Archive for October 2009

The Rains Are Gone, The Floods Are Coming

October 31, 2009

Here in town, all is well. Outside town, where all the water drains, not so much. In particular, some of us younguns are going to have to rescue my grandmother later today.

According to the National Weather Service, Wallace Lake is supposed to crest at record heights tomorrow evening. My grandmother’s house is in the floodplain of the lake. Right now – at 10:00 AM on Saturday, a day and a half before its supposed to stop rising – the water is less than twenty feet from her house and is high enough over the roads that she can no longer escape.

Now, we’ve know about the possible flooding since yesterday morning. We’ve all been telling her that the water is going to keep rising until Sunday night and will most likely get in the house. She had plenty of time and notice. She has any number of family members in town who would have been glad to let her stay with them. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to leave while the roads were still passable. But all we got was “well, it’s stopped raining, and we’re just praying the water will recede.”

Maybe it will. Most likely, though, we’ll be using my cousin’s ginormous four wheel drive dualie (I’m 6’2″ and almost need a step ladder to get in it) to go pull them out the front door while the water is flowing through the back door.

KSLA has some video of the area near where she lives.

UPDATE

Just returned from a tour of flooded areas. After seeing the house and hearing the new, lower forecast for the crest, I think it will be fine.

Here’s some pics.

In a ditch just up Barron Road from the house.

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The back of the house.

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The barn. The thing you barely see inside is the top of an s-10 pickup. The owner is currently doing ten years in the state pen, so he won’t miss it too much.

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Finally, the cause of the lake and it’s floods: Wallace Lake Dam. If you’ve ever been out there on a normal day, you understand how much water this is; it’s normally ten or fifteen feet below the spillway and only goes through a drain, that is now submerged, in the middle of the dam. So on a normal day, everything you see on the left, save a ten foot wide channel in the middle, is bone dry. Typically, you can climb up the spillway and walk from one end to the other.

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Is “Miracle” Really The Best Word?

October 30, 2009

Imagine you’re a local graphic artist. A fairly successful one. You’re driving along in your new Lexus. As you roll through downtown Shreveport, you drive by the First Methodist Church. On top of that Church is a huge steeple, one they only put up about a decade ago and that cost who knows how much money. Next thing you know, you are trapped in your car, which was crushed when the steeple fell off the church.

You are now out a car, several days of your life while you are in the hospital, and a few fingers, too. Which is a really bad thing if you’re an artist. The church, of course, is now out a steeple.

I can think of a lot of words I would use in that situation. Most of the local coverage has repeatedly used the word “miracle.” What they mean is that it’s a miracle the guy lived. But if you’re going to invoke the divine for the result, don’t you have to invoke it for the causes, too? Sure, the odds of surviving being struck by a falling steeple are so small that it seems like a miracle. But by that logic, being struck by a steeple itself is even more “miraculous.” The odds of the accident even happening are at least as long as those of surviving it. So if your only criteria for labelling something a miracle is that the thing occurred against long odds, then the accident was just as much a miracle as escaping it alive. And if both of these events were miraculous, then the author is a little sadistic.

 

Football, Congress And Head Injuries

October 28, 2009

I had a great post about the hearings Congress had today about the NFL and long term head injuries. I accidentally erased it prior to publishing. I don’t feel like trying to recreate it. So here’s a summary.

One, why is Congress bothering with this issue? These are knowing and consenting adults harming no one but themselves.

Two, rather than solving the problem with education, more subjective penalties during games, or better equipment, how about removing all helmets and pads? The protective equipment incentivizes dangerous behavior.

Three, I hope my son never plays football. Baseball, basketball, track, cycling: Yes. Football, no.

Florida Has A Three Feet Law, Too

October 27, 2009

Got this via e-mail from a buddy in Tallahassee:

yea, so, I officially have been the victim of aggravated assault. Went for a ride yesterday afternoon. Guy in a truck cuts me off (intentionally), so I squirted my water at him (his truck which was moving away from me by then, so there was no way any of it even wet his tailgate). About 5 minutes later, he pulls up beside me on a back road with his window down. We exchange many “words” for, literally, a couple of minutes. During the entire conversation, I keep riding and he keeps veering me off the road. I keep riding. He tells me he would run me over if he didn’t care about his truck, and that it’s illegal to ride a bike in the road. After all, he doesn’t “play football in the road”, and he has a right to “take a right”, and I’m endangering him by being on the road. He throws a handful of trash at me, which hits me. Then he swerves enough to smack my handlebars hard enough that I scraped my knee on the left drop and almost went down. I continue to ride. He tells me his “name” and that he wants to meet tomorrow. Many other words were exchanged, and he turns around and goes back the way he came from.

