Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Update on my Grandma.

Hey everyone!  

Sorry it's been so long.  We've been swamped here.  Got 2 new goats from the Chief of Police from the town I work at, so now up to 12 goats, 7 girls, 4 newborn boys, and 1 breeding buck.

Just finished making jams and jellies, and the wife is finishing up on goat's milk soap, goat's milk lotion, bath salts, fizzy bath bombs, and we need to finish one more quilt as a gift.

Our new Pyrenees mix and Sam our Pyrenees went missing 10 days ago.  C'est la vie, as my grandma would say.  We miss them and hope they come back, and if someone stole them, I hope they get constant painful hemorrhoids and gaping chest wounds.

After 3 months and 3 days, I got to hear my grandmother's voice again.  It seems that she raised such a ruckus that she got sent home from the "undisclosed location."  My mom's sis ran into a mutual friend of my dad's a few weeks ago and she said that the friend knew my grandma was alive, but she was not allowed to say where she was.  But my evil aunt and eviler stepmother are at her house with her 24/7 with 2 nurses.  My grandma made it very clear that she is going to die at her house and to hell with going into a nursing home.  She has some sort of disease that is deteriorating random muscles in her body and this started with her throat muscles.

I say good for her.  94 years is a good run, and if she is ready to go, then she's earned the right to pick where she goes.  Her husband built that house for her 40 years ago and I am so proud that she held her ground when her sons want to dump her in a nursing home and take all of her money and run.

From what she said, she was upset that no one contacted me in 3 months, and that she has had several surgeries and was on the brink for a while.

I would say that keep her in your prayers for a recovery, but I ask that you keep her in your prayers that she can have a moment of peace in her life before she goes...

On to Wyoming next week to hunt some wabbits and spend Christmas with my sister-in-law and the little hellions that I am corrupting into screaming "GEAUX TIGERS" whenever they see football on.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Walmart: a glimpse into a post-Collapse situation...

I survived Walmart the day after Thanksgiving.

But it was harrowing.

The wife and her mom wanted to go shopping, but being in a rural area, the only thing within a 3 hour drive was the Walmart (WM).  So with a list in her hand, we headed into the store at 9pm, with hopes of buying stuff at 10.  She bravely went to the video game area (by the veggies) for gifts for the niece and nephew, I headed to the bed sheet area (near the frozen food) for new sheets for our new bedroom in the loft, the MIL went for board games (garden center) for gifts for the niece and nephew, and FIL went to electronics for a BluRay player for us.   In place and waiting by 9:05.  We walked past the local PD officer (just one.  And I think he knew he was screwed when the rioting started).

9:15 at the sheets.  There are several stocking carts of sheets and comforters.  Several patrons have punched through the plastic wrap to put their hands in the handles of the comforter bag.  They will not let go, and give stinky looks to anyone who eyes them.  Other soccer moms have ripped the other plastic wrap on the sheets and are moving their selections to the bottom rack of the cart so they can easily grab in 45 minutes.  I'm situated within 2 feet of the sheets with my shopping cart.  The soccer moms have started to do the Black Friday math:  they are counting the number of sheet sets, calculating how many they can grab, and who, surrounding them, will be out of luck and may get desperate.

It's sheets, people.  Sheets.  If I miss out, I won't shed a tear over it.  It's sheets.

9:30 still at the sheets.  The look on the people surrounding me at the sheets is seriously starting to scare me.  I start to assess the situation and am seriously thinking exit strategies.  I text my wife, letting her know that when SHTF, this is what it will look like.  Finally, the woman in front of me (who pushed me out of the way 20 minutes ago to get up against the sheets) asked me what I needed.  I told her K&Q sets, and if they were to fall off the cart and was kicked towards me, I would no longer block her exit (I needed to get out of there, my exits were starting to be blocked).  She kicked me the sheets, I hid them under my coats in the basket and got the hell out of there.  My wife is telling me that they are about to flash mob the video games and she was 2 feet from the games, and was unable to escape.

9:45 in the men's section, near the $9 jeans (I go through a lot, and raw sewage has a tendency to stain.).  It's more of a spread out area, and a nice collection of older men are standing around.  By now, you can taste the tension in the air, and it's getting worse.  There was a screaming noise from the sheets and I can see workers cutting the plastic wrap and people running to it and from it.  It seems to be that they were preparing for 10pm, but it was useless.  Some frantic employee screamed over the PA about how we cannot touch the merchandise until 10pm.  The workers came over and unwrapped the jeans.  We helped them with all intentions of helping ourselves when we were done.  I was the youngest (35) out of the maybe 8 people over there.  This.... woman that looked like she never missed a buffet grabs me and screams at me that we are not to touch the stuff until 10.  I came about a half a second from removing her hand from me, when I told her we were helping her employee.  She backed off for a minute.  We helped them finish, so they can go on to the next warzone.

I reached over to grab my 2 pairs of jeans, then she came running over, grabbing me again (I must be so studly that women can't keep their hands off of me).  As she yelled at me again, I informed her that if she touches me again, I will break that hand, and grabbing me like that was assault.  She finally backed off.  As the spokesman for the jeans people, I told her if we have to put our stuff off, then everyone else that passed by with 10pm deals had put theirs back.  And good luck with that.  She finally left, and even the old Spanish man thought he was unfairly harassing me.  Oh, well.  As soon as she ran off, screaming at some random person who had whatever in their basket, I grabbed my jeans (we all did) and moved on.

9:55pm.  My poor wife.  The mob has really deteriorated by now. One of the employees (teenager) is standing on the pallets of games screaming at them.  The mob is shaking the pallets getting more and more frenzied.  I'm 50 feet away, standing on the shopping cart to try to see the wife.  No luck.  The employee is threatening to shut the whole operation down, the cop is just standing there, probably wondering what to do, and the crowd is starting to rip through the plastic, grabbing what they want, and running.  My wife reported that people were just grabbing 10 games or videos (all the same title) and running.  I did the math: 500 games, 500 people = 400 people will get shafted and will riot harder.  She comes over, with a handful of games, all different titles, but none of the ones she wanted.  We head across the store to find the MIL and FIL.  MIL got into a fight over Candyland with some other person (we were surprised she wasn't arrested), but made it out with a ton of loot.  My FIL found us as we checked out, with the 10pm special BluRay and the 12am special BluRay.  He somehow got the cheaper, better one and I didn't ask questions.

Thankfully, we were out of the store by 10:15.  My wife said "never again."

The sheeple were clawing over each other for sheets.  Imagine if it had been the last can of spam?

Oh, and by the way, my sister spawned her offspring Friday.  Her water broke in Home Depot.  But not to worry, she still got the grill that she got there early to fight over for a sale.  And she was on bedrest for a low placenta or something (very dangerous for her to walk around), but needed to go to sales.  3 weeks early.  Yup, that's my really smart sister.  Dumbass.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

For all my vets who are sick of the Occupy sheeple...

