94 thoughts on “Wednesday Open Comments

  1. To show solidarity with my friends leaving home, I’ve decided to take a road trip to north Texas for a few days. I had earlier been concerned about this trip given the uncertainties of Harvey, but I think it’s good to go now. Even the folks in this little one horse town are loading bales of hay that are Houston bound. The veterans group has hooked up its huge trailered BBQ pit to a truck loaded with burgers, dogs, trimmings, and water and is just going to stop and set up shop wherever it deems fit to start serving meals. Five volunteer firemen left yesterday. Texans helping Texans. You’re showing the nation and the rest of the world how it’s done.

  2. Back at work today, albeit with a reduced staff.

    Did y’all know Chuck Norris sells boutique water now?

    CForce Water comes from a sustainable aquifer deep under Chuck’s Lone Wolf Ranch in Navasota, TX.

    CForce doesn’t flow from the ground—it bursts from an artesian spring with the same unharnessed power and intensity you’d expect from Chuck Norris’ roundhouse kick.

  3. I amazes me how far out and strong the outer bands of this storm has been. When it hit Rockport we should have got a little rain out of the storm, not Noah’s flood. The main rain bands are now from the Alabama, Mississippi border to Pensacola and up to Montgomery. It’ll be raining at the old home place in a few hours.

  4. #3 What he said.

    You know, as bad as the storm was, it did my heart good to see everyone, rich, poor, Black, White, Hispanic, etc, all come together and help each other. Folks coming from all over, bringing their boats along with needed supplies to rescue people that they didn’t even know. This is America, it’s not left or right, it’s certainly not a bunch of rioters and protesters that hate the fact we have a great country, it is the America that I remember growing up. Yes Virginia,….in spite of what all the rebel rousers and race baiters will tell you, we still live in the greatest country that has ever existed on God’s green earth. The recent events have restored my faith in the good ole US of A.

  5. Just talked to Hubby. He is stranded out of town with his mother, and she ran out of her medicine. Humana bent over backwards to get her an emergency scrip even though no one could get in touch with the doctors to authorize a refill. After an hour on the phone, we got her refills authorized, then when Hubby went to pick them up at the Longview Estes Parkway Walmart, they refused to charge them for the meds. “You have more problems to deal with right now,” the pharmacist said.

    Someone’s cutting onions in the room, dangit.

  6. I heard Sandra Bullock donated $1M to the disaster relief. JJ Watt was working on a $5M donation.

    I wonder where the bigwigs in Hollywood are?

  7. #11 TT: What a treat to watch :>) Too bad the road wasn’t more clear and she could have taken him for a longer drag.

  8. Gotta give him credit for tenacity. I woulda let go long before my pee-pee started getting ground off.

  9. Hope all is well with all my fellow bloggers.

    Still dry here near Katy.

    Breathed a little easier after I heard the Army Corp of Engineers report last night concerning the Barker Reservoir peak levels.

    Stay safe and help a neighbor.

  10. This is a nice primer on the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.
    Reader’s Digest version:
    1) The chance of dam failure is extremely remote
    2) Water is not overtopping the dam, it is going out the emergency spillways. These were put in place to prevent water going over the top.
    3) Houses were built inside what the Corps considers the Reservoirs, over their objections – but they did not own the land.
    4) Considering all the water in and coming from upstream, it is going to be nasty for quite a while.

  11. Looks like Texas City did okay, all the stores looked to be open. San Leon only had about 2′ above a normal high tide. Stores I saw on the way are open. Did not really want to be here but looked like somebody else tried to get in. 45 is open through Dickinson now. Lot of drowned cars everywhere. Just came to check the place, will see how the restaurants did over the weekend.

  12. Well, Hubs got up pre-dawn this morning and decided to go out to see if any burger joints were open where he could get a fountain Dr Pepper. Came back w/o having found any. I woke up early too, but dozed in bed for another 4 hrs. As soon as I was up, I noticed the garage door was up and used the indoor control to close it. The overhead light came on but nothing else responded, so I hollered upstairs that we needed to go out and manually lower the door. On inspection, we soon found that the sensor on one side of the garage was ripped off its mount on the rails. I also noticed that some spare fence boards leaning up against the wall on that side were out of place. On reflection he remembered that as he had backed out, the passenger-side mirror hit something, but he continued on out — but then saw the control on his visor didn’t close the door.

