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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hurricane Harbor

Meters swum today: 1300.
Playing in the background: Some shoot 'em up movie called Borderland. Antonio Banderas is in it. Not much else to recommend it tho.

Hurricane Ike has come and gone. It didn't really hit Dallas, kind of passed to the east of us, but we got some of the "arms" that spin off and deposit large quantities of rain and wind on unsuspecting Metroplexes. I got to the pool this morning and back in a mild drizzle, which turned into a torrential downpour right around abouts 2pm -- just in time for the Air Force/Houston football game, which was of course moved from Houston to Dallas to get away from the hurricane. In sports programming this is what's called an "oopsie."

Anyway, some really cool gusts of wind and the aforementioned rain. Other than that the storm has come and the storm has gone. Heck, we didn't even lose power. Ike should be clobbering Arkansas right about now. According to the cool weather graphics on the NHC's Web site, it's on its way to merge with a trough of low pressure near the Great Lakes, which should spin serious thunderheads and tornadoes all the way up to Maine. Wow.

On the other hand, we have Galveston:

Quick history lesson. Roundabouts 1900, Galveston was submerged by the largest hurricane ever to hit the continental U.S. They didn't give em names then, but if they had, they woulda retired this one. 8,000 people died and to this very day, there's nowhere you can go in Galveston where you're more than three feet from a gravesite. Galveston went from being a prosperous little town, rivaling Houston as the big port in Texas, to, uh, nothing for quite a while. As a result, it's Houston that has all the petrochemical plants and so on. Galveston is still a town, but it's mainly a tourist hangout.

After 1900, Galveston built a sea wall to keep out the storm surge. This is an artist's representation:

The sea wall is 17 feet high but some of the storm surge from Ike still managed to go over top of the thing. No photos yet, either, but it apparently suffered heavy damage. So while everybody's carrying on about whether or not we should have rebuilt New Orleans, maybe we should think about the wisdom of puttin' a town on a barrier island. I mean, they call them barrier islands for a reason, folks.

While all this was going on, we watched Casino Royale, the new Bond flick. We have Showtime free for a month for some reason.

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