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5 September 2005
Trip’s new favorite games:
- Spitting up!
- Bonus game: Spitting up in daddy’s mouth!
- Telling jokes to himself in his crib, alone.
- Laughing at his own jokes in his crib.
- Tummy furbutzes.
- Feeling with daddy’s beard.
- Playing with mommy’s hair.
- Kicking daddy in the groin! (another old favorite.)
11 September 2005
21 September 2005
Only in Texas do the evacuation routes include free ice cream:
John Vanden Bos, assistant emergency management coordinator for Brazoria County, said evacuees there who live east of the Brazos River are advised to take Texas 288 to the Beltway.
Those west of the Brazos should “take Texas 36 to Brenham and eat Blue Bell (ice cream),” he said.
Years after I’ve moved away, I still consider Houston home. Every shot of the highways is familliar, every map a reminder of days gone by. I used to joke about living 10 feet above sea level; the lack of topography was funny.
And now Jim Cantore is there. You know what that means, right? When Jim shows up, you leave. Period.
Here are some sites you should see.
- The Houston Chronicle. Make it your home page for the next few days.
- Houston Chronicle’s map of the storm surge (and associated estimates of damage).
- The SciGuy blog, which was fantastic during Katrina and will continue to be so.
- The Weather Underground’s Wunderblog
- Images from the GOES satellites
- Live NOAA radio
- Wikipedia is a good place for updates.
- No idea what they’ll do, but Rice’s KTRU is always worth a listen.
- Remeber Tropical Storm Allison and the ‘500 year floods’? My college roommate John Paul does.
I know too many people still there - good luck to you all. Let me know if you need anything. Godspeed.
The current track for Rita is just about as bad as you could imagine for the Houston-Galveston area.
Unless the storm turns south or north in the next 24 to 48 hours we are set up for a truly horrific event. I am not going to sugar-coast this, my friends. If the storm comes ashore as forecast, it would essentially be the worst-case scenario described here.
As a Houston resident and property owner, I am truly mortified right now. If you are under a mandatory evacuation order, you should heed it.
The storm has gone from potentially bad on Monday to terribly bad today. Tomorrow will have to bring better news, won’t it?
One can only think the a city that opened its arms so wide to the victims of the truly catastrophic Katrina deserves a better fate. We shall see …
22 September 2005
Audio of General Honore talking to the press: don’t get stuck on stupid!
Honore: And Mr. Mayor, let’s go back, because I can see right now, we’re setting this up as he said, he said, we said. All right? We are not going to go, by order of the mayor and the governor, and open the convention center for people to come in. There are buses there. Is that clear to you? Buses parked. There are 4,000 troops there. People come, they get on a bus, they get on a truck, they move on. Is that clear? Is that clear to the public?
Female reporter: Where do they move on…
Honore: That’s not your business.
Male reporter: But General, that didn’t work the first time…
Honore: Wait a minute. It didn’t work the first time. This ain’t the first time. Okay? If…we don’t control Rita, you understand? So there are a lot of pieces of it that’s going to be worked out. You got good public servants working through it. Let’s get a little trust here, because you’re starting to act like this is your problem. You are carrying the message, okay? What we’re going to do is have the buses staged. The initial place is at the convention center. We’re not going to announce other places at this time, until we get a plan set, and we’ll let people know where those locations are, through the government, and through public announcements. Right now, to handle the number of people that want to leave, we’ve got the capacity. You will come to the convention center. There are soldiers there from the 82nd Airborne, and from the Louisiana National Guard. People will be told to get on the bus, and we will take care of them. And where they go will be dependent on the capacity in this state. We’ve got our communications up. And we’ll tell them where to go. And when they get there, they’ll be able to get a chance, an opportunity to get registered, and so they can let their families know where they are. But don’t start panic here. Okay? We’ve got a location. It is in the front of the convention center, and that’s where we will use to migrate people from it, into the system.
