Not exactly rocket science

“CAPCOM to Nowak, prepare to begin pre-launch procedures.” “Copied loud and clear, Houston.” “Astronaut to confirm all required equipment and supplies have been loaded and stowed.” “Trenchcoat—check… Wig—check… $600 in cash—check… Adult diapers—check… Rubber tubing—check… BB gun—check… Pepper spray—check… Steel mallet—check… 4″ knife—check… Latex gloves—check… Large garbage bags for disposing of body parts—check.” “Checklist confirmed, you are cleared for 900 mile drive to Florida.”

Solid water? Wha?

Hell may not have frozen over, but Texas has, and that’s almost as rare. Last night we were driving home from Houston when the temperature dropped below freezing, and the car showed a black ice warning light. Soon it began to sleet. Texans really don’t know how to deal with snow and ice. I drove slowly and carefully, but people who had bought into the SUV myth were overtaking. Unfortunately, no amount of all-wheel-drive or traction control will help if you hit a patch of wet ice.


Before anyone else calls to ask if we’re going to drown…I don’t think so. The hurricane is currently projected to head up the east edge of Texas. It has weakened down to category 4 again, and Austin is just outside the edge of its projected path. So, we’ll get some strong winds and thunder and lightning and a load of rain, but that should be about it. We’re on a hill, well above the flood plain around the river.

The L word

You’ve all seen that “looter” is an irregular verb for white people in the media: “I am commandeering essential supplies, you are finding essential goods, they are looting”. You’ve also all seen the compassionate Conservatives criticizing people for not evacuating. Here’s something new: calling people looters for stealing an abandoned bus in order to evacuate. Ask yourself this: If I were in New Orleans wading through sewage-filled water and dodging bullets, if I’d waited days to be evacuated by the authorities but seen no action on their part, would I steal a bus to survive?

Vanishing web providers I have known

Well, it appears I’ve landed myself in the middle of an Internet fraud. The web hosting provider I was using, which vanished overnight, is supposedly one of the numerous web hosts set up by someone known as “Shang”… and also known as Josuee Shang, Joe Shang, Joe Sheikron, Josuee Ortiz, Joe Guadalupe and Joshua Shang Ortiz. It gets weirder. His step-father is apparently named Daniel Milk, and is a VP at Compaq who managed to lend his son a bunch of Compaq machines to start his hobby web hosting business with.

Elevator nightmare

Something I thought was an impossible urban legend: A staff doctor at Christus St Joseph Hospital in Houston, TX was stepping into the elevator when the doors suddenly closed, pinning his shoulders between them. The malfunctioning elevator then ascended, decapitating the doctor. A female hospital employee who witnessed the incident ended up trapped in the elevator with the doctor’s severed head for twenty minutes. She is now being treated for shock.