I saw this on Facebook and needed to share it.  It sums up my feelings for both the Occupy sheeple and our vets that sacrificed their lives so these mouthbreathing leeches can bitch about not being instantly wealthy:

Thank you vets, and get a job Occupy sheeple!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How will it end and how do you think it will end?

First of all, I think the whole hash mark thingy for the Occupy Wall St. is moronic and a sign that normal human communications is devolving into 160 characters (or however it fits).  #OWS.  Stupid.  However, I can embrace it enough to make fun of it.  #OccupyTheBarn or #OTB.  The goats have hit the 150 day mark and need to kid.  Now.  I'm tired of waiting, so I am #OTB and will chant, bang my bongos and refuse to shower until my demands are met (3 preggo goats, I want 8 babies (the over/under bet with my wife is 6 babies)), or until I get tired and/or have to go to work.

Onto the 99%.  I had a blinding flash of the obvious today.  99% of the population is unhappy with ______.  No kidding.  I bet 99% are unhappy because their job isn't cool enough, their pay isn't good enough, their woman/man isn't pretty enough, they never thought that they would have to actually pay bills, or even the things they want are hard to get.  It's called life.  It's tough, then you die.  It's an easy formula.  Consider yourself lucky you live in the era you do.  In the 1940's you would have been shipped off on a free vacation to the other side of the planet to meet new people and kill them.  And if you would have bitched this much about it, your friends would have shot you.  But that was the greatest generation.  BTW, you are embarrassing their memories by protesting.  THEY went to war to defend our freedom. Gladly, because THEY were taught a sense of duty and honor.  Some died there.  THEY came home, finished school, went to work, worked long and hard to get that piece of the American dream THEY dreamed about on the shores of Europe and Asia.  THEY became parents, not friends, of their kids and sacrificed to make sure their kids never had to go through what THEY did.  THEY left their world a better place then how they found it, and THEY are dying at a rate of 1,000 a day.  When THEY are gone, who will remind us of what the American Spirit is?  99%?  Maybe if you work, you can join the 1%.  But whining is so much easier.  Babies.

Duke's Post about TEOTWAWKI the other day got me thinking.  I know I give a lot of thought about how it might happen.  My question to you is three fold:

  1. How do you think the SHTF will occur?
  2. What would be the worse case scenario that you are preparing for?
  3. If you had to decide how it would happen, what would be the "best" scenario?
Honestly, I would like to see if my worst case is really the worst that could happen.

Off to bang my bongos or play the TIVO copy of the XFactor to the goats until they submit.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Using the 1st Amendment to protect the 2nd.

Love it.

However, I'm sure that they live in a subdivision with a HOA with Nazi-style laws, banning the use of these signs.  Besides, I'm sure when their neighbors get robbed, they will be sued for instigating.  

And if I posted that sign, it would be shot down in hours.  

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First snow of the year.

This post goes out to my friend Arsenius the Hermit to remind him that old man winter is coming and he's heading for the mountains.

Woke up to some snow in the garden.

The chickens are still out and about in the snow.

The driveway is filled up.

White out conditions.

the non-pregnant goats and Sam looking for food from me.

Pow Pow getting ready to pop, in her pen.

 The Tweedles are ready to pop, too.  Couldn't get them to sit still for very long.

We got several inches last night of the white stuff.  The mountain pass to the west of the homestead got 3 feet of snow Thursday night. It's coming and we haven't all the winterizing done yet.  So busy day today before the LSU Tigers whoop the Florida Gators in a couple of hours.  We hope to get the wire and switches soon to wire the barn.  Another project, another time.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Weekend at the Homestead

It's another weekend here at the homestead.  Figured I would give you the nickle tour of the place on a Saturday afternoon.  

Sam is on the prowl, trying to figure out what I am up to.  He keeps the coyotes at bay, and all the female dogs in a 2 miles radius pregnant.  We plan to bring him to the vet to be "tutored," but don't tell him.

Goats.  From left, Ms. Priss, Tweedledum (we are thinking is carring 3 babies), and Tweedledum (maybe 2 babies, but C-section scars still on her side from Feb.)

From left, Ms. Scarlett, Jumper (not preggos, not happy), and Pow-Pow (she had 4 babies Feb, hoping for only 2 this time).  

The only time the goats are quiet.  Feeding time.  

The first raised bed.  Got winter rye in this one starting to sprout.  Hopefully I will get better with this.

Greenhouse.  Cleaned out the inside, and the raised bed inside is almost ready for lettuce and cabbage.  Will be installing glo lights for longer grow time this weekend, and cleaning up the garden area of debris.  In front of the greenhouse is hay we cleaned out of the barn to spread out.  This slowly composts over the winter and keeps the moisture in the first few inches of the soil.  Otherwise the ground dries up fast.

My first garden if you remember from my first few posts.  We plan to clean it up, let the chickens run free over it, plant more grasses, and make it the only grassy area on the property, and fence it in as my wife's quiet area.

Today's haul of eggs.  We share them with the neighbor we like all the time.  She offers to pay us, but we can't take their money.  We would rather make sure our eggs get eaten, then go to waste.

The chickens.

Another shot of the chickens.  That's the Great Sand Dunes National Park in the background.  I figure if the chickens have a nice view, their eggs will be filled with hope and change, and unicorn tears. No, but it is worth a try.  Note the lack of trees, which means I either need to drive 20 miles to the forest for wood, or buy it.  However, it makes patrolling my property easier.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Birthday Present

I obviously was good this year, so my wife let me get a new firearm.   When we went to Colorado Springs and the store ran the background check.  When I passed, he said I could buy 4 more guns.  My wife, in a moment of delusion, allowed me to purchase another one.

The top is a Ruger 9mm, and the bottom is a Remington 870, pump action 12 gauge.  The Ruger replaces my S&W .357 Magnum for close quarters, in house self defense.  

Here I am, practicing for the Golden Horde, without the use of proper defensive weapons.  See how I protect vital organs by laying on my stomach.  Hunter, on the left, trying to figure out the best way to make me yell in pain, and Hippie, on the right, just enjoying the time with her uncle and getting to hit something. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

My new job and the Post-SHTF town.

So I started a new job 2 weeks ago.  In a nutshell, I am the supervisor in charge of the water distribution system and the sewer collection system.  This week, I'm helping out the power and gas crew with their meter reading.  It's a town of 800 homes, and I went to about 100 of them.  I don't judge what's in one's backyard, but I will notice.

The town is small, and the lots are smaller.  Many of the houses are well over 50 years old, adobe, and are on tiny lots of 25' by 100' and the people are mostly fourth and fifth generation Hispanics.  Nice folks, though.  Mostly farm jobs, harvesters, and other manual labor jobs.

