Freedom Lives

September 30, 2005

Busy weekend

I have an old college friend coming to visit this weekend.
Tonight we will be working on my long delayed homebuilt pc.
We have tickets to see the Astros and Cubs on Saturday and Sunday.

I hope I have enough Jack Daniels left.

Posted by Starhawk at 06:32 AM | Home and Family | Comments (0)

September 28, 2005

Things you never knew

This headline from this mornings Fox News website:

Official: Hurricane Rita Victims 'Living Like Cavemen, Sleeping In Cars'

Who knew that cavemen had cars? Watching TV and reading I always though they slept in caves, hence the name Cavemen. Well you learn something new everyday.

Posted by Starhawk at 06:35 AM | Media | Comments (0)

September 24, 2005

We're Back

Power is back on.

Actually the power came on at about 4:40 but me, the wife and kid were playing Monopoly. I asked the wife what did we do before computers and she dragged out the old but still in good shape monopoly game.

I took a drive to check things out about 1:30 and there were three trucks working on fixing the fallen power lines. They finished about 3:30.

After the power came on it blinked on and off over the next hour at intervals before going totally off at 6pm. We lit candles and continued to play.

The power came back on at about 6:25 and we finished the game about ten minutes ago.

We came through the storm in pretty good shape a lot of limbs down but nothing really big and the rain was not heavy at all. I guess we need to thank the guy upstairs this time big time.

My wife kicked out butts at monopoly to the point where we both had to concede. Everyone liked getting together and playing though it is something we do all to rarely these days where we each have our own computer. It was fun.

Posted by Starhawk at 07:18 PM | Rita | Comments (0)


Just lost power

Posted by Starhawk at 02:37 AM | Rita | Comments (0)

Nap time is over

Took a short nap and just got up.
Big difference but not as bad as it could be.
The wind doesn't seem to be as bad as I feared but now it is raining about like I expected. We still have power which I guess is obvious.

I may have to go back to bed in a bit.

Posted by Starhawk at 02:11 AM | Rita | Comments (0)

September 23, 2005

When its over

It might be too soon to be talking about when it is over but Lair poses a good question over at his site.

It boils down to this, when it has taken most of two days to get everyone out what the heck are you going to do when they all try to come back at the same time? I get the feeling it might not be as easy to get to woek on Monday as it was on Thursday.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:49 PM | Rita | Comments (0)

update 10:40cdt

It is still not raining very hard but the wind gusts are a lot stronger and closer together.

The big oak trees are moving a lot around the tops. Already had some wood falling but that is normal in any storm.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:39 PM | Rita | Comments (0)

looters 2

In my previous post about looters I forgot the links.

Here for citizens armed and dangerous.

Here for the cops

Hat Tip to Glenn. who it seems got it from Shawn Wasson.

Rita Update:
Still not raining very hard.
I forgot in my list of being prepared that I had two Tony Romas Pizzas, one of which I am now enjoying.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:39 PM | Rita | Comments (0)

Here we go

It is starting to rain now in Tomball.

I have batteries, food, water, beer, cigars and Jack Daniels.

Sounds like I have everything I need, nothing to do now except wait it out.

Updates will be coming as long as I can.

Posted by Starhawk at 07:58 PM | Rita | Comments (0)


I read somewhere that there is already some looting in Houston but that the cops are taking a much harder line than those in NO did. Good for them.
I don't understand looting or maybe I do but I think thses people have to be dealt harshly with. I think most are not desparate but are just bad people and the fewer bad people the better.

I just let the dogs out but have not let them into the utility room yet, why should I get any wetter than I have to get.

I never did get the shotgun I was thinking about but a .22 can leave someone just as dead as a 20 gauge.

Posted by Starhawk at 07:41 PM | Rita | Comments (0)

Still Dry

I was just outside and it was pretty nice and then a very large gust of wind came up. The sky is a very nice shade of very dark red.

I came in and looked at TV for a bit. The rain line is just east of us so I should be getting wet shortly.

Other than that I am browsing the web to learn about podcasting which seems all the rage now but as far as I can tell it is just mp3 files. I have had mp3 files online for years. Just go to this link at my annex to hear some of history's greatest and worst soundbites.

I asked the kid, who is in the den on her computer if she was listening to the news on the TV which is in there. She said no she is not worried. I guess that is a reflection of my outward calm but I suspect that after this passes she will have a much greater respect for the forces of nature.

Posted by Starhawk at 07:28 PM | Rita | Comments (0)

Being Prepared

When I was a boy scout our motto was be prepared.
I can still recite the scout pledge but that isn't the point.

