Monday, December 21, 2009

Experiment, Phase Two

A few weeks ago I noticed a gradual diminishing of sunshine. It seemed we were getting ever fewer hours of sunlight. Since all things that are bad, according to the media and popular opinion, are due to capitalism and consumerism I naturally made the assumption----the increased buying and greed around the Holidays are upsetting to mother nature. Nature keeps trying to tell us that we are bad and unless we revert to a stone aged existence, we are all doomed.
So, I stopped spending, supported local measures that taxed people richer than me to help those poorer than me, and learned to see Nancy Pelosi in a positive light. No matter what I've tried, though, the darkness continues to overtake the light. I have a graph I've made that shows the obvious decline. Most scientists agree that without sunlight, things here on earth will be bad.
Well, no more. Trying the progressive liberal mindset hasn't made things better, only worse. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to go back to my Conservative roots. I'm going to take personal responsibility for all my actions. If I see someone needing help, I'll help them directly. I'll work hard to increase productivity. I'll go to church. I'll eat red meat.
Mother nature, if your design for us is to responsibly utilize all your resources to make life better for all, to innovate, to employ, to expand, to produce---and to reap the benefits of our labor without it being taken away by the Government---PLEASE send me a sign. Please, right now, reverse this trend and give us just a little more sunshine each and every day. Then I'll know for sure. If the days continue to shorten, I'll know what was really meant for us and will immediately register as a Democrat.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mckenna's 16th Birthday

Knott's Berry Farm. Oldest theme park in America, and has aged very well. They have a deal in December where fire/police people get themselves and a guest in free, then additional guests $15. They really decorate up well for Christmas too--and I do mean Christmas, not fetivus or sparkle or other such nonsense...Nativity scenes, 'Merry Christmas' banners, carollers, all that.
I have had 3 days off since Thanksgiving. I got someone to come in early (06:45), jammed home, collected Mckenna and 5 of her friends (3 boys 3 girls) and made the 140 mile trek to Buena Park.
Immediately went my own way..Knott's is great since there's lots to see and do, not just rides. I decided at some point to go on 'Ghostrider', a nearly mile-long wooden rollercoaster. Very fast. The park was nearly empty, and I started making my way through the labyrinth of line rails necessary for busier days....As I got nearer the enclosed part, I noticed two older teen girls in front of me. They kept sort of nervously looking my way and huddling towards each other, like I was some stalker or something. I guess a mid forties man wandering around an amusement park alone IS a bit suspicious...There was nowhere else to go though. When I got the the part where there were lots of people just before the ride and I was right next to them, I caught up on some cellphone calls I needed to make. Man...I really hate times when I just don't know what to do with myself.
So, when McKenna's group found me and asked me to go with them on some of the scarier coasters, I did. Good chance to get some pics too. I sent a cell pic to Byron and sort of bummed him out I think when I wrote "This used to be us". We closed the park down, leaving at 19:00. The plan was dinner and presents at the chicken restaurant but the wait was 90 minutes; we opted for Denny's halfway home. After dropping everyone off all around the extended community of Julian, we got back well after midnight. Had to get up early to start a shift that ends Christmas Eve.
McKenna described it as the best day of her life. I hope that's true only up to this point!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wasting a perfectly good recession

During boom times, anybody can start up a business and do well. You get a huge expansion of business, and people are looking for anything and everything to invest their money into. What'll be the next Starbucks? Why didn't I buy more Costco stock when it was still Priceclub? Let's invest in that .com!
The pendulum will swing. Every time. Over speculation, businesses that really don't provide something or provide it very inefficiently, people putting greed in front of sound responsible business practices....Lots of bubbles burst at he same time and you have a recession.
It's necessary.
A recession is a great way to cut out the deadwood. Businesses fail, big and small. The people from those businesses that have something to offer go work somewhere else or even start their own new business. Eventually, if left alone, the recession ends and the strong companies survive to snap up a bigger market share. They earned it.
Along comes our government. TARP funds, stimulus funds, bail outs. It disrupts the natural order and rewards failure. Anytime you artificially shore up profit or income, the economy ultimately suffers. The argument comes up that some businesses are necessary in the event of war, like auto manufacturers. If that is true, then don't hand out bail out money, create a big government contract companies can compete for. At least they'll have to produce something for the money.
When I'm Earth Czar, my econ ministry will only concentrate on eliminating fraud. I will rise to power by preaching trust--trusting people to do the right things. No government can provide all oversight and no system can work unless the majority of folks take it upon themselves to function in a scrupulous manner.
Basically, the best way a government can promote business is to mind their own business, as spelled out in the Constitution.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


