When I get home tomorrow I am going to give Momma and Ace a big ole’ hug…just because. 😀

EDIT: Pictures used on this post are property of the following sites.  For more pictures  and information about the tornados visit the following sites…
http://bloggeddownworld.blogspot.com
http://picasaweb.google.com/j.razz1/

http://www.jacksonsun.com

My Stuff Is Not Your Stuff

Why do people think that what is mine, is theirs?

I went out to my truck at 5:30 this morning to get in my truck to drive to the airport and found the inside of my truck to be trashed.  The center console was tipped up and everything was thrown into the back seat.  The glove box was open and everything was on the passenger side floor.

Luckily I had nothing of value in my truck.  They got away with my change and a bag full of hotel brand ink pens.  Woo hoo!

It was partly my fault because I forgot to lock my doors, but this still pisses me off to no end.  I live in a decent neighborhood in the burbs and still I have to worry about people taking my stuff!  This is the second time in a little over a month that someone has broken in to one of my vehicles!

I remember growing up in the country.  We never locked our doors to our house or cars.  We left the keys in the ignition at all times.  Nothing ever got bothered.  Maybe I should move back out to the country…

…or maybe I should invent a lethal alarm system for our vehicles.  If I could figure out a way to rig a tazer to fire when the door opens I would do at this point.  How about rigging the door handle to provide a nice jolt of electric?

I’m going to figure out something.  Time to put that $40,000 electronic engineering degree to good use. 🙂

So, thief beware!  My truck might be the last one you attempt to break into! 🙂

Update: When Momma came home last night she found my bag of hotel brand ink pens lying in the neighbors front yard.  Looks like I just lost about $1.50 in change.

A Streak Of Bad Luck…

broken-mirror.pngThings have just not been going my way. Things have got to change for the better here pretty soon… PLEASE!

About a month ago before I bought my new truck I was on my way to work. Everyone around me slammed on their brakes and I nearly hit the guy in front of me. The guy behind me was not so lucky. He plowed into my car and wedged his car under mine. I drove my car off of his hood, we exchanged information, and went on our separate ways. I did get a check from the insurance company and used that for a down payment on the Dodge.

About a week after getting rear ended I got pulled over doing 76 MPH in a 65 MPH zone. I was merging onto the freeway and was accelerating up to speed. I looked down at my speedometer and noticed I was speeding. Too late. I looked in my rear view and there were flashing lights. I got my first ever speeding ticket in the 12 years I have been driving. It cost me $130.

Last night I went to my nieces birthday party. I took Ace into the party and everyone had a good time. A friend came in from outside and said my window on the Explorer was shattered. I was irate that someone busted out the window! I couldn’t find anything missing. A while later I noticed my wallet was not in my pocket. I stopped at the drive-thru on the way to the party to pick up some stuff and must have left my wallet lay next to me on the seat. They busted the truck window to get my wallet which only had $20 cash, but had numerous credit cards, my driver’s license, and about $200 worth of Lowe’s gift cards that I was gonna use to help fix up the bathroom. I drove the Explorer around for a day with no window, and got it replaced today for a whoppin’ $190 dollars!

13ball.pngWhile driving around town today getting a new driver’s license (which I just renewed last month on my birthday) I encountered a stupid driver. He was driving a big moving van. There were cars parked along the curb. I was in the right lane and he was in the left lane. I was right next to him. He changed lanes real fast and I had to slam on my brakes to keep from hitting him or one of the parked cars. He saw me at the last minute and swerved back.

I’m driving around in the cold with no window and no wallet…in a bad mood before I even left the house, and this guy hit my last nerve. I’m usually the quiet and reserved guy, but I think I hit my breaking point. I sped past him with my hand out the door flying the bird.

lucky13.pngA bit up the road I was making a turn on my way go see Momma and Ace and looked in my rear view mirror. Well, let’s just say, I didn’t know a moving van could accelerate like that! I must have struck his last nerve too! He FLEW down a 25 MPH street at probably 50 MPH and proceeded to follow me within a few feet of my bumper. I so bad wanted to brake check him, but knew he would rear end me and didn’t want to go through that again.

After following me for five or six blocks he finally turned down a side street and went on his merry way.

While this is all bad luck, I guess it could be looked at as good luck…kinda.  I could have been killed on the freeway in the accident, but I wasn’t. I could have been killed while speeding, but wasn’t. Someone could have jumped me while I was carrying Ace to steal my wallet, but they didn’t. And the crazy moving van driver could have been one of those crazy road rage killers, but he wasn’t!

Maybe these are all just signs that I need to slow down and be more careful. Even if they aren’t…that’s what I am going to do!