Posted September 23, 2008 by Nick Lindauer in Hot Sauce News

Out of the Hurricane Mess

First – thanks to all the chileheads that tried to call/email last week. We ended up not having power for 7 days (Friday to Friday) – fun, fun, fun.

As much as I tried to keep folks informed – I know a lot more were left out, so here’s the run down of what’s been going on and what’s upcoming.
– Thursday 9/11: Had to evacuate Houston shortly after an early morning client meeting (2 hours stuck in traffic with other evacuees)
– Friday 9/12: Spent the day getting ready for the hurricane – bought a generator at Home Depot on a whim & boarded up all the house windows. Settled in and waited for it to hit.
– Saturday 9/13: Woke up to no power and no way to leave the house. Our street was blocked on both directions due to downed trees. Fortunately, no trees fell in our yard – though as you can see from the pics, there was plenty of debris. We went out in the downpour in the late afternoon and helped the neighbors clear the trees and clean the street for cars to pass. Since I was soaked, I jumped in the pool and hauled out the largest branches that had landed in there.
– Sunday 9/14: Got with with a wind/thunder storm Sat. night – woke up to even more debris and now downed fences. Spent the day in the rain, cleaning the yard and picking shit up. All told we wound up with about 20 bags of pine cones & pine needles, a huge amount of pine branches and lots of random stuff that was dumped in our yard by the winds.
– Monday 9/14: Fired up the generator and then immediately realized we would need to find more gas soon. Drove 40 miles and waited 3 hours in line for $30 worth. Great…
– Tuesday 9/15: Fed up with that mess, we got up at 5am and went searching for more gas. Found Sam’s Club open and waited an hour for $40 worth. Getting better.
– Wednesday 9/16: Still no power – power company is now telling us it could be 2-3 weeks before we get power. Sweet. We decided to get out of the house and drove 80 miles roundtrip to the nearest town without gas buying limits – bought enough to get us through a week. Finally bought a lan phone to get calls on (cordless doesn’t work with no power doh!) and started connecting with the outside world again.
– Thursday 9/17: No power, but no there’s trucks in the area. Cell phones still aren’t working 100% and no businesses are open. Our local market is turned into a FEMA zone, so now we can’t get groceries – good thing we’re stocked up. Buddy of mine who lives 20 miles north of us gets power.
– Friday 9/18: Finally, my office is open again – after minor wind damage and some flooding. the Ex & I drive into Houston to see life downtown and I spend a few hours catching up on missed work. We get back and our power is on! After some celebratory dancing, plenty of time was spent plugging everything back in, re-programing and getting everything back online. Whew.
– Saturday 9/19: Normalcy starting to return – power still out for friends, so we volunteer our house as a staging zone and spend time getting caught up on work. I finally had time to get in the garage and work on the truck (with light). Also made time to visit a friends brand new baby in the hospital – which fortunately got power 2 days before.
– Sunday 9/20: Okay – normal life is here again. Our favorite Thai place is open again so we made sure to order extra spicy food and settled in to finally relax.
– Monday 9/21: First full day back at the office. Holy crap traffic is a nightmare. What normally takes 40 minutes one way took almost 2 hours. Started to think about getting this blog post done in the evening, but on the way home I get a panicked call from the Ex – her car won’t start. Great. I play Mario cart on the freeway and make it home in pretty record time for such shitty traffic – drop her off so she can teach her class and then come back home to assess the car. No big problem here – battery is dead. Went to walmart and picked up a new one and installed it – she’s back in action.

All in all – you would think a week without power would be relaxing, but it was anything but. No power means no air – which in turn means no sleep. Work is backed up and most of our clients are out of the state, which means little visibility/understanding of the downtime – so of course everything is a priority. But if that’s the worst that I can complain about after such a destructive hurricane, then I’m a lucky man.

Now back to the HSB stuff. Before the hurricane hit, I was working on changing things over to the new server. Unfortunately it looks like several posts and comments were lost. Most posts can be manually recovered and will be as time goes on. The new design is on hold due to damage to the designers office – but once they are back in business, we’ll get that rolled out. In the meantime, I’m going to get some work in during the evenings to make sure all the bugs are worked out and the majority of the plugins are back and functioning properly – if you have any issues, please drop me an email at


Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog