September 6th, 2005


Why Don't They Leave?

I'm getting real tired of hearing these idiots on the radio and TV and web wondering with open-mouthed, glazed-eye awe why they ever built New Orleans in the first place, and why people continue to want to live there even after The Worst™ has happened.

Why does anyone stay anywhere?

  • When I was a kid on Long Island, we were hit by a major hurricane every couple of years. We stayed.

  • Three weeks after we moved to Seattle, it was hit with a major earthquake. We stayed.

  • Seattle has since seen another major quake, and the eruption of a nearby volcano, and the predictions are for Mount Rainier to follow suit, possibly in our lifetimes. But my Parents stay.

  • In 1989 I was living in the Bay Area, we got hit with a major quake in October, I left the country in November. But it was only for a month, and I came right back.

  • One of my friends lived in Northridge when they had the big LA quake, and she moved away. To the Bay Area.

Face it, anywhere you live on this planet, there is some sort of natural disaster which can do you in. Sure, you can go to the moon or mars, but the same rule applies there too.

Okay, maybe that's a straw man. New Orleans is built in a place which by its very geography is prone to more natural disasters than most places. Why would anyonw want to live there?

Well, it's also near the mouth of the big river and the Gulf of Mexico, a more natural place for a warm-water port doesn't exist in this country.

Or we can take the other tack, which is, why would anyone want to live in

  • The antarctic

  • The north Atlantic

  • The Amazon

  • Any desert

  • Washington, DC

  • Mars

The answer is people live where they can. The Inuit have it pretty rough, but some of them like it that way and stay. Ditto the Bedouins. Compared to them, the people of NOLA are in paradise.

One thing which the people of Seattle did which the people of Nawlins did not do, was raise their town above the prevailing marsh. Seattle actually washed down a couple of its hills and used the dirt to fill in the lowlands. New Orleans doesn't have any hills, so it's not an easy solution for them. But I suspect that when the water is drained, a significant number of NOLA neighborhoods will start their romance with Phil Dirt.

Excitement on the Stevens Creek Trail

Biking back from lunch on the start of the Stevens Creek Trail where it is behind the overflow parking lot for Shoreline Amphitheater, people were up on the very very high power line towers doing some work.

As I watched, a helicopter came and picked one guy off a tower. Then it came back, this time I had my camera out, and picked up a ladder and what looked like painting paraphernalia. Then it came back and got the other guy. The workers did not get inside the chopper, they rode back to the landing area (said parking area) on the skids of the helicopter!

Photos will be online as soon as I get home and upload them.

Daring Chopper Rescue Near Shoreline Park

I saw the helicopter as I was biking into Shoreline Park for lunch, but couldn't tell what it was doing. On my way back I took a different pathway, and as I came around a curve saw it pluck a worker from one of the power line towers. I wasn't sure, but I thought I saw a person riding on one of the skids, and figured it was just the angle. But then the chopper returned, picked up a ladder and what looked like paint supplies from the man remaining on the tower, then came back and picked him up too. Sure enough, he rode on the skids, not inside.

Now that I think about it, someone who can paint the top of a tower probably wouldn't be fazed by a 3-minute ride on the outside of a helicopter.

Check out the full series at my web site right here and take a look at the burrowing owls, windsurfer, sandpiper, egret and assorted other critters starting with this page

This is the first "roll" of photos I took since getting the camera back from repair, and it worked okay. I had to kill a handful of photos where the auto-focus chose something other than the subject, but otherwise it was all good. I need to play with the macro lens now, but Shoreline doesn't have much in the way of close-up subjects.
  • Current Music
    Come Fly With Me