Random

Austin Hailstorm Aftermath

It has hailed 3 or 4 times in the past month here! Crazy!

Last night’s freak hailstorm was the worst (so far???). I saw golf ball-sized hail outside my door right before the power went out. There were reports of hail even as big as softballs. Just think, F=ma! Force equals mass times the acceleration of gravity! Large chunks of ice falling from the sky! Plus 60-70 mph winds!  That’s a lot of force hitting cars and homes! Falling trees did even more damage!

Each time it hails, I worry about my car, my baby. Thankfully, I’m not nearly as attached to my Corolla as I used to be, so those dents in my car were not that worrisome. Wow! I have mellowed over the years!

The aftermath includes shattered house and car windows, damaged roofs, downed trees, and dented cars all across the city.

MY APARTMENT COMPLEX:

My car is the silver Toyota with the spoiler on the right! 6 feet separate my car and this massive live oak. Other vehicles throughout Austin were not so lucky.

These branches blocked the entired street and blocked my car in!

My car is the third car from the left.

Lightning damage? This is the tree that blocked my car in.

A carpet of GREEN leaves on the ground! Scenes like this reminded me of the aftermath of Rita in the Houston area a few years ago.

It took 10-15 minutes of maneuvering, but I moved my car over several spaces, not knowing when the City of Austin would come to clear the debris and not wanting to be next to whatever equipment they were going to use to hall away the live oaks. They’ve been at this for four or five hours now…
[googlevideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-94967742152484335&hl=en]


MY NEIGHBORHOOD:

Neighboring complex being boarded up.

Neighboring home saved by the powerlines that are supporting this tree felled at its base.  Looks dangerous though…

For Mom: Links to Battle of Kruger

The Battle of Kruger

Ha, Kay! Mama loves this video! For you, Mom!

After The YouTube Video Comes The Kruger Documentary – from Huffington Post

There is a moment of foreshadowing at the end of “Battle at Kruger,” the eight-minute African safari video that has drawn more than 30 million views on YouTube.

David Budzinski, a tourist from Texas, has just recorded a stunning scene straight out of a wildlife documentary. A small pride of lions and a crocodile have pinned down a cape buffalo calf, prompting an angry herd of buffalo to fight off the predators and save the babe. A fellow traveler remarks, “You could sell that video!”

After returning home, Mr. Budzinski tried, but National Geographic and Animal Planet were not interested. Only after the battle — alternately terrifying and heart-warming — became one of the most popular videos in YouTube’s history did the buyers come calling. Last summer the National Geographic Channel purchased the television rights to the video, and on Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern time, it will devote an hour to a documentary deconstructing the drama.

NYTimes Article – More detailed than the Huffington Post article

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM]

Original YouTube Video. Source: Jason275

PBS’ “Carrier” (“There is a Small Coven of Wiccans on Board.”)

I stand corrected. Perhaps “coven” SHOULD be a requisite part of an educated vocabulary. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so sarcastic in my previous post! (And yes, I’m being sarcastic here, too… I’m lucky I haven’t gotten into too much trouble with my understated sarcasm yet…)

A couple of nights ago, I was watching a fascinating – FASCINATING – series on PBS, “Carrier,” about life aboard the USS Nimitz. I caught the tail end of an hour about naval pilots trying to land planes in “pitching sea” conditions. Crazy! I never thought about just how difficult it would be to land on a moving target that rocked back and forth and side to side like those aircraft carriers do in rough seas. It took most of the pilots several tries before they were actually able to land.

The next hour of the documentary (hour 8) was on religion and faith on board, and one of the officers stated that “there [was] a small coven of Wiccans on board.” Good thing I learned that word “coven” for my GRE test! Such a useful part of my vocabulary… [Sarcasm alert!]

After that first encounter with “Carrier,” I have since seen snatches of the documentary here and there, and it is excellent. EXCELLENT! And I JUST discovered that they have full episodes online! Oh no! Time suck! And amazingly, according to an NPR interview, the producers had virtually full editorial control of the content.

Official synopsis:

CARRIER, a 10-part series filmed aboard the USS Nimitz, is a character-driven immersion in the high-stakes world of a nuclear aircraft carrier. The episodes follow a core group of characters as they navigate their jobs, families, faith, patriotism, love, the rites of passage and the war on terror.

“Carrier.” Check it out. It is excellent. Excellent.