Friday, September 19, 2008

Ike Sucks

Actually, you know . . . technically . . . Ike blows. But I am adopting the terminology found in a new blog I discovered the other day: Anything But Nice. I ran across it the other day when I was checking out the newest links to this web page. I was actually dumbstruck to see that the blogger, Colleen, has a link to this web page associated with the words “Texas & Politics.”

OK, well I suppose if Pete Olson can call me a “prominent local Democrat blogger,” Colleen can do what she wants. I can, too. Notice I have a link to her blog in my “Faves” blogroll now.

But I digress.

Ike really sucks. I came out of the storm relatively unscathed compared to others. My backyard fence blew down and that was no surprise, it was 15 years old and coming apart anyway. I lost power at 8:30 but it was restored a mere 22 hours later. TV and internet were out for 5 days and it was fun to see the neighborhood kids outside playing and families going for walks.

It brought back memories of my childhood.

But during my childhood, the wind didn’t knock over fences, trees, houses and trailers. The rain fell vertically.

Sometimes the ground moved up and down and side to side but that’s life on the faultline. People here tell me that they’d take a hurricane over an earthquake any day.

I beg to differ.

You see, when there’s an earthquake there is no warning. There is no one on the news with “cones of uncertainty” showing where the earthquake is likely to hit.

For five straight days.

And in most earthquakes the devastation is localized to the epicenter and maybe a few square miles around it. A hurricane is an earthquake with legs.

An earthquake will knock things over. A hurricane will wipe things off the map.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at two photographs that inspired this piece. The first photo is the “before” shot of a part of the Bolivar Peninsula.

This next photo is the “after” shot of just about the exact same area.

Some of those houses simply aren’t there anymore. There isn’t even any debris, just bare earth.

I don’t know for sure, but I assume that the Bolivar Peninsula was named in honor of the South American Revolutionary Simόn Bolívar. Bolivar is one of those place names that Texans love to mispronounce. Where I grew up Bolivar was pronounced bo-LEE-var, with a stress on the second syllable. Here in Texas it’s pronounced BAWL-eh-ver.

But I suppose there is some good to the place name mispronunciations that you run across all the time here.

Like how Texans pronounce the name “Fuqua” as opposed to how Californians would.

Californians would never name a place “Fuqua.”

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