Re: sizing paper
Hey Chris and list citizens,
Thanks for the concern. We are all fine here at the Harmon household. I have not heard from Marek, and I am guessing his neighborhood still has no power. Communication is an issue right now, with a lot of cell towers down and most of the landlines dead after the battery backups ran out.
I'm back in the electrified world as of this morning. I'm not sure why we are so lucky, because adjacent neighborhoods are still powerless and many are being told that it will be another week, and in some cases, two or three weeks before their power is restored.
The hurricane itself was a pretty wild event. It was very large, and it took about 16 hours to pass through. We had 75-90 mph winds here at the house. Fortunately, we only lost some trees and had some minor damage to the roof. A lot of people were not so lucky. Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula and a good bit of Liberty County (just to the east of Houston) were demolished.
Lots of interesting sociological observations occur during events like this. I've had plenty of time to sit in the dark and think over the last five days, and I have come to the conclusion that a natural disaster is a behavioral amplifier, like four quick shots of Jim Beam. The old line about liquor and money making good people better and bad people worse should be expanded to encompass natural disasters. People that tend to be pleasant, helpful and sympathetic become even more so. There were lots of neighbors helping neighbors remove trees from houses, cleaning yards, sharing chain saws and ice chests, etc. And unfortunately a few not-so-postitively inclined people who take the probable lack of consequences as a green light to break into stores, steal stuff, and just generally be bad people. I chatted with a very tired looking cop outside a grocery store the other day, and he gave me a rundown on a few of looters that they actually caught who were just busting store windows to steal sunglasses and designer jeans. Silly stuff.
The other interesting thing to observe is that FEMA is about as ham- handed as they were three years ago after Katrina. They just seem to be the gang that couldn't shoot straight. One of the more idiotic things they did was require people who were picking up water, ice and food to drive up in a car for the pickup. They turned away walk-up traffic. And this in a city where gasoline is in very limited supply because none of the service stations have any electricity to power their pumps! Not really bright, IMO. By far the best 'relief' has been provided by a local grocery store chain called HEB. They had the stores open the very next day with a very organized system for getting people in and out in a very efficient manner.
But the city is slowly doing what it does best, muddling toward a recovery. I'll bet in a month or so, things will look and seem normal. This won't be true for Galveston and Bolivar, unfortunately.
On Sep 14, 2008, at 10:58 AM, Christina Z. Anderson wrote: