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Way hey blown away, Tornado Alley are we...

June 13, 2008 11:13 AM

Yeah you can expect me to write that one this week some time after all the storms we’ve had.

The sirens went off around 12:30 a.m. and my wife and I waited a bit and hustled our daughter and ourselves into the basement until the sirens had been silent for a long time. Of course we were unable to get back to sleep again so we’ve basically been up since midnight.

I do know this - in the future we’re either going to have to extend the house out so that the stairs to the basement are inside (long term plan) OR build a trap door in the floor of either the library or the boot closet with a ladder or some drop-down stairs. Because going outside in the storm to get into the basement is a serious annoyance.

Sleep deprived as I am I just thought that even though we can’t dig out the whole crawl space because of the footings it _would_ be possible to dig a wide trench directly back from where the crawl space opening is to the space directly under the front coat closet. That would allow us to put a ladder and a trap door into the coat closet. It would mean we wouldn’t be able to put anything on the floor of the coat closet but I don’t see that as too big a deal. The amount of dirt removed wouldn’t affect the existing footings since it would be in the center of the house and it would give us a straight shot from upstairs to downstairs in a central location in the house.

The only thing I’m not wild about would be cutting into the floor joists but that can be worked around by adding posts in the crawl space to support where we cut and then sistering the remaining joist pieces in that area as well as building a box around the hole. It’s still a fair amount of work but much cheaper and easier in the short term than extending the house out over the basement entrance.

Looking back at the title of this entry it comes to mind that with the changing environment Tornado Alley might very well expand to fill a bigger area. With the increase in the Earth’s temp and the increased pollution in the environment we’re bound to have a more active atmosphere. And a lot more random than we’ve known in the past.

And the fact of the matter is we’re past the point where we’re likely to fix it before something serious happens. Between the lazy and the greedy lies doom for all.

I’m not saying it _can’t_ be done I’m saying that it’s _unlikely_ to be done. We currently have so many ways to screw things up and so many ways to avoid doing what needs to be done (myself included) that by the time we get off our collective butts and actually DO something major it will already be too late. We’ll be pushing the avalanche back up the hill and we’ll have no choice but to do so to survive. (The cliche statement from Babylon 5 applies here: “Once the avalanche starts it’s too late for the pebbles to vote.”)

But despite all that I’m going to keep trying to improve things where I have a hand in them and so should everybody. I can only do so much but at least I’m DOING something about the problem. Under other conditions I’d say that there’s an awful lot of talk and not enough doing but in this case there’s not even an awful lot of talk!

It’s like we’re all standing in a sealed room and there’s a slowly leaking canister of Mustard Gas. We’ll all die eventually but if we either find a way to seal the tank, create more good air, or break out of the room we can survive. But instead what we’re doing is having a dinner party and stepping over the bodies of those that have succumbed to the fumes.

From where I sit this is complete lunacy. We need to be doing something about this because this planet is a billion times more deadly than Mustard Gas when it wants to be. And unless we’re off of it there will eventually be no place to go to avoid the bodies...




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