Brooklyn had a hurricane. It was all over the news. Didn’t turn out to be much of a problem but, sure enough, it caused some damage.
I’ve been through hurricanes before. They knock some things around but they don’t seem to hit the upper east coast that hard, even if they bring serious trouble to the south. But, even still, it’s the weather. Who knows what it’s going to do?!
I grew up in Connecticut. I was five when Hurricane Gloria hit and I was aware enough of what was going on that I tried hard to pay attention and remember whatever I could.
My parents had tried to explain what we expected to see. I remember thinking the huge winds were going to have an easy time ripping through our front yard. The yard had one big tree in it and some trees around the perimeter, but it felt huge. I was probably 3.5 feet tall. I even imagined a cow flying through the yard and then flying out of it just as fast.
We stayed inside and hung out. As the winds picked up, we just watched it. I wanted to go outside. I remember asking if I could but I was told it was dangerous. We did open the screen door though. The winds felt kind of strong, but not really anything shocking. It was exciting to feel the rain and a strong push here and there. Sort of like an airplane taking off, which I knew from flying to England to visit the family a few times. I understood, err… believed, a windy push could be ignored, just like a plane.
In the end, the hurricane was fairly uneventful. Some stuff got knocked over and some other stuff got tossed around. No one really got hurt though.
People started talking about Irene early last week and we all had to think about planning for it. Irene was nice enough to come on a weekend so we even had Thursday and Friday night to prepare. I looked at a few maps that were already available from NYC’s Government and saw that my address was safely away from the areas that faced flooding.
We went to Key Food to prepare by buying some canned ravioli, a lot of gatorade, granola bars, chips and some other stuff that we thought would last well. Got some bagels too. I also made a lot of iced coffee.
I read O’Reilly’s Redis Cookbook while I waited for the festivities. My laptop was charging and my laptop was powering the charge of my iPad. This was how I stretched out my power cable to my comfy chair.
It came and went. I heard some stuff got tossed around but my apartment was fine. The worst thing I noticed was that the cat was jittery this morning. I let him sit on me for a little while and that solved that. Then I ate some food. The power was still on so I picked up my iPad and kept reading the Redis book too.
That was my experience of Irene.
After the storm was when the fun started. I rickrolled people with, “What the heck?! People are running naked on my street!” and a bit.ly link. I couldn’t resist. I joked that Irene’s name wasn’t strong enough to be destructive.
All in all, everyone was being a typical east coaster and dealing with the hilarity of over preparation with cynical sarcasm. It’s what we do best.
It was big relief to find the damage far below expectations. Brooklyn was generally excited to find the electricity still on. We shared this via twitter. Some people joked about not being able to find brunch spots and declared that our emergency.
There are some troubled areas, like Jersey and lower Manhattan. Connecticut also has some power out. Roughly 5m people don’t have power. This isn’t anything we weren’t ready for. Bloomberg had NYC so well prepared with a plan he created back in 2006, that NYC’s citizens knew where to expect flooding, what to expect from subways, power and rescue teams and Bloomberg was updating us regularly in both English and Spanish.
Over all, NYC did an excellent job preparing for it. There’s no two ways about it. I hope no one mistakes the bursts of sarcasm for anything other than a massive group of generally elated people.
We’re ecstatic about our impending inaugural class this Thursday, August 25th (Yes, tomorrow!). As we finalize some last-minute details, we want to give you an opportunity learn more about the people behind the scenes. Most specifically, our teachers’ aides.
We require at least one or two teachers’ aides for every class. This is to provide an extra helping hand to attendees, whether it’s a quick once-over to ensure they’re performing the exercises properly, to answer a question a student is unsure of, or to assist in solving a problem.
Every teachers’ aide volunteers their time and we’re immensely grateful not to have one or two, but three available for our Intro to HTML/CSS course tomorrow.
Without further ado, I present you:
Pam Selle, @pamasaur: When I was younger, I thought the internet was basically the coolest thing ever. As a teen, I poured my angst into a LiveJournal, and in the process learned HTML/CSS and the joy of design and creation online. I’ve been working in the web world for approximately 3 years and mostly build websites at the moment. I’m getting involved in GDI because I think others should experience the fun of seeing something YOU made appear on the web. In my spare time, I practice/teach yoga, ride my bicycle, and am involved with the Girl Geek Dinner Social Committee.
Chris Moyer, @berryhappy: My primary area of expertise is Database Programming and I am now involved in Open Source software. All about it is new, exciting and incredibly low cost to learn and master. Getting involved with Girl Develop It in Philadelphia is a way for me to learn, share and meet interesting people. I am also the organizer for the Chester County Brunch and Book Club which can be found on Meetup.com.
Allison Wagner, @alliwagner: I am a developer who thrives on transforming smart design work into quality markup and style. My formal training is in design and advertising. I attended Temple University in Philadelphia, graduating with a BA from the School of Communications. I started coding my own designs for the web, and found my true passion within the world of XHTML and CSS. As I honed my skills, I garnered a sincere appreciation for standards-based development practices. I’m currently a Developer at Happy Cog in Philadelphia.