Monday, June 23, 2008

First Summer Volunteer Event

I worked for this big company's picnic on this past weekend. It was my first summer Red Cross volunteer event this year.The weather was wonderful in this past first summer weekend. It was more like a fall weekend since the temperature was only around 75'F. I have never worked for this event before since it was quite far away and almost took me about an hour drive one way to get to the event location from my place. But I heard that they had great food so I decided to give it a try. I was told to get to the place at 9am so I left around 8am and got there on time. However, nobody else from the Red Cross was there. I waited for almost an hour and still nobody came. One victim walked in to ask for care of his bleed hand but the people supposed to bring in the equipment were not there so I could not do anything. I was wondering around and saw them build this huge BBQ griller. It would be used to grill up the lunch for almost 8000 employees and their families.

After waiting for another 30 minutes, the Red Cross van finally showed up in the front of the first aid station. And they just decided to arrive late without noticing me. Anyway, it was one of the biggest company picnic I have ever seen. They served the lunch buffet style. The menu included roast chicken, sausages, hot dogs, potato salad, roasted corn, all you can drink beer, soda, water, ice cream, and water melon. In addition, there were so many entertainments for kids including 10 different kinds of big inflatable toys, train carts, mini-golf, pony rides, and water slides. They also hired a X-game group with about 10 guys to show all the fancy bike tricks including the 360 flip in the air. Of course, good opportunity for us to wait there to be ready to save them in case they made a mistake in the show. The whole picnic went well and quite uneventful until the end of my shift. The people for the next shift of course were late. While I was staying 30 minutes longer to wait for the next shift to show up, a kid broken his leg from one of the inflatable slider. I rushed to the scene and worked with the EMT staff and had him sent to the hospital by an ambulance. I think the poor kid will have to spend at least 2/3 of his summer in bed to recover. That made me almost to stay 1.5 hour late from my shift. Well, at least, I enjoyed a good lunch meal.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Begins

Today is the beginning of the summer (or summer solstice). However, it does not feel that way at all. It is a little bit cloudy and the temperature is only around 70s. Still more like a spring/fall day. Just hope that all the flooding goes away soon and no more rain. The basement has been completely dry now. The next step is to go through everything, throw away more stuffs and think about how to deal with the bare floor (all soaked carpets are gone). It just gives a headache to think all those things. Anyway, happy summer!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Took a better picture of mom raccoon nursing the babies yesterday. They were gone this morning when I checked again. I guess they were just passing by then. The basement has gradually dried out but the dry wall is still very wet. The weather forecast reports that more possible severe thunderstorm is heading this way today. What a nasty spring this year.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

House Guest From Flooding

Look like somebody else' home has been flooded, too. Just found out that a raccoon family moved into the window well outside the basement. A mom raccoon and her 3 babies settled down there. The babies were very cute and it was so interesting to see the mom nurse the babies. All the 3 babies were so active that they kept playing with one another while the mom raccoon tried to sleep after feeding them.

The babies chased and bit one another playfully while the mom raccoon lay there and had her back facing the window. The quality of the pictures were not good since I did not want to turn on the light to disturb them and the window glass was thick. Just wonder how long they will stay there.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


This was almost the last pile of debris after filling the whole dump truck of the remains of flooding from the basement. Fortunately, the flood insurance covers quite a lot of things. I was really surprised that the insurance company returned the call within 12 hours and sent a crew of 10 yesterday to help gut the dirty carpets, remove most of the debris, and sanitize the basement.

They also helped evulate and save any still useful stuff. Those guys worked from 8:30am to 7:00pm and started to put big fans in the basement to dry the basement before they left. The good news is that some of the furnitures saved from the basement during the flood were ok after sanitizing the bottom part. But all the couches have to be thrown away. The whole place is full of the smell of the bleach. Thanks for your nice concerns and comments. It really means a lot to me.

Monday, June 9, 2008


No tornado actually touched down close to where I live. But the 3-day continuous severe thunderstorm and pouring rain caused the river water level high and the city sewer system to fail. The dirty sewer water all backed into the basement from the shower, toilet, sink. All the carpets, furniture, books, everything was ruined. Spent the whole weekend on walking in the knee high stinky water and try to save something useful.

Both sump pumps were completely under the water but at least still worked. However, the water had nowhere to go so it just cycled back to the basement. The shut-off valve got rusted and could not be shut off so there was really nothing we could do. The rain finally stopped around Sunday late afternoon and the water started to recede. Good thing was that the sump pumps were not burned out even they had run nonstop for 48 hours. The water has almost gone but leaves behind all the nasty dirt and sewer. And the carpet has absorbed all the filthy water. Try to use a cart to carry some stuffs and it was like to drive on a wet lawn. Thanks to the weight train, was able to move most of the furniture out of basement and let them dry. Just saved all the computer stuffs out of basement and it was time to go to work.
I am exhausted now.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hiding In The Basement Shelter For Tornado

The tornado sirun just went off as the TV and radio still keep warning people to look for the shelter. They just report the baseball size of the hails coming down outside. I am hiding in the basement shelter without the window. I can just hear the non-stop thundering and pouring rain outside. Really curious about outside but cannot. Just planted some roses outside this afternoon. Hope that the heavy rainfall and gusty wind would not cause any damage here. The warning will stay effect in the next 40 minutes here.