I noticed:

  • Almost every house has a garden.  Mostly a few stalks of corn, and a few squash.
  • Almost 30% of homes had chickens of some sort.
  • Most houses have well used clothesline in the backyard.
  • Most yards are fenced in, and sometimes departmentalized for a dog.
  • The more run down and beat up the house/trailer was, the bigger and better the garden produced.
  • There was at least a dozen dogs that was barking the entire time I walked down the street.
  • These people took redneck engineering to a whole new level.  
For the most part, people looked stocked up with wood, their adobe houses were well insulated, and they were trying to produce their own food. However, the general upkeep of the city blocks made it look like year one post-SHTF.  

However, the city has no backup power for the lift stations for the sewer, so 24 hours after the power goes out, sewage will start to back up into houses.  Water is fed by a water tank, but once again, no backup power. Thank goodness I get to submit budget items and get the city prepared for... power outages.  It's like prepping for a 2,300 people at once.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Iranian warships in the Gulf of Mexico?

Click here for the Fox News story.

Iran wants to deploy warships into the Gulf and East coast.  They have already tested long range ballistic missiles.  They have mentioned that they are interested in destroying the US.  They are interested in EMP nuclear weapons.

I think they are just going to the Gulf for our delicious Gulf shrimp, white sandy beaches, and fishing, right?

Friday, September 23, 2011

My family

One of the reasons I moved out here is to position myself better when the SHTF.  Another reason are my blood relatives.  I hope you never get to chance to meet them.  They are some of the most miserable human beings, only caring about money and their self.  Truly miserable people.

My family has over the years come down with a genetic disorder I like to call assholeism.  It started many years ago and has progressed to a degenerative disease that has left many of my family members without feelings, sympathy, or even the ability to act human.  I think it all started when I was 10.  I'm the oldest of 4, 3 younger brothers and my youngest sister.  When I was 10, I was hyperactive, so my parents shipped me off to Cathloic  boarding school.  With my dad working for the city as a civil engineer and my mom an ER nurse, along with my grandparents footing half of the bill, it wasn't too hard on my family to send me off.  However, when my siblings wanted something unreasonable (pony, car, weapons of mass destruction), my father always made it clear that they couldn't have that because Mudbug had to be sent to boarding school.  My rare trips home became a nightmare.  When I got home, the only words my siblings said to me was "Oh, IT's here.  When does IT go back?"  The assholism started young with them.

My parents got divorced when I was 21.  It was mostly dad's fault.  I guess they frown on tapping the secretary.  I tried as I could to maintain neutrality.  It wasn't my fight, and they were both still my parents, even if they lived apart.  My dad's parents are very wealthy, and my dad will get 1/2 of the inheritance when my grandma passes.  He used that fact to try to buy my sibling's love, as long as they treated my mother like dirt.  That, and if you ignored my mom, he would pay your bills.  Buying your love, how sad.  I didn't buy into it.  I remained neutral.

I called my grandparents (my dad's parents) once or twice a week, as they were turning 80.  I still do, and my grandmother is 94.  They ask if I need help, and I usually decline.  They did be the banker for my first home, and I paid them every cent back.  (According to my dad and his rumor mill, I stole the whole $75k and never paid them back.)

By the time my dad remarried (2004), I was going back to school.  They all laughed at me.  I was 28.  It was now not just enough to ignore and hurt mom, I was fair game.  I was blamed for more B.S. stuff over the years.  Basically, the assholism was so ingrained into my siblings and dad, that whatever disappointing happened in life, it was somehow my fault.  Every little thing, such as:  the weather, flat tire, being passed on a promotion, bad grades, bad gas, being dumped, and not having enough money in the bank.  When my sister got married, my mom agreed to pay for half, and my dad the other half.  She got married at a very nice plantation house in Louisiana (if you saw the place, you would recognize it in movies).  Dad found a way to get remarried an hour after my sister, because mom already paid her half, and it was another way to hurt her.  Dad's new wife is a total barhag, chain smoking, evil heart, golddigger.  And I am sensoring how I really feel.

When my mom's mom died 3 years ago, me and my wife went to the funeral.  Right before the service, my sister's new boyfriend (she got divorced once she found out that her new hubby, going into the Air Force, wasn't going to be stationed anywhere fun for her), turned to my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) and just ranted for 5 minutes about all the things that were said about me over the years.  According to them, my grandparents were sending me thousands of dollars a month for me to go to school and party all the time, I stole all this money from my dad, I stole all this money from my grandparents, I kicked puppies for fun, I ... you get the picture.  It always revolved around money (it seems to be important to them).  My wife knew the real story, and kept her mouth shut.  The only way moron shut up was my brother with no personality grabbed him and told him to shut up.  It was at that time, I discovered the assholism progressed so much that they were making up stuff to be pissed at me over.

When I got remarried in 2009, we tied the knot at Walt Disney World.  Mom paid my little sister to go.  She had the balls to walk up to us during the reception and let us know that mom had paid them to go and they had stayed the required limit, then took off.  My dad was supposed to bring my grandparents, but called me 4 days before, screaming into the phone words that were so vile, it would make a salty Marine blush. After getting off the phone with me, he called my grandmother to give her the same treatment.  Yup, she called an 91 year old woman to curse her out for talking to her son's ex-wife.  Classy.  My mom and his mother talk on the phone, and my dad found out, blaming me.  So 4 days before the wedding, my dad made sure 10 people from his side didn't go to the wedding, costing my father in law $2,000 from them not showing up.  Now anyone on my dad's side, including uncle, aunt, cousins, dad, brothers and sister now avoid me like the plague.  I still called my grandparents twice a week, and my wife called them once a week.

