Guess I get my "I survived Ivan" tee shirt. First, thanks to everyone for your kind thoughts and support. They were certainly appreciated. The wife, the critters and I are unscathed and the house came through without a scratch. No reports of any injuries in the area although there is some damage, minor flooding and lots of trees and powerlines down. The yard is a damn mess. Although we didn't lose any trees, the small branch debris is knee deep in some places. I got to thinking how long this was going to take to clean up, then it dawned on me that this is one of the reasons God invented teenagers. I'll just sit on the front porch and wave a couple of twenty dollar bills in the air. Teenagers can sense the smell of money twenty times better than a shark can smell blood in the water. The power went out about ten pm Wednesday night and came back on a little over an hour ago (Friday). Let me share a few lessons learned with those who may be dealing with hurricanes. 1. Turn your refrigerators and freezers to their coldest settings at least six hours before you think you may lose power. Move everything you think you'll need out of your freezer and into your refrigerator. Mover everything you don't think you'll need out of your refrigerator and into your freezer. Then DON'T open the freezer for ANY reason. The fuller the freezer is, the longer everything will stay frozen. Put anything you will need frequently such as lunch meats, bread, milk etc on ice in a large cooler. Obviously keep a rack over the ice to prevent everything from getting soggy. 2. Buy a generator when you DON'T need one. I traveled over 600 miles round trip and finally came up with a generator today. There are no generators to be had in any Home Depot, Lowe's, Wally World, Sam's, Western Auto, Ace Hardware or any other dealer from Birmingham south. I found the one I bought in Macon, GA and that was a fluke. They had just received a shipment of eighteen generators two hours before I called and I got one of the the last three they had remaining. 3. Keep plenty of bourbon handy if your mother-in-law is staying with you. I departed on my generator hunting odyssey this morning at seven AM and returned to the house at 6:30 this evening. My feet had barely hit the driveway when the old crone announced "we could have bought four generators in town today". Of course, she was full of shit as usual. It was an exercise in restraint keeping my fingers off her throat. Well, I serviced the generator and fired it up. Ran extenstion cords to the refrigerator. Plugged them in. I was standing outside next to the kitchen window. Yelled at the wife "Rita, is the refrigerator running?" She gives me some sort of hand signal. Of course the woman is standing in a pitch dark kitchen and apparently thinks I'm some kind of goddamn owl and I'm supposed to be able to see what the hell she's doing. So I ask her again. Again I get the murky hand signal. For all I know she's flipping me off. Now I'm irritated. "IS IT WORKING? I CAN'T SEE WHAT THE HELL YOU'RE SIGNALLING!" I yell. She mumbles something in response. Now I'm outside standing next to the generator and can't hear shit. Finally, after some additional exchanges, I get a response that yes, the refrigerator was running satisfactorily. So I run some more extension cords and now we have lights and a fan. Hot Dog! Success. Guess what. Thirty minutes later those sadistic sumbitches from the power company turn the juice back on and all my efforts are for naught. I think they sat at the bottom of the hill and had a scout hiding in my yard waiting form me to finish hooking everything up. When he saw that I was finished, he signalled his cronies to flip the switch. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 4. Finally, and perhaps the most important lesson - if you don't have much of a sense of humor, just go ahead and shoot yourself before the whole mess starts. If you do have a sense of humor - good. You're damn sure going to need it.