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    Hurricane Katrina & Gas Prices – Insanity or Gouging? August 31st, 2005

    I had to work late this evening at the TV station. I didn’t get to leave until well after 9pm and I was tired. I needed to stop and get gasoline for the car and I think I may have been at the last gas station in Tallahassee with a price of UNDER $3 a gallon for regular unleaded. I also heard a report on the news of at least one station in the Atlanta, GA area charging $6 a gallon. I wonder how much higher prices will go as a result of the damage to refineries and offshore oil rigs by Hurricane Katrina. I also wonder how long it will be until I won’t be able to afford to go to work (a 30 mile trip each way).

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    Hurricane Katrina – It’s Not Just The Gulf Coast August 31st, 2005

    My Dad just sent me an email. In it, he writes

    “I have been surfing around the State of MS’s newspapers and the scope of Katrina is beginning to sink in. We hear so much about the coast but 90% of the buildings in Hattiesburg are damaged or destroyed, the town of Petal is destroyed. Jackson, Ms has no power or water, Laurel has no power or water and has storm damage and those towns are getting no help because everybody is focusing on the coast. My brother was telling me that in Waynesboro (where I lived before moving to Pensacola) there is a total loss of electricity but in three days there has not been a single repair truck anywhere in the town or surrounding area.”

    I was a teenager in Waynesboro, MS when Hurricane Frederick struck in 1979. I was a child of six in Cleveland, MS when Hurricane Camille struck in 1969. Even though both caused massive devestation and deaths, neither did as much as Hurricane Katrina has done

    And the scariest thing is the worst is yet to come.

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    Hurricane Katrina News Update August 31st, 2005

    My sister-in-law managed to reach us this evening…several times in fact. Apparently her room-mate’s cell phone can get out periodically so she took advantage to contact us. Unfortunately however each time she reached us, it only last anywhere from a few seconds to maybe a little over a minute. However, in the process of about a dozen calls in a row we got the following news.

    First of all we found out that even though she initially told us she would be evacuating her home on Kelly Avenue and staying with friends in north Gulfport, she ended up riding out the storm in her own home. And came perilously close to being killed. The winds, storm surge and possible tornadoes pretty much flattened most of the homes just south of hers. I believe God protected her and those with her.

    This morning she and someone else had to use a canoe to make it to where my father-in-law and mother-in-law were. They took them some food and clean water. However my father-in-law took a terrible tumble and wrenched his arm badly. It may have even been broken. They managed to get them to an ambulence which took them to Gulfport Memorial Hospital where they were admitted for at least the evening. My mother-in-law definitely needs to be there since she is supposed to be undergoing dialysis twice a week. Plus my father-in-law is supposed to be on a medical diet for his blood pressure and heart condition. Right now my sister-in-law is trying to work a plan to get both of them out of Gulfport and with relatives out of town.

    Even though my inlaws are alive, they have lost their home. The storm surge was high enough that it actually went over the roof. Structurally it is still standing, but everything inside is damaged. I have no idea if any of it is salvagable.

    On another front, my Dad thinks that my brother’s home in Slidell, LA is at least damaged and possible destroyed but he has no way at this time of knowing and my brother is still in California on business. Daddy also is pretty sure that his own brother’s home which was about a quarter of a mile from the beach is most likely gone. Right now my Uncle and his wife are staying at his wife’s mother’s home.

    I’ve been watching a lot of the video from Gulfport as shown on the various news channels and frankly it’s so sad I want to cry. That area that I knew for many years is no more. So many people’s lives have been devastated. Now what are they going to do? Many of them were employed by the casinos which all took major damage. None of them will reopen for a long time. So many homes destroyed. No food. No water. It’s going to be a very long and stressful road before things get back to anything resembling normalcy.

