A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

In other news,

On my way back to the hotel from the tire dealer I tried to get my mail. I was thwarted about 100 yards from the Post Office by a ridiculous detour. 30 minutes later I made it back to the hotel. I went out again to try to get to the mail from the other direction. I found out from one of the cops directing traffic that an 18-wheeler missed a curve and took out a bunch of power lines and a gas main.

Guess I'll wait until tomorrow to get the mail.

See what I started?

What a week, and it's not even Friday.

Well. This was an interesting week.

I was asked to go to a college football game. LSU -vs- Tennesee. Fun experience. LSU blew it. UT played well during the second half. I was probably the only person in the entire stadium who DGAF about the outcome. It was an interesting experience and is now something I can say I've done.

However, and this is where it got interesting, I found out that certain things that you think mean one thing, mean something ENTIRELY different when you relocate to a new area.

Case in point: When I see a sign on the side of the road, you know the ones, 36" diamond. Orange with black letters reading "BUMP", based on my previous experience I expect to hit a little whoop-t-do in the road and carry on.

Unfortunately, here in Louisiana, that specific sign ACTUALLY means, "Please come to a complete halt before proceeding because you are about to encounter a 6" tall, square curb we just cut across the next intersection perpendicular to the direction you are travelling at 60 MPH."

This is what the outside of my car's wheels looks like:
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This is what the inside of the right front looked like after encountering the "BUMP.":
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I was able to order a pair of new wheels from a local(ish) Dodge dealer and they got them in a day. The local Bridgestone dealer was able to install three new tires and align the car in about three hours even though his shop was absolutely slammed. He said it's been like that since the first hurricane.

I liked the shop. I was impressed with how the crew worked, treated the cars and how the managers treated the customers. I will be back.

Anyway, I found out how much the wheels on my car cost. $550 EACH. So this is a very expensive lesson that I should probably slow down a bit at intersections even if I have the green light.

As luck would have it, the alignment wasn't even off and the left front wheel that hit the curb balanced with no weights after the new tire was installed.

I still feel lucky.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

OK. New List. Only update is the UOM.

*Urinator of the Moment

*10) Cindy Sheehan

9) Bob Barker

8) Garth Brooks

7) Gilbert Godfried

6) Fidel Castro

5) Kobe Bryant

4) Mike Tyson

3) O. J. Simpson

2) Scott Peterson

1) Michael Jackson


PLEASE people. STOP saying that oxygen is flammable.

If that were the case everytime you lit a cigarette the earth would explode.

Wondering about driving...

Why couldn't any of the thousnads of poeple stuck at the Superdome during the first hurricane drive those New Orleans buses that ended up submerged? What, do they remove the driving part of your brain if you're on welfar in New Orleans?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Another sign that the apocalypse is nigh.

Demi Moore married Ashton Kutcher and Bruce Willis attended the nuptials.

Still not quite enough to modify the list though.

Look at the weather dorks run...

Everyone has moved to broadcast from Orange, and Port Arthur, Texas because that's where the damage is. (That sounds familiar. Where HAVE I heard that name?)

Houston and Galveston have been dropped like hot rocks and left to re-settle the millions of people who will never evacuate again even if I think a nasty storm is heading straight at them. Way to go people.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Anybody notice...

That I have yet to use the 'name' of either of those storms?

Naming weather events is imbecilic. Give the damned things a number and call it a day. Then there will be no confusion. 05-17 has a nice ring to me.

Just think....

The psychologists won't have to be called in to help all the traumatized kids whose names happen to be on the list that year. Wouldn't want to hurt their self-esteem now, would we...?

Here's a new feature that will become ongoing.

I've kept a list for several years. It's an intriguing list to say the least. The title of the list is as follows:

"People Upon Whom I Wouldn't Pee If They Were On Fire"

The list contains nine standards and one "Urinator of the Moment". It takes a significant shift in public exposure to be removed from the standard list. For example, my perennial #1 would have been removed had he been convicted. The "Urinator of the Moment" is reserved for the latest person who annoys me by being over-exposed for colossal stupidity.

And without further adieu, here is THE LIST.

