Monday, September 19, 2005

The End Is Nigh Pt. 2

This was going to be the first thing I was going to post about today, and then I started in on the other posts, so my little 'experience' this morning has to wait until now to be told to the world.

I thought the world ended this morning. Or at least my 8 square block section of Wauwatosa. Apparently, the church next door to my house got hit by lightning at 6:27 this morning. When I say "next door", I mean NEXT door. When I say "lightning", I mean a force of nature that was SO loud, it knocked a picture off the wall.

I'm a VERY sound sleeper, but I thought this was the end. I was sound asleep, and then there was the LOUDEST sound I've ever heard in my life. I've been in front of rock concerts, and fired shotguns, but this had 'em all beat. Everyone knows what a 'thundercrack' sounds like, and this was no exception. Except for the volume. Wow.

So the bang happens, and my heart rate pegs out at about 225 beats per min. I sit up in bed so fast, that I have no idea where I am, and I'm confused as all get out. It's kinda dark in the room, but light enough that I see a picture come off the hinge and fall to the floor. That's how fast I sat up. All I can hear is the 'after rumbles', and what I think is the sound of rain hitting the window, but I'm so startled, at that moment I'm not sure what that noise is. I looked at the clock, and saw 6:27, and thinking there should be more light outside.

So then I look over, and Robyn's not there. I think to myself, "that can't be good". A few things should have sunk in at that moment, but didn't. First is, that she's out of town, up in Door County. Second is, that even if she was in town, she would have left for work already, and wouldn't be in the bed at that hour anyway. But neither of those thoughts hit my rattled brain immediately.

You know how things can happen, and you have about 223,548 thoughts run through your head in about a half-a-second? And they're all crystal clear thoughts? Well, for about three-tenths of a second, I thought it was game over. Bomb went off in my front yard. Is this really what it's like to die? Plane hit the school across the street. If I were dead, wouldn't things seem a bit more clear now? Gas main blew up underneath the house. Lightning hit the house. I can feel my heart beating a mile a min in my chest, how can I be......

LIGHTNING!!! Ah yes! An explanation! I can't be dead! Just completely startled out of my mind. So now it's about four seconds after the strike, and mentally, I feel alot better, but my heart is still racing. As I waited for my neurons to return to normal, I thought about how people could survive a direct lightning strike. My words on this thing cannot describe the volume of the thunderclap, and I don't think I could fathom the energy released during a lightning strike.

So I think it took a good half hour to fall back asleep. I used to look forward to thunderstorms in the night. Now that I know there's a literal lightning rod on the building next to mine, I'm not so excited about them anymore.


At 9:14 AM, Anonymous thebeekeeper said...

here's something to fathom about energy:
air breaks down electrically (conducts charge) at around 300V/m depending on air pressure and other things.
clouds that generate lightning are usually around 1800m high
i read somewhere that theres about 30,000A of current in a lightning bolt
so that's (300V/m * 1800m)*3e4A = 162 megawatts
and that all happens in a few milliseconds. yeah, that's pretty much energy

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Nort said...

Just try standing waist deep in a river, when a lightning bolt hits just upstream. It's an experience. At least you could fall back asleep. Try walking around with "Jell-O legs" and a broken toe all day long.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Will said...

What a pussy? Jeebus.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Kuflax said...

So Nort, are you speaking from experiance? Cuz I would have thought in the time that I've known you that I woulda heard about you being hit by lightning????

At 1:40 PM, Blogger mylion15 said...

My experience with the lightning wasn’t as bad as that but i was still really scared. I saw the lightning hit a hill by my house and catch it on fire. That was really cool the flames were really high. I don’t think i would have been able to go back to sleep if it hit the building next to me. I would probably be in my moms room keeping her up or out side trying to see if all my animals are still alive.

Thanks for commenting on my blogg


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