Back in Action After Superstorm Sandy

Thank you so much to those who have emailed and reached out through Social Media to make sure I was okay! Everything is fine and the power and internet are back.

I sincerely hope you can say the same.

Quick notes:

1) Mail pick-up resumed in the area as of Wednesday -- I was operational here as of late Friday -- I've now shipped all packages paid through Saturday morning at 3 am.

2) I don't think I'm going to do my usual TCM previews for November. It turned out harder to read/write by flashlight than I recalled from Irene last year, plus I kept pretty active around here anyway. So, we'll move forward and plan on resuming normal preview activity come December (Stanwyck!).

My pal Kristina at Speakeasy has a link round-up of other TCM in November previews though - Check it out here!

Once more, thanks much to all who wrote or otherwise reached out. Following is a little bit I typed up about operations here after the lights came on but before internet access returned.

Since I don't have a digital camera on hand to show off storm damage, we'll illustrate with my previously prepared group of TCM Star of the Month Constance Bennett collectibles!

Constance Bennett 1934 Ardath Tobacco CardAs noted prior to the storm all orders paid through Monday morning, October 29, at 9 am have shipped.

Then the weather took a turn.

I am once again fully operational and all orders paid from October 29 to present are being packed and will ship have shipped Saturday, November 3.

All buyers whose orders ship Saturday will also receive a short separate notice from me either via direct email or through eBay's messaging system, or possibly both, to let them know what's going on.

I've saved the long version for here.

Boy, did the weathermen ever call that one perfectly!

Me and mine are all okay, largely inconvenienced more than anything by the storm and we're thankful for that because Sandy was much worse for others including those very near on the map to me.

Our biggest issue was wind. Rain was negligible. In fact, Sandy was the rare storm which did not involve flooding in my immediate area.

Constance Bennett 1930s Aguila Trading CardIt did, however, provide on 80-foot surprise when a large tree went down and spread across the neighbor's yard. Even that had a bright side though as not only was no one hurt, but not even a house was grazed. The fence is another matter, but, oh well.

While this may be the tree that passers-by slowly roll by pointing at with mouths agape, there are other backyards on the block with just as much lumber to deal with. I had a few beers around a fire with one neighbor who had eight trees fall either from or into his yard. The tallest one leans on a corner of his house, but again, no major damage.

While the winds were gusting throughout Monday the power didn't cut until about 5 pm.

That was the exact time that the weathermen had predicted an increase in gustiness.

Constance Bennett 1929 Movie Land Keeno Game CardShortly after my next door neighbor knocked on the door with news of a generator and his willingness to share a line. Alas, his generosity got the best of the equipment as I wasn't the only neighbor he extended this courtesy to and we were all back in the dark in about an hour.

It was a pretty scary night. Didn't hear that big tree go down. Given it's harmless path I'm thankful for being spared the panic of watching it drop as well. After having noticed it was down anxiety spiked a bit, yet at the same time the most threatening object looming over the house was no longer a threat.

The winds whipped violently until, again, as predicted, about midnight. A little while later I was able to fall asleep.

No lights on Tuesday; only confirmation that the neighbor's generator was fried for good. No power.

Constance Bennett 1930s Bulgaria Brand Tobacco CardStrange weather Tuesday: Mostly sunny and still, yet the skies darkened about once per hour preceding 15-20 minute periods of rain which almost predictably ceased to bring back the sun until the next hour.

A quiet day, walking up and down the block, surveying the local damage. My block lost many trees, but again, most of them appear to have missed houses. I haven't heard of any injuries. Beyond the fences that is.

Cleaning up. Meet and greets with the neighbors. Quaint and quiet. Tuesday and Wednesday end at at sundown.

The lights came back just after sundown Wednesday.

Wonderful! But I'm still out of commission: No Cablevision. And so no phone or internet. No cable TV either, but at least the DVD player works. The neighbor uses Verizon, which is up, but they are not wired for the internet.

Constance Bennett 1933 United Kingdom Cinema Stars tobacco CardAnd so I'm out of the loop. I'm actually still out of the loop as I write this and it is quite unnerving. (Don't fret, remember, I'm back now!)

I don't know who has bought what but I am sure I'm going to have some work to do once the cable boxes stop telling me to "Hold on" and register a channel instead. The modem at my left shows power and one of the lights is blinking, but I need that blinking light to go steady and two more besides to light up.

The newspaper reports about the cable worry me some because despite massive outages they claim that 99% of those are to homes without power. I'm in a slim minority: Power but no Cablevision. Hopefully soon. (Note: It was 48 hours from power to cable.)

Sandy was the worst storm I've ever seen on Long Island, easily topping Hurricane Gloria back in the '80s and last year's Irene. The flooding being reported on each shore is frightening. Friends of friends have lost their homes. I don't know anybody, friend or family alike, who has returned to work yet as of Friday.

Constance Bennett 1934 Godfrey Phillips tobacco cardAs I write this on Friday current reports from LIPA, our power company, have outages at Irene levels. That means they've restored power to about 400,000 customers.

Luckily I was one of the first 100,000 or so restored, but there are nearly 600,000 people still without power here. The selections at the grocery stores are spotty but improving. There are long lines and reports of short tempers at the gas stations.

Cell phone service was completely out until Wednesday evening. To be honest it seemed to work better on Thursday than it does on Friday. I haven't seen some voicemails until 24 hours after they were left and a few of those were too garbled to understand anyway.

Until Cablevision returns it's really a combo of spotty cell service, newspapers, radio and word of mouth around here.

Postscript: Other than that tree out back everything is now back to normal. I hope you can say the same as well!

And now, going forward with our agenda, out of the present and back to the past until life's next little disruption ...

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