Archive for the ‘Weather’ category

Hurricane Ike Images NOT seen in the mainstream media

September 18, 2008

Much of the damage caused Hurricane Ike has been blacked out by the media. Texas Governor Rick Perry has not allowed the mainstream news media to display many photos of the damage on the west side of Galveston island or the Bolivar Peninsula. Thank goodness for the blogasphere.The damage in Galveston Bay is unfucking real.

The best photos online can be found here.

There are more shots of the devastation located at http://jakeabby.com/cb/.

Also more info on the media blackout – http://www.worldproutassembly.org/archives/2008/09/media_blackout.html.

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Living in a Post Natural Disaster World

September 18, 2008

We are now living in a post natural disaster world. I thought that to myself earlier on what is now our fifth day without electricity here in Houston after Hurricane Ike. And my oh my, what an interesting five days it has been. The passing of the storm brought about many immediate challenges. Assessment of damage, removal of debris, and neighborhood cleanup took up a lot of time right after the storm. Now that is done, we’ve had to find creative ways to enjoy our time and overcome several different challenges in daily living.

How Life Has Changed in Houston

With no power you’re left without typical electronic time-wasters. That means no television, no “checking myspace” Internet breaks, and no large speakers blaring your favorite music. You replace the time with chill activities like bike rides, reading on the couch, and sitting around telling stories with friends.

Also, being that a lot of our close friends are involved in grappling and MMA, a lot of time has been spent on the mats training both at the gym and on puzzle mats in the backyard. It’s been fun getting workouts in to pass the time. It’s also been a productive way to spend afternoons off from work for many of the ninjas.

There has been a paradox between time and things to do. Workplaces being closed coupled with businesses being closed left you with scarcity of choices for entertainment.

We’ve driven to Baker’s Street in Sugar Land to avoid curfew and enjoy drinks, football games, and catch up with a ton of old friends. We’ve also made some new ones as well during our drunken nights.

Our friends have been such gracious hosts when needed. Partying with friends like new DNC member Ninja Barbee has been exceptionally fun. And I had no idea Kristi was such a beer pong fanatic. The terminator had us all reeling off the balcony. Likewise, Berm’s house today provided for a much needed reprieve to catch up on Entourage and Weeds.

Thank God for the nice weather. Most could not imagine going though this with Texas 100 degree heat and no air conditioning. We’ve built fires, grilled food outdoors, and built fires as an accessory to a late night drinks with friends.

A few more challenges lay ahead

Most have to re-acclimate back to working life despite not having power restored to their homes and living different lives for the past week. Some like us may have to wait until Monday if not longer for electricity. And yet others who were less fortunate have unimaginable recoveries ahead.

I underestimated it at first but we sure did go through one hell of a hurricane. Hopefully we’ll some normalcy back in our lives soon. I’m ready for this hurrication to be over.

Stories and Pictures from Hurricane Ike

September 14, 2008

Hurricane Ike came and went during the early morning of last night.  For me, having passed out from being drunk left me without an eyewitness account of the actual storm passing through. Luckily, I have stories and photos from before and after the storm. I’ll detail them now.

Thursday, September 11th – A Story of Drunken Uncertainty

Thursday, the day before the certain arrival to Ike to the Houston area was as surreal as they came. Paranoia brought on by  listening to the news had most people in our area acting very reactionary. This was evident during my early morning bike ride when I saw a line of patrons at every gas station in sight. Talk of grocery stores running out of food caused even more of a panic.

Amidst all the commotion, my roommates and I didn’t really think much of packing. After all, the past several Hurricane warnings since Katrina had not really effected Houston. Meanwhile, those living in lower lying areas like League City and Galveston Bay had already begun the process of evacuations. For most of the day, traffic on the major roadways was a pain as well.

During the night, most of the city’s young crowd were living it up as usual. It wasn’t so much being unaware that a hurricane was coming. We just didn’t think it was going to be that bad. Most of the city felt this way.