    Hurricane Katrina News August 30th, 2005

    Somehow, my sister-on-law got a phone call through to my home phone. She left us a voice mail letting us know that my mother-in-law and father-in-law both survived Hurricane Katrina but their home is a total loss. She didn’t mention how her home was but according to reports at the Sun Herald newspaper’s online site, the neighborhood has catastrophic damage. So it’s a logical assumption that her home is gone. However they are physically safe.

    Due to Sprint’s regional long distance hub being located in New Orleans I am unable to make any long distance calls from my home here in Tallahassee. Also the TV station I work for also uses Sprint lines not only for phones but also for Internet so no one can call long distance at work and we don’t have Internet capabilities until Sprint fixes things which estimates range from weeks to months.

    WLOX also has a lot of info online concerning Gulfport, Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coastal region.

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    Hurricane Katrina – Aftermath in Gulfport August 29th, 2005

    Just a quick entry: My mother-in-law and father-in-law made the decision to ride out Hurricane Katrina in their home in Gulfport, Mississippi which happens to be located approximately 2 miles from the Gulfport beach. All phones are down and I have been unable to contact them. If you have any suggestions or advice on ways of getting word to them or finding out if they are okay, please email me at saints@nettally.com

    Both my wife and I are greatly concerned.

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    Hurricane Katrina – Category 5 August 28th, 2005

    Hurricane Katrina Forecast Tracking Map

    Hurricane Katrina is now a category 5 with sustained winds of 175 miles per hour. And it has gusts of over 200 miles per hour. This storm is now a monster storm rivalling Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Hurricane Camille in 1969. All officials in the state of Louisiana are now expecting the worst for the area.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    More On Katrina August 28th, 2005

    Hurricane Katrina Forecast Tracking Map

    I woke up just before 2am Sunday morning and decided that since I wasn’t sleepy, I’d see the status of Hurricane Katrina. Now it’s up to a category 4 storm with sustained winds of 145 miles per hour (only 10 mph shy of becoming a category 5) and still headed towards New Orleans. All the interstate highways in and near the city are now one-way roads leading away from the area. The Louisiana Department of Transportation has many traffic cams that are normally viewable online. However even at this late hour, the latest pictures I find come from about 5:30pm local New Orleans time. Also, the website nola.com normally has web cams online and a couple of those are located in the French Quarter.

    According to the Weather Channel, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has announced the first-ever mandatory evacuation in city history. City, parish and state officials are extremely concerned about the possible catastrophic effects from Hurricane Katrina.

    I imagine most of the New Orleans television stations will be going on full alert with continuous coverage soon (if they haven’t already done so).

    Here We Go Again! August 27th, 2005

    Hurricane Katrina Forecast Tracking Map

    Another hurricane is heading towards the Gulf Coastal United States. The governors of Mississippi and Louisiana have declared states of emergency as Hurricane Katrina (a category 3 storm as of this entry with the possibility of strengthening into a category 4 storm) approaches land. I’ve been watching live video of the initial evacuation of New Orleans via I-10 from WVUE as shown on Fox News Channel. WWL-TV has live online simulcasting of their coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

    At some point this afternoon, officials will turn the inbound lanes of Interstate 10 into outbound lanes as the ongoing evacuations increase. Evacuations are voluntary at this point but as the hurricane nears landfall evacuations will indeed become mandatory.

    If Hurricane Katrina does make landfall at New Orleans or just west of the city, city and parish officials worry that the antiquated water pumps that are able to keep the city from flooding during normal amounts of rainfall will fail resulting in the city being covered by 15-25 feet of water, higher than the roofs of many of the city’s homes. Physically, most of New Orleans lies below sea level (some places dipping as much as 9 feet below sea level). It is surrounded on three sides by water kept out by levees. Flooding in area bayous also forces out wildlife, including poisonous snakes and stinging fire ants, which sometimes gather in floating balls carried by the current. According to various experts, in a worst-case scenario, if the city were to be flooded to such an extent the floodwaters would remain for anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months.

