Wednesday, September 17, 2008

551.45 Coastline Views: Effects of IKE

U.S. Geological Survey, a part of the Department of the Interior, has a series of before and after photos of Bolivar Peninsula at Crystal Beach that clearly show the effects of Hurricane Ike on the area. They say they will be adding some more.
If you are unsure as to the power of a hurricane...these photos will clear up any confusion you may have. Amazing!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

551.552 IKE Update

I am lucky.

After a brief time in the dark, I have power.
After a day of little or no trickle, I have the pipes where it should be, and none where it shouldn't be.

I was prepared.
Water in the bath tub.
Full tank of gas.
Foodstuffs that required no cooking or refrigeration.
It amazes me that people do not make these simple preparations

I am lucky.

My new home is safe. I worked my way thru a jungle of downed pines and oaks. No water damage. No broken windows.

I am lucky.

I wasn't living there yet so my car was not in its assigned spot to be crunched by the cover that got smashed by the huge pine that came down. Or parked out front...where another huge pine would have made a pancake of my pretty red Ford. (pictures to come once my phone starts acting properly!)

My friend was not so lucky, but is ok.
I am grateful.

My district is closed for 2 more days due to power outtages and damages.
I am anxious.

I am lucky.

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons uploaded by .stephweiss

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons uploaded by Daniesq

Friday, September 12, 2008

551.552 IKE: Preparing & Practicing Patience

Spent all day finishing the preparations for the effects of Ike upon my daily routine AND my impending move. Hardest part for me is trying to anticipate what things might be like this time tomorrow.

Did four loads of might be awhile before electricity becomes available. Need clothes to wear...and don't need to have to think about washing at the same time I move!

Cleaned out the refrigerator of all potential future science experiments...again based on the idea of no electricity being available. AND filled up every available vessel with water to make blocks of ice for the little freezer. Will keep the cooked meats and little bit of milk another day or so. Or I can put it on my head and pretend I'm cold!

Then I planned moving projects that can be done without much light. Yes, I have lots of flashlights and plenty of batteries, but I live in an apt with only three "windows"...great for protection against the angry elements, but means when the lights are out, it is pretty much a cave in about three-quarters of the place! Got my boxes arranged, found tape and scissors and markers. Ready...set...

Checked on the new place...battened down the hatches...locked the door...said a little prayer...and came "home."

Communicated with all the family and friends...assured everyone I was off the roads and ready to hunker down. Remembered to undo the garage door so my car would not be held case the power was out longer than the roads impassable.

I know the media is doing its job, but continuous coverage on ALL the local channels ALL day and night...2 days prior to Ike's arrival. Ok, I know, picky, picky, picky.

I also know that not one drop of rain yet and the storm surge is already higher than many Gulf coast veterans remember. And they just reported that the bayous up here in my area are already rising from same said surge. WHERE is all the rain gonna go when it comes??

Oh, oh, first flicker of the lights...

I am lucky. I have very little worry about. I live about 50 miles inland and around 50 ft above sea level. My first hurricane was Alicia. My worst experience was tropical storm Allison who came and stayed...forever! There have been some other near misses that interrupted life for awhile. But I have never lost my house, my livelihood or someone dear to me. I am lucky.

Gonna go now. Turn off the computer. Disconnect it in case things go whacko in the night.

See you on the other side...hopefully soon and all intact.

BE SAFE. Hang on!
Visual courtesy of ABC-Channel 13

Thursday, September 11, 2008

973.932 Seven Years: 9-11 Thoughts

This day was spent preparing...preparing my final thoughts for a workshop I was giving in the afternoon...preparing another load of belongings for their new life in a new abode...preparing for the oncoming hurricane, a "seriously"serious threat according to all the news reports.

But my least some of them kept going back to that day...7 years ago. Gosh, seems so long ago one minute and then the next, hardly a blink.

Why did I wrap my mind around that day? I was not "personally" one in my personal circle was affected...and yet, in the list of markers in my is right up there with that day in November over 40 yrs ago and a handful of personal dates on my life timeline.

I was reminded about the event a little earlier this week when Daughter #1 relayed her classroom experience when her young students ask her about it. These sweet children only know it as a "history" lesson and were awestruck when their teacher could remember it actually happening and described her point of view. She was worried she would go too far and asked her students to talk with their parents about details.

I was reminded over the last 24 hours because I got to spend time with Daughter #2 and all I could think about was how I wanted my girls with me on that being across town and the other down the hiway at school...and me thinking they might as well be on the moon because they were not right THERE with I knew for sure they were safe.

Yes, this day was spent preparing...but with thoughts not too far away from remembering when.
May all Gulf Coast readers of this blog be safe...let's hope Ike blows through, but not with a vengeance. All readers take care...and hug any and all loved ones a little tighter the next few days.

Monday, September 1, 2008

027.8 Libraries: Creating Community

Two months since I have blogged here! Whew! Feels like forever and yet, I haven't been very far away actually...just haven't had time to write any posts.

My district's Library Information Services Dept. (of which I am one-third of the team) conducted a second session of 23 Things this summer. In the Spring, we had about 75 folks participate, mostly librarians from our district and around the state, but also some interested teachers.

This summer we had about 250 participants!! The majority were teachers this go-round. Loads from the district, but also teachers from around the state and the country. Librarians in the local area participated as well as some around the state and nation. In addition to Texas, we had players from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, and Alaska! Talk about the power of the Internet in creating community. What a great way for teachers and librarians to learn from each other and together.

In reading the posts of the participants and attempting to help them understand activities, answer their questions, or simply enjoy their productions or their outlooks on learning and life, I have lots of new colleagues to call upon in getting thru this thing we call teaching and learning in the library setting. But more important I made a few friends along the way as well. Friends I have never met in the conventional way, but friends nevertheless. An unexpected outcome!

It was great fun running into players thorough all the events around back-to-school. In workshops and meetings, we would identify ourselves and share a moment or two in reflection about our adventure. I was privy to many plans various folks have in using some of the "Things" they have learned with their students or to change the way they work with team or department members.

What a perfect follow-up to my own experience in sharing that I had at NECC this summer in San Antonio. I got to meet "up close and personal" EVERY blogger I consider my blogging mentors and a handful of others who I now follow as a result having a great conversation or encounter. No, don't look at my blogroll for any changes...yet! I haven't had time! Arrgghh! But soon...

Anyway, it was an action-packed I deemed not exciting I purchased a home to add a cherry to the top of the pile of fun I have had. [3rd time I have chosen to move at the beginning of would think I would learn or have my head examined.]

So I have fulfilled my goal. I got this post written. I promise more to come that have a little more substance, I hope!