During the entire encounter, we did not pass another car, pedestrian, or cyclist. I went to the closest gas station and called the law. After a brief description of the occurence, I asked if I could ride home (as I was not badly hurt) and meet a deputy there instead of on the road. Got home, called again, they responded. Gave info to deputy. He took zero notes, told me I had no case. Tried to question me for not calling at the time of the occurence. I informed him that I had. I gave him the name that was given to me, and he said “I’ll write that down when I get back to my car.” THE END.

Grown man (mid to late 40’s), FSU football shirt, buzz cut, fat (go figure), white (go figure), green tundra pick-up (go figure).

Been there, though I’ve never bothered calling the cops. That’s the most aggravating part of the whole story. Ignorant rednecks will do as ignorant rednecks will do. An overweight middle-aged POS has to do something to make himself feel worthwhile. That’s expected. The indifference of law enforcement, though, is inexcusable. Based on my own experience and that of other cyclists, it’s also typical. They see the world as cars and when cars and bikes mix, the fault is always the bike’s.

Bikes And Trees

October 26, 2009

This sounds cool:

The Velo Dendro S is a tour of significant trees in Shreveport. This ride . . . will take riders around Shreveport to look at and learn about this beautiful city’s significant trees. We will begin at the Columbia Café at Creswell and Kings Highway and head north to downtown. Along the way we will visit examples of good and poor pruning practices and take part in a tree planting at a local church. Once downtown, we will visit the historic court house on Texas Street, and discuss modern trends in urban forest planting. After a short break for refreshments we will head over to the Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport’s premier and oldest cycling facility. Cutting back away from the River after a few miles, we will mosey over to see a demonstration of tree/utility conflicts with SWEPCO and then on to take a look at the Louisiana State Champion Sycamore tree on the A.C. Steere playground. Other stops as we make our way back to Columbia Café will include Betty Virginia Park and the Slattery Oak. Following the ride we will be treated to the sweet sounds of A Fine Romance Trio at the Columbia Café and enjoy post-ride refreshments. The entire route is approximately 17 easy miles. No single section of the ride with be longer than two miles and we will supply refreshments, bathroom breaks and mechanical support (if needed) all along the route.

It’s only ten bucks and kid trailers are welcome. The date is November 7. The time 9:30 – 1:00. I may go, if for no other reason than to hear about the “Louisiana State Champion Sycamore tree” at AC Steere. We see that ginormous tree almost daily and I’ve always wondered what its story is.

Burning Crosses, Too?

October 23, 2009

Woo hoo! This is NOT in Louisiana:

Halloween Book Burning

Burning Perversions of God’s Word

Oct. 31, 2009
7pm – Until

Great Preaching and Singing

Come to our Halloween book burning. We are burning Satan’s bibles like the NIV, RSV, NKJV, TLB, NASB, NEV, NRSV, ASV, NWT, Good News for Modern Man, The Evidence Bible, The Message Bible, The Green Bible, ect.

These are perversions of God’s Word, the King James Bible.We will also be burning Satan’s music such as country , pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, contemporary Christian, jazz, soul, oldies but goldies, etc.

We will also be burning Satan’s popular books written by heretics like Westcott & Hort, Bruce Metzger, Billy Graham Rick Warren Bill Hybels , John McArthur, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll John Piper, Chuck Colson, Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart, Mark Driskol, Franklin Graham , Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joyce Myers, Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa, The Pope, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne, Brennan Manning, William Young, etc.

We are not burning Bibles written in other languages that are based on the TR. We are not burning the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva or other translations that are based on the TR.

We will be serving Bar-b-Que Chicken, fried chicken, and all the sides.

If you have any books or music to donate, please call us for pick-up. If you like you can drop them off at our church door anytime. Thanks. 828-648-0213

And that number is for the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in North Carolina.

Raise Your Hand If You Live In Haughton And . . .

October 22, 2009

Have never been arrested for: drunkenly driving your four wheeler while shooting guns over your neighbor’s house; fighting with your adult child in the front yard; any other offense involving alcohol, meth, pot, guns, fourwheelers, fistfights, or – in today’s latest from Redneckistan; passing out in your living room while your toddlers play naked in your front yard.

Anyone? Anyone?