While rain is almost always welcome up here, this storm is particularly timely.
Lake Cuyamaca Recreation and Park District is a state entitiy created in the mid-sixties to provide recreational opportunities in San Diego's backcountry. It's governed by a board of directors who must be land owners near the lake. (I believe everyone should serve on two committees, no more, no less....This is one of mine)
Historically, there's always been at least a wet spot where the lake sits. There was an ancient natural lake here but as any limnologist will tell you, lakes are always a temporary geological structure. They tend to silt up.
In 1888 an earthen dam was constructed blocking Boulder Creek. A brow ditch was dug along the western face of North Peak to help feed the lake, too. Water shares were sold in the City of San Diego; the water flowed naturally down Boulder Creek, met with a diversionary dam (still exists) and was chanelled into a redwood flume that carried the water 33 miles to San Diego. This was the original water project for San Diego.
The lake would fill and empty on an annual basis. There were a few attempts to stock the lake with fish but fish don't survive long when not surrounded by a lake, so it wasn't much of a fishing spot.
After many years, and new water projects (including imported water from the California Aquaduct system) the Cuyamaca water wasn't so important. Helix water district aquired the waterproject and dam.
In the mid 60's, 'Wig' Fletcher, son of the developer Colonel Ed Fletcher, approached the State of California and struck up the necessary deals with all involved, to form the Recreational district. One of the things he knew was necessary for a year 'round lake with an active fishery was, and is, water. This is where the storms come in...
Helix water district loses water by keeping it in the lake; the evaporative loss is much higher at altitude in a shallow basin where it's windy, as opposed to letting it naturally drain to the deep waters of El Capitan Lake. The deal that was cut is, we take a reading April 15th and mark that water level. We take another reading December 15th, see how much it's dropped, and pay Helix for the evaporative loss. Since we're getting some good rain before the 15th it's going to be a good year.

Friday, December 11, 2009


(Near here, except sopping wet)

So you're a 40 something year old dude home from work for the day. It's raining out. Do you :

A) Get some things done around the house
B) Hook up with friends at the local watering hole
C) Write Christmas cards, -or-
D) Go mountain biking over some SWEET jumps in the rain?

Our last customer opted for (D).

The wooden ramp is halfway down the canyonside, with a 10' dropoff. If you really get going, you can fly deeper into the canyon. Looking at the jump it's hard to imagine how anyone makes it without getting hurt...
This guy landed HARD. The fire crew at scene knew moving him would be really painful, not to mention difficult and arduous. We were able to immobilize him pretty well and the hoist extraction was smooth, even with the rain. Enroute to the hospital we made him a LOT more comfortable through some chemistry tricks.
The back of the copter looked really bad afterwards. You coulda planted corn. We went straight from the hospital to the Fire Academy training pretty close to where the rescue was; I hope the fact that the gear, inside the copter, and my flightsuit were all caked in mud added some street cred.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Patrick's Most Awesome Day Ever

This was so cool. Patrick's talked about nothing else since. Since he's all straight 'A's, his teacher was good with him missing a day of school to go surfing.
He's learning the basics here from an old pro and his son, a young pro...

Tom Stephenson is the crewchief on another division here at AirOps and a longtime surfer, and avid stand-up paddle board surfer. He and his son Riley set aside a morning just for Patrick.. AnnaMarie met them down at La Jolla Shores. Patrick was lucky enough to find a loaner wetsuit that fit perfectly.

Turns out Patrick surfs 'goofyfoot' (right foot forward)

Tommy had the forethought to bring a jug of hot water. When Patrick started turning blue, he dumped warm water on his head, then wanted to go right back out again.