*Urinator of the Moment

*10) New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin

9) Bob Barker

8) Garth Brooks

7) Gilbert Godfried

6) Fidel Castro

5) Kobe Bryant

4) Mike Tyson

3) O. J. Simpson

2) Scott Peterson

1) Michael Jackson

This list is dedicated to all the O.G. at K.C.

Parting Shots

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Now that the rain stopped,

Here are some pics from other angles.

The water in these shots has gone down at least a foot from the highest point.

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Looks like the rest of the rain band is kicking out to the east

Hopefully we'll be done with the deluge in an hour or two.


In the midst of all this they managed to get the cable TV back. We've got phone, electricity, cable and high speed internet.

Not too shabby!

A few more photos.

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The pictures don't do it justice.

The water is just boiling out of those three submerged culverts. The torrent in that ditch is visibly moving at about 5-8 miles per hour I'd guess. Nice brisk walk. There was one point during the height of the last blast, however, that the wind blew so hard it looked like the water started flowing backwards. About that time I saw rain going up as well. That was interesting.

At least the rain has subsided to a nice steady downpour.

I think it's about peaked right now.

There's still a good chance for one last soggy blast over the next couple hours. Hopefully it swings east through us instead of coming due North and soaking the place even more. The sky is pretty bright as of now, but I think there's one more shot to come.

More pics in a bit.

Figured out the pictures.

Lots of water. I'll get some pics of what this ditch looks like empty after the rain stops. This sequence took about 30-45 minutes. (It's still raining like hell.)

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That's a lot of water.

The ditch behind the hotel is full again. Totally covering the (3) 4+ foot diameter pipes that feed the water under the road. I'm trying to figure out how to email pictures from my phone so I can post them here. LOTS of water.

Very heavy band coming through

Lots of rain and wind right now. I think if we get through this one, that's the last of it.

Hopefully the power can stay on for a while longer so I can really cool the room down.

It's flickering a bit as I type.

Here's something interesting.

The new hurricane recovery tax breaks may be a boon for me.

This clause is the interesting part:

From FOX News:

Penalty-Free Retirement Plan Withdrawals

Katrina victims who withdraw money from their company retirement plans or IRAs in order to make repairs or pay bills will not be hit with the usual 10 percent early withdrawal penalty even if they are under age 59 1/2. The maximum withdrawal is $100,000. In addition, these individuals can spread the income tax on these withdrawals over three years instead of having to pay the entire amount in the year of the distribution.

If your company retirement plan offers “hardship” loans, the maximum amount is temporarily increased from $50,000 to $100,000.

Not sure if I qualify as a 'victim', but I was certainly living here during the storm and I did just take a bunch of money out of my 401k to pay bills, so tax season could be WAAAAY better than I thought.

Haven't heard much of what passes for news today but...

What I'm seeing on the web seems to not be the disaster that the chattering heads had hoped for. A few casinos floated away but I haven't heard much about any massive damage to the gulf's oil infrastructure. Good for us. Bad for the media as they won't be able to boost prices with their fearmongering this time. (Although you can be damned sure that whatever damage was caused by the storm, it's a direct result of either the action or inaction of the president.)

Power's Back!

At 0822 we got power back, so I've got the A/C cranked up in case we lose it again. High Speed internet is still working but the land-line phones and cable tv are down. This is better than last time. Weather is getting better, but is still marginal. Hopefully that was it. So far so good.

I Hate Being Right

still here. no power, but cell is still working. rain is pretty much gone, but still pretty windy. no visible damage near the hotel that i can see. hopefully the linemen can get the power back on before it gets hot again. oh well it could be worse.

Here are the thoughts I penned during the blackout:

Sitting in the dark at 0430 hoping that the power might come back before the room heats up too much. Listening to the radio. Sounds like we lost power about 0200. That's probably correct given the temperature of the coffee I was ablr to coax out of the Bunn this morning.

I hate being right all the time. This storm damage will be more widespread than the last one. The drainange ditch behind the hotel, which is about 5' deep and was barely filled during the last storm is FULL right now. It's hard to tell because it's rather dark; but if that's not standing water I'm impressed at the volume.

Still pretty windy if the rain has stopped. Waiting for a new day so I can get a better idea of what's happening.

THe radio people are saying that there's a lot of crap left. It would be better if I had lights.

