Katrina assistance – a Call to Arms

Jason Kottke is blogging that Amazon has decided not to add a donation mechanism to their site for hurricane Katrina.

Pardon me, but that is fucked up! Come on people, WTF? Seriously this can and will impact our entire nation. I mean really… they put up a link for the tsunami disaster relief, but not for this?

Overall it seems that the web has been a little slow up the uptake with this one. When the tsunami hit it was hours into it when links started showing up for donations to the Red Cross. Lets get things moving!

Click here to find an excellent, comprehensive list of Hurricane Katrina charities here.
Please donate to some charity somewhere.

Update: Amazon has a donation link that points here, thanks Jason for getting the attention to this.

Note: Apple also has a link from the iTunes music store for Huricane Katrina relief donations.

New Orleans shelters to be evacuated – Aug 31, 2005

From CNN: CNN.com – New Orleans shelters to be evacuated – Aug 31, 2005

Note: This is a little disturbing.

Distraught resident Harvey Jackson told a local television station about losing his wife in the floodwater as they stood on their roof. (Watch the video report of a husband whose wife slipped from his grip — 1:07 )”I held her hand as tight as I could and she told me, ‘You can’t hold me.’ She said ‘Take care of the kids and the grandkids,’ ” he sobbed. (Victims left with nothing)

Good Luck NOLA, You'll Need It

I’m sitting here right now while I should be getting ready to go out to dinner thinking about what has happened to the city that I grew up in, New Orleans, Louisiana. I am, to say the last, quite disturbed. I have been looking at the pictures all over the web of the damage and destruction that Katrina caused. It is being referred to as the worst national disaster… ever. Insurance claims are expected to top $26billion. To put it in comparison Andrew only hit $21billion in claims.

I just got word from my mom that the entire city of New Orleans and it’s surrounding areas is, not only under martial law, but is being shut down. All residents will be allowed to return in 1 week ONLY to get personal effects. After that they will not be allowed to return for at least one month.

One of the things that is really hitting me hard is that all of the images are places that I have been, or seen, or frequented. And none of them will ever be even remotely the same. I have to say that like I mentioned the other day, my thoughts are going out to people that I haven’t spoken to in 10 years or more. I hope everyone is safe, I hope everyone got out in time.

While on the phone earlier I asked the question, Ã’I wonder if they will even bother rebuilding the city?Ó I hope they do, it would be a shame to loose all of the culture that is New Orleans. I just have to look at it from a cost perspective. With tens-of-thousands (for the next month millions) permanently homeless and the entire city with water damage, I have to say, it doesn’t look good. NOLA is one of the most amazing places, it has so many things that no-where else has and a unique attitude and lifestyle. I can’t bear the thought that this hurricane may have killed that amazing city.

If anyone that I grew up with in New Orleans reads this feel free to drop me a line, I would like to know how you are doing after Katrina.

Good luck to everyone who’s life this disaster has touched, you all will need it.

Top Gun Triathlon Results 2005

A few weeks ago I did the Top Gun Triathlon @ Ft. Desoto. It was my first big race this year & my times were about what I expected them to be, considering that I didn’t really train for the past month (check back here for details on that). Here are the Results for the Alta Vista Sports – Top Gun Triathlon 2005.

There was some good stuff, bad stuff and then there’s the beach run!

I have always been a very strong swimmer, and a excellent cyclist, but running just doesn’t do it for me. Or actually, I just don’t do the run. I have just never been a very good runner. At my prime I have done a 6:30 mile, and in training with my brother I can do consecutive 8:30’s. But that is not after biking for 10-20 miles. Oh, well. No excuses.. More training before the next race! No more Mr. fuck off guy, I’m getting down to business and do some training.

I have updated my training schedule, for anyone interested here it is (if your using IE don’t bother). I have added several things to it. Notably my training is broken up into several major blocks that identify the races and dates that I am preparing for. It is then broken down into 2 week incriments because that is how my day-job’s schedule rotates. It actually made it easy to break the training up when looking at it in 2 week chunks.

