Sunday, September 28, 2008

Recovery

Everything is frantically hectic all while moving so agonizingly slow. We have been to Galveston 3 times now. The first time was on the 16th. When we were able to rescue Coco our cat. They wouldn't let us return until Wed. On the 24th We got a better chance to assess the damages. No wind or roof damages. the mold was rapidly growing and fuzzy things were everywhere. We met with the car insurace guys (We left one car behind and it got destroyed by the flood waters) Windstorm insurance and Flood insurance guys. We started cleaning up, got some stuff out to the curb. We left at 5:30pm exhausted and not feeling like we had accomplished much.


Yesterday we had some help, I don't know if the guys will ever fully understand just how much their help meant to Equality and I. We started tossing trash out and built a mountain on our curb. Our beautiful little street looked like a bomb went through it so dirty with piles of trash. Our neighbors were working and walking around with that shell shocked look that war veterans know so well. Our gang had moved jammed up refridgerator, desks, dressers, piano, a ton of books washing machine, dryer bedsand paper. Litterally tons of stuff turned trash. Heavy water logged and stinky. There is still a lot to do. There is lots of cleaning, trash removal and remediation left. Drywall, flooring and carpet all yet to be removed. But we left yesterday feeling as though we had accomplished something and made steps forward.


Today we woke up beat and exhausted, Equality and I weren't returning to Galveston. but we were to seek out a place to live. We have been living in a hotel room with 2 cats that don't like each other. Our first stop we found a great place in League City. We will be sharing a place with ruok Equality's sister. Its going to be tight quarters but it will be more comfortable, and we will be a lot closer to Galveston and my job.


On the way home we picked up a new computer (Sony Vaio LT32E) and an HP all-in-one printer scanner fax. We have been using ruok's lap top while she has been in California, and she is going be anxious to get her computer back. We need some capability to make lists and fill out forms and maintain documentation. We were intending on getting a laptop. But this has an added advantage of doubling as a TV pretty kewl I think. So we had a good weekend and a start towards recovery. We do have a long road ahead, but its a lot easier when forward progres scan be seen.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Keeping Us Out and in the Dark

60 thousand of us fled Galveston under the mandatory evacuation orders of Galveston's Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas. 20 thousand stayed. Many of us ran far enough away to flee the flood waters but not from Ike himself. We rode out Ike here 75 miles North of home.

All we want to do is get near home so we can start to mitigate the damage. Tuesday at noon Lyda Anne Thomas announced a look and leave policy. We immediately started our preparations and left towards Galveston to rescue our poor cat Coco whom we had to leave behind. because of long gas lines and long lines to get onto the Island we arrived at our home at 5:30 We did find our Cat and got to quickly survey the damage that 4 feet of water can do to our home. We met some of our neighbors quickly swapped a few war stories and left before 6:00 like we were supposed to. On the way home home we heard on the radio that Lyda Ann decided that the look and leave plan wasn't working like she wanted it to and immediately cancelled the program. There was no explaination the press isn't allowed on the Island and Lyda Anne isn't talking to anyone. The staff is ordered to speak to no one. While contractors are allowed on the Island to work on major businesses we serfs aren't allowed even a short visit attempt to mittigate our damages to our homes and belongings. Everything we have is sitting dank, wet and stewing in mold, While we are forced to do nothing. Thanks Lyda Anne. You have probably caused us more damage to our homes and property than Ike did.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hurricane Ike kicks Our Ass

We didn't dodge the bullet this time. We ran to Tomball and are quite safe. But Ike tore up Galveston, and our lives. We are doing well, but Ike filled my car and home with the backwaters of Galveston Bay.

Its been an adventure and I will tell more about it later. We just got electric at our refugee camp an hour ago. Tomorrow I return to work for the first time since the adventure began, and I'm tired.

I do find it interesting that 4 days after the storm CNN reports that problems are being solved at Starbucks coffee clutches.

Java was flowing Wednesday at nearly half of the Houston area's 150
Starbucks locations. Perhaps just as welcome to weary residents: So were ideas
about how they could give or receive a helping hand.
"People will be drinking
their coffee, and they'll be talking about clearing out their front lawn [of
debris]. Someone will say, 'I know someone who can take care of that,' " Amy
Christensen, a Houston-based director of business operations for Starbucks, said Wednesday.


Believe me Ike was much more than coffee house chatter fodder for those of us forced to live with it. CNN has shown a poor understanding on the effect of this storm on those directly involved and the rest of the nation. Our ordeal that follows this event will be much more than coffee house gossip

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Evacuating from Ike



Evacuating is such an ordeal. I thought we were well planned, but like every plan, implementation is a different story.