I'm interested to see what Galveston and Houston got. It sounds like Beaumont is going to get the worst of it. No one on the radio is saying exactly where the storm came on shore because they were so wrong for so long. (Sounds like a country song.) I think I hit it right on the head. Port Arthur, TX is the landfall. Sp far we still have running water. Hopefully thath stays so the toilets keep functioning. Worst case, I'll go to work.

0500 now and a little lightning outside.

0540. I must've woken up right after the storm line that took out the power rolled through. The ditch behind the hotel is down a lot right now. Probably only a foot or so deep. That was an enormous amount of water. Wow. The radio is still saying that another band is coming. Yippee. I said that this one was going to be worse.

I'm now hearing that the people returning to New Orleans need tetanus, Hep A&B, and the Flu vaccines.

I wish I knew the state and parishes better. It's hard to get a good idea of where these radio guys are talking about. Oh well. I've got bread, peanut butter, soda, water, & beer. It may not be cold for long, but hopefully, since we're on the main drag of town, we'll have power restored before too long. I'm going to sit tight. The doors of the hotel only have those card readers for locks so if the batteries die, I can't get into the room. That would suck.

0600 No visible damage outside the hotel. Not even raining right now. Just maybe some 30 mph gusts. Some places with generators have lights but it looks like the east side of town may have power so who knows. Maybe they can get us back in a day or so.

Listening to the radio and the top-of-the-hour news is funny. Still yapping about W shirking his duty.

It's a little strange walking around using my cellular phone as a flashlight. Guess I should've bought one of those. Day-break will be nice. It's hard to write in the dark.

0630 and I'm starting to see the sunrise. I ca actually see what I'm writing now. All the schmucks are waking up now and calling the radio station. The ditch behind the hotel is basically dry. That was a huge amount of water.

Ambulance just went by with the lights on. Still pretty dry here, just a bit breezy. I wonder when the next splashdown will show up?

I think I can see that the stop light about 1/2 mile from the hotel is operating. Maybe we'll get lucky.

Or maybe not. Might be a cop's lights. It's starting to rain again. Bands of sheets thath I can see.

Now it's clear again.

Yeah. It's a cop. Must be directing traffic at the town's major intersection to keep the shitheads from running it.

Another ambulance just went by. It's now 0650 and much lighter outside. I'd like to take a walk into town, but I don't know when the next splash will show up.

Maybe I'll try a phone call a bit late. I'm not holding my breath that I'll have any communications anytime soon given my experience from the last storm.

Sounds bad for the Lake Charles casinos. One is missing and several others are loose and heading toward bridges. I didn't think that I'd ever hear about people losing a casino.

Well. The cell phone still works. That's pleasant.

Yay! 0822 and the power is back Hopefully it stays!

Friday, September 23, 2005

In the middle of the bands

Merely cloudy and calm right now. Light breeze and no rain.

More to come I'm certain.

Yankees are on ESPN though, so at least that's like home, sort of...


Looking out the window, I was struck how much this looks like a standard Nor'Easter. Except it's still 75 degrees out and I won't have to shovel tomorrow.

Piece of cake.

Here we go again....

Long distance from the hotel is out and my cell phone has to charge. Otherwise everything is fine. If a bit breezy and quite moist.

Finally something to cheer about.

Michael Waltrip will be in a Dodge next season.

The Napa Dodge with Bill Davis Racing.

My favorite driver will finally be driving the correct brand.

What'd I tell ya?

Looks like it's coming ashore at Port Arthur. I figured at least 50 miles further east, but it was a better guess than all the forecast-dweebs who were so busy putting Houston into a case of perpetual gridlock that a bus carrying elderly nursing home citizens caught fire on the freeway and killed dozens. I wonder if they're going to charge that nursing home director with manslaughter?

New Orleans is going under again. Thank God W stepped in and forced that jackass mayor to rescind his order to repopulate or we'd be going throught the same thing again. This Nagin guy needs to be drowned for the common good.

We're getting worse weather already now than we got during the entirety of the last storm. It's rather windy and raining like hell. I can't believe the TV people are still paying attention to Texas. Louisiana is going to get the worst of this one. I guess we can't be the flavor of the week twice.

Oh well. I've got beer, soda, bread, peanut butter, jelly and Fritos. If the power goes out I should be good for a month.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Whadya know.

I just noticed that today is the first anniversary of this effort.