I went out and had a really awesome time with some friends. A group of us had an amazing dinner at FISH and went to Front Porch Pub for some beers afterward. I then headed to Kobain to meet up with Erica, Eric P, Jino, and and a few others for more drinks. Finally, when competitive juices finally called on some flip cup action, we ended off at Pearl Bar, our friend’s awesome bar on Washington and one of my new favorite Houston hangouts.

While others when enthralled in a series of melodramatic moments, Eric and I had a lot of fun warning people of high winds and flooding from atop our picnic table thrones. All in all one of the funnest nights in some time.

Friday – Preparation Time for Hurricane Ike

Waking up on Friday, we knew we had to take Hurricane Ike more seriously. And for the bulk of the morning, that’s exactly what we did. This meant getting groceries, hurricane-proofing the outside of our home, getting gas, and all the other things you do for this type of thing.

Laughably, we did not do a very good job on this stuff. Instead, we went to Elite for a last-minute training session to help Frost Murphy prepare for his fight. Those left at the house ate most of the hurricane groceries by nightfall. The only thing we were left stock-full of was beer. At least we could get drunk right?

You can only watch so much news. We spent most of the afternoon hours watching footage of Galveston Bay getting deeper and deeper under the storm surge of the impending Hurricane. That kind of leaves you feeling anxious. And Cookie made us Hurricane Ike T-Shirts with the caption, “Why would I be scared of Ike?” so that only added to the anticipation.

Our neighborhood is made up of a fairly tight-knit group of long-term residents whom we’ve grown closer to during recent months. In fact Preston from a few houses over gifted us with some expensive speakers for no good reason at all the other week. These guys do that kind of thing for each other all the time.

Hence during pre-hurricane night, we spent the bulk of time sitting on Matt and Julie’s lawn, waiting for the storm to come while drinking many beers and shooting off an occasional firework or two for entertainment. This camaraderie was easily the most fun part of the evening. Sadly, when the rains started coming and the leaves hitting with the breeze started feeling like projectiles, we had to take it indoors.

I’m sure I was not the only one who wanted to stay up for the whole storm but after the power went out around 1am, the combination of fatigue and beer had me sleeping through the whole thing.

Saturday – Recovery Time

I say damn! I didn’t expect Hurricane Ike to cause this much damage. I was under the impression that I’d wake up to having power and walk outside to a normal looking neighborhood with a few patio chairs knocked over. Nothing was further from the truth as our entire street flooded. Rubbish from trees had fallen all over. For the most unlucky, entire trees had been uprooted, knocking holes into the roofs of their homes.

For most of the day, our entire neighborhood came together to help each other out. We did damage assessments and got limbs off homes. Preston and I cleared the entire block of trees so the drains could do their job and un-flood the street. We saw many others doing the same thing all over Walnut Bend. There was even a man with a golf cart and a chain saw running from street to street. It was an awesome sight seeing everyone helping each other out.

We did all we could and stayed without power all day. When nightfall came and we were still without power, we decided to make for the comforts of my parents’ house in Sugar Land. So here I type now, lucky to have running water, electricity, and all the amenities of home.

The story will definitely continue when we go home tomorrow to continue the cleanup and survey the damage further. Hopefully we have power then so we can continue the cleanup process in relative comfort. Nonetheless, I’m thankful that my friends, neighbors, and loved ones made it through. After all, that’s really the only thing that matters.

A few pictures of Hurricane Ike Weekend

Hurricane Ike washed up a bear!

September 12, 2008

DNC’s own “VeeNinja” decided to get drunk and head down to Galveston and draw some pre-storm attention this morning. Silly guy!

Houston Ninjas plan for Hurricane Ike

September 11, 2008

Play song before reading for full effect

Hurricane Ike: What are we facing?