    New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said he expected to order evacuation of the Crescent City by early Sunday morning. City officials are preparing to close flood gates in the levees that surround New Orleans.

    My brother lives in Slidell, Louisiana which is on the eastern shore of Lake Pontratrain and his home is not all that far from the shore. If the lake floods, there is a high probability that his home will flood.

    During the next 72 hours, the path of Hurricane Katrina will be more definitive. We’ll have to watch and pray.

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    Knives, The NTSA and Flying August 27th, 2005

    Spyderco Salsa

    I was born and raised in the southern United States and in my youth I, along with every other boy, carried a pocketknife in the pocket. Even at my school. Even as an adult, I carry a pocketknife. A nice one made by Spyderco.

    Cheap as dirt knives

    So why is it so many idiots keep getting their pocketknives confiscated by the NTSA at airports across the U.S.? It’s not like it’s a big secret that knives are not allowed past security checkpoints! Plus it seems that the majority of the knives confiscated are either “no-name” knives usually found for sale at flea markets and the Redneck Shopping Channel or cheaply made imitations of good brands made by cheap companies with lesser quality materials. So not only are those folks stupid but also CHEAP.

    What kind of mental midget gets ready for a planned airline flight, gets dressed and decides “I’ll take my pocketknife along – I’m sure no one will mind“? What amazes me are all the cheap knives offered up on ebay as a result of NTSA confiscations.

    Sure, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt for some items that get confiscated in airports. For example, I can’t see why small nailclippers keep getting taken away. I’ve never been threatened by someone with a nail clipper, have you?

    I just can’t understand the thought process of someone who takes their cheap-as-dirt knife into an airport intending to take it onboard. Maybe they need to be sent to prison for being dumb as a rock.

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    An Open Letter To Cindy Sheehan August 26th, 2005

    Stephen Mansfield

    The following is an open letter to tragedy pimp grieving mother Cindy Sheehan from author Stephen Mansfield.


    Dear Mrs. Sheehan,

    You are in a firestorm of grief and what must be a disorienting swirl of world attention. For that reason, I will be as brief in my remarks as I hope to be compassionate.

    I will not insult you by presuming to know your sorrow. The loss of a son in armed conflict abroad must be among the most soul-wrenching experiences possible. You are surely right to rage against the horrors of war, right to demand answers and right to reach for those of like mind.

    I fear, though, that what began as a mourning mother’s righteous cry for meaning is becoming something that threatens to dishonor Casey’s heroism. Though I mean no disrespect, it is clear you are becoming swept up in a cynical drama that is far afield from the meaning of the war and your son’s sacrifice. From your daily blogging on Michael Moore’s web site to the pronouncements you feel obligated to make on Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip, you risk abandoning the moral high ground of a grieving mother and are in danger of becoming just another fleeting voice on the American pop culture landscape.

    The central issue here is not whether George W. Bush meets with you for a second time or whether your self-styled “peaceful occupation” of Crawford, Texas ever wins the explanations you seek. The central issue is that when your son volunteered for military service, he placed himself upon an altar of sacrifice. Sadly, the ultimate sacrifice was indeed required. Yet he gave himself willingly, as all our soldiers do in this generation, and his death is therefore the noble death of a hero and not the needlessly tragic death of one accidentally or foolishly taken.

    What we must understand is that a pledge to military service is a surrender of rights, a surrender of comforts and, potentially, a surrender of life if the nation calls. What leaves us so stunned at the death of a soldier, beyond our grief for a life snuffed out and our personal loss, is often our failure to understand the noble calling of the profession of arms and the warrior code that gives this calling meaning. When your son, and the thousands like him serving today, pledged himself to military service, he did not just “join the army.” He offered himself to his God and his nation in an act of devotion that has been repeated for centuries. He entered the fellowship of those who offer their lives willingly in service to others. His death, though a horror, was a horror with meaning, willingly engaged.