You sadistic bastards.


The hurricane is turning North as you babble. It is heading toward Louisiana again. I know that there is no one left here that you care about because the poor people (read: democratic voters that W ostensibly hates) have already been put up in shelters by the government but Galveston and Houston are not going to get much of this storm. They will be on the leeward side anyway so the wind speed will be even further reduced. And furthermore, neither city is built 20+ feet below sea level.)

Way to go. The biggest disaster of this hurricane season is the media's relentless victim-production. I'm sick to death of seeing these unfortunates on TV whining that they are stuck in traffic. Go back home. You'll be safer there than on the road with all the other idiots.

Why doesn't the media show the side that the refugees from the last storm are displaying all too frequently around here. Turning their noses up at the donated food and clothing because it isn't good enough. (Not all of them, obviously, but enough that even I've seen it.) Go loot something in a slum if you don't like it damnit.

Man. I've got to turn off the TV.

It just started raining.

Huge drops with the sun showing off to the west. It's going to be a long couple days.

Let's hear it!

Boy. I guess because of the spectacularly frightening coverage of the last storm, and the death knell being sounded by the weatherpeople for this one, everyone living south of Austin has decided to evacuate. At The Same Time. All I've been hearing since I woke this morning is how bad the traffic is, people running out of gas sitting in traffic, going 5 miles in twelve hours, blah, blah, blah.

I still say we're going to get the worst of it. The storm is limping to the right trying to prove me right so I'll wait and see.

Anyway, now that the feds and state officials have carried out a successful evacuation, whose going to bear the blame for not having wide enough roads in place to get them out of harms way?

(OH AND ANOTHER THING. If the weather idiots had predicted what I am, people would have known to head SOUTH rather than north to escape this storm. Heading north is only putting you in harms way away from your home. Brownsville is probably the safest town in Texas today.)

Must be W's fault. He was governor and should have anticipated that we'd see these storms this close and end up with gridlock because an 8 lane highway with all lanes running northbound isn't enough to move 6 million people in 24 hours.

Damn that Karl Rove.

I don't think Texas is going to be the story.

The news people are deluding themselves. They're thinking, "This thing can't hit near the same place as the last one." So, they're wasting time scaring people in Texas. This new one is already hooking North. It's going to come in somewhere between New Iberia, LA and Port Arthur, TX. Galveston still needs to be concerned and clear out, but South of there should be minimal like we had here from the last one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Who'd a thunk it?

Rhode Island has a Hurricane Protection Device built at the mouth of the Providence River.

Site here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

This latest storm

will probably hit Houston dead nuts. Then everyone will be able to bitch that W forced Houston to accept all the New Orleans refugees, (Oops, I mean displaced federal funding receiving homeless persons), and they therefore had no place for their own citizens to evacuate to.

Damn those Neo-Con sorcerers and their ability to control the weather...

Exxon does it again

Admidst the scare that the media is trying to instill in all the residents of the south, (WE ARE MEDIA. YOU SOUTHERN, BUSH VOTING RUBES WILL BE ASSIMILATED......),My local Exxon station actually dropped its prices 6 cents/gallon today. I just topped up at $2.69 for 93 octane. 87 is $2.49. Can't beat that.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Looks like the new hurricane is going to hit on Friday evening. Perfect. No racing this week either.

Here we go again.

New hurricane off south Florida. All the news casters are hoping that it won't run the same path that the last one did. Not sure why it wouldn't. We're all under the exact same weather pattern as we were three weeks ago. Batten 'em down baby, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Now THAT's a film.

It's no "Office Space", but my copy of "The Sting" Special Edition Legacy Series DVD arrived today. One of the best films ever. This verison is in wide screen and the sound is very good. The video is not perfect, but you don't want this movie to look like it was computer generated. Excellent and well worth the $19. Buy it here.

Everyone should read this.

Hurricane Aftermath: What went Right

Friday, September 16, 2005

Now it rains.

It's raining harder now than it ever did during the hurricane.

And now the fragile cellular and land line phones are out of commission again.


Mom and Dad, don't worry about the snow blower any time soon. There's no rush.

Of course.

The day I finally have enough done to be able to go to the drags, it freakin' pours. I got within about a half mile of the track and it started raining so hard even I had to slow down. So, around I turned and home I went. But not before fueling the car at the Cajun Circus Casino & Gas Station.