The Houston-Galveston area is preparing for Hurricane Ike. The storm is expected to become a Category 4 Hurricane by the time it is expected to hit the area this weekend. On a track to hit south of Houston, the hurricane is expected to give Houston the “dirty side” of a category 4, bringing storm surges of 20 ft. in some areas. Maximum sustained winds were near 100mph as of 4am today, with higher gusts, and the storm was moving at a speed of 9mph towards the area.

For Houston area residents, the decision on whether to evacuate in the face of Hurricane Ike is looming. Harris County Judge, Ed Emmett, called for mandatory evacuations in low-lying areas earlier today. “We’re not talking about gently rising water,” he said. “We’re talking about a surge that will come into your homes.” says Emmett. Houston area mayor Bill White is urging employers to give non-essential employees the day off on Friday. And a decision on whether to shift the area’s highway traffic to assist in outbound evacuation will be made by rush hour today.

Earlier I spoke with Christina, a friend who lives five minutes from Galveston Bay. She says her family is evacuating this afternoon. “This weekend definitely isn’t the weekend to go surfing,” she says.

Evacuating and Hurricane Supplies

For those planning on leaving, do it now. To ease traffic, the Texas Department of Transportation cleared debris and opened extra lanes for traffic heading away from the coast. Should you wait any longer, you run the risk of being stuck in traffic. Lest we forget the lesson that Hurricane Rita taught us. People DIED while in traffic for over eight hours. Others ran out of gas with nowhere to go. Which leads me to my next point…

If you plan on staying and riding out the storm ninja-style, make SURE that you stock up on supplies for the weekend. Head to your nearest Sam’s Club or Costco and find your essentials.

  • Bottled Water
  • Non-perishable foods
  • A power-supply
  • Batteries
  • Plywood

Again, success equals preparation + execution so if you’re going to do all this, do it today.

What are the Ninjas of the DNC going to do?

I spoke to Ninja Eddie earlier, who was instructed by his employer to take the rest of the week off to prepare. The microbiologist had this to say, “My parents offered up their place in the Woodlands to us but we should respectfully decline.” And so, as is ninja rule, we’re going to stay and FIGHT the storm.

Don’t worry, we’re not really fight the storm. We’re just going to stay in defiance. Plans call for Hurricanes and Kamikazes for the rest of the week leading up to Friday. And when the storm finally hits, we shall party like pre-apocalyptic hippies. Ever seen Independence Day? DNC West Headquarters is going be like the roof of the Capitol Building and I’m going to be the crazy motherf*cker holding the sign.

Worry not for the ninjas though. We’ve got plenty of supplies.

  • 40 cases of non-perishable beer (and an icebox full of ice)
  • A full bar stocked with dozens of unopened bottles
  • NEW massive house speakers to blast hurricane songs (a gift to the DNC from Preston)
  • Packs and packs of hot dogs from Costco
  • A few of those arm floater thingies
  • A freshly-painted beer pong table
  • Red cups for Flip Cup
  • Rock Band
  • Power Supply

For those needing Shelter

The DNC would like to extend an open invitation to any Ninjas who wish to remain in the area during the storm. Yeah the wind will howl and it will rain but that’s all that we expect on this side of town. So we’re going to sit here and wait it out like we always do. Hurricanes and Hand Grenades for the rest of the week, along with flip cup and beer pong. Come on by if you want to join the madness!

Paranoia Attack

August 4, 2008

It has begun brothers and sisters. Soon, Aeolus will invoke the wind and excite it with spells to disintegrate the trees, flatten our homes and dismember our pets. Zeus will commandeer the sky. Thunder, lightning and rain will descend from a charcoal stained sky. The streets will flood. Many lives will be lost. Many carpets will be ruined. More News at Five…

Damage caused by the last calamity to hit Houston. (Hurricane Rita)

Severe Damage caused by the last calamity to hit Houston. (Hurricane Rita)

Chronological Pics of Rita

July 17, 2008