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Life is not about getting to the destination, life is what happens to you on the way there. 

Friday, September 30, 2005

Remember that website I talked about with all the graphics? Well - I had some problems. My scrapbooking software was so old that it reads the alpha channels of some graphics files as great big black blobs - so I was very disappointed. THEN I had a brainstorm - why not use Paint Shop to do these layouts? DH helped me make paintshop read the images correctly (now transparent images are really transparent - yay!) and I am back in business. Here's my first successful layout. YAY!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Help me!

Dear internet,
I'm working on a halloween costume idea - and need your help. This year I am going as a pun. Several puns actually. I'm going to dress up as a play on words and see how many people can identify all my puns. Thing is, I'm suddenly not feeling very punny. Here's what I have so far: (partial credit for these goes to the Family Fun Magazine October 2005 issue which inspired me)

Quarterback (enlarge a digital quarter and pin to my back)
Cold Front (Print a great big "cold" and pin to my front)
Smartie Pants (pin rolls of smarties to my pants)
Ring finger (Get a fake finger and attach it to a ring)
White trash (get a white garbage bag, fill with white garbage, hang off my waist)
Hi-liter (take a lighter and wire it like a halo on my head)
Army (stuff some old sleeve/glove combinations and pin to my shirt)
Two Faced (print a mugshot of me and wear like a mask on the back of my head)

I'm not sure what else to do. I think there might be tons of ideas out there but I'm just coming up dry. I'd like to do at least 10 puns.

Anybody have any ideas?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This place will ruin me

Or at the very least it will ruin my hard drive. I've been loading up on graphics from this place - literally just SUCKING them down. I was going dry on my digital scrapbook layouts oh - I dunno maybe a year ago now. These graphics and layouts have infused me with so many new ideas that I can't wait to get started again! Go check them out and download and download and download - but don't say I didn't warn you!

P.S. Staples brand ink cartridges really SUCK. I now have two useless black ink cartridges that are completely full but neither will work in my printer. Just suck it up and spend the extra $5 per cartridge. It will be well worth it in the long run for the amount of headaches and wasted paper later on.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Call me weird but this has occupied my mind for most of the morning:

Dictionary.com defines pertinent as: having precise or logical relevance to the matter at hand which makes sense. Okay - so we got pertinent down. What about impertinent? You would think the opposite of pertinent, right? That would mean irrelevant, imprecise, un-related, illogical. Dictionary.com agrees with me - sort of. That's the second definition of impertinent. The first (and most common definition) is exceeding the limits of propriety or good manners; improperly forward or bold.

So when someone says "You are quite an impertinent young lady!" (I've been watching old movies lately) are they really saying "You are quite an irrelevant young lady!" or "You are quite an imprecise young lady!"? It doesn't mean quite the same thing put that way, does it?

I'm curious as to how the word changed to go from simply being the opposite of pertinent to being something similar yet quite different. The mind boggles. (at least for me it does - you may simply be boggling at the fact that something so simple can amuse me. LOL! Speaking of boggle - where the heck did that word originate? Why boggle? Why not something else? Agh - I forsee another lunch period used up researching stupid words online...)

Sunday, September 25, 2005


I have passed on the arachnaphobia gene to my daughter in all it's doubtful glory. I had wondered for a while but last night I knew for sure. It was one in the morning, and all the kids had camped out in the living room because it was a weekend and that's when bedtimes and designated sleep location rules are lifted. DH and I were sleeping and the TV was on in the living room softly playing whatever cartoon channel it was tuned to. Everyone was quiet and you might even say asleep - or so it seemed... and that was when I heard a short eeek and then I heard middlechild calling for firstborn. I thought nothing of it because they sometimes talk to eachother of fight over blankies while they are sleeping on the living room floor. Also - my kids? if there's no anguish or fear in the scream it's not worth figuring out what it was. I drifted back to sleep.