Interesting place, this Louisiana.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A local perspective on the aftermath of the hurricane

From columnist Chris Rose of The Times-Picayune

Dear America,

I suppose we should introduce ourselves: We're South Louisiana.

We have arrived on your doorstep on short notice and we apologize for that, but we never were much for waiting around for invitations. We're not much on formalities like that. And we might be staying around your town for a while, enrolling in your schools and looking for jobs, so we wanted to tell you a few things about us. We know you didn't ask for this and neither did we, so we're just going to have to make the best of it.

First of all, we thank you. For your money, your water, your food, your prayers, your boats and buses and the men and women of your National Guards, fire departments, hospitals and everyone else who has come to our rescue.

We're a fiercely proud and independent people, and we don't cotton much to outside interference, but we're not ashamed to accept help when we need it. And right now, we need it.

Just don't get carried away. For instance, once we get around to fishing again, don't try to tell us what kind of lures work best in your waters. We're not going to listen. We're stubborn that way.

You probably already know that we talk funny and listen to strange music and eat things you'd probably hire an exterminator to get out of your yard.

We dance even if there's no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly, we're suspicious of others who don't. But we'll try not to judge you while we're in your town.

Everybody loves their home, we know that. But we love South Louisiana with a ferocity that borders on the pathological. Sometimes we bury our dead in LSU sweatshirts.

Often we don't make sense. You may wonder why, for instance - if we could only carry one small bag of belongings with us on our journey to your state - why in God's name did we bring a pair of shrimp boots?

We can't really explain that. It is what it is.

You've probably heard that many of us stayed behind. As bad as it is, many of us cannot fathom a life outside of our border, out in that place we call Elsewhere.

The only way you could understand that is if you have been there, and so many of you have. So you realize that when you strip away all the craziness and bars and parades and music and architecture and all that hooey, the best thing about where we come from is us.

We are what made this place a national treasure. We're good people. And don't be afraid to ask us how to pronounce our names. It happens all the time.

When you meet us now and you look into our eyes, you will see the saddest story ever told. Our hearts are broken into a thousand pieces.

But don't pity us. We're gonna make it. We're resilient. After all, we've been rooting for the Saints for 35 years. That's got to count for something.

OK, maybe something else you should know is that we make jokes at inappropriate times.

But what the hell.

And one more thing: In our part of the country, we're used to having visitors. It's our way of life.

So when all this is over and we move back home, we will repay to you the hospitality and generosity of spirit you offer to us in this season of our despair.

That is our promise. That is our faith.

Hat-Tip Tom H.


Posting from my phone works, but it is a bit tedious. Plus, given that I don't have a data plan right now, that probably cost me seven dollars. I can't wait to get the new phone I ordered today. It has a built in PDA and Email client with full QWERTY (unfortunately) keyboard. That should allow me to post anything from anywhere.


This is a test of the cellular posting system.

This is great.

"..a congressional task force reported that the levees that failed in New Orleans would have been raised higher and strengthened in 1996 by the Army Corps of Engineers were it not for a lawsuit filed by environmentalist led by who else but the Sierra Club. Among those "leaders of our country" to "be held accountable" for the flooding of New Orleans, would Al include the Sierra Club? How about the Save the Wetlands stalwarts? According to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times, a 1977 lawsuit filed by Save the Wetlands stopped a congressionally funded plan to protect New Orleans with a "massive hurricane barrier." A judge found that New Orleans' hurricane barrier would have to wait until the Army Corps of Engineers filed a better environmental-impact statement."

From R. Emmett Tyrell Jr. Read the whole essay, here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

At least the VLWC of the media is distracted

and our troops in Iraq can continue kicking ass without the constant doom and gloom coverage.

What they won't say to CYA

Just heard some guy named Jones on FNC talking about why so few people were evacuated from New Orleans. He said until moments before it struck the hurricane was heading to Florida.

Now, I'm not a politician, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that a 'moment' in his world is a few hours. His statement is STILL bullshit.

It was obvious to anyone watching the weather channel as of the Friday before impact that the storm had a good chance to splatter the city and by Saturday there was no doubt in my mind that New Orleans was in trouble.

