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Archive for September 24th, 2008

Leaving Ike Behind

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Eleven days after Ike headed north out of Texas, it’s time for me to remove my central Hurricane Ike Aftermath post from its sticky position at the top of aftermath, and let it recede into our past.

We’re not yet completely finished with Ike, not by a long shot.

Allstate is working really hard to make sure of that. After we made repeated fruitless calls attempting to get some action moving somewhere with our homeowners’ insurer, we were finally told, “Well, you do have your claim adjuster’s name and number….” Ummm, somewhere I must have missed Allstate’s new ESP policy, whereby the insured is supposed to simply know these things when nobody at Allstate cares to pass the information along. Meanwhile, our local agent remains completely AWOL, and this alleged claims agent is said to be “driving to Houston,” probably from Alaska or Brazil or some other distant location, and apparently without a cell phone or anyplace to stop where he could return our calls. How much would you like to bet that Allstate’s “good hands” will work really really fast once it comes time to trying to deny claims on all the additional damage being suffered by all the Houston homes that their neglect has been leaving exposed.

We’ve got fence and roof repairs to have done. And I’m still not comfortable turning that upstairs bathroom light on without having it looked at by a qualified electrician. But we still have upwards of two thirds of a million of our neighbors who don’t even have electricity restored yet, thousands who don’t even have homes left to light up, and countless other problems mounting up higher by the day.

And I had other issues on which I had wanted to waste time ranting and rambling. Criticism, for one. Sometimes I could have strangled some of the news reporters at some of the press conferences, whose criticism would have led absolutely nowhere, no matter what the answer was. In most instances, however, criticism was another way of saying, “Something very crucial is not getting done. It needs attention.” Once numbskulls like the Harris County judge got out of the comfort zone of his insulated bunker and got out here on his own to see the criticism to be real, worth attention, then things that should have already been moving finally started to.

And how unhelpful far too many officials were. From the lowest, epitomized by UH officials who dangerously rushed the decision for having students return to classes, all the way up to the very top. Too easily, the press bought off on the PR that President Bush visited Houston and Galveston. He did not. He met with a few officials at Ellington Field and Galveston, took a quick flyby over Galveston, and quickly left without so much as a glance at the 4th largest city of the nation he so poorly pretends to lead. “Mayor Bill White met with Mr. Bush on the tarmac at Ellington Field before the president flew home,” stated the Dallas Morning News. Sketch that picture more accurately, please. After Bush returned from Galveston, he strode as quickly as a man can do without breaking into a sprint, obviously anxious to get to Air Force One to get the hell out of town, overall spending less time in the region than the super-fast hurricane itself had spent. Mayor White had to literally run after the President like an unwanted stray dog, otherwise even that brief on-the-fly tarmac “meeting” would not have taken place.

Later, perhaps, some reassessment and preparation for that inevitable next time. For now, though, so long Ike.

bumper sticker [] - houstonian

Written by macheide

24 September 2008 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Houstonian

blindfold hide & seek

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i am strumming a guitar, singing folk songs to myself as th room grows dark. another of our group is nearby doing th same. our group are supposed to be packed and ready to head back home at a moment’s notice, although we are not actually scheduled to leave until tomorrow morning. i say i am ready, although i’ve not yet actually started to pull my things together. i know that will take me only a minute or two. if need be, i can just go as i am, leaving what little i brought with me behind, none of it is essential

in a field across th road, a group of about half a dozen assembles to play blindfold hide & seek: they will close their eyes then try to find me based on where they last saw me. as they close their eyes, i immediately move across th road to th ditch beside their field, planning to move into th field behind them as they come over to where they’d last seen me. mm is standing back watching th game, thinks my strategy to be ingenious. but two of th group remain behind in th tall grass of th field, not hearing me but suspicious that i might have done what i did. th smallest one lies down in th field as though trying to sense vibrations of my steps or my form breaking th way th wind blows. i lie down near her, but she seems to sense that, so i stand back up. th other person keeps making broad running sweeps up and down th field, hoping to randomly run into me. once i do have to bend backward to avoid being hit by his hand. when he finally stops to rest within reach of me, i just put out my hand and let him think he had touched it to find me, figuring it is time for th game to end

across th road in th other field, a television game show was posing questions that i was to answer, competing against patty and someone else i didn’t know. th questions become more and more random, off on very odd topics, but all commonly known material, so that one of us are usually getting th answer, whoever remembers it first. whereas i remain calm, so am able to remain in th lead by not getting frustrated when i don’t remember an answer at first, just calmly answering th ones that come to me right off, patty and my other competitor are getting more and more frantic, trying to outshout each other while searching to figure out an answer. patty hesitates during one of those shouting bouts, as though realizing she would rather be having a casual conversation with me, but while she pauses our other competitor gets an answer she might have had and the next question is asked by th television screen, so she returns to frantic competition against him, as though knowing i will win in th end and worried that she must at least be in second place if she wishes to have time with me after th contest

Bumper Sticker [] - oneirra

Written by macheide

24 September 2008 at 4:04 am

Posted in oneirra

Good Morning!!

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Morning person or a night person?

meme from susan


Morning. But when you find me up writing at 4am, more than likely I’m waking from a good dream, versus stretching out the day ahead.

The older I get, the earlier I seem to run out of gas during the evening hours. But if I sleep late every now and then on the occasional Saturday morning, that usually means I’ve dragged out a dream as far as 6am. And it’s way more common for me to have a few solid hours of road behind me by then. That isn’t likely to ever change, no matter how many years I add to my age.

bumper sticker [] - not me

Written by macheide

24 September 2008 at 1:01 am

Posted in not meme