Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Cat and Storm Blogging

Here's Tigger at what point I guess was the calm before the storm. I think I took that Sunday evening.

The rest of these photos were taken today--shots of the neighborhood. This is one of my favorite houses here--on a little knoll at a corner where a diagonal street meets a regular intersection.

A little ways up the same street, debris has completely blocked the road.

Same debris from the other side.

And this is replicated all across town.
Walter Reed, Donna Reed, Jerry Reed...What's the Diff?

Actually, one of the funnier things about the Walter Reed McBush SNAFU is that apparently the original name of the school was North Hollywood High.
Supply Run

Off to try to find some groceries and gasoline.
UPDATE: Sorry about the lack of normal posting...managed to get some basic supplies and even found gasoline. This was also my first real trip away from my immediate area. There's LOTS of damage everywhere. Jeez.

Back in a bit.
The Michael Richards of the Georgia Congressional Delegation

Meet Lynn Westmoreland, who, to be fair, is doing little more than saying in public what Rethuglicans have no doubt been expressingly privately...or not so privately when they express scorn for 'community organizers,' which I guess is this year's way of saying, well, uppity negro. Racism is central to their mode of thinking...and that includes one Sarah Palin as well as John I-was-a-POW-if-you-didn't-know McCain.

Like racism? Vote Republican. It's that simple.
Let There Be Light...and How About Some A/C, Too?

My happy dance commenced yesterday at around 6 o'clock or so as the electric lurched to a start at Casa Miguel. There was much rejoicing. Tigger the orange cat didn't quite grasp the reason for my exuberance, at least at first, though by yesterday afternoon the little guy was really dragging in temperatures ranging from the mid to upper 80s.

At this point I don't really care that my internet and cable tv are still out. Simply being able to cook, make a cup of coffee...or do laundry...are reminders that we who choose to live in more or less urban areas depend on the a big old Fuck You to Rethuglicans who make mocking community organizers a central tenet of their mercifully ended hatefest.

And...again, I count my blessings: other cities have or have had it it FAR, FAR worse, and other parts of THIS city/metro region are still sweltering in the dark. Gustav wasn't a simple one day event of convenience for the party of hatred and resentment to present a bit of phony concern. As I noted yesterday at First Draft, it might not have been The Big One, but it certainly was the Plenty Big Enough One.

So, for those of y'all who might not be in or around here, please simply keep us in your thoughts as things slowly return to normal...personally, I keep telling myself that as inconvenient as it's been around here for the past week, it doesn't even compare to New Orleans after the flood...or Baghdad after the invasion. lieu of wringing the neck of anyone who dismisses the plight of those living in places where services we normally take for granted are missing, I'd simply like to put THEM someplace where the power's down for a few days...and let's see how they like it.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Spiro T. Palin

Geography as Destiny

So St. John has joined the chorus claiming policy expertise is a matter of geographic proximity. Hmm. I guess that means Governor Palin must likewise be an expert on hydrology and oceanography: I count three seas, a gulf, and the Pacific Ocean more or less just as close.

One thing I don't see very close, the rest of the United States. Combined with an affinity for secessionists, you've gotta wonder...
So Much for "A Respectable Republican Cloth Coat"

$300,000 on wardrobe and accessories...just like any other struggling working class woman.

Title reference here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bag Dick

The administration that won't protect the Gulf Coast because it's "too expensive" can't fork over the money fast enough when it's a former SSR.
So...Just What Sort of Flag Does Sarah Palin Pledge Allegiance To?

It's bad enough that Palin evidently thinks or at least thought the Pledge was some sort of founding fathers directive...we also now know that she had more than just a casual relationship with a secessionist organization. I wonder if that's the sort of change John McCain can believe in?

And oh, how it's amusing to watch them play the victim. Poor dears.
Fresh Pepper Spray?

Original photo from Athenae at First Draft.