Fast forward to 2010.  I took my one week of vacation and drove the 18 hours to visit my dying grandfather.  He passed away a week after I drove home.  We flew back.  The entire week, my grandmother wouldn't let me or wifey leave her side.  My siblings and father, who lived less than a half hour away, couldn't be bothered for the week to visit with grandma, and chose to rent a block of hotel rooms in town, even though grandma has a 6 bedroom plantation.  Just being near me, I guess, is enough to turn them into stone. It was amazing during the 12 hours I had to be around my extended family during the funeral services, how a dozen people can make it so obvious that they are ignoring you.  My grandmother wanted her granddaughters involved in the Mass, but they purposely left wifey out.  They kicked me out 0f the car with my grandmother and tried to leave me at the church (I drove her to the church, and grandma made sure my wife was by her side the entire time).  My grandmother was burying her husband of 80 years and the entire ride to the cemetary she yelled at her two sons for not including my wife in the Mass.  When we got to her house afterwards, my "family" made us feel so unwelcome that we sat in a back room.  My extended-extended family (great aunts, uncles, cousins, twice removed, etc.)  all came by to stop and talk with us,
noting that they were ashamed on how everyone treated us and how much about our lives they had heard from my grandma.  It was heartwarming to hear them talk about how they knew how crappy my "family" was to me and wifey, and how much grandma cared about us, dispite what the assholism affect member said about us (by now, grandma built us a log mansion in Aspen, and pay us to sit around and have no jobs.  No kidding.)  My grandparents estimated worth was something around $10 million with stocks, bonds, property, collectables, oil royalities, and other assets.  Their will (which uncle walrus from Florida was the exectuter of the will) says that the two sons splits it, and is SUPPOSED (ha ha ha) to share with their kids.  My dad let his kids know, and still leads them on to hate mom in the hopes that one day they might get a cut when my grandma kicks it.  I honestly think his new wife is licking her lips for that money, will spend it all, and leave my dad.  Either way, I don't care.  Anyway, the day after my grandma buried my grandfather, my uncle walrus and dad approached grandma and told her she wasn't allowed to spend any money.  They were coming next week to seize all of her books (she did the bookkeeping for 75 years, all in 15 column ledger with double entry, without a calculator, always getting it on the penny) and having her house and belongings appraised so they could divide it in half so the son's could have their cut.  She was heartbroken all day and night, because they were coming next week to claim their money the felt they were owed, and with walrus as executor of the will, he must be right.  I told her (along with my mom's estate attorney), that grandma gets everything until she dies.  And now that grandpa died (he fought alzheimer's for years), she could legally change her will. I think it killed my grandmother inside to finally see that they didn't care about her, or their father.  All they wanted was money.  

The assholism progressed so much in those morons that they barely waited until their father's body was in the ground before they were dividing up his stuff.

I wrote all of this to get to this.  My grandma was put in ICU in early September.  Her throut muscles had weakened to the point that she couldn't eat, swallow, and breathing was labored.  They did a trac. on her throat.  My mom and wifey though it was best that I fly down and visit because I may never have a second chance.  I had a new job starting the following week, so I quit my old job 2 days early to fly home to see her.  So there I was, the Thursday before the 10th anniversity of 9/11, boarding a jet back to Louisiana.  My mom, who my dad and his family hate, picked me up and brought me to the hospital.  For the first time in over a year, I see my dad and his wife.  The only noise he makes towards me is a grunt.  Typical.  So it was a long wait in the ICU waiting room.  A great cousin comes in to wait for the last 30 minutes before waiting time, and starts talking with me.  She asks me about all the info of my flight, and work, and the new job.  You know, making small talk.  She asks my dad a question about hearing that I got his old job, just in a different city, and once again, a grunt.  His wife then prattles on, changing the subject to my sister and her pregnancy, and how it's a boy and she goes shopping all the time now, like a good grandmother, for stuff for her newest granddaughter.  Every time my great cousin asked something about me, she still answered with stuff about my sister.  Never skipped a beat.

Visiting time.  We all go in.  Grandma's two favorite things in the world are talking and eating.  She was fast finding out that she couldn't talk.  The nurse said that a pad of paper and a pen usually works, and my dad and moron just stood there.  I went looking for one, held the pad so she could write, and translated because my grandma writes often enough to me that I can read her handwriting.  She did manage to piss dad off, inflaming his assholism by waving him to the side and holding my hand.  The great cousin that called me to
let me know about grandma's condition (because the assaholics couldn't be bothered) told me when I got in the night before that when they told her I was flying in to see her, she smiled for the first time since getting into the hospital.  Anyway, dad and his plaything finally left and grandma wrote me a note wishing me and my wife as much adventure and happiness that she has had, and to make sure my wife read it.

The noon visitation on Saturday, my aunt brought in her entire extended family.  She was cramming in about a dozen of her family in that room, trying to block me out.  They even managed to bring the aunt's 91 year old blind father over to "see" my grandmother.  What a couple of asshats.

Visiting time at 5:00.  Grandma has slightly figured out how to talk.  She let me know that she wanted to see my mom at the next visitation so she could thank her.  I brought mom with me and they had a moment.  None of my siblings ever showed up to see her.  At least not for the visitations that I made to her during the midday, afternoon, and nighttime slots.  The next day, I made the midday visitation, with my fat walrus of an uncle from Florida and his wife, and dad and his plaything.  They tried their hardest to make sure they hogged the room so I wouldn't be able to visit.  My grandma told them to call the nurse and she told the nurse to make sure I was in the room.  While I was there, my grandma had a small sponge on a stick with water to keep her lips wet and swallow a little fluid.  She would ask anyone to wet it for her, and her two sons ignored her (the assholism makes it easy to do that).  I would gladly do it each time, with her asking them each time what was wrong with them.I found out when I got to spend the evening hour with her alone that she had a talk with just the two of them when walrus got in last night (they scheduled private viewing times so the "family" could visit without me there) that her sons needed to make peace with me, or get cut out the will.  She asked me that night and wrote me a note that said that her dying wish was that they tried to make peace with me.  I have no beef with anyone in that family, they all have made me the villian for whatever upsets them in life.  I told her that if peace in her family meant me not being in the family, then that is my cross to bear in life, and I would gladly accept it to make her happy.  Unacceptable, she told me.  We did enjoy that hour, talking about old times, and what's happening in my life (she loves the stories of my goats and chickens), and about my new job.  If she dies tomorrow, I will always remember that last visit, where we got to hang out together.

9/11.  I guess over the night the trach fell out, making a mess, and putting her in sergery again to put a bigger one in.  Walrus was camped out in the chair, reduced to grunting.  Mom came to see her again (grandma's wishes).  Grandma was still pretty sedated, but I'd like to thing she knew I was there.

Noon.  My aunt and walrus was waiting by the ICU doors when I walked up.  My aunt was saying how grandma must be all worked up because of all the visitors she has been having (hint to aunt:  YOU BROUGHT ALL THE VISITORS!!!!!), but I knew she meant me and my mom.  The doctor came out and talked to us about how she was doing much better with the larger trach and she should start physical therapy on Monday.  Walrus asked we could go in the conference room to talk (he said he needed to sit down).  We all walked into the doors to the ICU, he turned, pushed me out, grunted with the meanest look the sack of crap could make, then slammed the doors in my face.  I'm glad he found his way to make peace with me.  When visiting time finally started at 12:30, her sliding glass door was shut, with a note that all visitors had to be cleared throught the nurses.  The nurses told me (she knew who I was, and helped me get my grandma paper and water days ago) that walrus had made a list of acceptable visitors and I wasn't on it.

