Wednesday, August 31, 2005

There have been 275 hurricanes that have made US landfall since 1845. Only four have been like Katrina.

Here in Oxford, the 2.72 inches of rain courtesy of the same meteorological phenomena responsible for incomprehensible devastation a few states southward provides no reference frame whereby I can fathom what has/is unfolding.

There hasn't been a natural disaster in US history that measures up to this. Insured losses- which are next to impossible to estimate- nevertheless have been estimated upwards of 25 billion dollars. Typically about 40% of people do not have insurance so expect total losses to be double that of stated insured losses.

And now the cascade effect is beginning. 9 refineries have shut down and 60% of oil rig platforms have been evacuated. Gas jumped this morning .40 to.50 cents per gallon to an average here in the Tri-State of 3.09. It is now going to cost us 50.00 to fill up the Element. However if my fool butt had a Suburban, for instance, I could shell out close to 100.00 to fill up. There is talk that some places and stations could run out of fuel by the end of this Labor Day holiday weekend. Surely gas prices will ease after the holiday.

A coworker of mine took his grandson to school in Batesville this morning and was told by a fuel station manager that the station was not going to get a tanker in after they run out. This quick of an impact on the fuel industry in the US is unprecedented. I joked before Katrina that gas would be 3.00 a gallon by Christmas. I would not be surprised if it could get to 5.00. We shall soon see.

My last post showed the Richelieu Apartment destruction and the tragedy that unfolded there. Indeed, sometimes the incapacity of the human mind to contemplate impending peril is again demonstrated in the picture below. I do not know what happened to the wedding party after this pic was taken the Saturday before the hurricane- hopefully they got out. Despite warnings and evacuations, the wedding went on in downtown New Orleans. Note the boarded windows in the background.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Can you tell where the hurricane is?

I guess I'd put Munkebites into alert mode since everybody and their brother is.

But this is an historical thing in the making.....Katrina already has become the fourth largest/strongest in the recorded history of Atlantic basin hurricane records. Earlier Sunday, its central pressure dipped to 904 milibars and had sustained winds of 175 mph with gusts of 215 mph. By comparison, Andrew ranks 8th on that list. This is even stronger than Camille in July 1969. If it keeps this current path and strength (some fluctuations are likely), there could be a storm surge in the New Orleans area of about 20-30 feet. That would be devastating.

There is already unprecedented wording coming out of Louisiana local NWS offices. I've never seen them use words such as "devastating" in relation to a storm in my lifetime, while describing the potential for the storm to: "destroy most/all gabled roofs" in the direct damage swath; "cause high rise buildings to sway, with some collapsing possible."

There are even inland tropical storm watches for the southern central Tennessee counties below Nashville. You just don't see that often. The Ohio Valley (central and eastern mainly) could receive 2-5 inches of rain, sustained winds of around 20mph with gusts to 35mph, some sporadic power outages and localized flooding. Expect the Ohio River to rise to perhaps 35 feet in Cincy before this is all said and done. But, that is if the current models are tracking this thing right. They are not all in agreement this far out however.

I think the storm will weaken to a strong Category 4 hurricane before landing just east of New Orleans and the 12:35a.m., August 29th radar returns indicate dry air entraining into the west side of the storm, which will continue the weakening process until landfall. HOWEVER, this is still going to be an historic impact.

Already, there are rumors in Northern Kentucky with the attending runs on gas stations that gas prices are going to shoot to $4.00 per gallon. Although 20% of our useable fuel goes through the Louisiana processing areas, I don't think we'll see that big of a spike. Depending on the total aftermath, expect to see a widespread trickle-down impact across the economic structure of the country. Suffice it to say, I would not want to be building a house in the next few months, if you don't have your lumber ordered yet.

Pray for those who could not get out and pray for the sensibilities of those who, like those who chose to ride out Camille and have a hurricane party in this picture below, might perish because of their foolishness.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Since I like movies and writing about them, here's my site with my reviews of both current releases and DVD's. I've always been a critic of sorts and I've done some reviews over the years on Munkebites and I just wanted to be a lil' more up front with it since some folks have shown at least miniscule interest.

It's kind of hokey I know and very rudimentary, but I am gonna be working with it over time and you can let me know what you think, what I can add to it, and for you tekkie-types, you can tell me HOW to do it. Or you can sit back and laugh. But you can't stop me. The only hope you'll ever have on this planet is that I'll be contained.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Getting Back At It

So, after a summer where I dipped my shoulder and right wrist into mountain bike hades as well as crunch up Veritas' summer intern's car on I-75 in Kentucky, I am ready for some excitement. How about pumping up Oxford's population to the tune of 15-16,000 people in some 3-4 days? about sitting in a bus when it's all happening? Dang- do I need another vacation already?

Got the community room decked with window treatments as well as a work station, so the major furnishings are in place and that edges up the excitment meter on my part.

Tomorrow, we help new frosh move in and Saturday we give away free hemp necklaces made by Veritasians at A Taste of Oxford. I don't know if they'll make it there.

The necklaces I mean.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

And it all comes crashing down.....summer break that is.

So, the annual arrival of the driver's meeting this Thursday signals the new year. I have to say that Oxford is the most seasonal place in which I've ever lived. The academic calendar seems to govern all of our lives. It ain't no complaint.....just an obzervayshun. Got my D.O.T. fizzkull and I'm ready to alight in the saddle again.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Well,Spen and I are back from a week in Naperville, Illinois for a conference and I am pretty sure I don't want to drive the I-80/94 corridor in south Chicago anytime soon. We had a rich and beneficial time and this time with tha SpenDoc sort of culminates our summer internship together at the Dana household. But he and his sis be moving in down the street just one house away so that will be stupendously nice.

Stoodints are returning and another season begins here and I am thinking/reflecting through what we are and should be about as a church. I'm not quite sure what that means other than some more internal transformation on my behalf to be who and what I need to be for the long haul. Some fire....some ice....but needed nonetheless.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Back from Rainsland.....and I am very thankful for their graciousness in giving us access there.

Got to engage with the Beanius and CMarsh for a couple of days and that never fails to invigorate.

The hi-lite had to have been taking the fellers into Bat Cave right off the Natural Bridge trail. Or maybe it was the Fence Lizard atop the Bridge, who- upon finally seeing me sitting beside its tree-side perch and seeing the two-headed, towering behemoth called the Marshbean approach- jumped off the tree, legs whirring mid-jump in high-gear in anticipation of a quick get-away. The little beast had not fully figured into the landing the amount of torque he was generating so that when he landed with a splat, he immediately did a two and one-half somersault in his haste, flashing us his white undercarriage in double succession and disappeared over the edge of the drop, committing what was (for me) the first ever Lizardicide. My heart sank and my jaw dropped as we looked at each other to register if what we saw was indeed what happened.

But alas......the creature did not perish, we concluded, as there was a ledge below on which he would have landed. God bless that base-jumping reptile.