The Calm Before And After The Storm

This vlog actually consists of two weeks worth of footage, including a walk along the Erie Canal on Easter, a monologue including my placement test at Herkimer County Community College and my two cents on the much-talked about Royal Wedding.

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Heat Wave

Well, the Fourth of July weekend has come and gone and I still don’t have internet at my house. That’s right, I am still operating out of the library here in Herkimer and right now, it looks like I may end up going another weekend without internet at my house. Which in turn means that I may have to upload the latest episode of TAOB to blip.tv and YouTube tomorrow afternoon.

However, the big story here is not my lack of Internet access at my house. The big story this week is the big heat wave that has hit the whole Eastern Seaboard, including right here in Central New York. For the last few days, temperatures have been in the low to mid-nineties with no rain or thunderstorms to speak of. It has been really brutal out, especially yesterday in which the temperature here in Herkimer was at 95 degrees. Sleeping during the day, even with air conditioning has been very uncomfortable.

It’s all supposed to end tonight because this afternoon, we’re supposed to get a thunderstorm this afternoon. It’s also supposed to rain tomorrow afternoon which will bring the temperature down into the 80’s tomorrow and Saturday which will bring some relief. Also of note is that tonight is my last night at work before I am officially on vacation for the next 9 days. Finally, something to look forward to.

This weekend is bound to have some good stuff. This weekend is General Herkimer Days here in H-town with a parade and also a chance to see if Empire Diner can create the world’s largest omelet and they’re planning to have Ripley’s Believe It or Not come down for the event. It’s stuff like this that is perfect material for a YouTuber such as myself. I only hope that it doesn’t get rained out because the weather’s forecasting rain for Saturday.

And shortly after I am done here at the library, I am going to head up to HCCC because today they are having their instant enrollment program for the fall semester. I am going up there to see if I can get some information because I am actually thinking about going to college to pursue a degree in broadcasting so I can see if I can improve my career on the Interwebs. Thirteen years ago when I graduated from high school, I wasn’t even thinking about going to college. Now things have changed. I need a career now and my current job ain’t cutting it anymore.

So anyway, that’s what’s been happening from my neck of the woods. Like I said, I’ll probably be posting the latest episode of my web series to the web tomorrow afternoon. It’s just that I’m only allowed 90 minutes on the library computers.

Internet’s Out Again

I am writing this post from the Basloe Library because of the fact that the Internet at my house has been disconnected as of yesterday and it won’t be back up until at least Tuesday because of the Fourth of July weekend.

This actually comes on the heels of a tornado that came through Herkimer Monday afternoon while I was asleep. It happened on the other side of Herkimer about two blocks or so from my house. It mainly affected a one-mile area from West German Street right up to where Lowe’s is on the outskirts of Herkimer. I saw photos on WKTV.com that included sheds blown around the parking lot and plants destroyed. Despite that, there were no injuries and the damage in the hit areas were minor. Thankfully, the town itself, including the area where I live were unaffected by the tornado. But once again, I missed out on yet another video opportunity that could have made into this week’s episode of TAOB.

First the earthquake last week, now the tornado this week. What next? A hurricane?

And speaking of TAOB, since my Internet is down for the weekend, I am going to try to get the new episode up tomorrow afternoon. Even without the Internet, I can still edit videos. It’s just that I have to burn the finished video to a CD before I even attempt to upload it to the Internet. I have done it before last year when I lost Internet. And I just finished cleaning out space on a CD that I can add a video to. Hopefully, the upload to YouTube will go smoothly.

So anyway, it looks like I’ve been forced to take a little vacation from the Internet for the weekend. But like I said, I will be back at the library tomorrow and hopefully, I will have Episode 21 of TAOB up here for you to enjoy this Fourth of July weekend. All I can tell you about this week’s episode is… there will be fireworks. Yes, folks. Tonight Herkimer has its annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular and I have to leave for work a little earlier tonight so I can get some footage to include in tomorrow’s episode.

A Historic Flood

The Herkimer County Historical Society's new exhibit on the 1910 Herkimer Flood.

As you may have guessed by now, I have decided to take yet another week off from producing another episode of my web series this week because once again, I believe in quality and it’s like some advice I got from a recent YouTube video from AngryAussie: “If you don’t have anything to say or do when you are getting ready to do a video, don’t do the video.” It’s clearly good advice. Plus I have a set rule regarding the series that each video I do for the series has to be no less than five minutes long, but again since I am not a YouTube partner, it still can’t be over ten minutes. That’s a rule I still think YouTube should change since not everyone uploads copyrighted content.

So for this week, I am going to do a little blog that might end up being a little history lesson about the history of the village of Herkimer in light of the fact that this past Wednesday, the Historical Society unveiled their latest exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the great Herkimer Flood of 1910 that left one person dead and about a million dollars (by 1910 figures) in property damage.

It all started February 28, 1910 after the area had a fairly decent winter and the weather had started to melt some of the ice and snow. That combined with a heavy rain caused ice to jam up the West Canada Creek, causing water from there to flood into a Hydraulic Canal that existed in Herkimer at that time and was the source of the town’s power. As a result, the water overflowed from the canal into the town.

Many of the streets as well as the railroad tracks were buried under two to three feet of water which made the streets impassable except by boat or canoe. Basements of houses were buried under 6 to 7 feet of water. Many homes were destroyed. Businesses were flooded and the local newspaper, the Herkimer Telegram was shut down. The electric trolleys were shut down and replaced with horses. And as I said before, only one person was killed after being hit by a flying piece of ice while railroad workers were trying to use dynamite to blow up a huge chunk of ice that was blocking the railroad tracks.

A 1910 photo of a horse-drawn trolley that operated during the Herkimer flood.

The flood also attracted curious people from all around, even though the crowds that came for the flood were not as big as the crowds that came to Herkimer for Chester Gillette’s murder trial four years earlier in which the crowds contained people from as far as New York City. One man even made money by conducting tours of a house that was tipped on its side by the flood.

All in all, this is one of the big examples of how a community came together and overcame a natural disaster which is to date, the worst natural disaster ever to affect the village of Herkimer. The flood only lasted for five days and by March 5, the flood waters started to recede. Only 200 houses survived the flood and many of those houses are still here to this day. Of course Herkimer and its surrounding areas would go on to have many more floods, the most recent one being in Dolgeville four years ago. However none of them were as bad as the one in 1910.

And this centennial commemoration could not have come at a better time especially when another major disaster is affecting the country and of course I am talking about the BP oil spill in the Gulf.

Ironically, when I was going to a presentation on this at the Historical Society Wednesday night, it was starting to pour outside and I was caught in it. However, luckily I was right at the Historical Society when the rain really started coming down. Thankfully, there was no flooding.

So there you go. Another historic event that happened in Herkimer brought to you courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Blackcatloner.