I flew back the next day, without seeing her again.  I can't get in touch with her and it sucks.  Her and my mother are the only true family I have left, and it seems to me I've lost half of them last week.I moved to Colorado to live life more simply, to enjoy the scenery and seasons, but most importantly to put a time code, 1,200 miles, and a mountain range between me and those people in my life that want nothing more in life than to see me suffer.  They are a constant reminder for me to work harder and harder to prove them wrong.

I hope one day they get her money.  I really do.  I know they will run though it in a matter of months, never sharing it with my siblings and cousins.  I hope my siblings turn on my dad.  I hope one day he runs out of money and respect and love from my siblings and realize how empty and sad his life really is.  I'm happy no matter what.  Money doesn't define me.  Money may bring some happiness, but it's not the root of my being.  One day they might realize that, but I doubt it.  I do know that when I am happy and content, they are miserable.  And I would like to be as far as possible from miserable assholes with greedy black souls.

Sorry I ranted to y'all but it has been eating me up inside, and now I can release that demon out of me.  As my grandma would say, "C'est la vie."  That's life.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Odds and Ends

Sadly, I think this will become a weekly event.  I seem to have loose ends laying about and I don't want to forget anything.

First off, I promise I have the day aftermath of Katrina up in a few days.  I am looking for the email from LSU warning of looting in downtown BR (it was found to be false).  I may even add stuff from the power being out from Gustav (2008) to compare/contrast good and craptastic government.

I am an uncle to two great kids in Wyoming, Hunter (4) and Hippie(2).  The found that Uncle Mudbug is an excellent jungle gym.  However, Uncle Mudbug is now sore as heck.  Need a week off now.  I did discover that kids love poo and poop.  It was their favorite words.  Maybe it's the taboo of a "dirty" word that makes them love to say it.  All the time.  Hunter is all excited about rabbit hunting season again and cannot wait to go hunting with his dad, and Hippie runs around naked.  And talks to herself all of the time.  A little disturbing to see naked baby, but whatever.

Watched the stock market and gold prices all day.  Gold went up, Dow Jones (DJIA) went down.  DJIA was down 300, but closed down 100.96.   I can't wait to see how the President "helps" with his speech on Thursday.  Not at all encouraging.  But not surprising.

I'm trying to send rain to TX to help out.  We get an average rainfall of less than 8 inches a year, with 30 inches of snow (30 inches of snow translates into 3 inches of rain), and it has been raining every other day for two weeks.  As I am writing this, more rain is falling.  I love the rain and miss it from Louisiana, but I'm getting used to the lack of rain, and would rather others get it.  Besides, with the moronic water rules out here, the more it rains, the more water we owe to New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico from the Rio Grande.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Remington 597

I accept Stephen’s challenge and talk about my .22.  It is the second gun I’ve ever owned, and I got it a year ago this week.  It’s a Remington 597, with a scope.  It was on sale at some sporting goods store, and my wife let me get it in exchange for me buying her a new car.  My other gun is a Savage .243 with a scope. 

I’ve never owned a gun until I moved to Colorado and bought land.  I went into the Tractor Supply Store- type store and meekly told them I need a gun to shoot coyotes and other large animals threating my goats.  It’s not easy to pull that trigger for the first time in the backyard, not knowing what’s in store.  And it’s even harder to hear the coyotes in your backyard and have to arm yourself to go get your dogs inside. 

The first time I ever shot a gun was a small bolt action .22 my sister-in-law’s husband loaned me when I went rabbit hunting in south WY 3 years ago.  I liked the lightness of the rifle and it gave me time to think and plan between each loading.  I shot 22 rabbits that day, and was probably 75% accurate each time.  Doug still swears I’ve had training. 

I like the Remington because it has a 10 round magazine, and I’m ordering a couple 30 round magazines.  We have big jackrabbits around the house and sniffing around my garden.  I may have to try a rabbit gumbo after the big freeze up here.  I think with the rabbit population, the amount of brush out here, the lack of predators (thanks to my dogs), and breeding rates, I think I could shoot or trap up to 3 rabbits a day on the property and feed my family, yet not deplete the population.  I hope the .22LR will help with that. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I think the last few days OPSEC has really been a concern in the blogosphere family that we are all a member of.  I think that some security is a good thing.  More than just razor wire around the property, security is being smart on the internet.

But I think that we can all respect each other's privacy.  I know Arsenius the Hermit's real name is not Arsenius.  It may be Tyrone, Barack, Cletus, or even Brenda.  I'm not saying.  I may not even know.  I'm not here to find out where people are from, where they live, or even what they do.  I could care less.  I'm here to become friends that are like minded, go though the same challenges as myself, and as a sounding board for things that may or may not work.

I think the consensus is that we are all vulnerable if we blog, to an extent.  If someone really wanted to get a hold of you, they can.  It's not that hard with the right tools.  But really, if you go through that much trouble to find someone that doesn't want to be found, we really have to ask your true intentions.  There is a mutual respect among survivalists, I believe, and that breaks it.

 I hope that one day if I find myself east of the Mississippi, I might get to meet some of my online friends.  Hopefully at the Waffle House.  God, their food is awful, but I miss it.  And if one of them feel the need to go skiing or a Food & Wine festival in Aspen, I hope they look me up.

I know that OPSEC is important, and we are all passionate about it, but I think we have beaten that dead horse.  Let's toss that dead equine over the fence of the neighbor we all despise and resume our usual conversations of fall preps and how this gun is better than that gun.  Oh, and how the Fighting Tigers of LSU is gonna whoop all your college teams.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I am now dumber for having read this.

Wow.  Thanks, Fox News for not only uneducating sheeple on how to prepare for a storm, but to make a backhanded comment towards those who do.  I guess I'm not a survivalist without my bunker and iodine tablets.

Here are the 4 "gadgets":

1st.  You mentioned a crank radio, then complained that it wouldn't completely charge your iPhone.  It would have been nice to mention that the crank radio is usually used for the radio.  Just saying.

2nd.  You mention an LED flashlight.  Please complain about the price.  Since you mentioned the above radio has a built-in LED flashlight, couldn't you use the radio for looking for stuff too?  And my flashlight that lights up Chicago used 2 AA batteries and I used it for a month before changing batteries, so why are they plugging a model that uses 8 AAA batteries and is good for 24 hours?

3rd.  A lantern.  A rechargeable, electric lantern.  How freaking dark does it get?  All they mentioned so far is stuff to light up the night.  Here's an idea:  use the crank radio (you need it to hear the news) and some of those solar outdoor lights.  I got 20 of them lining my driveway.  If I need to, I can leave them out during the day to charge and bring them in to use each night for houselight.  And it is cheaper than all this garbage.  And maybe a oil lamp and/or homemade candles.  But then again, I'm not trying to be a yuppie.

4th.  A solar charger.  Good, because the iPhone battery might go dead and then noone gets to play Angry Birds on the phone.  Really people?