What happened next words cannot even begin to describe. There was a blood curdling SHRIEK, much yelling and then my bedroom door slammed. My eyes shot open and I screamed. I was paralyzed with fear. All my nightmares were coming true - the kids were screaming and yelling, somethign was in my room, ,the dogs were barking. To say I nearly wet the bed would be a pretty accurate description.

DH leaped out of the bed and threw open the door and hollered out at the kids "what's wrong what's going on here?"

I was too scared to move, but I was making plans to get to the phone in the bedroom and dial 911.

Turns out - there was a spider crawling on the floor next to middlechild. She woke up face to face (face to palp?) with it. It was out hunting and wandered into the house. The dogs were trying to eat it. One of firstborn's jobs from this months job draw is to be the designated spider catcher/releaser person. So Middlechild was hollering for him to come catch it. He was a bit crabby at being woken up in the middle of the night to catch a spider so he slammed his bedroom door - which caused a vaccuum and made my bedroom door rattle loudly. Which of course - woke me up and nearly made me wet the bed.

Spiders grow big down here - counting legs (that were curled a bit!) you were talking a spider that was about the size of a 50 cent piece. I think I would have freaked out too.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Self indulgent post

So, um, yeah

I've been feeling like gooey toe jam lately. Sorry about that. I get like this once in a while. Every time it happens I fight it tooth and nail because - c'mon, who WANTS to feel like that? Also - sometimes I win and I overcome it. This time I didn't. I don't have the slightest idea why it happens but let me tell you - when it does, it SUCKS. Nothing is interesting anymore, nothing is fun - funny movies only make me smile, boring movies make me cry, I can't read a book, I can't sleep I can't keep my mind on one project long enough to even begin it. I sit still for about 10 minutes then I have to go do something else - my legs bounce and wiggle all the time, I wake up easily, AUGH it sucks really bad.

It's like I am sucked into a vortex of motion and lack of enjoyment. My mind roars along at 5000 feet, but my body is all just "meh" and being dragged along bouncing on the earth behind me.

These episodes scare the daylights out of me because if I ever kill myself it would probably be while I was in one of these "funks". No - don't any of you go panicking now - I'm not suicidal. It just feels that bad. The only time it was worse than this was a long time ago (6 years!) and I got drugs to help put me back onto an even keel. I love life too much to give up that easily, but let me tell you - when this happens it is THAT BAD. I'd almost rather, ya know? I hope you do. I am not sure how to put it any other way.

So - it's not over yet - I'm still tired, I'm still antsy, I'm still partially freaked out for no apparent reason, I still can't concentrate worth crap, but I'm halfway through work and I haven't cried yet and I'm smiling more and I actually laughed at a joke today so things are looking up! I'm so glad that lately these episodes don't take too long for me to get through. I am seeing the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel. Now let's just hope it's not a freight train.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A spam story

Using only spam headlines I present to you a Spam Story:

Calling all small stock players! Our store is your cureall!! No more penis enlarge ripoffs! Attract the mate of your dreams today! Bath and body and so much more! Full of health? Then don't click! Emerging equity spotlight! Should you be an investor or a trader? Special deals today only! Look no further!

I'm a bit tired of spam - can you tell?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


hmmm, well I'm still tired, still stressed apparently, but I did sleep better last night. Terrible terrible dreams all night long, but hey - at this point sleep is sleep. HA!

Spent much of the day so far off the phones at work - still working, but not on the phones. YAY I needed that break. It helped so much. Back on the phones after my lunch break, but meh - I had a morning away so I'm all good.

Oh - before I forget, did you hear about the murder? They found a woman in her bathtub which was filled with milk. She had a banana in her hand.

They think it was the work of a cereal killer.
Ba-dum BUM!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

not feeling too cheerful today

I'm tired - can't sleep for more than 4-5 hours at a time - and I'm a 10 hour per night gal. A good portion of those 4-5 hours of sleep I've been getting are spent tossing and turning. I think I'm just stressed. Don't know what over, but I think it's just stress again. I noticed this morning that the tell-tale hair loss has started so I am pretty sure it's just stress and that I just need to de-stress myself a bit and all will be well.