    Long story short, he had jostled those boards and they had smashed the little box containing the opener’s side-to-side sensor. The sensor on the other side will flash its red distress signal until the Overhead Door Company on Main Street is able to come fix it.

  13. I saw a report from Houston on Twitter that FEMA has told the volunteer airboat rescue guys to leave.

    Report also said they ignored FEMA.

  14. Report also said they ignored FEMA.

    This is good. The feds didn’t want any “civiians” invading their turf and doing the job better than the “professionals.” There has to be immense personal satisfaction in being able to tell the feds to shove it and continue to help people. . . .

  15. I also heard this morning a so far unconfirmed report from Joe Piscopo on local radio that the US Navy has another major warship run aground off the coast of Japan. No injuries or casualties. Damage to the ship though. Piscopo said he received it from a reliable source he would not identify.

    There seems to be a news blackout on it if true.

  16. The Great Houston Flood of 1935

    “The flood began on December 6, 1935, with a downpour that went on for two days, causing massive flooding of Buffalo and White Oak Bayous. Eight people were killed, and the Port of Houston was shut down for 8 months as its docks were submerged, the ship channel was clogged with mud and debris, and miles of railroad tracks were uprooted. Twenty-five blocks of downtown were underwater, as were 100 residential blocks. Property damage was estimated at $2.5 million, approximately $42 million in 2012 dollars. The damage and loss of life caused by this flood resulted in the creation of the Harris County Flood Control District, legislation passed by the 45th Texas Legislature in 1937.”

  17. Wow, I’m surprised to see White Oak Bayou listed for any past major flooding. It is a small watershed, smallish bayou, only a handful of dinky little tributaries.

  18. Sims Bayou is almost at normal levels already. Looks like the low rent side of Houston scores again.

    We have one unit that is low that I was worried about. I just got back. It did get a little over an inch or so, just enough to float a few things and tump ’em over. Handyman and I cut up his thin area rug and the tenant in front assisted in putting the pieces over the fence to dry out. I hung his bathroom rugs out to dry and picked up his kitchen trash; put it in his outside can. I bug sprayed his unit since I had the spray in my car still, from when I was working on MIL’s house. The tenant is stranded in Pearland right now. He has two little kids and the few clothes he keeps for their visits and some of his were wet. I told him all I had to do today was some bookkeeping and he’s a great tenant, so I’ve brought home his clothes – about 3 loads – and I’m washing them for him. I take care of good tenants when I can.

    The tenant in front offered to fix the two roof leaks he found during the storm. He loves living in that house and has some building experience, along with his dad. I let him, Handyman, and Hubby work that offer out. We have some other roof/repair issues to take care of.

    The flood insurance adjuster has already called me about our river property. I explained that Hubby was stranded out of town with his mother, and he offered to move his inspection date to Monday, so Hubby’d have time to finish the trip with his mom and get back safely. The roads may still be flooded; that extra day might make a big difference.

    Sooooo…..time for bookkeeping, clothes washing, and that grindstone.

  19. #24

    If you live in Texas, you absolutely have one of these in every vehicle.

    I’ve got a couple of all in one tools like that, one of those White Elephant game gift things. They’re buried somewhere in a box in a closet. Guess they ain’t helping much there.

  20. Welp the creeping flooded Barker reservoir got to within about 1.5 miles of me and now appears to be receding ever so slowly

    THANK ya LORD!!

    The rainfall totals here in the Houston area range from 39 inches (here in Katy) to near SIXTY inches<<< east and southeast side

    Harvey Trivia……………………..(accurate? hell I dunno or care! but it's fun and amazing either way)

    estimated 9 TRILLION gallons of rain!
    enough to fill the Great Salt Lake TWICE
    enough to cover the entire lower 48 states with .17 inches
    enough to cover the entire State of Texas 15.6 inches
    or
    NINE days of the outflow of the Mississippi River!

  21. #24, #30
    I don’t think Ima ever be out driving during or after a flood, and Ima darn sure not gonna drive into any underpasses full of dirty water.

    So I think I can get along without that excellent tool. The rest of you should prolly have one in your cars, though.

  22. I remember when all those fires were burning north and west of here. Some volunteers in Magnolia had quite a support system set up in a school there. HEB had some refrigerated trucks parked there and was stocking them. Somebody donated a bunch of cots for the firemen to sleep on. Two or three days in and FEMA tried to shut that down and take over. They didn’t succeed there, either.