Nobody wanted to be the next in the line of poeple who had called for an evacuation of the city only to have the storm miss.

Well, nobody had the balls to do the right thing because they were too busy deluding themselves that everything would be fine just like always and now it's W's fault that the New Orleans and Louisiana politicians are incompetent. Who lied and who died this time, lefties?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Didn't take too long...

For the History Channel to show it's true color. (A nice light shade of pink.)

Show about the hurricane. Had an interview with an idiot claiming that because W cut a few million dollars out of the Army corps of engineers levee budget over the last few years and for fiscal year 2006 that this mess would have otherwise been averted.

Not quite, dumbass. The entire levee system was designed for a Class 3. Not a Strong 4+. A few extra cubic yards of dirt dumped on the piles wouldn't have made a damned bit of difference.

Maybe the state of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans should stop suckling at the feddle gummint's teat and start planning for their own disasters. The nanny state can only fix everything under martial law. (Just ask people who disagree with Castro.)

Oh my God.

I just realized that William McKinley, A REPUBLICAN, was president in September 1900, when the great Galveston flood ocurred and killed more than 6000 people. (Women and minorities were most affected.)

Is Karl Rove methuselah? Has he been coordinating these attacks with the forces of nature to give loony lefties better imbecilic talking points for the last century? When is the madness going to stop?

Oh, by the way, if Al Gore had been allowed to govern after he was elected, global warming would have ceased and this latest storm would have been averted.

McKinley was assassinated shortly thereafter. I wonder what the lefties think of that? Wonder what they'd think of president Cheney?

I have to go take my medication now.

What the hell...

Why is W wasting his time stumbling around New Orleans looking at all of those minorities he hates when there is a crisis in Los Angeles. Celebrities and beautiful people are without power. Get the feds moving people!!!

Lovebugs, And I'm not talking about one of the things that Hitler and Hippies have in common.

Nasty little flies down here. Plecia Nearctica Hardy (Insecta: Diptera: Bibionidae)

Read all about them here.

All I know is unless you wash your car every 12 hours, you can't see out your windshield.

Busy Weekend

Better half was in town to see the area and the house we're buying. (Both for the first time, I might add. Pretty ballsy on my part, no?) All went well. Now we just need to sell the Torrington estate.

One of the strangest things we noticed while driving around the area was the bulk of the cemetaries around here have the crypts exposed. The big concrete enclosured for the caskets are only about half sunk in the ground. I'm not sure if this was done on purpose or if they just floated up naturally but it was a bit disconcerting when we first realized what they were.

Wife's comment, "This place is hickier than Paris.) (Paris, Texas, that is.)

Friday, September 09, 2005

OK two strikes is out.

Looks like the estimates of tens of thousands dead in New Orleans were wildly overstated.

Just like the estimates of the 9/11 dead that popped up in the early days following that attack.

Maybe politicians should refrain, as Rudy did when he answered, "More than we can bear." from answering questions about body counts in the direct aftermath of a disaster, natural or otherwise.

FEMA debit cards.

Man am I depressed that they decided only to distribute them in Houston. Since I'm a displaced person living near New Orleans without my family and as one who sat out the hurricane in a hotel here, I was hoping I could snag one for me. But it looks like they're going to be giving out checks around here instead. I'm not signing for anything.


Well. The end of my second week is here. Not too bad. I'm finally online at my new job and my first paycheck arrived correctly. (Always nice.) We finally worked through the pre-approval for our new home loan and if all of this goes through as we are planning, we're going to be in our best shape ever. Then all we have to do is maintain. Which, given the practice at going cash-only for the last two years, should be reasonably simple. I can't wait until the uncertainty is over and we're all settled here.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


One of the mouth-breathing denizens of this refugee shelter sponsored by Best-Western is practicing the fucking quads down God-Damned stairs.

For those confused, quads are the set of four drum that hook over the shoulders of a marching band dork. I am now hating my life. Where's a good, accurate lightning storm when you need one.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

That Exxon...

And the BoBo brand station across the street are in a minor price war. $2.51 at Exxon, and $2.48 at the "American Fuel" station. This is probably the cheapest gas in the US right now.

Exxon still the best

The local Exxon station I wrote about earlier has been closed for the last three or so days for lack of gas.