Of course, we were very proud of Patrick's ability to have fun and do well his first time out....We were even more proud of Tommy's feedback about Patrick, how he was attentive, did all the things they told him to do, was articulate, and most important had fun with it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Please, I need your help

Maybe you've noticed, as I have, the sun is setting earlier and earlier, and rising later and later. In my Fox News-induced warped world view, I assumed this to be some sort of natural cycle; fortunately an enlightened liberal set me straight.
This ominous trend may well be caused by corporate greed and run-away consumerism. When is spending at its highest? Right before Christmas. Look what happens. Then, go to some equatorial third world country that is immune to capitalism and the greed it festers; it's sunny all the time.
So, I need to prove I've been wrong about conservative principles being better for everybody once and for all. I need your help! It's very important to participate whether you lean left or right.
Starting right now, everybody should espouse liberal thoughts and ideals. Developing and selling goods is bad. Sneer at SUV drivers. Hate all things successful. Give yourself over to the government, they'll take care of you. Feel good for paying more taxes; feel great if you can force others to pay more taxes instead.
Then, I've arbitrarily chosen December 21st as the study-shift date. This is necessary to form a control for the research. After the 21st, I need you to pray, or at least think positive thoughts. Try to imagine families where there's a mom, and a dad, and one of them is always home for the kids. Work hard, take responsibility for all your actions and decisions, and if you see someone in need for God's sake help them directly---not by supporting some 'program'. Think of ways to capitalize on your talents to make a profit, maybe employ others, and buy things that someone else built well.
I will diligently track the sun's trend. Since corporate greed is causing this, I expect things to change way before the 21st. Then after the 21st we'll see a reversal of the trend again towards more darkness if the theory is correct. When that happens I promise to reject Reagan and embrace Obama. I will trash Fox News and listen to Randy Rhoades. I'll admit that Hollywood elite really did know more about politics. I'll find beauty in people like Michael Moore and Larry Flint. And I'll....I'll...I'll buy me a hybrid car!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

God Bless the Atheists

To My Atheist Friends.
What makes us different is, quite simply, Faith. Faith implies that which can't be proven; any faith that doesn't contradict itself, history, or physically law is equally valid and unarguable against another faith.
When you attack faith, and take on an aire of intellectual superiority and enlightenment, for those of us WITH faith it's confusing. It's like a man blind from birth arguing against the existence of light, with people who can see just fine.
He's never seen light so has no proof of its existence.
If you have never been in love, would you try to block others from being in love? Do you tell yourself Love is nothing but a chemical drive necessary for the continuance of the species? (how romantic...)
If you've convinced yourself there is no God, why put so much effort into attacking religion? Do you not think the vast majority of religion comes with an attached code of ethics that makes your community better?
Sure, there are religious leaders that have done great evil and harm. The greater potential there is for good, the greater the potential for evil...If you truly understood the role clergy and religious leaders play in our faith, you'd also understand what a serious sin the misuse of such positions is...Instead of finding it titillating, you'd mourn with us. You wouldn't laugh and make jokes if you'd heard our parents were killed, would you?
Religion shouldn't be forced on you. I doubt the street corner evangelist converts as many people as he turns off. Still, the founding father's idea of government not recognizing one religion over another is a long way off from insisting a Nativity scene not be on public property. When you force removal of such things, though, it does tend to make people stronger in their faith. Funny how that works.
We have something you lack. Faith takes work. It isn't any sort of intellectual shortcut or cop-out, nor is it a drug or a crutch. It doesn't provide all the answers, just more questions. There's a unique bond between like minded individuals when we meet for fellowship. Why do you seek to destroy that?
I can understand why someone would be an atheist. I just don't understand why they'd put any effort into pushing an atheistic agenda. Evangelical Atheism?

The Project

OK Here goes. I know there has been a smattering of posts about this project, but so much of the pre-building prep work is slow and tedious. (There are some posts that show moving the driveway, installing the septic system, and some that show the PHENOMENAL view...
A lesson learned from the last cabin was, start with a level surface. This lot is fairly steep slope, so the parking spots required some engineering. For now they'll be crushed stone surface (4 yards of stone were left behind by the guy who thought he could install a septic, delivered the rock, and quit. I ended up going with a system that didn't require rock). So, what 'building' means right now is, filling buckets up with rock and hand carrying them up to the parking. Each bucket weighs 80 pounds, two buckets at a time. My best day so far was 20 trips.
Now for building forms for the stone wall on the uphill side of the parking. It'll match the downhill wall. This was all dug by hand; haven't decided yet if I'll hand dig the foundation or not. The extra dirt and rocks were used to build a retaining wall and flat area for a tree next to the house.
I truly believe that by the time you drive your first nail, you're in the home stretch of building. People offer to help, but when they think of building, they think 'framing', which is a tiny percentage of the project. Most of the work of any building project is digging. If you want to build, learn to enjoy using a shovel and moving dirt around. (If you go back in prior blogs, you'll see Byron helping with some very mundane, tedious, dirty work. Some of it involved laser beams, other involved scraping off his knuckles. No wonder I don't get more help)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thankful for the timing

There's a trend on Facebook right now to every day list something you're thankful for. Something I'm very appreciative of, but couldn't reduce to a little status update, is the timing of my life.