  23. #33 goats
    I remember that. Red Cross came, said looks like y’all are doing fine here, and left. Then FEMA came and told them they couldn’t put donated tobacco products out on the goody tables where the firemen could take whatever they wanted. The Texas women running that volunteer show kept on keeping on, ignored FEMA, as I recall.

  24. Ok, sorry this is very long but I don’t know how you would link to it. Her response is about halfway down.

    Evidently the “FEMA was run outta town” in the Texas fires in 2011 was one of those forwarded emails before we called them fake news. Anyway I ran across this, the lady at the core of the story –

    “KENNA — 5 years ago – quote
    A Little Truth About Team 212

    In response to the email making rounds, I posted a note on Facebook. It’s PUBLIC so you should be able to see it via the link provided.

    I, myself, had to track down the origin of the email, as none of the info came directly from me. The intent of the author was to share some of the funny stories that developed during what became known as “the Riley Road Incident” or the “Tri-County Wildfires”. There was no intent to be malicious, and there was no intent to single me out as some kind of superhero. Mine just happened to be the only name she knew from Team 212.
    Since reading the email, I am seriously considering writing a book, because we do have some wonderful and funny stories to be told – accurately!
    To further clarify the FEMA issues, we did have a struggle with “the Feds”, which were the California guys contracted by our US Government to come in and take over management of the entire effort (the firefighters effort to extinguish flames and our effort to rehab/feed the firefighters), BUT it was not like the email states.
    FEMA and the Red Cross are both excellent programs, one funded by the government and the other funded by donations, that operate under very strict guidelines. Their guidelines define rehab/nutrition for firefighters in action consists of:
    BREAKFAST @ room temp
    water/juice alternative
    pastry
    fruit
    LUNCH @ whatever temp
    water
    Sandwich (heavy on lunchmeat)
    chips/crackers
    DINNER served HOT
    varied by menu schedule
    This is NOT exact, but very close. And yes, upon arrival “the Feds” seeing an abundance of sodas, energy drinks, power bars, candy, YES – tobacco products, and more, could not believe their eyes. Had we stepped aside, all of the “extras” would have ceased immediately – not because the Feds are mean, but because they came to do a job the exact way they would do anywhere. Our entire team felt strongly about the morale of the guys trying to save our homes, firefighters that had come from as far as ALASKA! As a group, we decided to stand our ground.
    By Friday evening, 2,000 more firemen and women were headed to Magnolia from Bastrop. We had to face the reality that we might not be able to handle the load purely on community donations. We also questioned whether our community would ultimately pay for the fire twice, once by donating to us and then again with increased taxes to pay the government back for their assistance in taking over. That is when Team 212 member Gary Hefner tapped his employer H.E.B. for much needed reinforcement. H.E.B.’s response has surely gained them an entire town full of loyal customers for life!
    While we waited for the H.E.B. mobile kitchen to arrive on Saturday, we were again overwhelmed with unexpected donations from area restaurants in amounts you would not believe – ranging from fajitas for 20 guys to burritos for 600!
    H.E.B. handled Saturday dinner and ALL of the meals on Sunday, over 3,000 meals. There are no words to express our gratitude.
    Having our first chance to breathe easy on Sunday 9/11, we were even able to focus on things like hanging American flags around the Command Center AND we had ministry for the firefighters provided by the local Cowboy Church. The group picture was taken after “church” and is the only time our entire team was able to be in ONE place – thank you again H.E.B.!
    Although we got off to a rocky start with “the Feds” regarding provisions, the decision was made by local and state officials that “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” and we proceeded with business as usual, and those guys from California were happy to help us with getting ice or any other special needs that arose.
    Turns out they are a great bunch of guys, and they have joined Team 212 for a celebration dinner since we left the Command Center. We even took them out for some Texas FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS at the Magnolia High School football game. They are in town for a couple more weeks, managing several other fires from our makeshift Magnolia Command Center. So if you see them buzzing around town in their green pants and black shirts with the AGENCY 4 logo, they deserve some Texas appreciation!! ”
    http://www.kingwoodunderground.com/topic.jsp?topicId=11689513

  25. I saw a Tahoe that ran off into a ditch and landed on it’s side, probably almost under water when it happened. ‘OK’ was written with duct tape on the upturned side. Presumably to let passers by to not have to stop and search it. That was thoughtful of them.

  26. This morning the FEMA guy said that 12,000 of his employees will be dedicated to this project.

    I think every one of them is going to find out how we do things down here.