In the meantime I just wish I could crawl out of my skin and relax..... I'm so tired!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Youngest brought this home from the prize box at school on Friday. Yes - it is a toilet. The lid (and the ring!) flips up so you can get at the purple lip gloss inside. Sometimes I wonder about what they are teaching her there.... LOL!

Friday, September 16, 2005


Man Ignites Carpet Using Only His Clothing

(I copied and pasted the whole article here because this is one article I want to remember. Completely surreal. Click here for the original)

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian man built up a 40,000-volt charge of static electricity in his clothes as he walked, leaving a trail of scorched carpet and molten plastic and forcing firefighters to evacuate a building. Frank Clewer, who was wearing a woolen shirt and a synthetic nylon jacket, was oblivious to the growing electrical current that was building up as his clothes rubbed together.

When he walked into a building in the country town of Warrnambool in the southern state of Victoria Thursday, the electrical charge ignited the carpet.

"It sounded almost like a firecracker," Clewer told Australian radio Friday.

"Within about five minutes, the carpet started to erupt."

Employees, unsure of the cause of the mysterious burning smell, telephoned firefighters who evacuated the building.

"There were several scorch marks in the carpet, and we could hear a cracking noise -- a bit like a whip -- both inside and outside the building," said fire official Henry Barton.

Firefighters cut electricity to the building thinking the burns might have been caused by a power surge.

Clewer, who after leaving the building discovered he had scorched a piece of plastic on the floor of his car, returned to seek help from the firefighters.

"We tested his clothes with a static electricity field meter and measured a current of 40,000 volts, which is one step shy of spontaneous combustion, where his clothes would have self-ignited," Barton said.

"I've been firefighting for over 35 years and I've never come across anything like this," he said.

Firefighters took possession of Clewer's jacket and stored it in the courtyard of the fire station, where it continued to give off a strong electrical current.

David Gosden, a senior lecturer in electrical engineering at Sydney University, told Reuters that for a static electricity charge to ignite a carpet, conditions had to be

"Static electricity is a similar mechanism to lightning, where you have clouds rubbing together and then a spark generated by very dry air above them," said Gosden.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Nerd joke

There are 10 kinds of people in the world:

those who understand
and those who dont.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Here's the kids at the pool a couple nights ago. They wanted one more swim before it got dark.

Here's middlechild diving in.

Firstborn diving in. I missed Youngest jumping in because she just couldn't wait for my camera to be ready. Too excited.

He may hate me for this later but I just love this picture of Firstborn. LOL!

Here's youngest with her boogie board/paddle board. I'm lovin the goggles.

DOn't know if this will work but I'm trying to upload a movie of the kids having a swimming race. If it works you guys will see the whole 30 second clip. If it doesn't - you will only see one frame.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Flat tire

I bought my new shoes on sale - they are a pair of white sandals that up north would only be worn to the beach or the pool. I wear them all the time. (It's Florida! I can get away with it) They are white canvas, with really thick chunky soles (think Mr Rogers sneaker meets strappy sandal type top, but in white). They are REALLY comfy and easy to wear.

So - yesterday I wore them to work. (Yes, work. My office is so awesome I can even slip off my shoes and hike around barefoot if I wanted to - I love my company) So - I'm wearing them around work and I keep hearing this awful Fwoooooh-gaaaaasp noise. People are looking at me as I go by. I thought it was some sort of weird sound the shoes made on the carpet - till it happened when I was standing still. I shifted my weight from my left hip to my right and there it was again.


Shifted back to the right hip and there was the finish:


Evidently the "chunky rubber soles" are not solid and have air pockets to make them so cushy and comfy. I think I have a flat.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Blogging for books entry: September 11th

Below is my entry in the blogging for books challenge. I almost didn't enter this because I didn't know what to write. After I got home from work today, the significance of the day struck me and I suddenly had my topic. Read and comment. Tell me what you like and what I can improve on. Mostly though, thanks for reading.