Growing up, we could ride bikes around out neighborhood. There were maybe a dozen TV channels that worked, and most signed off in the late evening. You were able to buy meat easily at the store, unlike just a few decades before, where it was harder to come by; that meat was still 'free range' and full of omega-3's, unlike the rapid growth grain fed warehouse crap you get today.

We DID stuff. Want everybody's status update? Plan a beach party. Usually, most people came. We'd forage around for wood, save up for marshmallows, claim a fire ring early---maybe go for a sunset swim in the surf with no lifeguards around. Nobody felt the need to bring alcohol; I doubt we would have put up with anyone who did. There'd be some innocent pairing up and sharing blankets around the fire. We'd all go home smelling like a fire ring.

We'd take some trips too. Elsinore, Catalina, Glamis, Skiing. We had friends with toys, friends that could entertain, friends that were the planners, friends that could fix stuff, friends that could wire stuff. Oh and people that would take pictures.

I don't want my kids to look back on their young adult time and only remember time in front of a computer game. I hope they have lasting friendships, photos of their own, memories. I'm thankful for the internet, FB and blogging now; I'm thankful none of this was around back then, so the choice was lie on the couch at home or plan something and get outside. Our generation is unique in that we can post, on the internet, a whole bunch of stuff we did before there was any internet.

Monday, November 16, 2009

All That, and a Bag of Chips!

Thanks, Keeka, for the photo. As of yet the chips that've made Patrick famous haven't reached Sandy Eggo.
Patrick is an exceptional student, can do pull-ups until he gets bored, back had-springs; is full of empathy and is just an all around good kid. But his 15 minutes of fame is from being the right place at the right time.
His friend Ethan's mom applied for and was awarded the National Geographic/Sunchips green grant, and Patrick was there when they did the photo shoot. Pretty cool!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Family Time

We reached that milestone that I'm sure every family across America goes through...You know, where Dad spent all day teaching obstetrical emergencies for the Fire Department, then brings the rubber pelvis home and decides it's high time the kids learned somethin' about birthin' babies. They were pretty unsure about the whole thing.

We had an OB kit to use, but we talked about what you could improvise if need be--shoelaces to tie off the umbilical cord, and so on. The manikin is pretty complete. It's very hard to get the baby through and it requires a lot of help. We even practiced a nuchal cord delivery.

No one was mentally prepared for the placenta delivery, but Patrick quickly discovered rubber placentas make good frisbees. Who knew?

Everyone wanted a turn holding the newborn. They already had good swaddling skills. I'm pretty sure what they really learned tonight was, if a very pregnant woman calls for help, run away. Oh well, I tried.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The War For Dependence

I'm out of touch. In a facebook conversation, I was defending capitalism. Seems it's blamed for unhappiness and loneliness, and our nation's obsession with greed.
Tried to make the point that from what I've learned about human nature, capitalism is a great way to reward hard work, risk taking, and persistence. I was astounded how quickly the questions started coming---"What is hard work and risk taking? Why do you put a value on those things? What about love, understanding, and helping others? Don't you want everybody to be insured?"
Ironically, it was Veteran's day but I decided not to be patronising...I tried to explain that everything---new medicines, solar panels, turkey basters---all come from entrepreneurial roots. The government can't produce anything, just redistribute it.
I'm now told that people only work because they have some personal need to do so. I was sadly mistaken---America is a 'free' country because the government gives us free stuff, as long as we vote for democrats. It's as if the wild rats are trying to put themselves in cages--sure, they can't roam and find life's adventure, but as long as they are sheltered and fed, who cares?
I love the opportunity to work hard. I think work elevates dignity. I like to build and say, "I built that!" I like to work overtime and realize I can take my family for vacation. I like to earn some extra and donate it to what I see is a worthy cause. I like to volunteer my time---be it the Lake Board, Hospice, Blood Bank, whatever.
I hate that our government takes so much money away from me and spends it on things I don't support. School breakfast and lunch programs that feed our kids crap. After school programs that make it so parents don't have to raise their kids. Environmental laws that do nothing to protect the environment. I could go on.
This is not the freedom our veterans fought for. Madison was right---As soon as people figure out they can vote themselves money, a democracy fails. Man, they tried to block the tyranny of the majority through the constitution.
The vast majority of Americans treasure their freedom and sense this 'healthcare reform' is the biggest threat to it in our lifetime. I sure hope the 'representatives' do what's right.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Charlie's Back!

