Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Hurricane Rita (The surprises)

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. I thought I suffered no damage from Hurricane Rita. Turns out that's not necessarily the case. The constant pulsing of electrical power apparently harmed a couple of appliances, and my pump/filter system for my Koi pond. They don't seem to want to work anymore. The most expensive is the ecosystem for my pond. The pump would not run today and the biological filter tank which is under pressure started to leak really bad. I concluded that variations in pump pressure brought on by fluxuations in power did both of them in. I worked on the pump and got it running but the filter looks hopeless. So I bought another one, this time gravity fed as opposed to pressure fed. The idea is that future power malfunctions will not harm the filter, a critical factor in the filtering of the pond because it is very sensitive to enzyme action. I just replaced the pump a few weeks ago because it had pretty much run its course after five years. $90.00. Pumps don't come cheap. And this new filter will require some major changes in the hoses, another expense I haven't calculated yet. I will also need more stones to cover the filter that will now be above the level of the pond, not below ground like the previous one.

The fish hate going through all of this because it greatly upsets the pond's PH and clarity factors. I hope we don't lose any fish.

Water gardens can get complicated, especially after a hurricane.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

Hurricane Rita (After)

Hurricane Rita, billed as the 3rd most powerful hurricane in the Gulf, took six days to get here, growing to a Category 5, but when it came time to pick a target, it slowed down, went east and spared the Houston area.

Instead of damage, most folks around here are going to talk about the evacuation of over three million people who were convinced that they would be harmed if they stayed. So they took to the evacuation routes and sat there, and sat there and sat there. Thousands of travelers never made it to their destinations and hundreds of cars simply ran out of fuel after only thirty or forty miles because they could not move.

We have leaves all over our lawn and a few small limbs here and there but that's about it. We actually got so little rain that I will have to water my lawn today.

Even with the boarding up of windows, moving things inside or tying them down, and now having to undo all that effort, we are glad we did. It could have been the big one...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hurricane Rita

Well, it's starting. The non-stop news reports, the inevitible doomsday predictions, confusing evacuation orders, people buying anything and everything they can get their hands on, long lines at the gas stations, traffic backed up for miles, etc.

And worse than all that, everyone had to make that dreaded decision: go or stay. After considerable thought and discussion, we decided to stay. We're 90 miles from the Gulf and maybe 120 miles from where Rita is supposed to landfall. We know a Cat 5 hurricane, especially one of Rita's magnatude, will probably do a great deal of damage to our home either in the form of wind, rain or tornados. The thought of that sickens us but we have decided to be here when it happens.

When I saw this animated picture on the computer screen today my first thought was that Rita was a circular saw blade cutting its way across the Gulf. I suppose all my future pictures will be of the "sawdust" it left in its wake. I'm just hoping the sawdust is not mine.

It may be some time before we have power restored but as soon as I can I will post "after" photos of my little kingdom. Until then, goodnight.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Back in business

I own a staffing agency that specializes in placing building engineers with large commercial property management companies. My company is called M&A Staffing and I operate it from my home.

A few months ago I had to suspend my business because I could not drive, read, watch TV, operate a computer or do anything that required me to hold my head upright. Things were kind of slow anyway so I just settled into a "retired" mode and listened to books on tape.

Yesterday I received a call from one of my long-time customers saying he was sending an applicant to me to process and assign back to him on a temp-to-perm basis. In less than two hours the young man was processed, drug tested, his employment and criminal history checked and on his way to work.

Shortly afterward I received a call from the company's HR department asking for my help in filling a number of other positions.

I suppose this means that I am no longer in the "retired" mode.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


We finally took a vacation. For 32 years we just used our vacation time to visit relatives or do projects or just do nothing. It was fine with us but we never got to see new places or do new things. Well this time we flew to Phoenix, spent time in Scottsdale, Sedona, Flagstaff and Williams, Arizona, visited some cliff dweller ruins, rode the Grand Canyon Railway to the Grand Canyon, spent the night in the famous El Tovar Hotel, took a bus tour of the South Rim, crossed the Hoover Dam, held at gunpoint by train robbers and bet that our luck was better than the house in Las Vegas. And now we're home. It was fun but it was more than enough adventure for both of us.

Judy's sister, Joyce and hubby, Allen joined us and it made a big difference in how much fun we had because they like adventure. Unfortunately, their house in Metairie (New Orleans) was always in the back of their mind. They learned that it had water in it from Hurricane Katrina. There was nothing they could do immediately so we all decided to go ahead with the long planned vacation.

I missed cooking on my Big Green Egg and I'm very sore from all the walking we did.

I managed to take over 300 photos which I eventually edited down to 258. Here's a few of the more memorable ones...

It was a good trip.