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Riding out Hurricane Irene with little inconvenience, and great appreciation

How was your hurricane?

At our house in Eldersburg, we spent the night on the first floor last Saturday evening as Hurricane Irene struck, for fear of falling trees. Our ancient and huge maple tree shed more than its quota of dead branches, but remained upright.

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On Sunday at around 5 a.m., the cable went out and remained out until the wee hours of Monday morning.

Now, a Sunday without political talk shows is like cold turkey withdrawal for both residents of this household. So, we were a bit grumpy.

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But cable, including Internet, was restored fairly quickly, along with our good temper.

It is indeed amazing how much all of us have become dependent on the Internet for work, socialization with friends we've lost touch with, for information of all sorts, for convenient shopping.

If I miss an email from the Carroll County Public Library, we are likely to have books overdue.

If I can't send this column to my editor, I can't offer my thoughts and opinions to all and sundry. That would be the cruelest fate of all. (For me, at least. I can't speak for readers.)

As far as hurricane response goes, Carroll County Emergency Management did its thing and, as far as this citizen can tell, did it well.

We received two robocalls, one with no message and one with contact information for the emergency medical services.

The school system was up and running on time with just two schools (Century High and Hampstead Elementary) delayed from Tuesday's opening day — unlike some other systems that suffered greater damage and stayed closed until Wednesday.

I should note that President Barack Obama made sure he didn't repeat the President George W. Bush mistake of lack of preparation in advance of an impending hurricane.

You will remember that when Hurricane Katrina struck, Bush and leaders in Louisiana wound up pointing fingers at one another. Both should have taken greater preemptive action.

For Hurricane Irene, the necessary preparations were made, evacuations accomplished and the death toll was minimal.

Even Maryland's left-leaning Gov. Martin O'Malley and far-right Gov. Chris Christie, of New Jersey, found something to agree on: Both had pointed comments about the cretins who refused to evacuate on schedule.

Still, billions of dollars in damages occurred, more billions in lost business. These are further blows to our stumbling economy.

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Back at the homestead, obedience trials at Oriole Dog Training Club were canceled Saturday and Sunday.

Months of training of our Irish terrier female Cailin ag Rince (Irish for "girl at dancing") went to waste.

For those unfamiliar with the activity, obedience training a terrier is akin to herding cats — lots of effort, minimal results.

There will be another trial. Still, it was a big disappointment.

Rince was not disturbed, however. She wants her meals — on time — as well as a sufficient quantity of personal time with the humans she considers her pets.

Those essentials, plus a morning sparring contest in the house with Ch. Wexford Crossroads Ceili, and Rince's day is complete.

Irish terriers, like Irish politicians, tend to be a bit combative, but they still weather the storms that come their way.

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