This is Charlie. Charlie shows up every year about this time. I'm not exactly sure where he comes from; I just come home from work and there he is on the porch. He never comes inside (not when I'm home at least) and he's pretty quiet. I guess he lost his job as the chef he was dressed as last year, and opted for a more laid back lifestyle. In any event, welcome back, Charlie.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Green Effect winner



Green Classroom Party Kits
Submitted by: triciaoe
Julian Elementary School
Julian Elementary, Julian, CA
Greeneffect WinnerThe average elementary classroom has 25 holiday and birthday parties per year—usually accompanied with disposable plates, cups, and plastic forks/ spoons purchased by the parent or teacher. Think of all that waste…and then multiply that by 14-21 classrooms per school. And multiply that by the number of schools across the county, state, and country….

We can’t cancel all celebrations (that would be just wrong!) – so how can we find a way to party without getting literally trashed?

Twenty thousand dollars would create a $200 Green Classroom Party Kit (washable white plates, clear cups, and silverware, in a rolling storage container) for each classroom at our school. After use, children learn to scrape plates, pack them in the rolling cooler, take it to a staff room or cafeteria, wash, and then re-set for the next party or food activity. The kit would be housed in the classroom, for use year after year.

Because we believe this idea is unique, easily replicable and could catch on with some publicity, we would also create 80 more prototype kits to put in 80 more public elementary schools spread throughout San Diego county (1/5 of public elementary schools). Student leaders would work with parents to create, distribute, and educate about the positive environmental impact and financial savings of these “green classroom party kits.”

School culture is beginning to change with recycling and reducing---but what about re-using? This is an easy way to start----that’s something to celebrate!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why I will oppose legalizing marijuana

I know, it seems contrary to good conservative principles. The government should not decide what's best for us, and if we choose to do something harmful, we should take responsibility for our actions. We are losing more freedom with every new 'program' and associated tax hike as it is.
"Registered to vote in California?" I was badgered on the way in to Walmart. "It's a petition to legalize pot. We'll balance the budget with the taxes it would raise!" No, thanks... "Don't you support freedom?"
Grrr...Of course. I'm in a hurry and want to get my cheap Chinese products and split. There is no WAY I'll be able to explain to you that submitting to drug use isn't liberating but enslaving....Any more than I could explain that sexual liberty just enslaves you to your libido and the true freedom lies in monogamy or for the really strong, celibacy....But all that is beside the point.
Raise your hand if you don't think drunk driving is a problem. Did you know that driving under the influence of marijuana doubles your likelihood of causing an accident? Did you know that drivers that have caused a fatal accident are three times more likely to be THC intoxicated than the general population? When you add alcohol too, the numbers skyrocket?
Drunk driving is enough of a problem. There IS one advantage, though---quantifying at what point you are 'intoxicated'. Here in California, it's .08% blood alcohol (Actually since I have a class 'B' license, for me it's .01%!)
Pot is a strange drug in that, the more someone uses it, the less is needed for the intoxicating effect. How do you quantify that? Convictions for driving under the influence of Marijuana are very difficult. There is no rapid screen, no cut-off concentration. There is only the officer's subjective opinion---pretty easy to fight in court. "He smelled like pot, acted stoned, and was very hungry, your honor"
I've responded to some horrible accidents where the driver that caused it is obviously stoned, and finds the whole scene really funny.
How much tax revenue is enough to justify a spike in fatal accidents? Do we really want TWO legal intoxicants that have a synergistic effect? With all the problems facing our country, do you really want to expend your energy trying to get high---legally?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting to know folks

I used to believe the best way to really get to know somebody was to share an inheritance with them. That's still probably true, but very limited usefulness since there are too few people I share an inheritance with...There is another useful tool, though, and a larger subset of the population----dog owners.
This is NOT an absolute. It's just clue, sort of a 'heads-up'. I can already think of exceptions to this, so I'm open to other views on this.
People with happy dogs are pleasant people. If I run a 911 call to someone's house and the retriever brings me a tennis ball, it's a good bet those are going to be kind, compassionate people. If the family dog is something vicious, they will be suspicious edgy type folks. Be careful. If they have small yappy dogs, they will be loud, close talkers and not good listeners. Maybe they've gone deaf. I've noticed people with hyperactive dogs tend to be fitness minded; I haven't made the connection yet as to why.
If you own cats, you're staff. Snakes, spiders, scorpions--- If you are an adult and your life revolves around these as pets, I'm going to keep my distance. Fish people live a long time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tall poppies and a bucket full o' crabs.