You got 3 gadgets for lighting up a house.  And 2 that can charge your iPhone.  Seriously, when I was out of power for 2 weeks for Hurricane Gustav in 2008, we got a small generator for the fridge, on demand hot water heater, and some A/C.  If you wanted to charge your phone, you plugged it into the car.  Cars still work in a power outage.  Just run the engine for a few minutes to charge the car battery, then let the phone charge for an hour.

Good to see that none of the "gadgets" included a non-electric can opener, a gas BBQ grill for cooking, or a Steripen for water sterilization.  But I guess as long as you can see, and use your iPhone, then everything will be OK, because food and water aren't important if you are trendy.


Fox News Article.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why I prep.

There is an article on Yahoo news about a Navy SEAL that was killed a short while back.  I've never been in the military and never plan to, I have immense respect for those who defend my right to write this blog and to live as I see fit.  

Man's best friend mourns death.

The following is one of the commenters:

"this guy is NOT a hero, he's just a casualty of war his death was caused by bad luck THIS guy died in a helicopter crash OK it's not like he used his body as an armor to help save his buddies from a grenade and besides I'm sick of all you veterans talking about fighting for my freedom that's BS my freedom is backed by the Constitution your fighting and alleged sacrifices ain't shit"

The above person is sadly a growing trend of moonbats and mouthbreathers growing in this country.  

I prep because one day his ideals will become mainstream.

I prep because one day I will have to defend my lifestyle from people like him or her.

I prep because people like him or her is leading this once-great county to its' doom.

I hope and pray that the above commentator will one day, even for an instant, realize how wrong they are.  Probably the split second before a biker gang takes their life for a gallon of water and a can of green beans.  

This guy made me sick to my stomach.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Katrina-- Storm Day (Part 3)

I’m not sure where I got this bit of information at, but I wanted to mention it before I get to the storm day.  I think Monday morning Blanco, the governor, hadn’t declared an emergency yet.  As a Democrat, she hated Bush.  She hated Bush so much, when he came to Baton Rouge to speak at LSU for commencement, she left the state for the weekend.  She made it clear on several occasions that Bush is not wanted in our state.  Anyway, Bush got on the line and told Blanco that she had 6 hours to declare an emergency or he would nationalize the state National Guard and take over.  She finally caved in.  The mainstream media portrayed Bush as slow moving to respond to the storm, but the truth was the governor wasn’t allowing the President to bring in FEMA or emergency help.  Partisan politics at its worst.

Woke up to a howling wind, around 6 am.  Rolled over, checked the tv.  Power is still up, internet is working, and we still had cable.  But I knew it couldn’t last.  Living in the older area around LSU means above ground power lines.  Every bad storm causes the lines to fall.  Checked on my roommate.  She was still at the winding down hurricane party across from the pool.  The apartment complex hadn’t done much to prepare for the storm other than put a flyer on everyone’s door saying that they recommend evacuation, and to clean out your fridge before you leave.  Oh, and they are not responsible for damages to your apartment or vehicles.  Some place. (I actually still had the flyer on the refrigerator 4 years later.  I thought it was that stupid that I shared it with others that visited.)   They left all the furniture around the pool out, which makes great projectiles when the wind picks up.  We were already a steady 40 mph from the east.  I threw all the furniture into the pool (it keeps it from flying away, and with plastics, it won’t damage the bottom). 

I made sure I had all my electronics unplugged except for a power strip with all the essentials being charged (cell phone, laptop, flashlights).  Looking out the window, Highland Road was empty (this is a main arterial, usually carrying 25k-30k cars a day), with only an occasional pick-up truck driving down it.  I figured that the power would have been out by now, so I took this rare opportunity to make breakfast with whatever I could find in the fridge.  Use it before I lose it. 

Went outside at 8 am.  Winds were up to about 60+mph still from the east.  If you look at a hurricane from space, it a spinning mass with a central “eye”.  The bands that radiate outward have rain, tornados, and more rain hidden in them.  Oddly enough, we were between 2 bands.  We got maybe ½ an inch of rain that entire day.  Areas to the north and south of us got almost a foot, but not us.  It made my hurricane watching more fun.  I brought my computer chair out to the outside stairwell and watched the trees sway, while enjoying a good cigar and strawberry margarita.  The fence to the east of us collapsed onto a row of parked cars.  No one I guess thought ahead regarding wind direction.  My car was on the other side, parked near the apartment building.  If the storm caused the wall to fail, then I would have bigger problems than no car, and the building would shield the car from most of the dangerous debris. 

By now Katrina had made landfall.  This means the eye of the storm is now over land.  In this case, the mouth of the Mississippi River.  If you have never been in the eye of a hurricane, I interviewed someone for a high school paper on Hurricane Camille who was in that eye.  Basically, the eye is the center of rotation.  There are usually no clouds, and the wind is dead calm.  If the storm has 100 mph winds, it will be blowing to the west at 100 mph, then dies out and the sun comes out as the eye crosses.  Most deaths from hurricanes by people that were in the eye are from them going outside to see the damage.  Because once the 20 mile wide eye passes, the 100 mph winds now go the opposite direction, or to the east. 

In New Orleans, they are getting close to 100 mph winds and 8-12 inches of rain an hour.  Most of the larger buildings downtown are getting their windows shattered by the gravel on the larger building’s roofs being thrown by the wind.  The pump building are being evacuated, for the pump worker’s safety, and the levees are still holding, but not for long.  Most of the paths out are impassible, because of the winds.  In New Orleans east, the twin spans of I-10 heading out are being destroyed by the storm surge, which is the water being literally being pushed by the storm winds.  It reaches almost 30 feet in elevation over regular tides.  The city, however, is on the west side of the eye of the storm, and had considerably less damaging winds.  Mississippi was about to get the brunt of Katrina’s fury.

As an engineer, I can explain how the bridges got damaged.  The piers going into the ground are only pounded about 100’ into the ground.  There is a pier cap installed over the 4 or fieve piers drilled.  The roadway, or deck, just rests on top of it, with maybe only a strap holding it on.  The theory is that the weight of the concrete holds the deck in place.  However, with a storm surge of 30 feet, the waves are high enough to crash on, under, and over the concrete.  Once submerged, the concrete deck, not being held down and with air trapped underneath, becomes more buoyant and is susceptible to being moved by wave action.  In Bay St. Louis, MS, the eye passed overhead and managed to not only throw the deck hundreds of feet, it managed to pull out the pylons driven into the ground. 

In Mississippi, the storm surge is about 30’.  The casinos on the coast have been emptied and sunk.  Procedure calls for the National Guard to enter the casinos once a mandatory evacuation is ordered and help secure the barge as the vaults are emptied and money and chips are escorted to a more secure location.  These barges have a few feet of water underneath and would be thrown over Hwy 90 and beached usually over the highway, causing traffic issues and looting (anything on the highway is considered public domain).  The solution is to sink them.  They are pretty hard to knock onto the shore once they have been sunk, and either way, the damage has been done.  Just less damage if you sink them intentionally. 