Male reporter: General Honore, we were told that Berman Stadium on the west bank would be another staging area…
Honore: Not to my knowledge. Again, the current place, I just told you one time, is the convention center. Once we complete the plan with the mayor, and is approved by the governor, then we’ll start that in the next 12-24 hours. And we understand that there’s a problem in getting communications out. That’s where we need your help. But let’s not confuse the questions with the answers. Buses at the convention center will move our citizens, for whom we have sworn that we will support and defend…and we’ll move them on.
Let’s not get stuck on the last storm. You’re asking last storm questions for people who are concerned about the future storm. Don’t get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward. And don’t confuse the people please. You are part of the public message. So help us get the message straight. And if you don’t understand, maybe you’ll confuse it to the people. That’s why we like follow-up questions. But right now, it’s the convention center, and move on.
Male reporter: General, a little bit more about why that’s happening this time, though, and did not have that last time…
Honore: You are stuck on stupid. I’m not going to answer that question. We are going to deal with Rita. This is public information that people are depending on the government to put out. This is the way we’ve got to do it.
So please. I apologize to you, but let’s talk about the future. Rita is happening. And right now, we need to get good, clean information out to the people that they can use. And we can have a conversation on the side about the past, in a couple of months.
Via Banjocat, whose Mom and brother are going to ride out Rita and my thoughts are very much with them — Rice explains why Houston is not NOLA.
23 September 2005
Twenty hours and thirty minutes later, Claire and John Paul pull into Dallas:
27 September 2005
Disturbing news about cuts to the NSF funding and possible closing of the Arecibo. I encourage you to write your representatives against this:
As you may be aware, the NSF is conducting a Senior Review of its astronomy facilities with the goal of saving $30M per year (out of about $150M per year) by 2011. This is to be reallocated to new programs. This amount of $30M per year is about three times the annual operating budget of NAIC / Arecibo Observatory.
Public input for the Senior Review will be solicited at a series of “town meetings” with NSF representatives. The dates and locations of these meetings are listed below.
As a result of this review, there is a real possibility that the Arecibo Observatory will be closed, or that the astronomy portion of NAIC will Observatory will be closed, or that the astronomy portion of NAIC will be substantially curtailed. We urge you to consider the impact of such an event on your research, and to attend one of the town meetings and / or contact the NSF (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) with your opinions and concerns.
Further information is available on the website:
The schedule of NSF-AST Senior Review related town meetings is:
(1) Boston, Massachusetts - 29 September 2005
(2) Minneapolis, Minnesota - 7 October 2005
University of Minnesota
(3) Washington, DC - 14 October 2005
AAS, to be held at the Carnegie Institution
(4) Clemson, South Carolina - 15 October 2005
(5) Boulder, Colorado - 24 October 2005
University of Colorado/High Altitude Observatory
(6) Berkeley, California - December 2005, date to be determined
University of California, Berkeley
(7) Washington, DC, AAS Meeting - 8-12 January 2006
Schedule to be determined
Note that the last two meetings will occur after the initial meeting of the Senior Review panel.
28 September 2005
I believe Jim has found a new tagline for his site:
Jim Henley: And the Thunderbird icon still looks like a greeting card envelope wearing a ridiculous blue wig.
Brett Peters: LOL
Brett Peters: What do you think about the Firefox logo?
Jim Henley: It doesn’t suck nearly as much.
Jim Henley: It’s sort of cute. Not at all like the planet Earth with a Viking beard.
Brett Peters: Now that you mention it, it really DOES look like the planet Earth with a Viking beard.
Brett Peters: You know that I’m never going to be able to look at it the same way again, right?
Jim Henley: Ah. That’s what the best writing does.
Brett Peters: The very best writing makes you think of Viking beards?
Brett Peters: How odd.
Jim Henley: They all laughed at Northrop Frye too.
Jim Henley: My theories await a new generation with the wit to absorb them.