John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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JHeaton's Day Off

Well, I don't have to go to work tomorrow. I suspected I wouldn't have to, but finding out wasn't too easy. The Office of Personnel Management announced hours ago that the "Federal government" would be closed tomorrow in anticipation of Hurricane Isabel, but the part of the Federal government for which I work doesn't go by what OPM says. Luckily, someone was manning the switchboard, and she connected me to my agency's operating status hotline, which gave me the information I needed.

I have to admit that I'm having trouble taking this storm seriously. When it comes to inclement weather, Washington DC is the Metropolitan Area That Cries Wolf. Schools close at the drop of a hat -- I vividly remember the first time I heard that one of the local school districts had sent their students home in anticipation of snow -- and people make mad dashes to the supermarket to stock up on bottled water, bread, and toilet paper every time the forecast calls for even the smallest snowfall. It's pathetic, really. But that's not the point. The point is that when the local news media hypes every storm as the Storm of the Century, it makes it very difficult to take them seriously, even though intellectually I know that this storm really will be pretty nasty. (The Governor of Virginia didn't help matters by declaring a state of emergency on Monday, when Isabel was still 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina.)

So now I need to decide what to do with my day off. I think I may go over to my brother's house. My eight-year-old niece has the day off too, and I think it's about time she was introduced to Bring It On. And maybe I'll finally get around to finishing my reports about my California trip.

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