    They hate us anyway because we voted for Trump.

    So, screw ’em.

  27. Wow, I’m surprised to see White Oak Bayou listed for any past major flooding. It is a small watershed, smallish bayou, only a handful of dinky little tributaries.

    You’re kidding, right? It’s smallish up where you’re at. But it and Little White Oak regularly flood I-10 and I-45 just north of downtown as well as the south end of Heights (Woodland Heights).

  28. This afternoon going south on 59 from the north belt 8 doing about 70mph I saw a guy texting while he was driving.

    HIS FARGIN MOTORCYCLE!?!

    I guess in his case it will be called a donor cycle

  29. 41 Hamous

    White Oak Bayou was flooding in Oak Forest when we lived there in the 1950s. It always floods – everywhere.

  30. Couple of tips I heard that make sense:

    Donating clothes – sort them and mark them by size and whichever of all the genders. I didn’t snap to that when I saw on the news that was one of the first things the shelter volunteers do.

    Donations – consider the smaller communities when you donate dollars or goods. In the end the movers and shakers of the larger cities, counties, communities (think wealthy), WILL get their share and more of the pot. Not a hate on the rich thing but in Realville, Houston and Harris County will be made whole, Dickinson, Channelview, etc not so much.

  31. I agree with Glenn Reynolds this is the Tweet of the Day, if not the year.

    Give Me Internet‏
    @GiveMeInternet

    Follow
    More

    15 years ago, the internet was an escape from the real world. Now, the real world is an escape from the internet.

    5:05 AM – 30 Aug 2017

  32. And word on people holding guns on the Cajun Navy folks and stealing their boats?
    Is this just a rumor or is it happening?

  33. Michael Berry just interviewed a public adjuster. The most interesting interview I have heard in years.

    The old boy was a highly articulate Coonass with a passion for his work.

    All those poor folks in Houston should have listened to this very long interview.

  34. #44 Texpat
    White Oak Bayou has had some Corps of Engineer makeover since you and Shannon lived in Oak Forest. A substantial section of it, down to Tidwell — but I’m not sure how far upstream this was done — was widened by dredging.

    Parenthetically, the tons of dirt dug out was acquired by Our Savior Lutheran church which used it to landscape a multi-acre piece of old forested land. They built a contoured soccer bowl with some of it, a mini mountain with more, a high berm at the north edge of the property which gave them privacy from an adjoining crack-infested apartment complex. After all that dirt settled in, they built a church and school. Most successful private school in the area, I think.

    Downstream from Tidwell, WOB is channelized. That is the part running through Oak Forest now. I do remember seeing some Allison flooding along TC Jester in Oak Forest back in 2001.

  35. 51 mharper42

    I had an office/warehouse at 34th and Mangum for years before I left Texas in January of 2003. I’m very familiar with the neighborhood up until that point in time.

  36. I believe it was after Ike that I laughed because parents were renting hotel rooms “for the air conditioning”.

    We had a cool front that took the nighttime temps down into the 60’s, and daytime temps were very comfortable, with low humidity. I remember being so grateful because our neighborhood was (among the) last to get power restored. It was 2½ weeks without power, on generators to keep our frig running and a radio or TV.

    The real reason was because their spoiled brat kids were without wifi and couldn’t game or use their social media. I can only imagine the whining, begging, and temper tantrum throwing. My kids knew how to suck it up and make the best of it.

  37. I guess Sarge is still poking around craft and antique stores in the Hill Country.

    Trying to find a sale on snoods.

    Shuffling along in his Crocks, wearing a holey wife beater.

  38. #56 Texpat

    I’m very familiar with the neighborhood up until that point in time.

    Oh, have you seen the terraforming that OSL did? Their mini mountain on Tidwell is quite a sight.

  39. #61 TT
    One of my enduring memories from Ike in September 2008, during the 13 days we had no power at home, was that when I was at home, I spent lots of time out on the old deck. With no AC’s whining away around the side of the house, I realized for the first time that the hummingbirds that came to my feeders near the deck had wee tiny voices. I had never heard the little hummingbirds before.

  40. I stumbled across this writer’s page, and it provided some writing prompts to move a story along:

    Raymond Carver offered this advice to writers: “When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.”

    Depending on your story, that’s certainly one option. Here are twenty others.

