Friday, September 23, 2005

hurricane central

Well, not really. I'm just holed up with some friends and another of their friends. Basically it's 4 geeks and a wireless network. I have learned how to play a new solitaire game (Russian solitaire) and have introduced my dogs to a whole new house. It's much bigger here, so they can build up a lot more speed as they race around the dining room table.

Most of the food I brought is for them. I also brought... and this is vaguely embarrassing... several meals worth of Jenny Craig food. Even though I feel totally empowered to eat whatever the fuck I want as a temporary refugee, I just didn't have anything bad for me lying around the house. Sorry state of affairs.

I took the dogs for a walk (I realize this is boring and journally, but I'm tired of solitaire...) and the wind had actually picked up enough oomph to blow my hat off. I think it was mostly bad aerodynamics because it still feels pretty calm out here, but the pictures show us under the edge of the storm, so it's *something*...

So, any aerodynamicists out there want to answer a question for me while I'm thinking about it? My house is in a very old neighborhood among very old pecan and cottonwood trees. In fact, I have a historically registered cottonwood tree right in front of my garage. (I'm sure the house was built after the tree, so I have no idea what rocket scientist put the garage door right behind it...) A lot of my fears about staying at my place was of big pieces of dead cottonwood tree turning into projectiles. My imagination sometimes gets the best of me, and the images so reminiscent of EMT training manuals of me with a big piece of tree branch sticking through my ribs were keeping me from sleeping, so I left.

Now I'm out here in the 'burbs. The biggest trees they have here were planted with the subdivision within the last decade. As I drove out I was thinking, "Whoa, that's cool. Nothing big to fall down on us." But then I also thought, "hm, also nothing to cut the energy of the wind, either..." I've taken enough physics classes, and have learned enough about hydrodynamics in both my diffie Q and stellar interiors classes to know about different kinds of flows, but most of my thinking on this subject feels instinctive, not equation-based. Does anyone know if having a little grove of trees around your house would serve to diffuse the wind energy by turning laminar flow into chaotic? I mean, yeah, trees fall down go boom, but might they prevent the wind from building up enough steam to take the roof off my house?

that's it for now. I'm going back to solitaire...

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