They received a full shipment today and they are still selling it at $2.51, $2.61, and $2.71. They have all grades and the credit card machines are working. I topped up on my way home for lunch.

I'm going to apply for a speedpass today.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Must be a magic VISA card

I just noticed that a VISA commercial in which they show a card being scanned numerous times, has the card going through all of the machines upside down. Otherwise the VISA logo would be upside down. Thank God for marketers. Where no reality is appropriate.

Some good people down here.

Every day, when I return to my hotel room, there is some sort of note under the door. All sorts of different groups offering help. From free meals at the hotel, to car repairs, laundry, doctor information, general stuff.

It's nice to be here, even if I'm not taking advantage of any of their generosity.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Found it!

I found a time of day that there are very few lines at the WalMart.


Not much to buy either, but at least there are no lines.

This is amazing. There are so many people here that the WalMart can't even come close to keeping its shelves stocked. But they haven't raised their prices either.

Say, what?

According to Chris Matthews, (So who really knows if it's true,) Massachussettes governor, Mitt Romney has made a statement something to the effect that the difficulty in bringing relief to the hurricane victims has made the US an "embarassment to the world."

I'm not sure, but you'd think that the governor of a state whose senior senator couldn't even get ONE car out of the water would know better than to criticize flood relief efforts.

(There. I feel better now. When in doubt, go for a Chappaquiddick joke. It'll do your heart good.)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Old Rough and Ready

I had been wondering about the name of this town I'm in.

Then, moments ago, I randomly caught a snippet of a show in the history channel talking about President Zachary Taylor, a whig, from Louisiana.


Here's one that will probably get me in trouble.

Listening to people here, many are comparing the aftermath of this hurricane to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. There are few similarities, in my opinion.

The 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by a hand-full of well-financed hypocritical, islamist nut-jobs intent on destroying America because they believe they are at war with us because we believe that freedom is an appropriate way to live. The attacks, even though the outcome was spectacular, if unintended, were rather isolated and small scale. The affected areas were only the combined size of a few city blocks. The death toll per area was very dense and limited. People were murdered in the Trade Centers and the Pentagon, but people a few blocks over were only scarred emotionally. 9/11's greatest tool was its surprise. It woke us from the 90's induced torpor of self-absorption. That hangover, and the immediate fear of repeat attacks caused much of the nation's grief.

Looking at the aftermath of the hurricane, I'm struck by the completeness of it. The affected areas in all the states that were hit must total hundreds, if not thousands of square miles. The population of Baton Rouge, nominally a city of about 250,000 has seen a 100% increase in less than a week. Paris, TX a city over 8 hours away is packed and starting to integrate the refugee children into their school system. Houston, thirteen hours away, is seeing the same thing.

The entire city of New Orleans may be uninhabitable for months. We are unfortunately not going to be able to throw hundreds of well meaning and talented union workers into a hole with heavy equipment and celebrate in seven months when everything is cleaned up and life can go on as it had.

The biggest problem with this latest disaster is there is no one to blame. (Sure, the morons say, "Look! Global warming! You should have signed the Kyoto treaty. STFU. Your own hot air is more damaging to the earth than anything the US currently does. You don't like it here, GTFO.) With 9/11 it was pretty easy to determine the root cause and attempt to put systems in place to prevent it from happening again. (And, thank God, it hasn't.)

Had this damage been caused by a bomb, we'd know what to do. We, as a nation are good, and creative problem solvers. But since this mess is the result of Nature being a Mother, all we can do is throw money at it and pray. There is no one to discipline and nothing to do to try to prevent future hurricanes. Hell, for all we know there is another one on its way to do the same thing.

So, what the hell am I talking about? I know this rambled and probably didn't make much sense, but my overall point is I think this current situation will prove to be significantly worse than 9/11. Even holding the death tolls as equal, there will be more widespread physical and psychological affects for the people of this area than there were in New York. People aren't going to be scared to fly because of this, people aren't going to start strip-searching old ladies at airports because of this, but there will be hundreds of thousands of people who will never be able to go home.

In New York, about 100k people had to move their jobs somewhere else. The attack occurred at work. Here, the bulk of the damage is residential. These people all lost everything and will not be going back.

That is why I, as someone who was equidistant from each tragedy, believe that this hurricane will prove to be a greater national disaster than 9/11.