My boss when I left work told me he was stopping and getting some vodka and six pack and advised me to do the same to whihc I replied that my bar was well stocked which it is.

I did however forget about 2 six packs that were sitting under the bar which I just grabbed and stuck into the frig, Hopefully they will get cold enough except for the gunniness which is just fine warm.
I think I should have bought more gunniness.

While I was there I grabbed a shot of Jack Daniels and I feel a lot better now.

Posted by Starhawk at 07:02 PM | Rita | Comments (0)

Cell Phones

Funny thing about cells is that earlier in the week I could get acall through to save my life but today I was able to call columbus ohio and NYC with no problem. I don't know if that is good for Verizon or bad.

Today it is good.

Tuesday and Wenesday was awful.

It really should be good all the time. Cells are everywhere now and it is sometimes hard to recall that they are very new and still have a lot of shortcomings.

Posted by Starhawk at 06:52 PM | Rita | Comments (0)

More Local Bloggers

For more links to bloggers in Houston go to Lair's site.

He doesn't include me in the list but I have been so light on blogging in recent months I don't hold it against him.

I will however him shit about it if we meet up for beers after this is all over.

Update: I take it all back he did in fact include me in the list. Boy do I feel dumb.
I guess that means I get to buy the beer :)

Posted by Starhawk at 06:44 PM | Rita | Comments (0)

Calm before Rita - Part 2

Took a final walk around. Still no rain but I found a few things that I had missed like a stone gargoyle in the garden that I thought would be better in the garage. There is nothing I would like better in the middle of the storm to see a stone gargolye, even a 2 foot tall one, come flying through the window.

One tree I am real worried about. It is an oak and it is dead and we should have taken in down weeks ago. Well maybe there will be less of it to take down though it is close enough to the house that I would prefer it to stay put.

I have three satellite dishes on the roof that I am worried about but there is not much I can do about them now. Hopefully if we lose them Dish Network will work something out, They have been very good about everything connected to their service in the 8 years I have had them (free plug)

Posted by Starhawk at 06:32 PM | Rita | Comments (0)

Calm before the Rita

It has been a great day but very un naturally quiet.
The wind is starting to pick up now.

I spent the day doing some last minutes get ready stuff.

We found some stray kitten in the garage so we fed them. The mother is nowhere that we can see.

I set up the utility room so I can bring the dogs in later.

As I was shoving everything not nailed down into the garage I stpped on something and fell backwards onto the lawn furniture giving myself a nice scratch. If that is my worse loss to Rita I will be very happy.

I will post as long as I can but just about everyone expects the power to go out so I have no idea how long that will be.

Posted by Starhawk at 05:22 PM | Rita | Comments (0)

September 22, 2005

Moving Out

The roads were jammed on the way home from work. Eveyone decided to get out on the same day.

I had to go out around 10pm and the situation had improved.
Flash update: As I wrote the lone above (at 6:30am) I got a call from a friend and the roads are jammed again. Something like 20 minutes to go 1 mile.

I have to go to work today which should not be bad though getting home might be a problem.

The best lesson anyone can take away from this so far is to be prepared well in advance. If I didn't already have batteries and water I would not be able to get any today, or yesterday for that matter, I have to do some window taping when I get home on the sliding doors, I hope I have enough duct tape.

Posted by Starhawk at 06:38 AM | Rita | Comments (0)

September 21, 2005


The local Wal-Mart like many of them is a 24 hour store. It was unusally busy all night last night. They stock over 100 different flashlights and many different lanterns. They are totally out of flashlights and lanterns with most sizes of batteries and fuel also gone fro the shelves.

Being someone who looks ahead somewhat I am fully stocked on flashlights and batteries. Something else I have lots of are Photon lights. These little LED lights last forever and can attach to your keychain. If you don't have one or three I suggest you get some and include them in your emergency backpack which you should have prepared in advance in case you need to go someplace on short notice.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:21 AM | Rita | Comments (0)

September 20, 2005

Panic or Prudence

Where do you draw the line between doing the common snse thing to do and flipping out. At what point do you say that people are doing exactly what they should be doing or that they are going off the deep end.

I live in Tomball Texas which is a suburb of Houston. I am told by a friend who was there that there was a fight at the local Wal Mart early this morning betwen two men who both wanted to buy the last generator the Wal Mart had in stock.

I got home from work this evening and stopped at this very same Wal Mart to pcik up some extra gallons of water. No luck in that the shelfs were already bare. They had some water in smaller sizes but they were not even bothering to put it on the shelf. They just wheeled out the palettes and let people take from there, which they were doing wuite quickly.

