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Geaux Tiger September 16, 2008

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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No, not the football team. I haven’t changed my anti-LSU status yet; not if I wish to remain happily married to a woman whose team was thrashed by LSU in the Sugar Bowl after the assembled drunken mob to the last man, woman and child booed a priest (the President of Notre Dame), then booed the band so loud we couldn’t here them. For three straight songs. Nice way to treat people who plopped down big bucks to see their (out of state) team play in the Sugar Bowl. I’m sure all those out-of-staters will be back next time. Be sure to tell them to ask for the “Tiger” rate.

No, I mean this tiger.

Lest we be accused of being too serious around here (and looking too hard at the Houston Chronicle web site is a sobering activity to put it mildly), we’re happy to see that even among the desperate devestation of coastal Texas we still find stories as Odd as this one.

Certain Death September 12, 2008

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Residents of Galveston Island on the beach Friday morning.

Early morning local weather bulletins from Cameron Parish and coastal Texas included an ominous statement eminiscent of the dire warnings that preceeded Katrina. The National Weather Service’s telepgrahic, ALL CAPS messages early this morning warned people who do not evacuate they “MAY FACE CERTAIN DEATH”. While slightly qualified by the use of may and certain in the same sentence, I think the message is clear for the 20,000 people the local sheriff said this morning remained behind in Galveston County’s mandatory evacuation zone.

I know I should be thinking first of those people who may in fact face certain death, even the fools above and the one in the bear suit dancing on the beach seen on Houston television earlier today. Still, I can’t help but think of the Katrina survivors I am certain are glued to their television, and who will watch this unfold on 7 by 24 coverage on the cable news networks. I watched Hurricane Katrina unfold from almost 1,200 miles away as an expat living in Fargo, N.D. I can only just barely imagine how the people of stayed for Katrina will react to see this tragedy unfold as it very well may. I worry it will be more than some of them can bear.

All of the people of New Orleans are watching and praying for the best for the people in the path of Ike. Tens of thousands of Orlenians (and people all over the Hurricane Coast from Cameron to the Mississippi Coast) who suffered through Katrina and its immediate aftermath understand your plight better than any reporter from the Weather Channel or CNN will ever know.

Galveston September 10, 2008

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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Every passing forecast is sending Hurricane Ike further north past Matagorda Bay toward Galveston, with the hurricane watch extended as far east as Cameron Parish, La.

Sadly, I’ve read that the mayor of Galveston has not called for a mandatory evacuation because she doesn’t want people to go through another Rita. (Next time you want to criticize New Orleans evacuation, particularly in Katrina, remember over 100 people died from the attempted and failed evacuation of the Houston/Galveston area. Way to go).

This is insane. Galveston is behind a 17 foot seawall. Here is a map of a Category 4 storm surge with Galveston in the cross hairs (that is, the close in north east quadrant). Eighteen feet of water minus a 17 foot floodwall equals a alarming inability in this official’s ability to do simple arithmetic. Perhaps we should send Nagin over to show her how panicking a population into evacuating is done.

I never liked “country” music when I was a kid, and never watched the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour. I once attended a tiny music festival in New York Mills, a small town in northwest Minnesota with big cultural ambitions. A friend was terribly excited to see some guy in a top hat who was routinely on the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour. I had no idea who he was. I was there to see Jouma Kaukonen (formerly of the Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna), who hailed from a nearby town and so was roped into the festival. Both of these celebrities played for an audience that might have been 200 people. We had an amazing time sitting literally at the feet of our childhood idols.

While I don’t believe I ever watched an episode of the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour I have to admit I have a soft spot for his songs. If you scrape off the gloopy Nashville Strings overlays they always used on his recordings, they were good folksy pop that told a story, and I’m a sucker for guys who tell stories. This one is not really about Galveston as much as it is about some sad, lonely kid in Vietnam dreaming of home. The pink tint on this vid is Odd (but then, we like odd) and it’s the best of the lot I could find It’s the original music video (although I don’t think they called them that back then), instead of the Fat Elvis version of Mr. Campbell probably coming to a casino near you soon.

Galveston, we’re pulling for you. Here’s the one lesson we have for you from Katrina, Rita and Gustav. Your leaders are idiots (like ours). Following your instincts is the only way to be safe. Time for a nice evacation to Austin, don’t you think?