Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's All A Matter Of Perspective

On Sunday, Irene didn't do very much by the way of damage to my area of Central New York. We were without power for a few hours, some roads, including the NYS thruway were flooded and closed. A tree fell in my yard, missing the house and the window I was standing in front of by a foot and my sunflowers looked as if someone had been dancing til dawn in their midst.

She arrived at 5 am here and when the sun came up I could see that she had brought the usual debris with her. I don't remember any wind of any strength happening at that hour. As a matter of fact, it just seemed to be a stiff breeze combing the trees and taking out all the snarls caused by dead branches. It was raining and I don't believe it stopped until just before bedtime that night. The ground was so saturated that the tree, and my sunflowers were blown over exposing their roots.

The tree was a white birch of some height, just not as tall as others, for which I am grateful. I was standing in the bedroom looking out the window when I became aware that it was falling. At me. The whole thing seemed to happen in slow motion and fear kept me rooted to the spot. I couldn't move, couldn't make a sound and wasn't sure what had happened when it was all over. All I knew was that the tree was down and both I and my home were undamaged. Then I fell apart. It was as if someone found my "On" switch, and pushed it.

Once my electricity came back on and my internet seemed to be working, I thought all was going to be fine. Then my internet went out leaving me with the TV as my only entertainment option other than reading a book. I'd done that while the power was out, so TV it was. That was when we found out that I didn't have connection to both satellites so we were limited in our choices. Hubby kept getting stuck on the channels that weren't available, so in disgust he handed me the remote. The chance of a lifetime and we didn't have a full selection of programs for me to play with.

ABC had a 20/20 Special Report on called the Sixth Sense. I wasn't going to watch it until Chris Cuomo said that "One out of five people you meet on the internet is not who they say they are". Ok, THAT got my attention. I knew that there are a lot of fakes online, just never thought about a specific number.

The first hour was about what happened to a young man who wasn't really looking for love in all the wrong places, he just happened to fall into it. He's the subject of the documentary movie "Catfish". You can read more about that movie here.

The second hour ended in the death of a young man in his 20's. The usual eternal triangle, with a twist. The female in question wasn't a young hot chick as she was advertising herself, she was the Mom of the girl whose picture she posted online. The DA's office in Buffalo, NY is trying to find a way to charge this person for her part in the crime. What she did is morally reprehensible, but sadly, it's legal. She didn't intend to harm anyone, she was just having fun.

The kind of things these women have done online would never have occurred to me. Even at my lowest point when Mom hadn't been gone for a year and I was losing my Dad, it never crossed my mind to amuse myself at the expense of others. One thing has been made understandable to me. I now know why so many people are always concerned with how many identities someone has online. If that 1 in 5 figure is even half way correct, that's a lot of fakers. I've come to the conclusion, and I may be wrong, that most of those fakers are doing nothing more than hiding their own identities because they don't want to wake up some morning and find that their bank accounts were emptied or that someone maxed out their credit cards.

The program was interesting. It also was designed to scare us into being fearful online. Had it not been for the reality of Irene, I would have been on the blog the very next day spreading my fear to the people that read me regularly. Somehow or other watching a tree falling towards me in a rainstorm, slightly changed my perspective on things. No matter how bad I think the internet can get, I can always turn away and shut it off. Then, when I have worked out my own feelings, my own emotions, I can turn it back on again. Falling trees have no shut off button. There's something so very final in that thought.


  1. My parents home in Evansville, In is surrounded by huge trees that were planted fifty years ago.
    I worry everytime the area gets thunderstorms.
    Eventually ligtning will take one of them...


  2. I suppose if you are just trading ideas then what is the risk? If your going to meet or do business or trade intimate info then it becomes a concern. For me, I have a way you can verify that I am what I claim, (bye the way what do I claim?), ask Sarge at One Angry Zebra. We know each other for 30 years. I think he will tell you of me what I will tell you of him. Good person, honest, no police record, helping or have helped our parents, have ideas that we express often, and sometimes inappropriately.

    However, here in Wichita there have been two cases recently where people have been robbed and punched in the nose at a meeting off a craigslist advert to buy a computer or i-phone. I don't see myself buying off these kinds of sites.

  3. Sherry:

    I was thinking about you and Hubby when I followed the path of Irene. I am pleased to learn that you weathered the storm successfully.

  4. Sarge,

    Either lightening or wind will take them. They're beautiful, but can cause a lot of heartache under certain circumstances.

  5. Fringe,

    If people were going to be that suspicious, what's to prevent them from believing that you and Sarge are the same person? It could happen. And I'm being funny here.

    I had the opportunity to meet John The Squabbler and another woman Blogstreamer a couple of years ago. As the date approached I started having misgivings about meeting the female from Blogstream. The night before the meet, Hubby got sick so we didn't go. The only time I've ever had a problem with someone trolling me, was directly connected to the woman I avoided meeting, so you really can't ever tell when it's safe.

    Hubby's pick-up truck was purchased through craigslist. It was offered for sale by some very nice people who took less than they wanted for it. He did NOT go alone to look at it. Wise of him I think.

  6. Whit,

    We were on the extreme Western edge of Irene. The wind never got very strong here, but the sheer volume of water she unloaded created all kinds of problems. I've seen trees leaning at a 45 degree angle just from the weight of the leaves during the rain.

    I had an extra day off work due the lack of electricity at that days clients, but other than the rain, it was a quiet day on Sunday.

  7. My New York friend in Long Island swears he is living in a third world country as he still has no power, and its been how long? days on end...

    wanted to stop by and say hello!

  8. Bella!

    Hey there lady!

    I lost power for just a few hours, but there are still people without it. Long Island got hit the hardest here in NY. Some power was restored there yesterday.

    The sheer size of Irene was what made her so awesomely dangerous.