Category Archives: Galveston

Harvey, The Beginning

West End of the Galveston Seawall

We had a light rain overnight, then a short but colorful storm before the sunrise.  Our lights blinked off momentarily.  Equalities computer rebooted,  mine didn’t. It’s the first of many times I’m sure.

Equality and I went out to get a little air and see whats happening around and about.  There aren’t a lot of people around, but even Houston isn’t reporting much traffic.  All the stores were open, and our local Randalls is well stocked with water, milk,  bread, and eggs. We just picked up some fruit.

We went to the west end of the seawall to see what the Gulf is doing.  Pretty gray light rain and lots of waves.  Some waves were breaking over the seawall.  Although not very inviting it wasn’t very threatning yet either.

The tidal surge is predicted to be 2 to 4 feet. not bad.  12 to 16 inches of rain, still not too bad.  Tropical storm conditions until Tuesday, Yuch. NOOA radio is calling for hurricane conditions on Tuesday, none of the other media is really claiming this.

It looks like we will fare better than those on the coast SouthWest of us or for those who are in Houston.

Harvey is Coming.

Dawn on Galveston

Harvey is coming, and as usual, his arrival is full of hype and breathless reporting locally and nationally.   so far it is still just a depression and hasn’t formed into an official tropical storm. Yet.

A Hurricane Watch and Storm Surge Watch is posted for much of the coast of Texas, as Tropical Depression Harvey treks northwestwards at 9 mph over the Gulf of Mexico. An Air Force hurricane hunter plane found that Harvey had reorganized into a tropical cyclone on Wednesday morning, with a large, disorganized closed surface circulation and top winds to 35 mph. Harvey is expected to intensify into a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane that will bring dangerous flooding rains in excess of 10” to Texas late this week. This Hurricane Watch is the first for any part of Texas since Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Precipitation Prediction.

Landfall is expected to be near Corpus Christi. pretty far away.  The thing with this storm is that it is unorganised and expected to move very slowly.  It’s expected to drop a lot of rain. What it also means is that we don’t expect much in the way of hurricane force winds or an overwelming tidal surge. Just a lot of rain over 3 or 4 days. This isn’t going to be an Ike or a Rita at least in this area.

We have a personal policy of evacuation and doing it early under any serious threat. Harvey so far poses no such threat to us. Galveston is an Island flat and exposed to the Gulf of Mexico. Real tidal surges and hurricane force winds are dangerous to us, but we can handle lots of rain pretty well,   Rain will pretty much just run off into the Gulf.  The real threat is to the Mainland, Houston is flat and lots of poorly drained areas. 10 inches or more of rain and there will be flooding of highways and neighbourhoods.  There is no place for the water to go.

So how bad will it get in Galveston?  Mostly it’s gonna be wet and miserable. We plan on staying home unless there is a good break in the weather. If we do venture out it probably won’t be off Island. With this much rain we are likely to lose power, hopefully, it will be momentary.  The likely hood of us losing power isn’t so much a reflection on the severity of Harvey, but the unreliable power we have on the Island. As long as there aren’t any widespread power outages on the Mainland any power outages will be brief.  Long term power outages are awfully uncomfortable here.  Losing TV, lights and internet isn’t so bad, but not having air conditioning in Texas in August would be very uncomfortable.

Prepping:

We want to Sams club and picked up a few things. a case of 28 bottles of spring water. The same water we normally drink.  Some canned chicken meat mayo. beer and wine.  Got some eggs and cheese at the grocery stores.  Both cars are topped off just in case we decide later to evacuate. I have several flashlights and lamps that are rechargeable, and have them all topped off.  Download a couple of Kindle books.  I have a radio with new batteries. I think we are prepared pretty well, plenty of food.  I sometimes wish I had a generator though.

 

Naming Your Poison at the Beach.

Bare footed Spring breakers are in for some hurt, when they visit our beaches during the next couple of weeks.

We noticed last week while strolling the beach quite a few Man O’Wars washed up below the high tide line.  The news media warns:

The waves are washing up something to look for on Galveston’s beaches.

Portuguese Man O’Wars, relatives of jellyfish, are up and down the beaches. These critters are a concern for beach-goers because even if they’re dead on the beach, they can still sting.

The timing is bad, with spring break coming up for Houston schools next week.

City leaders say there’s not much they can do to clean up the Man O’Wars.

If Jellyfish invasion isn’t bad enough there are the rattlesnakes in the dunes issues to deal with.    Rattlesnakes in the dunes are being reported. Dune building is giving them  new homes in grasses.  Feral cats a bountiful food supply.

That’s why Kevin Inks carries a pellet gun on his walks with his dog Zeus.

“I know the risk factors out here,” said Inks. “For every one snake you do see, there’s 10 to 20 you don’t see.”

Inks claims to have seen three rattlesnakes during his walks in less than two weeks.

He captured video of one of them slithering along the sand and disappearing into a dune. He believes that’s where they nest.

But the Galveston Beach Patrol officials said rattlesnakes are quite rare, and only spotted once every several years.

Still, Inks won’t take any chances. He’s even purchased some rattlesnake anti-venom just to be safe.

“This is the last place that you’d expect to see a rattlesnake,” he said.

Some years we are the eighth wonder of the world, but this year our beaches are mined with snakes and jelly fish tentacles . We can only hope that it will deter the Spring breakers and keep them away, but I remain doubtful the rotting stench of seaweed mountains didn’t seem to do the trick.

