Saturday, September 25, 2004
I used to live near Notasulga, mentioned by Bill Moyers in this speech. As usual, when something in Alabama makes national news, it isn't good. In this case, however, it the fault of the idiots in Notasulga and other cities who won't follow the open records law.
Friday, September 24, 2004
On this fascinating site, you can view the storm track of every hurricane during a season, going back to 1886. Note that this season, we are reusing the names from 1992, exclusive of "Andrew." Names of hurricanes that do extensive damage are retired for a number of years. Another interesting fact is that Ivan is still alive. Or perhaps I should say Ivan, Jr. The big hurricane left remnants behind it in the gulf, which strengthened into a tropical storm and hit Louisiana. See here.
"It sounds like the sequel to a very bad horror movie, but it's no joke. Ivan is back," said a spokesman for the NOAA, quoted in the New York Times
Also interesting is the fact that Ivan, Jr. struck Louisiana and Texas, both Bush states. Coupled with Ivan Sr., Charley, and Frances, some have concluded that this year's hurricanes are a judgment from God.
The seasonal storm track map is fascinating. 1993 and 1994 were pretty calm, then all hell broke loose in 1995, with storms going all the way to the letter "T." I wonder if they start over at "A" again if we get all the way past "Z"? 1996 was busy as well, then things calmed down in 1997, though Alabama got some rain from Danny. A number of this year's storms, such as Alex, Lisa, Karl, Jeanne, Charley, Frances, and Earl also appeared in 1998. Ivan was there too, but he missed Alabama by a couple thousand miles.
Huh? I Can't Hear You!
Electronic amplification has ruined live music. Don't get me wrong, technology has made the experience of listening to music much easier. Instead of having to get a live band to play, you can listen to records, 8-tracks, cassettes, CD's, or MP3 files. It's great, and I have made use of all of the above. But I hate listening to live performances. I think it's because I can't control the volume. This isn't usually a problem with acoustic players, but every band and DJ seems to want to blast out their music at maximum volume. It hurts my ears and ruins the music for me. I feel the need for earplugs almost every time someone else in in charge of the volume knob. What makes people think it has to be loud to be good?
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Batteries in Short Supply
It's been a week since Hurricane Ivan blew through, and Wal-Mart is still out of D-cell batteries (and they have precious few flashlights). They have a fancy computer-controlled inventory system, I'm told, so is this a case of technological failure, or are there simply no more lights and batteries to be had due to the high demand across the region?