    I cannot know your sorrow. I can urge you, though, not to taint your son’s offering on what Lincoln called “the altar of freedom” by tethering it to the passing parade of trendy causes. I can also urge you to live now in the knowledge that your son’s passing ennobles our nation, just as I trust it will now ennoble you.

    With deepest sympathies for your loss,

    Stephen Mansfield

    Very well written and contains more respect for Cindy Sheehan than I feel she deserves. I find it interesting the large mainstream media’s selective omissions in their reporting of Army Spc. Casey Sheehan. For example, not too many people know that after volunteering for duty in the U.S. Army and serving a tour in Iraq, Casey chose to serve a SECOND tour in Iraq. He had the option of ending his first tour and going home, but his choice was to go back. The major mainstream news outlets as well as left wing extremist Cindy Sheehan leave this crucial fact out. There are numerous examples I could cite as well but suffice to say that although I support Cindy’s right to protest and applaud her for doing so, the outrageous comments and outright lies she has been espousing have caused me to lose all respect I have for the woman. I cannot and will not support what she says but I defend her right to say it. I also excercise my right not to listen any longer.

    Mr. Mansfield warns in his letter that Cindy runs the risk of

    abandoning the moral high ground of a grieving mother and are in danger of becoming just another fleeting voice on the American pop culture landscape

    Well, it is now obvious that she long abandoned that moral high ground and has wandered into the muck and mire of liberal extremist rhetoric, hypocrisy and falsehoods. Mr. Mansfield also states Cindy Sheehan “threatens to dishonor Casey’s heroism.” She is dishonoring Casey’s herosim and further prostitutes his sacrifice for his country with her words and actions. For this she should be ashamed of herself but she has become so self-righteous and has been surrounded by other extremists like moveon.org and media whore Al Sharpton that any sort of morality is lost.

    I have tried to steer clear of political entries on my blog and for the most part I have but frankly this situation as well as the media’s handling of it has horked me off enough that I just had to post my feelings on the matter.

    Hot Sauce Blog August 21st, 2005

    As I have posted in an earlier entry, I love hot sauces. In fact I write reviews of hot sauces I have sampled on my website and also keep a rather large set of hot sauce and hot sauce related links on my website, too. My blog is pretty general and I write about whatever inspires me at the time. This evening, I’d like to introduce you to a very good hot sauce blog I recommend called straightforwardly enough Hot Sauce Blog.

    The Hot Sauce Blog was created and is maintained by Nick Lindauer who also the creator and owner of Sweat ‘N Spice Hot Sauces. His blog is devoted to hot sauces, hot sauce recipes, reviews and general thoughts about, you guessed it…hot sauces. If you are a pepperhead like I am, go visit his blog and bookmark it for regular visits.

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    Goofy Lawsuit Department August 20th, 2005

    Slipknot vs. Coq Roq

    This is interesting. The band Slipknot is suing Burger King over BK‘s creation and use of a band called Coq Roq in their latest commercials. Slipknot‘s attorneys are claiming the commercials are “designed to conjure up the image and persona of a live performance of Slipknot.”

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    Neil Young August 20th, 2005

    Neil Young

    Just got word that a new Neil Young CD is in the works. It’s entitled “Prairie Wind” and should be released towards the end of September. I’m psyched.

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    Courtney Love August 20th, 2005

    Courtney Love

    Is this woman lucky or what? For the umpteenth time, she is avoiding jailtime for drug abuse. She must have an awesome team of attorneys in Howard Weitzman and Michael Rosenstein while Judge Rand S. Rubin must have a soft spot for Love. If it had been a non-celebrity who had done what Love has done, they’d be serving some serious time in prison. And Courtney Love doesn’t even qualify as a C-list celebrity anymore. I wonder how many times it will take for Courtney Love to screw up before she gets thrown in jail.

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    I’m beggin’ ya please! August 19th, 2005

    begging

    C’mon, somebody somewhere puhleeeeze make some comments on this mess I’ve been making on my little ol’ blog.

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