Frack the Middle East

Gas at $2.999
Bacliff Valaro Gas Prices

I saw this on the way into work this morning. $2.999  for a gallon of gas.

Despite the uncertainty of wars and revolution in the Middle East , Gas prices continue to drop. We just started to shift away from the summer fuel blends , and if winter doesn’t turn out to be to harsh maybe we will continue to get a break in the prices.

With all the uncertainty in the Middle East could it be that we are benefiting from fracking?

BTW: This is the same place that had the Siracha flavored Whoopie pies.

Eighth wonder of the World

SeaWeed the eighth wonder of the world
Seaeeed the eighth wonder of the world

I guess the Galveston Parks Department is Just trying to make the best of things. after all there isn’t an easy answer or solution, but j think that the most of us agree that its a pretty stinky ugly mess.  I didn’t notice anyone on a seaweed scavenger hunt.

It does look to me that instead of piling into huge seaweed mountains, they have decided to attempt to clean some of the beaches and spread it out on some of the others and hope to gain some beach reclamation. I don’t know how successful it will be but its not pretty

acres and acres of seaweed
Acres and acres of seaweed

and its got to be raising hell with the tourist industry.  While some of the beaches aren’t this bad, there is seaweed to be found at all the beaches. Personally I’m not tempted to go scavenger hunting on this particular beach. happy hunting to those who choose otherwise.

Radio Free Galveston

I  changed the Tagline of the blog to today. from “Observations of a Yankee Living in Galveston”  to “Radio Free Galveston”.  The old Tagline was lame and didn’t reflect about what the blog is really about.  The new one in three small words defines  the things I want to post about, and combine to make a tribute to an  effective free press operation.

The new Tagline suggest:

Radio. Is my newest interest and I am  fascinated by different aspects of Amateur radio.

Postings of Galveston news , happenings and politics. Now that the newspaper the Galveston Daily News has turned in a shadow of itself and the website has been buried behind a paywall, There aren’t aren’t as many choices as there used to be.

Free as in freemen (women too) there will always be free people and those who wish to take those freedoms away.

 

Sucker Born Every Minute

The New Pleasure Pier opened on Galveston’s Seawall on Memorial day weekend.

It is different from the Kemah  Boardwalk, The Santa Monica Pier or the Atlaantic City Boardwalk.  They charge $10 bucks for the privilege walking  on the pier. Yet the crowds still came.

Hey, Murdock’s doesn’t charge to go out on their pier.

Occupy Galveston

The Occupy 5 at Galveston

The Occupy Galveston folks were all set up on the seawall this afternoon. There were only 5 of them although I believe one may have been just a passerby. They were older than most of the Occupy people that I’ve seen on the tube around the country, and they were enjoying themselves.  There isn’t any encampment and the area around them was pretty clean. I wonder if they realize that most of their complaints are pretty much the same as the TEA Partiers  and libertarians,  and that the fix for their issues just might be Hope and Change for  November.   If they change their minds perhaps all those signs could be made into a shelter or two.

Yes, Galveston different and Occupy Galveston is likely different from any of the other Occupy groups.

Stacking Rocks in Galveston

Staked Sedona Red Rock
Scattered alters of stacked sandstone red rock.

We went to Sedona a few weeks ago for some R & R  a beautiful place that has a reputatation as a gathering place for mystics, hippys and other odd sorts.   I wasn’t surprise when I visited the Airport Mesa, a place concidered a vortex,  that people had stacked the red sandstone rocks to make pillers. These seemed to me to be a sort of hippy alter built assist communication with  some unknown god. The formations were scattered but all around the area. I  wondered what the people were thinking that would spend the time gathering and stacking these stones.  It is what one should expect in the land of hippies and new agers I supposed. I have seen lots of silly things in Galveston, we here tend not to take things very seriously, and do have an apreciate of art and music, but I never expected this type of thing here.

Seawall Rock Stacks
Hundreds of rock stack alters on Galveston's Seawall.

On the seawall at Fort Crockett Park there was a breakwater built into the seawall made up of broken limestone rocks of various sizes.  Over the last few  months its grown to something rather large if not surreal.  The people I saw stacking rocks seemed to be just kids doing it just for fun. But some of these were pretty massive.  Every one has things they like to do for fun and entertainment, but making rock piles seems pretty weird to me.  One expects to find the hippys and newagers in Sedona, but here in Galveston??  It just doesn’t seem right.  I wonder now if Fort Crockett Park isn’t a new vortex. A letter to the editor of the Galveston Daily News implies that at least someone thinks these things have some value and they may be a tourist attraction. We were promised that the enhancements to Crockett Park would be a tourist attraction. I don’t think stacked rocks was what they had in mind though.

A collection of artwork involving stacks of rocks has drawn visitors to Fort Crockett Park in Galveston.

Vandalism Shows A Lack Of Appreciation

I am appalled, disgusted, furious (I could go on) because some idiot, ruffian, criminal, fool (I could go on) has knocked down many of the stacked rocks on the beach at about 49th Street.

They were beautiful, peaceful, intriguing to look at and already had become a tourist/resident attraction. People were stopping by to take photos, admire the work and even try their hands at stacking.

This is the second time that I am aware of that they have been destroyed. I do not know what can be done, but it is a sad commentary on contemporary society that this has happened.

We can only hope and pray that the artist or artists come back and restore these fantastic stackings.

I don’t really have any issue with any of this, but I do find it a bit strange. Art is all in the eye of the beholder, and in this case perhaps the builder.

Rock Stacking
Folks Stacking rocks on the Galveston Seawall