Weathering the storm: Rain and wind and walking and football

October 27, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
Oct. 27, 2016

As I mentioned briefly during my writeup of the Stanford-Notre Dame game, the Fighting Irish’s 10-3 loss to North Carolina State in Raleigh on Oct. 8 took place in waterlogged conditions. That day, Hurricane Matthew was sweeping along the coast of the Carolinas; the Triangle got some rain — at times heavy rain — along with some flooding and a bit of wind. But otherwise, little weather-related drama took place in my part of the Old North State.

I spent much of the morning and early afternoon sleeping in, as that was when the rain seemed to be heaviest. But after a while, I got cabin fever, and since the rain seemed to have diminished, I stuffed my laptop into my backpack and donned weather-resistant clothing and headed out.

With one caveat: I’d intended to put on my water-resistant boots but forgot to do so, lacing up my regular sneakers instead. By the time I realized my mistake, I was all set to go, so I just decided to let things ride.

I walked over to Joe Van Gogh, a local coffee shop, going the long way round so as to get in my exercise for the day. There was enough rain and wind that I broke out my umbrella to shield myself; on occasion, I had to fight to keep control of it.

Still, I arrived at the coffee shop without incident and settled in for some hot tea, a snack and a bit of computing.

When the shop closed, I reapplied all my clothing, packed up my computer and headed south toward Ninth Street. Night had more or less fallen, but the wind seemed to have died down a bit, and the rain was unremarkable.

It’s at this point, by the way, that something interesting — but not too interesting — happened. I’ll describe it in a separate post.

One of my favored Ninth Street destinations had closed early, presumably due to lack of custom, so I went a little farther to another spot that I like, and which I hadn’t visited in a while.

Stanford’s kickoff against Washington State wouldn’t be until 10:30 that night, so I still had a few hours to kill. Although I’d initially considered going directly to a bar with my computer, large umbrella and everything else, I decided that I’d be better off hoofing it back home and refreshing myself before heading out to view the game.

So when it was time, I walked back home. The weather was largely still. When I got back to my place, I tossed my damp clothing into the dryer and tried to make myself presentable. As kickoff approached, I dressed myself again and drove to a parking spot that I like near Brightleaf Square. Then I walked the rest of the way to a joint named Bull McCabe’s.

It was pretty crowded there, and there were a bunch of games going on — playoff baseball and plenty of college football. After some initial uncertainty as to which TV might be available to show me WSU-Stanford, I ended up stepping outside to Bull McCabe’s lovely covered porch, which also has several TVs. The host was happy to switch one of the screens to ESPN.

Considering that a hurricane had passed through earlier, it was remarkably calm outside. I think I even took off my jacket.

Unfortunately, the game went…horribly. At halftime, I walked over to West End Billiards, but Stanford’s play did not improve nearly enough.

When the game ended, I walked back to my car and went home.

And that was my tale of weathering the storm.

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