In Mississippi, the storm surge is taking its toll on the coast.  For every mile of land, the storm surge loses 1 foot of water.  With a 30 foot storm surge, and an elevation of 15 feet north of the beach and Hwy 90, I estimate the first 15 miles inland was flooded.  Almost every house in Pass Christian within a mile of the beach was wiped off the face of the earth.  When we visited after the storm, it was gut wrenching to see an area wiped off the map.  Literally.  The death toll was considerably lower on the Gulf Coast than New Orleans because of mentality.  On the Coast, where I went to high school, it was never about if the storm will come, but when.  It was never “God will move the storm somewhere else, and we can stay,” but it was when the storm was project to hit anywhere remotely near the Coast, we got the heck out.  Every time, because this time might be the big one. 

The Mississippi Attorney General also filed suit against all insurance companies as the storm made landfall.  He demanded that all companies made good and paid out to replace all of the covered houses.  The big debate after the storm that held up rebuilding on the Mississippi Gulf Coast was over what caused the home damage.  Was it the wind or was it the storm surge (water).  It sounds so stupid, but homeowner’s insurance covered damages done by wind, but the flood insurance covered it if the damage was caused by the water.  How moronic is that.  They fought and fought over it.  Neither wanted to pay, and would spend millions to trying to prove it was the other’s problem.  And these homeless gulf residents were the fodder in the middle. 

So there I was, around noon, on the side of the road, in an enclosed little bus stop, enjoying the howling wind.  The debris that was being blown about was picking up.  More leaves, small branches, papers, and trash.  A big branch about a quarter mile west fell into the road, making it impassable.  I watched a big 4x4 pickup truck come barreling down from the east, going about 70 in the 45 mph zone, when he just barely missed a car pulling out of their driveway.  That truck had to be driven by the biggest moron in town.  He wasn’t heading in the direction of a hospital, so I can’t imagine the reason for his hustle, but I had made up my mind in that moment that if he would have hit them, I would have tried to save the people in the little car first, then the truck.  It was really weird to think that, but at that moment, I knew that all bets on medical help would be off and I would have to triage on my own.  I was just glad the truck swerved and slammed on the breaks to miss the tree in the road.

I had a friend in Student Government, who had a job with the Governor’s office.  She was one of 6 people in the state who could sign checks bigger than $1 million and had the special seal and green pen.  She told me she was at her apartment near school right before the power went out and she heard a knock at the door.  She looked out the window and there was a Humvee with several National Guard troops, in full battle gear.  They “escorted” her into the Humvee and took her to State Emergency Operations Center.

12:15 pm.  The lights go out.  My cell phone has no service.  All circuits are busy right now.  The wind is maxing out right now and the wind direction is changing.  This means the storm is passing to the east of us and the worst is over, but we are due for more wind for 6 or so more hours.  I think we maxed out about 80-85 mph.  A good number of trees on Highland Road have fallen, no power, internet, or cable.  Phone service is overloaded.  For the first time ever, I am at home and completely cut off from the rest of the world. 

5:00 pm.  The partiers have fully awoken and noticed their beer and whisky supply has diminished from last night.  Panicking over their lack of foresight and their stupidity by opening and closing the freezer once the power went out, they have decided to use a BBQ grill and grill the contents of their freezer in the breezeway.  I had some ground beef set aside in the fridge so I could eat well that first night with my zip stove on my porch, but I decided to watch how the other half devolved in hours.  They had corn dogs they were roasting.  With cans of veggies, various meat, and another had a very sad time trying to cook a microwave meal on the grill.  These are people in college, and basic cooking skills were as foreign to them as ancient Sanskrit.  It was better than tv.  The storm had mostly passed New Orleans by now, and I had a windup radio.  There was no music anywhere, even those... national feed stations.  It was nothing but weather updates and people phoning in with power outages and downed trees.  Not like calling in the power outages helped.  95% of the east half of the state was without power.  Places in town hit harder would be without power for more than a month.  There was several stations we got from New Orleans and they were talking about levee breeches.  I called my dad, who was retired by then, and checked in with him and my grandparents.  To this day I remember asking him when they will be able to stop the flooding in New Orleans.  His answer was “when the water in the city was a high as the lake.  Then they can plug the leaks.”

6:15 pm.  The power comes back on.  I know, I really suffered.  But I didn’t lose my head.  All my food was still good, nothing was wasted on the BBQ grill.  Internet came back on, but no cable.  I know it sounds like a petty thing, but in the age of information, it’s important to see how the area fared from the storm.  NO is dominating the news, no word yet on how Mississippi fared.  I think this was the time of the first reports of the Superdome being a haven of rapists, murderers and other people just trying to survive. 

During the last storm (Ike), they opened the Superdome up as a shelter for those who couldn’t evacuate.  They looted the place.  They stopped up the toilets until they flooded.  They ripped cushions out of the seats.  They stole tvs, equipment, and anything that wasn’t bolted down.  After Ike passed, it took $10 million dollars to fix what thousands of “victims” destroyed.  Why wouldn’t they do the same now?

The radio station in NO (WWL) is now starting to take phone calls for missing people.  The station goes all night and into the next day with people calling to see if their loved ones are all right.  Some of the cell towers have been flooded out and are off-line, and very few phone calls can go in or out as far away as Baton Rouge.  Text messages become the preferred way to communicate.  I think it is because the system can hold the message until the phone gets reception, then downloads the message to the phone.  Several friends in the apartment complex make contact with their families this way.

Baton Rouge is starting to double in size starting tonight.  When the wind dies down, people that were sheltering in the surrounding areas start heading toward BR to get ready to return home to NO tomorrow.  The parking lots for anything near the interstate heading south to NO are full of RVs, campers, trailers and trucks.  All waiting.

But tomorrow is another day...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Six flags N.O., damaged by Katrina

Hey everybody,

A good friend of mine and part time photographer just came from New Orleans East and did a photo shoot of the six flags park there.  It was damaged from Katrina in 2005 and has not been touched since the storm.  It's a pretty eerie idea of what downtown _______ can become after the Golden Horde has left town...



Zombieland-- 6 Flags N.O.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Part 2 of Hurricane Katrina: Setup of the History of N.O. and the night before.

New Orleans.  It’s got a colorful history.  Geology there is even more colorful.  Below is a pretty bad map of the city, but it is important because it shows the major neighborhoods of the city, so when I get into the geology of the city, it starts to make sense.  

Here is a better view of the whole area, but it shows flooding 2 weeks after the storm.  But we are getting ahead of ourselves here.  I just have it so you can see the whole area.