(Of course, I am in no way suggesting that we, as a nation, alter our set course of action related to finding and killing islamist-terrorists, wherever they may be. That is still the first priority for our National Security.)

What the hell is wrong with these people?

I was listening to a couple refugees complain about the hotel. They said they heard from one other resident that he had had something stolen from his hotel room.

Well, DUH.

Every time I venture into the hallway there are atleast 50% of the rooms in this hotel with the doors propped open. These people are flipping that little haspy thing that's supposed to act like a door chain into the door jamb and allowing the door to rest against it. I guess that there's something in the water near New Orleans (heh. Sorry about that one...) that prevents people from realizing that locking your doors is not only appropriate, it's just about required in a freaking hotel.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Clarence Thomas for Chief Justice.

That is all.

The never-mundane Ben Stein...

Hits the nail right on the head.

Click Here.

Not taking any chances

Just stepped out to the 'Po looking for a razor plane. (On a side note, do you know how difficult it is to dis-embroider an oxford shirt?)

Anyway, It's early, and the store was nearly empty. But they still had four security guards at the only exit checking your receipt.

Just a quick note.

Any replies that contain a link I feel is unrelated, offensive, or off topic will be deleted.

That is all.

Not that I called it, but

From about a year ago.

My take on looting.

If you're taking food and drinking water, I don't have any problem with it. If I owned a grocery, I'd give it away. It's only going to spoil anyway.


If you're spotted rolling a computer or TV down the street, or you think that since no one is around it must be OK to stop by and clean out the local jewelry store or pharmacy, I hope you have to be shot twice so you'll feel it.

If I owned a hard-goods store, I'd be on the roof with a rifle, and about a million rounds. I figure if you leave a couple bodies on the pavement in front of the door, it might discourage other types of bad behavior.

Cranky this morning?

Yeah, I may be a bit edgy this morning. I had to get up at 5am to be able to do my laundry because the machines are totally plugged up during the day. Gotta love it.

(Why yes, I'd love some cheese with my whine...)

And another thing....

I'm sick of the news-nerds saying things like we have to pity the poor people who evacuated but didn't bring their medication. The announcers say that they had to evacuate so quickly they couldn't take anything. Bull-Shiiiit.

I seem to recall that there was a state of emergency declared in both LA and MS as far back as Friday, August 26. If these people had to evacuate in a hurry, that only means that they waited until it was too late even beyond the mandatory evacuation that started on 8/28.

Now, I can understand that if you need insulin and it needs to be in a refrigerator, you have other problems, your stuff may have gone bad. BUT if you're on a serious maintenance medication and you didn't think to take it with you when you evacuated, Don't expect me to worry about it too much. I had to use Dial-up, ya know.

Now ya gone an' done it....

My moles tell me that the Massachussettes National Guard is being mobilized and shipped to New Orleans. Hopefully the sniper team has good eyes and can end some of the lawlessness in the area pronto. Bring lots of ammo boys, you're going to need it.

Let's show the looters why the North won the war in the first place.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Work news.

I'm very impressed with my new plant. The morale is amazing. I guess it's not surprising that a mill that is hiring as many solid people as it can find would have good morale. Uncertainty breeds contempt.

Hmmmmmm. Interesting.

Just watching the action at the local gas stations over the past few days. As soon as the gas truck shows up, the refugees line up and suck that mutha dry. Most of the stations have jacked their prices up about a quarter, but the Exxon in the middle of town is still charging $2.51 for 87 just as it was when I showed up on Saturday.

And now my hotel is filled up and parking in the vacant lot next door again. Lovely.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Now the fun begins.

The hotel I'm staying at has emptied a bit over the last couple days. Now, however, the traffic in this little town is picking up exponentially. There is a line at the gas stations from 7am when I went to work 'til 6:30pm when I returned from looking at houses. I'm pretty sure where these people are coming from, but I'm not sure when they're going to leave. There isn't much infrastructure here to support much more than the few extra people who showed up to escape the initial storm.

Seems like the right thing to do would be to move all the unfortunates to the states that have the lowest unemployment. There would obviously be better chances for them to start anew there.


Looks like the high speed internet connection is running again. MUCH better. After you've been spoiled by broadband, Dialup just isn't quite adequate.