I guess Gustav is off the GOP radar screen now that it's no longer exploitable, and it's back to the regularly scheduled hatefest, with a big dose of police riot on the side. Or so I presume, given the paucity of information, what with the power still down and all.

FYI--it's now been a couple of days. Sigh: I'll be doing a refrigerator/freezer clean out probably this afternoon, and can look forward to another humid evening minus a/c, minus ceiling fans...

But at least I've got running water. My sister, who lives near New Iberia, loses water during power outages because she's not on the city system. Fortunately, she's got a generator.

All in all, I'm still lucky. I'm in my house, and the only damage is the loss of a couple of roof shingles. Compared to NOLA 2005 or even NOLA now...well, I don't think there IS a comparison. Just like there's really no comparision between the major parties' candidates for high office.

Again, I'll be light on posting today--for the record, I'm at my office: I'm the closest one of my colleagues to work, distance-wise, and volunteered. Besides, I can recharge the things that need charging, plus I've got internet. Still...all the fallen trees make for an adventurous drive, and not in a good way.

Back in a bit.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein RNC!

While we're a little busy/distracted down here, it's nonetheless troublesome to see just how comfy the Rethugs are with what amounts to a police state.

This isn't a case of "it could happen here" as much as it is a case of "it IS happening here."

Greenwald has the story and the links.
John Sidney McBush

Two examples of how the next four years could easily be like the last eight:

Earlier this year Mr. McCain, as part of his strategy of distancing himself from the current administration, condemned Mr. Bush’s response to Katrina. If he’d been president at the time, he says, "I would’ve landed my airplane at the nearest Air Force base and come over personally."

Um, that completely misses the point. The problem with the Bush administration’s response to Katrina wasn’t the president’s failure to show up promptly for his photo op. It was the failure of FEMA and other degraded agencies to show up promptly with food, water and first aid.

And let’s hope that Mr. McCain doesn’t jet into the disaster area in Gustav’s aftermath. The candidate’s presence wouldn’t do anything to help the area recover. It would, however, tie up air traffic and disrupt relief efforts, just as Mr. Bush did when he flew into New Orleans to congratulate Brownie on the work he was doing. Remember the firefighters who volunteered to help Katrina’s victims, only to find that their first job was to stand next to Mr. Bush while the cameras rolled?


There is precedent, of course: Invade Iraq, then check to see if Saddam really had WMDs; make Mike Brown head of FEMA, then check to see if he actually knew anything about disaster response, etc. But I thought the whole idea was to get away from that kind of "leadership" (or at least fool the voters into thinking McCain would do things differently.)

Can we really afford it?

Note: Posting will be light for the next day or so while I deal with Gustav's aftermath.
Heavens to Betsy

This picture of my neighborhood doesn't really give you a feel for things, but this was no small storm. My neighbor had two large trees fall on his fence, effectively obliterating it...and making me double glad I got rid of some large trees earlier this summer that were angled towards my own house.

The local news reports say it was the equivalent or worse than Hurricane Betsy, which followed a roughly similar track...I think. I'm still catching up over here (at the office in case they need me, plus I can access the internet and recharge things, not that the phone's working anyway.)

Yes, it was a big storm, but all things considered, we're pretty lucky: no federal flood like NOLA, and any complaints about electricity, at least from me, are tempered when I consider what it's like in, say, Baghdad. In comparision, I'm VERY lucky.

The worst is over here, although we've still got rain in the area, plus lots of tree limbs and assorted debris on the road.

Back in a bit.

Update: Today's Advocate has an online .pdf edition with some photographs of the damage around here. Link. Pages A6 and A7 have photographs.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Mid-Morning Update

More strong gusts around here, along with more branches and leaves down; otherwise, not a whole lot else to report, besides a number of fallen trees, but none around here, thank heavens.

I'm a little surprised I've still got power, but, come to think of it, I'm just a block or so from a fire station. Maybe that'll make my 'hood a priority location. has more info on the Industrial Canal situation.