Superheroes can be defined as someone who is self-sacrificing for the common good. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. On September 11th, 2001, I heard the story of someone I consider to be a superhero. I didn't know this person. I don't even know his name, yet this person changed my life, and the lives of countless others.

Do you remember where you were at 9am on September 11th?

I know exactly where I was. The kids had just been dropped off at school and I was at the urologist. Actually, I was in the parking lot of the urologist. I had a 9am appointment. I was running a little bit late, but the doctor was always late so I didn't worry too badly about it. I had nearly lost my kidney about six weeks or so prior and at that time I had in me what is called a kidney stint. It was nothing more than a black rubber type of straw inserted between my kidney and my bladder. There were little kinks at either end to keep it from sliding out. Because of these kinks, it sometimes pinched me on the inside. I had been walking around with this pinching inside of me for what felt like ages and on September 11th it was scheduled to be removed. I was very pleased about the idea of no more pinching and was thinking about remembering to get a doctor's note. The radio was playing my favorite song: Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion". Before I turned off the car, I waited to hear the end of the song because it was almost over.

Then the announcer came on, and started saying one of the worst things I have ever heard in my life. It ranked right up there just below "Hon? I'm sorry... daddy passed on last night".

The radio announcer used words like plane, skyscraper, New York City, explosion. At first I was shocked. Something like that happening in MY country? No way. We are safe. We just don't DO things like that here. That happens in other countries, not in ours. Then I was mad. This is the radio guys idea of a prank. They are always doing pranks like this. I really needed to call and complain to the station manager about this because it wasn't funny. I was on the verge of turning off the car and heading up to my appointment when something in his voice made me leave the car idling for a moment longer. After a second, I realized that he was near tears. MY radio personality guy? Near TEARS? He then patched into the live feed coming from someone broadcasting in New Jersey.

That's when I think it started to hit me.

After listening for a while, I numbly turned off the car and proceded up to the third floor doctor's office to get my pinchy stint removed. The doctor was in the middle of removing it when a nurse rushed in and whispered to the doctor. He paused and asked her to bring in a radio. While he finished removing my stint, we both listened in growing horror to the story that was coming in over the radio.

This was MY country. These were MY countrymen.

At work, later, there weren't many phone calls coming in so we mostly rotated around the TV in the break room. Four or five of us would watch for 20 minutes or so, then we'd go back to our desks and stay glued to cnn.com until it was our turn at the TV again. I refreshed the CNN website so often that I actually saw the front page being built.

The rest of that day is nothing more than a series of mental snapshots in my memory.

I watched the live footage of the second plane crashing. I saw people leaping from the burning building to their deaths before the media grew a heart and stopped showing it. I called DH at home and we discussed taking the kids out of school. Some of my co-workers went home because of the fear and stress. The company ordered pizza for the rest of us still working. Someone brought in an enormous flag and hung it from the rafters (we had offices in an old remodeled warehouse). Someone else bought little handheld flags from the dollar store while on break and everyone taped them to our computer monitors.

I still have my flag.

Later that night, DH and I sat at home watching the news, trying to comfort our children that nobody was going to blow them up. We downplayed the event to our children, and some might criticize us for that, however, they were 9, 7 and 3 at the time. For them, all they needed to know was that mommy and daddy loved them and sometimes bad things happen. We silently thanked God that it hadn't happened to our family and loved ones.

After the kids went to sleep, I peeked in on them and watched them breathing. What I remembered the most about that day was the news story I had heard about flight 93. A father was flying home to his wife with their infant child when flight 93 was hijacked. He called his wife on his cell phone and left her a voicemail message. He said that someone was going to watch their baby while he attempted to retake the plane with a couple other passengers. He loved her very much. He had heard about the Pentagon and somethign about New York city. He did NOT want his flight to be used like that. If he was going down, he was going to go down fighting.