The French Quarter was settled first.  FQ, Arts, Bywater, and the CBD are all on the ancient flood levee, created by the river.  It’s the highest area, so it doesn’t flood.  Elevations are still below 10 feet, but much better than the rest of the town.  North of all that, and south of the lake, it was all tidal marshes.  Every summer, grasses, reeds, and other plants would grow.  In the winter they all died.  In the spring flood, these plants would be covered with 6 inches of silt from the flooding Mississippi River.  Wash, rinse, repeat for millennia.  As the peat gets pushed down by subsidence (the weight of the dirt on top), it slowly gets firmer.  There is no bedrock for miles under the city of New Orleans.  So now you have an alluvial basin of a city built of layers of jello and pudding.  It grows to about 4 feet above sea level.  New businesses and new housing need to be built come early 1900’s.  Out to the swamp to drain and clear it.  Now add concrete foundations, levees, roads and that weight takes a toll.  In the 1980’s before GPS, surveying in the NO area was near impossible.  The concrete benchmarks were sinking into the muck.  The city was subsiding at almost an inch a year in some places.  The silt and plants cycle had been destroyed and the water pumped out.  New Orleans had become a bowl between the lake and the river.  It’s still so bad, one of my professors still teaches a class on how to use the sophisticated benchmarks for the city to get the proper elevation. 

The outer areas of the city that were developed in the 1900’s before air conditioning were quaint places to live until the newer areas with central air were built in the 1950’s.  The older houses became the slums and ghettos.  The Ninth Ward (pronounced “night wad”), parts of Uptown and Carrollton, and Gentilly all became slums.  In the Ninth Ward, people sitting on their porches could look up and see the boats pass overhead on the river.  Never made sense to me, living 10 feet below sea level, up against the river.  But the housing was cheap, and the gov’mint paid for it.

Now here’s where many would call me racist.  But it’s the truth.  New Orleans and surrounding area has 1.2 million people in it August 1, 2005.  80% is black.  Easily half to 2/3 are on welfare.  It’s an extremely poor town.  It’s a dying town.  Their waterworks is piss poor.  Remember the settling ground?  Imagine lead and steel pipes under all that.  Due to the saltwater intrusion, NO gets its water from the Mississippi River.  Yes, the river that 38 states dump their sewage in.  Yum.  In NO, there is a sewage treatment plant across the river from the water intake pipe.  30 or 40 miles upstream at Waterford 3 nuclear plant, the EPA allows them to dump water taken from the river to cool the coolant pipes back into the river without treatment. 

The levee system.  Man, they found a big enough cross after the storm to nail the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on.  But after all the flooding of Hurricane Betsy from 1964 (My grandmother told me the story about the coffins floating down the street from the cemetery and the hundreds of people that climbed into their attics to avoid the rising waters, but died from not bringing an axe to make a hole and the rising water drowned them all.), the USACE decided to upgrade the levees to something better. 

The 2005 levees were designed in the mid-sixties and built by the USACE.  From what I understand from questions I asked when our engineering club at LSU toured the USACE center in New Orleans in 2008 (we picked up 10 engineering students from VA Tech and was sponsoring them for their first football game after the shootings—most of the shootings were in the Engineering building.  Another story for another time), the USACE built the levees and turned over the operation and maintenance over to the New Orleans levee board.  ‘Nuff said right there.  NO is so corrupt, it makes Chicago and D.C. look pristine.  Entire cemeteries vote in every election and no one can so anything about it.  Anyway, the levee board is a plum assignment, if you can get on board.  In the 40 years or so, they managed to plant trees on the levee, do no maintenance, build parks, marinas, and other money making ventures.   From what I heard, they picked someone’s brother as the engineer to verify the levees when they needed them. 

Remember a while back about the city and marsh and pumping of water and subsidence?  It goes for levees, too. 

While I give you a good foundation about the city and the causes of its’ demise, there are a few more points to remember:

·         Since most of the town is below sea level, and the levees are above sea level, you have to pump the stormwater up and over the levees.  Most of these pumps are over a hundred years old.  Still really well maintained.  But can only pump one inch of water out of the city an hour.  NO gets 60+ inches of water a year.  Hurricanes like Katrina can dump up to a foot an hour if it is bad enough.  These pumps are usually manned, and are powered by various means.   If backup systems fail and the pumps get submerged.... no more pumping.
·         The Mississippi River is 95.0 miles long at the French Quarter.  USACE built the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO or Mr. Go) in 1965 to shorten it and to make it a straight line rather than the meandering path the river usually takes.  The saltwater path killed a lot of the swamp vegetation and made a narrow path much wider. 
·         From what I read, the city has to declare an emergency and ask the governor for assistance from the National Guard.  The governor has to release the National Guard troops to the President before he can declare an emergency.  I may be confused on a bit of this, but remember that Louisiana is the only state under Napoleonic Code, so lots of our laws are screwy.  Regardless, Nagin was a Democrat, and so was our governor Blanco.  And Bush was Republican.

So where was I?  Oh, yes, August 28, 2005.  I’m prepped, my grandparents have evacuated to my dad’s house north of Houma, LA, and the streets are packed with people either finishing their preps, evacuating north, or coming into to town, evacuating from the south. 

Now I have to mention, if you have ever been in a hurricane, the 24 hours before landfall are the calmest, clearest, most beautiful days you can imagine.  Not a cloud in the sky, humidity is low, and little wind.  But we all know that has to change, and change in a hurry.

As the sun set, the clouds started rolling in.  I will wax philosophic for a moment on them, because if you’ve never experienced it, hurricanes are the closest a weather system will ever be to a living organism.  The clouds move very fast, and in a circle, and all together.  I will try to find my pics this weekend, but they do no justice.  I have a picture of the clouds in downtown Baton Rouge, just before sunset, when the sun is low enough to reflect off the bottom of the clouds.  By now, the storm is probably 400 miles wide, all spinning counter clockwise.  All in one fluid motion.  Really, if you have the chance, watch video of the clouds.  It is both a breathtaking and terrifying moment it’s arrived and you are stuck until it passes.

By now, it’s 10pm, Sunday August 28th  It’s project to hit New Orleans by 10 am tomorrow.  I check my preps once more, locating them closest to my bed, so I can grab them in a hurry if I have to bug out.  I’m on the second floor, corner apartment of a brick building.  I feel safe knowing I’m the top floor and have two window for egress if necessary.  My roommate has taken off to go the neighbors to enjoy one of the many hurricane parties.  They can’t possibly stay up for the next 24 hours to see the whole storm and drink like that.  I decide to wake up early to be rested and see the storm pass overhead.  The wind is slowly picking up to about 30 mph from the south and I know in the morning it’ll be 80+ from the east, then the north as the storm passes us.  Time to hit the rack.