I thought to grab some Dinty Moore but the story was the same, the floor was jammed with people but there was very little if anything left on the shelves.

On my way out I noticed that the gas station in front of the store was sold out so I resolved to stop on the way home and top off my tank even though I was barely a couple of gallons dowm

I stopped at the HEB and the story was the same no water and the canned goods were almost gone. I resolved that Kroger would be the same and didn't bother.

Galveston has gone to mandatory evacuation as Rite approaches.

I think after Katrina everyone is just trying to be prepared and that is a good thing. I am still hoping it misses us because if it doesn't it promises to be a very messy weekend.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:09 PM | Rita | Comments (0)

September 19, 2005

Talk Like A Priate

I almost forgot.
Today was Talk like A Pirate Day

Avast me hearties.

Posted by Starhawk at 11:15 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0)

No Joy in Blogsville

I know it has been some time since I have made three posts in one day and I want you all to know that I don't expect to continue but I would be very remiss if I did not call attention to the closing of one of my favorite blogs possilby forever.

Many bloggers are similar but none was/is quite like Kim DuToit. He came to this country from South Africa and had very strong opinions about freedom. He also knew and educated lots of people, including me, about handguns and rifles.
His ggp's were a resource on the web that will be sorely missed.

I had the honor of meeting Kim and Connie last year and I wish them well in the future. They are good people and deserve the best.

I don't know what the circumstances were that caused Kim to pull the site but you can find out more here , here and here.

Jim has posted a link to the archive here.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:47 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0)

Lovely Rita

Speaking of disasters it looks like by the end of this week the Houston area will be adding Rita to our history of natural disasters.

I feel sorry for all the people who fled here from Katrina who now be subjected to another monster storm.

With the example of Katrina fresh in everyone's minds some local officals have learned. The Mayor of Galveston is already getting buses together to transport those without cars when he orders an evacuation which may come later this week.

If you are not familar with Texas history or US for that matter the worst natural disaster in our country's history was the 1900 storm in Galveston which claimed over 7,000 lives and virtually destroyed the city.

Read the link and pray we don't have a repeat.

Update: Jim's lives on a boat in Galveston. You can read his take on Rita here.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:18 PM | Rita | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Crisis Software Development

Have you ever wondered what it like to be under the gun to develop something where time was pressing.

Most software is developed under pretty easy condiction but when you have a natural disaster all schedules get thrown out the window.

Microsoft gets a lot of bad press but they do a lot of good things that they do not get enough credit before. One of those was the development effort behind Katrina Safe and related programs For a really compelling story about how a group of Microsoft employees where thrown together to develop programs for the Katrina disaster start reading here and go forward.

The story of crash software development almost around the clock is told here , here, here, here , here and here.

My congratulations to the entire team you guys did what you could in your area of expertise to make a difference.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:00 PM | Technology | Comments (0)

September 11, 2005

Never Forgive, Never Forget

We all know what happened 4 years ago today.
Kim shares some pictures of that dreadful day that changed everything,

I share his sentiments 100%.

Post by Glenn here.
Post and other related linkd by Michelle here.

More Pictures at PJ Media

Posted by Starhawk at 04:48 AM | War on Terror | Comments (0)

September 04, 2005

Points of Light

The response of the people of Houston to the tragedy in New Orleans has been fantastic. You don't and probably will not hear about it in the major media but things are happening all over town on a micro scale that are adding up to much more than the government could ever to.

I makes me think that perhaps Pres. Bush 41 knew what he was talking about when he talked about a thousand point of light.

Everywhere people are doing things, even me, not big things perhaps but whatever they can do and it is adding up to more than the suits in NYC can imagine. I predict that all the dire predictions will be wrong. New Orleans, for better or worse will be back in business in less time than anyone expects in spite of the losers who are serving as Mayor and as Govenor at the moment.

Posted by Starhawk at 05:48 PM | Houston | Comments (0)

Gates of Fire

I know you all must be wondering what I have been doing , well perhaps none of you are. Someone is still reading this and I assure you I have not quit but have been working hard and taking it easy at the same time. Ok so I don't know how to take it easy, sue me.
One of the things I have been doing is reading the excellent book Gates of Fire which is about the Battle of Thermopylae.

I found out about the book while reading Michael Yon's excellent dispatches from Iraq. ( One more excellent and Ted and Bill will be taking me away)

If you have not read Michael's blog I urge you to.
They are raw and grity and the kind of thing that the major media should be reporting but isn't. The fact that one person financed by himself and donations is doing such a fantastic job is symbolic of the change that has taken place in how we get our information.

Posted by Starhawk at 05:41 PM | Books | Comments (0)