As I watched my kids that night, I think I cried a little. This story struck me the hardest of all because this father came to a conclusion that I don't know that I could have come to if I was in his shoes. He decided that the news reports were correct. How long did he have to think about this, really? Five minutes? Ten? I had doubted the news reports, and even after a half hour I was still doubting them. He entrusted his son to a strangers care. I NEVER put my children in the care of someone I do not know. He confronted men with guns. I have a hard time confronting the phone company about an overcharge.

He sacrificed not only his life but that of his infant son. As a parent, I have to say that it must have been an extremely difficult decision. Pre-911 we were always taught to give hijackers what they want. He chose not to. He had a job, a wife, a new baby, and he understood the stakes. He freely gave his life so that others might not die. This man was the true definition of a superhero. He was just an ordinary man, doing an extraordinary thing.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Did some sketching today. Here is Dh working on the pool filter.

Here's a sketchof Dixie - sleeping in the sun. I did more, but they didn't come out so well. These are my favorites.

edible clothing

Middlechild and Youngest got up this morning with plenty of time to get ready for school. There was only minimal tears as we decided what to wear ("you wore that yesterday, you can't wear it today! You can't wear that sleveless dress, the school requires sleeves. I don't care if a tshirt under it feels funny, you have to have sleeves")

After everyone was dressed, Middlechild took one look at Youngest and told me that youngest wouldn't be allowed to wear that dress.

Why not, Middlechild?
Because the dress is not edible! She needs to wear an edible dress.
Mom, you know, it has to cover her knees! If it's not edible they will make her change.

Ahhh, that kind of edible.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Yay - she has a name!

The storm is now called Ophelia. Don't know if that's a good or bad omen. Anywho - I'm prepared as I'll ever be. Was kind of (still am!) hoping to not need those glow sticks I bought a while back for emergencies.

Lots of wind and rain last night - woke me up at 3am and I tossed and turned till about 5am when I gave up and just read a book. By morning it was sprinkling and now it's nice and damp, but not raining. However, Ophelia looks like she's headed on a beeline for us. NOAA hasn't recognized the change in direction yet though. When they update the forecast at 4pm today I am sure they will re-adjust everything. (Isn't that sad? I know when the NOAA site updates)

I can feel the weather turning too - yesterday was our first "below 90" day in a long time. It's definitely fall. I can't wait until we get the nice weather and I can open up the windows and doors for a fresh breeze.

I just signed up for a weather spotter class. The class is free, and they will train me how to look for weather anomalies and report them so that they can issue warnings and the like faster. I'm not a ham radio enthusiast so I can't volunteer for a lot of the other emergency personnell organizations locally, but I'm still looking into it. I wonder if DH will be interested in the class? They have limited openings..... I need to ask him tonight.

Oh - one more thing - that volunteer painting organization I emailed? (link later - I'm on lunch break and don't have time to go digging - but it's in my archives if you want to hunt for it) Anyhow - they e-mailed me back and they are interested in having me do up a ceiling tile or two. So - YAY for me!

Gotta run - lunch almost over and I need to eat something.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I know I promised I wouldn't blog about this anymore

but this comment by Barbara Bush set me to yelling at my computer screen for about 5 minutes. How dare she? HOW... DARE.... SHE?

"Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the
arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very
well for them," Mrs. Bush told American Public Media's "Marketplace" program,
before returning to her multi-million dollar Houston home.

Link to the original. I'm to furious for words.

EDIT 9-8-05: Adding more links. The original source is a bit iffy but the rest of these should set it down for the record:

Houston Channel 2 news
New York Times

I knew it was too good to be true

We've got a tropical storm here that just literally blew up in the last 24 hours. So far it's un-named and just called "16" but it's going to be a doozy of a tropical storm as far as those go. The sky has been black and rainy for most of the day so - fair warning - power might go out and I won't be able to do an update.

Dang, and I was just going to go to the grocery store again. Guess I will wait a little bit.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My crazy dogs

They are nuts. I swear they are nuts. They just gobble up frozen peas and frozen corn. To see somethign really funny, drop a chunk of frozen peas on the floor, let them scatter and watch the dogs scoot all over the place trying to snarf them up. They never miss any. All the little ones love fresh carrots too, so when they stop getting excited over rawhides and puppy biscuits I will throw in a carrot for each dog and they just love 'em.

