had a large number of concerned calls about the hurricane, so I hope
you don't mind my sending a blanket update to all good friends and acquaintances
One benefit from Katrina is that everyone here is mighty respectful
of the awesome power of a hurricane, so people are listening to the
warnings. I assume you see the news on how congested the traffic is
with all the people evacuating from south Houston to the Galveston coast...
there's over a million people on the roads out of town from today's
activity... with more leaving tomorrow. While Rita was bearing down
towards the Texas coast, we spent this morning battening down everything
at the building. I was really proud of about 25 fellow employees who
decided to stay, and were able to make it through to our building this
morning and help get things settled for the hurricane before going back
to their homes. The tempering furnace installers from Finland are on
their way back to Finland this afternoon... they didn't want ANY part
of this hurricane; I can't blame them... I have no interest in spending
a night in an ice hotel, either, thank you. Our building is pretty much
completed and we can now secure it for this event. We were able to get
everything done that we wanted to accomplish, so from here on, we are
at the mercy of Mother Nature.
We are ~60 miles (80 kilometers) from the coast... so our main concerns
will be tornados and rising water if the hurricane does veer through
here and stalls over the northwest Houston area. At home this afternoon,
we started to get things off the 1st story floor in our house... we
are on White Oak Bayou that flooded from tropical storm Allison in 2001
when we "received" 29 inches of rain in less than 24 hours...
and that was after the storm came barreling through a day before, and
doubled back again for another straight 24 hours of heavy rain. You
can't beat Texas for its ability to throw opposite ends of the weather
spectrum at you... it's been very dry for the last three months, and
will be VERY wet starting tomorrow.
Toni has been working at the house all day, and through the rest of
the afternoon has had something for me to move (all of downstairs, the
deck furniture and a gazillion potted plants), so this 57 year old is
ready for a shower. We broke open a nice bottle of Caymus cabernet to
finish off the day; we're giving up an Opus tomorrow night in hopes
of pacifying Ms. Rita. We have elected to spend Friday night (Rita's
expected ~1:00AM Saturday) at our son Phillip and d.i.l. Reschele's
higher-ground house and keep our 2½ year old grandson Scott and
my dog Molly entertained through the storm.
Your thoughts and prayers for all those still here along the Texas/Louisiana
coast are appreciated. And a very Special Thanks to those of you who
offered shelter for Toni & me... one offer of sharing a great wine
collection almost convinced us to take the 12++ hour trip to Dallas,
which normally takes only 4 hours.
Even for a mild hurricane, there is a good chance communications will
be broken or undependable for the weekend; I will try to communicate
to everyone of the status as soon as communications are up.
Ps... to shore up my political reputation among all my more "liberal"
friends who are so infatuated with the likes of Edwards, Kerry, Schumer
and Kennedy (Big Ted, that is): I say... go Roberts, and NO, neither
Katrina, nor Rita, or governmental missteps for either, is Bush's fault!
I'm not sure if you are able to open this straight out, but you can
see and scan the inside of the new part of our building. For Rita, we
have trucks parked in front of the overhead doors... the new furnace
is hidden behind the cinderblock wall on the left side image. I will
be turning off the main electric panel tomorrow afternoon, which will
shut down the remote camera until we turn the electricity back on, assuming
we have electricity, Sunday morning.