Monday, August 27, 2012

Keeping an Eye on Isaac

A brief update, y'all...

We might have tried to post whilst away, but our retro 1930's motel "cabin" (remember those?) had no internet connection. A humongous TV which turned out of be of some interest since the hurricane in the Gulf is looming toward New Orleans. I would say "shades of Katrina" but with Bobby Jindal in the governor's chair the state is in good hands. Not only that, but the corrupt Nagin is gone from New Orleans, which must give citizen morale a huge boost! Besides, (I think) the Army Corps of Engineers has been busy repairing and replacing in the years since Katrina showed the government's ineptitude with the levees.

New Orleans is a bowl - a sinking bowl at that. It's an open question how long before it sinks so low before it becomes uninhabitable. Visit while you can - after Isaac of course... by the way, folks who live in Hurricane Territory don't say, in this case, "Hurricane Isaac". It's just "Isaac" to them, or "Andrew", Katrina, or "Camille"...

So why would anyone in their right mind ever have founded this city? The answer is complicated by culture and commerce, but the simple answer is: the confluence of the mouth of the mighty Mississip and the Gulf of Mexico.

Many of us were raised on the stories of the river, the same one from which Samuel Clemens drew his pseudonym: "Mark Twain". Among his many jobs, he'd been a navigator on the Mississipi. Being able to discern the depth at any given spot on the river required dropping a piece of weighted twine inscribed with markings that allowed the person using it to see where the twine hit the mud - in other words, sounding the depth of the water. This permitted the captain to know if he was in any danger of getting caught on the ever-shifting mud bottom.

Once again, the country watches and waits to see what Isaac does. At least the bottom half of the country does. Over in California they're dealing with earthquakes. Hard to say which disaster I'd rather face.

Like we get a choice right?


Anonymous said...


Terrible for those concerned, but should we take a hint from Mother Earth?

This planet is alive and has been for much longer than any of us can remember, constantly changing, where earthquakes, storms, heat, cold, water, drought, land slides, eruption and erosion are the order of the day.

When will Man acknowledge that we must listen to Mother Nature, and take into account all of this?

Nemesis said...

The best weather forecast is when you look out the window. Hope Isaac peters out before it hits the coast.

Would it really worry the rest of the U.S. if California broke off and slipped into the ocean?

And on Samuel Clemens; not many know that he did a world tour in the 1890's and one of his ports of call was down under. I live near a coastal city called Newcastle, in New South Wales, and it was in this town that Mark Twain did a one night stand and was delayed on his train trip up the Hunter Valley the next day by a tooth that needed to be pulled.

He was so happy with the service he received that he wrote the Dentist who performed the op a nice letter which is kept on display somewhere I can't recall at this time.

There is road just out of the town that is named The Industrial Highway which used to service all the industry that we once had here. The mayor wanted to re-name that road, Mark Twain Boulevarde, which I thought would be quite fitting seeing that the great man once visited and that road badly needs a new name, but the mayor was thwarted in his endeavour by the councilors, who by the way have no sense of history and are largely all liberals, simply because Mark Twain was an American!

What small minded people liberals are!

Nate Whilk said...

"Hard to say which disaster I'd rather face."

If I *had* to choose one of them, I'd take the hurricane. The sole reason: days of advance warning due to modern meteorology.

The big earthquake due in San Francisco is expected to kill 10,000 people outright (mostly from falling brick buildings) and injure 40,000. No electricity, so lots of things won't work, gas station pumps among them.

Dymphna said...

@Nate Whilk--

Your reasoning wins...the Big One will be seen by many as a karmic recall.

California's natural beauty was always a siren. The discovery of gold was another. Now it is choking on the distorted economics of a legislature in thrall to the public sector unions.

Who knows...California may end up simply a large enclave for the very rich, distributed among academia and actors - plus hovel towns for the very poor who slave for them. Every day more and more middle class businesses flee.

California's incredibly productive agricultural sectors are being vandalized and stripped by the lawless. Victor David Hanson relentlessly reports on the sad demise of a place he loves...including his own family acres...