Pedro (the blind chihuahua) absolutely adores popcorn. He hears the air popper turn on and he's all over you trying to get his pieces. That suits the other dogs fine, they don't care for it too much. (Funny thing about Pedro - when he barks, his whole body bounces. Too cute!) I will also drain the water from tuna and pour it into their dog food dish. That way every dog gets a taste. :) Quite a sight to see four dogs nose first in the dog food. They also love icecubes. Coco (black and white dog) once had an icecube frozen to her tongue - looked quite funny! Bleaaaaaaaaa. It fell off soon enough but the kids told me it was very funny!

I'm not feeling very funny today - sorry.

I've been fighting with middlechild all day today. We got the pool from DH's boss and put it up last night. There's not much room in our yard for it, but we squeezed it in. So Middlechild is DA-HY-ING to go swimming. It's not like I didn't let her "swim" in three inches of water last night, and that I didn't let her "swim" in a half filled pool already today. The reason for the argument? She doesn't want to do her chores becasue the pool is there "and what if it pops? What if it leaks? What if it gets too cold? What if she da-hiys before she can go swim-ming Ma-hom?" She drew a tough chore in this month's chore exchagne - lawn mowing. And I won't let her go back into the pool until the lawn is mowed. It's also not like I didn't do the edges and around the trees and about half the lawn for her, nope - it's because I want her to be my slave. Yep.

I'm a slave driver.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

As you can see, it's been a long time for me with watercolors. This isn't quite how I envisioned it - I forgot that you can't monkey too much with the watercolor while it's wet becasue it will turn muddy. I've cropped a muddy cloud off the right hand side.

EEjit award

at 3:13am this morning I was woken up by the phone ringing. I panicked, thinking something bad happened to someone. Turns out it was the reverse 911 system machine calling me, with a recorded message: "Hello! Your local Red Cross chapter could really use your donations. Please dial your local Red Cross ..." I hung up then.

First - I'm pissed. A MACHINE???? Calling to let me listen to a non-emergency recording? And even more - I'm REALLY PISSED - they are using the reverse 911 system to call me at 3AM??? TO ASK FOR MONEY????

Of course their phone line has been busy for the last two hours and I can't call to complain.

Well, ,there's my EEjit award for today - I have bequeathed it to my local branch of the American Red Cross.


Friday, September 02, 2005


I miss my painting. I found my watercolors when I was arranging all my crafty goodness out in the garage not that long ago and ever since I have been itching to dip back into them. I miss my tripod and my watercolor board. I left those behind when I moved from one place to another - I think I shed some of it at my mothers house and the rest at my mother-in-laws house. Wherever it got shed, it's not here and I miss it.


Tomorrow I am going to try to paint something. Who knows how it will come out. I will set firstborn to work grouting his tiled trivet, Dh to fixing the car (He figured it out - it's the alternator piece - called a brush. Looks like a stick of graphite on a spring, mounted on a piece of metal with two screw holes in it. Not really what I imagined it to look like. But we've secured a replacement one with the money he's earned for being computer geek and should be fine now. Kind of needed that part - the car wouldn't hold a charge past two starts, and sometimes not even then because occasionally I would exit work to find out my car was dead. DH can't be getting a jump with every computer fix-it call he does.

DH's boss is getting rid of one of those inflatable pools you see in the aisles of WalMart for about $150 - 15foot around and about 3.5 foot deep. Well he just plain wants it gone and asked DH if he wanted it - free. DH really wants a pool, ,although he blames it on the kids (He says to me: "Middlechild will really like this". I just smile and nod. I know what he's really saying) so I told him to go for it - as long as I am not held responsible for the cleanliness of said pool then I don't really care. So - there's that.

So, I'll scan whatever I paint that's presentable - I'm rusty at watercolor, I haven't done watercolors in over 10 years.