We watch on average 2 hours of television. Per week. We are usually getting something else done that doesn't require too much concentration so we don't just sit with our eyes glued. A show AnnaMarie and I both like is Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations". We like how he brings you to a place. We like how he gets to know locals and targets the poorer quarters where the food is great and the people are happy.
We don't like Sweden.

Well, Sweden's actually just fine. What was bothersome was the attitude Bourdain gleaned from the Swedes, and he built the program around it----the attitude of "Lagom"......"You Americans are always thinking you are so great and better and want more and more things, the biggest cars, big refridgerators. Here, we are all about 'Lagom'. Just enough. Just give me enough so I can get by"
Here's the thing---if you want to live a minimalist lifestyle, that's terrific. There are many benefits. If you want to insist others live that way too, I have a problem with that.
Obama ran and won on a platform I saw as anti-American. He has been vocal about not wanting to promote American exceptionalism. If we are the same as the second world contries, no one will want to hurt us. As Americans we should settle for "Just enough" and let the government re-distribute the extra. The Tall Poppy is the first noticed, but when the other poppies start talking, who is it they want to tear down? Do they strive to grow tall too or just want all poppies the same?
Did you know you can throw one crab in a bucket and he'll crawl out and scuttle away---but you can fill a bucket to the brim with live crabs and not lose a single one? They are so set on clawing their way to the top they continually pull each other back in. None escape.
The moral high ground of Lagom is, you are only expending enough resources to get by. For those of us that want to do more with our lives than just 'get by', we are like the crab trying to climb out, or the tallest poppy just trying to do our best. If you want to embrace Lagom, just study Jante's Law. It's a good way to keep everybody down. If, however, you think hard work should be rewarded and applauded, if you think there are distinct advantages to exceptionalism, then do all you can to encourage it.
To me, what makes our nation great and free and the tall poppy is, anybody the works hard and works smart can succeed.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Where the levees broke

New Orleans was a working vacation. The DHS User's Working Group meets a few times a year, always a different location. Typically some tours are planned for exposure to local response challenges to help our group understand technology needs...One of our tours this trip was to the very spot the levees failed, and the nearby pumping station. This is a giant sluice gate on the levee built since Katrina.

Bad picture, but I was trying to stand on the barricade and not fall into traffic; the actual spot the levee breached is blocked by the cab of the passing pickup. Note the water level, in a dry month, relative to the neighborhood.

The cemeteries are all crypts. The water table is too high for burial. You can see what levels the floodwaters stained the crypts. These are great, spooky cemeteries.

Looking up the canal. Lake Pontchartrain is just on the other side. The pumping station is to the left, an abandoned (soon to be demolished) condo complex to the right. Here's how it works---New Orleans is in a giant bowl, much of it below sea level. The three main canals normally drain water from the city into the lake. When it rains a lot, the lake rises and the canals flow backwards towards the city. They can close the sluice gates and pump the water away from the city. This station can pump 9,200 cubic feet of water every second, with 12' of head pressure. That's a lot----at that rate you could pump Lake Cuyamaca dry in ten minutes.

Want to buy a house? The levee in the backyard is the one that failed. You can still see lots of the Urban Search and rescue marks on the exterior walls; some were from task force 8 (my team, from San Diego) but I didn't get any pictures of them unfortunately.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Orleans

I couldn't get AnnaMarie away from the crab boil pot....Incredible smells. Mostly good.

Eating on the balcony of Bourbon Street. Every meal we've had has been outstanding

Audubon Park. There are little canals everywhere feeding the tail end of the Mississippi River.

Anne and Gary Are a couple of friends from the User's Working group. They joined us for dinner the first night

"Shotgun houses"..... One theory is the name comes from an African word "Shogun" for the tribal longhouses