    1. An ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend shows up in your character’s town.

    2. Your character gets lost on the way somewhere. And ends up someplace more interesting.

    Um, I tend to get lost. I inherited my mother’s navigational abilities, which is why I have a GPS device. I don’t know that the places I end up are more interesting though, so I’d have to use my imagination. Perhaps ending in Willy Wonka’s candy garden.

    3. The phone rings. Heavy breathing on the other end. Then the connection is cut.

    I was actually on one of my early babysitting jobs on New Years Eve when I got several phone calls in a row, heavy breathing and a drunken invitation to perform a procreative act. I suspected it was the male of the couple that went out with the couple I was babysitting for. (BCS babysat for one family, and I babysat for the other. We strongly suspected they were swingers.) After the second phone call, it was just breathing. I told the caller to stop calling. He kept calling. I had to answer – it was before cell phones and I never knew if it was my client calling. Finally about the fifth time or so, I was inspired to start talking over him as he began to repeat his invitation: “Hello? HELLO? Are you there?” [voice stops] “HellooOOOOoooo?! Damn phone must be broken again!” and I hung up. He never called back.

    4. A relative your character doesn’t get along with shows up on your character’s doorstep.

    Oh, hell, that happens to me all the time. Nothing new there.

    5. Your character becomes physically attracted to someone inappropriate.

    Mebbe Sarge could give me some background on this one. For twenny bux.

    6. Someone cries for help.

    7. The police suddenly show up and arrest your character.

    As for the police showing up, I can think of a few characters here who might be able to help…/ducks and runs

    8. Your character gets a job offer that would require him/her to make dramatic lifestyle changes.

    9. Someone your character thought was a friend or ally suddenly turns against him or her.

    See #4

    10. A rock is thrown through a window.

    11. Someone starts flirting with your character’s romantic partner or potential romantic partner.

    12. A dead body turns up.

    Where’s Southern Tragedy when you need her?

    13. Your character accidentally takes home the wrong purse/jacket/briefcase/phone and finds something interesting in the one s/he takes.

    Okay, guys…if you ever go through a strange purse, you’ve got bigger problems than finding something interesting.

    14. Someone suddenly proposes marriage.

    15. Your character’s home gets flooded and s/he has to find somewhere to stay. S/he ends up someplace interesting.

    The timing on this suggestion is impeccable.

    16. Someone gets drunk and says something s/he shouldn’t.

    mmmfphmm /holding hand over mouth
    Who needs to get drunk to do that?

    17. Your character notices a stranger staring at him/her.

    No shortage of strangers here….are y’all staring at any one?

    18. Your character discovers that his/her home/bedroom/desk/computer has been searched.

    I had an employee do that once, and she found what she was looking for. Fired her so quick…

    19. Someone discovers she’s pregnant.

    …said the inappropriate girls at the gates of Ft. Sill………

    20. Someone tries to convince your character to do exactly the opposite of what she/he has been doing so far in the story. This person makes a very persuasive argument.

    Right up ’til the end, I was thinking of Bob42. Lost me at “makes a very persuasive argument”.

  41. The antique stores sucked, even the one that advertised “mantiques”, the only craft store I saw called itself a “senior citizens craft store” so I stayed RIGHT out of there, and I know where to get a quality snood if I want one. Going out to the hot tub now.

  42. Speaking of B42, I saw him comment on Fishie’s page Over Yonder, and I swear it sounded like he is back in H-town.

  43. #68 Mharper

    One of my enduring memories from Ike in September 2008, during the 13 days we had no power at home, was that when I was at home, I spent lots of time out on the old deck. With no AC’s whining away around the side of the house, I realized for the first time that the hummingbirds that came to my feeders near the deck had wee tiny voices. I had never heard the little hummingbirds before.

    I remember when the crew arrived at my across-the-street neighbor’s house to replace a fallen pole and reconnect some wires. I was sitting there with my daughter and our neighbor, watching. I asked “It doesn’t bother you if we watch, does it? We’ve had no entertainment for almost 3 weeks!” They all chuckled and just made sure we kept our distance.

    Neighbor’s face fell as we cheered to see the lights on our side of the street come on. They didn’t get their power until the next day.

    I did invite her family over to sleep in our house, but we got turned down.

  44. The roof at part of our office crashed. Found boxes of lps we forgot were even there. And more to follow.

  45. Ike, I was so ready for that. Had a generator set up on natural gas. The power went out, I turned the lights on, yea me. My wife asked why the lights across the street were still on. We only lost power for about 10 minutes. So much for a reason to convince her to keep me around.

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