Ruok is off visiting her daughter, who gave birth Wednesday to a beautifull baby girl. Wednesday night we decided it would be a good idea to socialize rouk's cat, Honey, with our Coco. Coco didn't think much of the idea Coco young and spirited didn't think much of her home being invaded. The two cats avoided each other and there was lots of hissing. Coco who normally isn't the most co-operative kitty was just plain pissed at us, We gathered and kennelled Honey and while she didn't come willingly we got her loaded up. Coco however litterally fought me off tooth and nail. It was getting late and we made a decision. We love that cat, but stressing her out trying to gather her up would be cruel. Cats are tough and she has lots of places to climb. We left her lots of food and water. a couple litter boxes and our prayers. We had spent over an hour we didn't have, trying to get her out and couldn't risk our lives by staying longer. We left with Honey and in tears.


There are several things I would have done differently. I would never have brought Honey over to spend the night. Coco is usually a lot more co-operative and getting her into a kennel isn't usually that challenging. I'm also not sure we took the most important things. I took my old computer which has old tax info. We grabbed stuff quickly we don't have our flood insurance papers although we have our regular home and wind insurance papers with us. We brought lots of munchies, we aren't much for booze this is an occassion that requires lots of alcohol to numb this feeling of impending doom.


The ride down here was prety much uneventful. There was pockets where traffic slowed down, but this wasn't a Rita fiasco. Folks were told to run from the water and hide from the wind. Those in danger of the surge tide were told to flee. The best way to handle the winds is to stay home and batten down the hatches. What struck me as fascinating was how the businesses were shut down. The picture here was of Baybrook mall. at 2:30 in the afternoon about 30 miles north of Galveston.
Another weird thing is the people in this area preparing to evacuate. Afterall I came here to the woodlands because I thought it was safe.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Running from Ike

Hurricane Ike is on its way, best guess is that it will make landfall late tomorrow night somewhere near Colombia Tx. There are 4 of us two people and two cats, Coco who is our cat, and Honey ruok's cat. Unfortunatly they don't like each other much.

Hopefully we will ourselves in Tomball this afternoon. We will still be getting much of the force of the hurricane, but we will get away from any life threating surge tide.

Hopefully, we will be back in a couple of days and complaining how it was all for naught. We are afraid, but we will be safe.

I'll be blogging while away.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Chrome makes its Mark

Google released their new web browser Tuesday and it shows promise. Google has a reputation for releasing Betas that are pretty solid and Chrome is no exception, although it is a beta, it is rock solid and their have been very few reports unstability.

The first thing that one might notice is the clean interface. There is no menu bar, no tool bar. There is a history bar and a navigation bar thats it. Options and functions are accessed from two tiny icons in upper right hand corner. There are lots of keyboard shortcuts. Navigating the way around the program pretty easy. One enters a search or a web site all in the same textbox. Chrome figures out what it's suppose to do.

There is some concern that Chrome is just another method for Google to gather more information about us so that it can aim targeted advertising at us. While Google promises extension and add-on capability it just isn't their yet. One has wonder whether ad blocking will be allowed to work in further versions. Chrome does have a "porn" mode though where site information isn't logged onto ones PC to ensure privacy.

The most important feature of Chrome may be it robustness. Each tab runs within its own process. a super fast Javascript virtual machine called V8 that uses compiled code technology. Active threading helps prevent ant one action from slowing the whole browser down. Google also promises a much improved memory management than either Internet Explorer or FireFox.

Both Microsoft and Firefox are due to release new versions before the end of the year. Firefox is promising enhanced performance with Version 3.1. Microsoft is still prommising not to support Linux or older versions of Windows.

Chrome shows promise, but right now the lack of extensibility to allow ad blocking and not being ready to run on Linux or Mac machines is going to limit it acceptabilty.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Gustav Arrives.

Gustav has made landfall and while the New Orleans levys are being topped by the tidal surges and there is sure to be lots and lots of damages. Biloxi seems to be holding out well so far. The wind has picked up here in Galveston and as you can see the surf in Galveston is magnificent. The storm still blows and its still to early know what the full damages will be, but I think its pretty clear this isn't any Katrina nor even a Rita. Perhaps the biggest casualty of all of this is the Republican Party Convention. I can't help but wonder if they haven't just given away the Presidency by giving up on politicking at this time.

We will want to keep an eye on how fast the refineries come up. If they all come online quickly oil prices won't take to big of a hit.

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