Just found before and after satellite photos of the New Orleans floods. This view really puts things in perspective when talking about the extent of the flooding.
Month: August 2005
The most reliable news sources for Hurricane Katrina’s effects on New Orleans and surrounding areas seems to be Wikipedia, MSNBC and CNN. The most quickly updated source seems to be the forums at Fark
A new resource has just appeared: The Katrina Help Wiki, which seems to be doing a good job of aggregating news sources.
Still haven’t heard from Dad. Both cell phone and land line come up as “out of service” or busy, which, all things considered, is not surprising.
From what I can see of maps of Covington, the area where Dad lives (between and to the north of Covington and Abita Springs) probably wasn’t affected by rising bodies of water, but there is still the effects of the rain and wind to deal with.
So I guess the friends and relatives of the victims hunker down and wait, too.
Looks like I got out of Louisiana just in time.
My dad and stepmother are heading north away from Covington. They should be out of harms’ way by the time Katrina hits the city.
This is a list of sites which have information/visuals of the hurricane approaching the city:
New Orleans traffic cameras
List of live cameras and webcams
Causeway bridge camera
Satellite imagery of the hurricane
National Weather Service advisory for New Orleans
Video feed of Hurricane-related news
Big long thread on Fark.com discussing the hurricane
Wikipedia page on Hurricane Katrina, updated frequently
Here I am, back from a week in Louisiana. In August. Seeing my Dad and Step-mom again was wonderful, as was hanging out with my brother; all people of whom I don’t see nearly enough.
The getting to and returning from Louisiana part wasn’t so great, thanks in large part to the pendejos at Northwest Airlines. On the way down they didn’t put my bags on the plane. The folks in New Orleans International said that every flight out of Detroit that day was missing about twenty pieces, which would show up on the next flight, which would itself be missing about twenty pieces, ad infinitum. I can only imagine that the pendejos of Northwest met at the pendehum (the place pendejos go to learn their trade) that morning and decided to show how indispensable the union was by pissing off all the passengers.
On the way home we were delayed because one of the planes was suffering a case of Mechanic’s Strike and had to be swapped out for one which somebody won in a package of Crackerjacks.
On a brighter note, class starts next Monday so I have been putting together my syllabus for the semester. This year I am coming down like a ton of bricks on, er, goldbrickers who think they can show up to only half of my classes and have a hope in Hell of passing. I will add cruelties as next week approaches.
Plans for buying a house are moving ahead at a moderate but steady pace. Tomorrow I will talk to a banker to get approval on a loan by showing that I actually have a job and won’t be paying for this house with money earned by selling counterfeit Lava Lamps on the black market. Nope. That money is going towards a new set of 36″ rims on my phat Saturn.
I am off for a week of visiting family in Covington, Lousiana. Be back next weekend. Be cool, work hard, and don’t look any wooden nickels in the mouth.
On the Concentration of Vital Energies
For the past several months the Center for Women (YWCA) has been showing signs that it may be closing in the near future. The most recent of these was the announcement that they will no longer be open on weekends. The announcement came about a week before the new schedule went into effect, and as a result we (Master Lee’s students) had to scramble to find a new weekend space.
That space, for the rest of the month, is From the Heart Yoga, which is owned by our Senior Student, Rick Powell. At the Center for Women we have an entire gymnasium available to us, a basketball court with 20-foot ceilings. FTHY has about a quarter of the floor space. The down side of this is less room to move, which limits the number of students who can practice at any one time. The upside is that we have to be more aware of our personal space, and we have to pay attention not only to where we are, but where we are moving to at any given moment. This is, in my opinion, a very good thing. It is nice to have the space of a gymnasium, but in a space that large it is easy to isolate ones self in a corner and not pay much attention to the rest of the class. Not so in a restricted space.
When I joined Master Lee’s class fifteen years ago we practiced in a small dance studio in East Grand Rapids, and the classes were about half again the size that they are now. After about a year we moved to the YWCA. So for many years we have been in a space which is much larger than we actually need. I suspect that by spreading a small number of students out to fill that space we have lost some of the intimacy which was such a vital part of the class so many years ago. Certainly it is not uncommon to see people in a corner “doing their own thing” as the class winds down for the day. Whether or not they are being disruptive, it takes away from the vibe of the class as a whole.
Rick has repeatedly pointed out that when we practice together as a class there is a certain energy which seems to ebb and flow with the movements of the tai chi and kung fu forms, and that while we create this energy as we practice it also guides us, and when people in a class do not participate, the energy is diminished and disrupted. Also when six people are spread out over a thirteen hundred square-foot space, even if we are performing in perfect synchronicity, it is not the same as if we are in closer quarters, where in addition to just watching each other to make sure we are performing at the same pace, we need to be aware in a more subtle way, so we can react harmoniously to the movement and energy of the people around us.
I suspect that, before the end of the year, we will have moved all of our class sessions to a new location. Though I will miss the (excessively) large room we have had for so many years, it will be good to be in a more intimate space.
Labors of Love
Yesterday evening I had a meeting with John of Argos Bookstore, in which we discussed the whats and whys and wherefores of creating an Argos Bookstore website. This is something we have been talking about, off and on, for most of the summer so far. Now it looks like it will be moving forward.
The meeting was my first experience using free wireless internet access in a cafe. I haven’t yet made up my mind about the whole thing. On the one hand, very convenient. On the other, Kava House had (at that time) bandwidth and connectivity issues, and I had a serious bout of the jitters with visions of spilling my iced mocha into the keyboard of a very expensive laptop computer.
John and I talked for almost two hours, and came up with some exciting ideas about what would go into the site, and how we could present it as a small community, specifically focused portal and repository of certain aspects of Grand Rapids history. In the process of this meeting I also discovered that John is yet another member of the over-educated, under-employed segment of Grand Rapids, from which I seem to draw so many of my friends.
Discussing the fee for building the site was a little awkward. I said “I’ll do it for free!” He said “We gotta pay you!” In the end we worked out some of the details for a trade-type arrangement.
Once the work begins I will throw regular updates up here. I hope things begin soon, as the school year begins at the end of this month and from that point on, until the end of April, my time will once again belong to everyone except me.