As for the race, it was as very well organized even that was a lot of fun. I do feel that they could have been a little more up-front about the fact that the second half of the run was in sugar sand. I am not sure what I would do differently, other than wearing socks during the run. The vaseline that I put on my race shoes did a wonderful job of attracting sand and holding it in place so that it could grind into my feet. Damn, I’m glad the run was only 5K, any more than that and I would have hamburger for feet! Other than that it was really really hot. But a very fast course. A fairly smooth swim and a pancake flat bike course. On disapointment, however, was with the

A great race, see you there next year.

Note: I would like to give a big thank you to the best looking race photographer ever, thanks Jenny!

Hurricane Katrina from a NOLA Kid's Perspective

The announcement
was released about an hour ago that a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans has been issued. I can’t believe that the worst case scenario for New Orleans has finally happened (or is about to). As I sit here writing this hurricane Katrina is heading for the mouth of the Mississippi River and will be unleashing untold havoc and damage on my hometown of NOLA.

I am sitting here remembering all of the storms that we faced here in the Tampa Bay area last year and all of the damage that was released on the Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda areas. Some of the pictures that I got from that area were just terrible, it looked like a war zone down there. So many people without housing, without food for several days, without power for weeks on end, without clean water, without showers, without phones, and some without hope. These areas are still not recovered from the destructive power of the 2004 storms (Charley, Frances & Jeanne).

I can only imagine what the fate of New Orleans will be after this storm. The last time the are was hit by a storm of this magnitude was Camille; back in the 1960’s and that wasn’t even directly to the NOLA area. I remember as a child growing up in the city it would flood at the drop of a hat. Hell, just a couple of inches of rain and you would have 2-3′ (yes feet!) of water in your front yard. When I was a kid I would go play in the flood water with everyone else in the neighborhood (gross!). Anyway, it floods very badly there and most of the levees around the city are not tall enough to protect against a storm surge of 15-25′ that is currently being predicted. Heavy rains, storm surge and levees that are not able to adequately protect the city all add up to a grim prognosis.

I haven’t kept in touch with anyone from my life in New Orleans but my thoughts go out to all of you today and through the upcoming weeks. You will have a long hard road ahead of you after the storm passes. I wish there was something that I could offer other than my hopes that everyone there makes it through with their lives intact. Godspeed and good luck to everyone there.

Footnote: In another article CNN states:

The last hurricane to score a direct hit on New Orleans was Hurricane Betsy, a Category 2 with 105 mph winds when it came ashore in 1965. Betsy killed more than 70 people, its storm surge overflowing the levees and reaching the eaves of many buildings.

“After Betsy these levies were designed for a Category 3,” said Sheriff Jeff Hingle of Placquemines Parish, just southeast of New Orleans. “You’re now looking at a Category 5. You’re looking at a storm that is as strong as Camille was, but bigger than Betsy was size-wise. These levies will not hold the water back. So we’re urging people to leave. You’re looking at these levies having 10 feet of water over the top of them easily.”

A lot of good that is going to do.

Update: Hurricane katrina has just been upgraded to a Cat 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

This is what it looks like right now.

Update: Things are looking worse now that the levees are giving way in NOLA.

Update: Sticks of Fire
is blogging about hurricane Katrina also

Your Top Spots

I took the Find Your Spot survey and interestingly enough, my hometown of New Orleans came up #2 on my recomended places to live. One really odd thing was that the sleepy town of Baton Rouge came up #1 for me. Not a good match. I have spent some time in Baton Rouge, it is good for hunting and avoiding people, not good for partying and socializing. At least not when I was there, and I knew some hip locals there. Anyway here’s my list:

  1. Baton Rouge, LA
  2. New Orleans, LA — hell yeah!
  3. Little Rock, AK
  4. Charleston, SC
  5. Miami, FL
  6. Tampa, FL — living here now!

Check out the survey for yourself.

Bloggers off the Port Bow !

This morning Rachel made mention about how cool it is to see bloggers in real life. The other night J & I went out to eat and ran into her and Mark @ BellaBrava. It really is neat to put faces to names, especially after my comment several months ago about how the Tampa Bay area blog scene seemed dead. While it’s not quite Los Angeles, New York City or Seattle, it is better than I thought. Look for my blogroll to show up shortly!

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Rachel