Oh - and yes - three days home, three days of rest, three days of NO WORK and no more bleedign idiots on the phone who can only say to me "But it worked before". My internal response to that is "No it didn't, and if it did you were one lucky person because it's not SUPPOSED to be used in that way!". HAH

Hope you all have a good holiday!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Although it's on my mind all the time (Who can escape the news?) I think I'm done posting about the hurricane and flooding and damage in New Orleans. So - for your viewing pleasure - is a cicada that found it's way onto my back porch and just lay there on it's back, unable to turn over till I helped it along with a frisbee. This is one bug that's just a little bit cute I think. The dust and cobwebs on his wings didn't hamper him when I took him outside. He flew off the frisbee with such force I felt the frisbee get pushed down a little bit - he whacked the tip of my nose (those pretty wings on this critter are HARD!) and rocketed himself skyward into the pine tree.

Mom, here's a linky just for you. I think you will laugh when you see it. CLICK!


People in some parts of Georgia have to pay $5 and $6 per gallon for gasoline. A local county down here is suspending school buses because there isn't enough diesel to fill the demand. My co-workers are telling me about driving from gas station to gas station to find some with actual gas. The whole United States infrastructure is built on gasoline and oil. I am REALLY wishing I had that hybrid vehicle now. I only live about 5 miles from work - I need DH to fix the tires on my bike (Firstborn flattened them for me when he was upset about some punishment or other - wasn't he so kind?)

The world as we know it will never be the same after all of this calms down. I can point the finger at many things, but two things stand out in my mind: The war in Iraq and our refusal to go to other means of powering our lifestyles.

Someone once told me that you can convert a diesel engine to run on used vegetable oil. That's starting to look like a good idea to me - I know where I can get free used vegetable oil. I can clean it - I know how to do that much already. Of course I'm not serious about the vegetable oil thing right now - but maybe, just maybe, I will have to do that. Sure wish I had a hybrid.

Pray for New Orleans

Before and after sattelite images here: CLICK!

Here's a snippet of an email from a New Orleans rescue worker (via boing boing)

There are dead animals floating in the water, pets left behind. Surely people thought they would be back to collect the pets. Not so. The rescuers smell like gas when they come back in; there's gas in all of the water that consumes the area. Fires are burning all over the place. Our teams are tired and they are thirsty and they are hungry. And they have a place to sleep and water to drink and food to eat. I can only imagine how the people without these "luxuries" are feeling right now.

Each night will be a race against time. When night falls, people can't get picked up from roofs, the rescuers can't chop into people's roofs to check the attics for anyone alive or for anyone dead (sadly, there are dead). At night we can't see power lines we can't see obstacles, we can't see any of the things that will bring down a helicopter or pose a danger to boats rescuers.

One of the teams came in today after having been out for hours at a time. One particular rescuer went straight to a corner and collapsed into tears. I went directly to him and just held his hand. What else could I do? I said nothing. He said it all. They lowered him 26 times and he pulled 26 people to safety. He wants to be back out there but there are mandatory rest periods. His tears are tears of frustration.

Entire teams are working on nothing but evacuating the hospitals. All four of the major hospitals are beginning to flood. Critical patients have to get out or surely they will be lost. Generators cannot run forever; that's just the way it is. There are limited facilities to take those that are rescued and those that need to be evacuated. Anything that leaves by air leaves by helicopter. There are no runways for planes that aren't under water. Only one drivable way in and out.

Water everywhere and more keeps coming. Until they can do something about the three levees that are broken, more water will come and more water will kill. The water poses major health threats. Anyone with even a small open cut is prone to infection. Anyone who touches this water and touches his eyes, nose or mouth without find a way to "clean" himself first will be sick with stomach problems before long. It's bad and it's getting worse. It's not going to be anything better than devastating for days or weeks at best.

I wish I could tell you that I'll check in again soon. I can't. I don't know when my next message will get out. We'll be leaving where we are within just an hour or so.

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