Gustav, thus far, isn't the big one--we can all be grateful for that--but it's plenty big enough.
A.M. Update

I've still got power so I'll note a few things: first, if I'm lucky, maybe the power won't go out at all. New projections have BR outside the hurricane-force winds. Good.

Second, I just saw a local report that suggests there could be overtopping of levees in Lafourche and Terrebone Parishes. I'm also listening to C. Ray on the local news while they're playing WWL footage: looks like there's some overtopping along the Industrial Canal. In addition, a two ships and a barge have broken loose of their moorings, but hasn't caused any damage...yet. UPDATE: The report of ships and barges along the Canal aren't confirmed. I'll post as I find out more.

I didn't quite hear it, but I think they said France St. was impassable (France St. is about two blocks west of the canal)--video footage is clearly showing overtopping, but no breaching for now. Nagin just said they're also worried about the Harvey and West Bank canals. He also reported a fire at Broad at Esplanade and one in Jefferson Parish.

Other than that, not much else. Up here I've noticed a few significant gusts while writing this, and outside there are a lot of small branches and leaves that have blown off the trees. Wish this was the worst of it, but being on the east side...

For the record, landfall was/is at a little town called Cocodrie in Terrebone Parish.

Hmmm...just had quite a wind gust comeing from due east.

OK, I'm gonna make some coffee, and if everything's thawed, I'm going to do some cooking right now before the power goes out.
The Calm Before

One quick post before turning in--the first storms moved on, things are calm right now. We'll see what happens later. Not much else to report.

I'm turning in and powering off. Hopefully I'll be able to post again in a bit.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hatches Battened Down, More or Less

Maybe I'll post some pictures tomorrow if conditions allow and I feel motivated...right now we're just getting some of the first rain in Red Stick. There are a few reports of tornadoes associated with the heavier squalls, nothing like that over here...and it'd be nice if it stayed that way.

So, time to settle in with a bottle of Montoya Cab, and watch the reports at least for as long as I've got power. If/when that goes out I've got a small emergency generator (very small, not a gasoline one) that will give me a bit of light and allow me to connect a radio. Again, here's hoping it won't be needed.

One minor issue: like an idiot I didn't think about gasoline until Saturday...generally I drive so little that I only fill the tank about once a month or so. I've got about a half a tank and it's a small car, so here's hoping.

Ack--the Weather Channel guy just said it was going to be much worse than Katrina for those of us here. Unfortunately, he's right: we're on the east side of the storm, and it's going to pass much closer than Rita did in 2005.

Might post more in a bit, provided I don't feel the need to shut things down to avoid power surge damage.
Continue Evasive Action *

Gustav is weakening a bit, and that's a bit of good news. Scout Prime posted several links, two of which I've been reading extensively, two of which I'll be adding to my list.

Meanwhile, it's watch and wait. Don't know about New Orleans, but it's clear and calm here in BR, just a normal lazy Sunday, except for the fact that the local newspaper is now being delivered, unsolicited, to my door. Good, I guess, although I sure hope they don't try to bill me after the fact.

Let's also keep those affected in Cuba, Jamaica, and the rest of the Caribbean in our thoughts and prayers. Looking at a Yahoo News slide show I was struck not only by the devastation on Cuba, but by how everything seemed otherwise not very different from here. Just as an aside, I've always felt I'd have an intuitive familiarity with Havana based on my experiences visiting New Orleans.

I also see that various Team Bush crooks, beginning at the top of the slag heap with Cheney and the Boy Chimperor himself, have used Gustav as an convenient excuse to bail out of the convention. To be honest, that's probably as politically smart as it is morally and historically gutless...although it would've been even more fitting if they'd stolen away in the dead of night. I assume the McCain maneuvering is designed to make him look 'presidential' ('presidentiness?')...some might claim it's actually a sincere gesture (after all, the Obama campaign is likewise asking people to be ready to assist) but sorry, I've seen enough of the GOP in my lifetime: they make your average three card monte dealer look like the local Community Chest.

Anyway...Let's hope for the best...