Archive - Aug 2005

Help Offered

I found this Help Offered sight to be encouraging.

August 30th

Disaster updates

I think the Times-Picayune website probably provides some of the most compelling and accurate news from the disaster. Fifteen minutes ago, a post described a band of looters who were threatening a Children's Hospital.

Also, the scene at the Superdome is quite bad tonight--one wonders how the night will go there. The governor visited there tonight and said it was too grim their for anybody to stay--toilets overflowing, stifling heat, no ventilation, toxic water rising inside...

New Orleans

I have no TV, but checked in on the situation down south this evening--New Orleans is pretty much inundated, and, because the city is below sea level, the water won't go away until it is pumped out, which could take months. This is a horrible disaster. When Grand Forks was evacuated in 1997, it was the largest city--74,000--ever evacuated in the US since the Civil War. Well, Grand Forks made it through its devastating flood without a single death directly attributed to the flood. New Orleans has dozens dead, and it is possible that the worst is ahead.


I made some dinner tonight to commemorate Cassio's departure--Mom, Dad, Joe and Lance came--and employee Jordan and his girlfriend Lindsay came later to say goodbye to Cassio. All ended up in the crow's nest looking at the swans. With only one set of binoculars, Lance set up his laptop with his video cam and zoomed in so all could see on his screen. Some high tech in the swamp castle tonight.

More swamp stuff

I just spotted a green heron hiding in the grass and put the binocs to it for a minute. It was waving its head after some dragonflies like a cat watching a bird fly around the room. Suddenly a dragonfly headed right into the heron's beak. He snagged it, and then had to deal with swallowing it without letting it go.

August 29th


Cassio is downstairs packing his things. Cassio, Raciel and I are leaving Thursday morning for a nine-day trip. Our goals are to see the things in the western United States Cassio wanted to see, namely 1) the heads (which he saw in cartoons in Brazil growing up but never thought actually existed) 2) the geysers 3) a ranch (so we can establish just what the difference between a ranch and a farm is) 4) the big trees. The trip will end in San Francisco where I will drop the two off for final days of meetings and their flight back to Brazil.

Bird-watching with two pros

Friends Bruce and Mary came over tonight for a bird watching session in the crow's nest. We sat with our legs dangling over the edge and our elbows on the bench for an hour-and-a-half, until our legs went to sleep. Bruce is a professional wildlife photographer, and Mary is very knowledgable about birds as well.

August 28th


With an awful hurricane bearing down on New Orleans, we could actually see an entire city wiped out. This is a disaster scenario which has been bouncing around for a long time in New Orleans and around the country amongst those inclined to talk about such things, and now it appears as if it could happen.

In addition, the hurricane is has already taken 1 million barrels of oil per day from our supply--oil is set to pass $70 per barrel when the markets open tomorrow. The ripple effect will hit the pumps within days, I suspect.

Morning in the swamp castle

Here is a shot of my living room a couple of mornings ago. A couple of you have asked for some more house shots--I have no problem obliging!


Joe and I played in Ulen this afternoon at a fundraiser for the Ulen History Museum. The fundraiser consisted of a "tour of homes" in Ulen. The final stop was at the home pictured here. We sang in a screened-in porch. The people gathered on the lawn. It was an ice cream social.

Here is the Baldwin Acrosonic they imported to the porch for us to play on. It was a nice piano. We played for nearly two hours--didn't realize we had that much music.