Monday, August 29, 2011

The Big Hype of Irene's Visit to New York City

Irene visited New York City and decided that there was nothing for her to do there. So she moved on. That was a good idea on her part. But now people are complaining that the storm was "over-hyped" by officials and media. Was it over-hyped? I guess it depends on who you ask. Certainly New York City and other places along the eastern coastal areas could have had much more damage. Many people feel that they had no real reason to evaculate. Well...

Here in the Houston-Galveston area we have seen the good the bad and the ugly of Hurricanes. We've been told to evacuate. We've been stuck on vehicle clogged roads for hours. We have hunkered down and stayed home. Yeah, it is a pain to have to leave. But what is the alternative? We know all too well.

We remember Katrina, Rita, and Ike. We lived through them and learned. The state of Texas figured out how to get people out of harm's way in a timely manner. Yes, it wasn't easy. But we learned from our mistakes. We've seen the force a storm can bring. Allison was only a tropical storm. In and out, right? No, she decided to stay and flood much of Houston. The world famous medical center lost millions of dollars worth of valuable research. The Houston Symphony was babdly damaged. Even cell phones didn't work. But we learned what to change for our protection.

We watched, as did the world, as Katrina obliterated New Orleans. We watched as thousands of people there died. Bad planning? Some say yes. The federal government didn't act fast enough or had no idea what to do first. Now they know. We watched the Houston Mayor Bill White get in touch with "can do" people. The Astrodome was set up to take care of the hundreds of people escaping from New Orleans. Some skeptics said it couldn't be done. Houston did it. We learned what to do and how to do it.

I remember being one of the "lucky" ones during Ike. We lost electicity, but we still had water. Because our water heater was gas we could still take showers. We learned how to cope with no power for nine days. We watched as electric company trucks from across the country rolled into town after the hurricane. We watched as people worked together to get this area back up and running. Sure there were problems and some people and places have yet to be fixed for a lot of reasons. But we are still learning.

Yeah, maybe the Hurricane Irene was not as bad as was predicted. Those mayors and governors may have been over cautious, thus over-hyping the scope of the disaster. But tell that to those who lost loved ones. Tell that to the people who have flooded homes or destroyed homes. I know that your vacations may have been ruined and you have had to scramble to get where you need to go. You are losing patience because it may be days before you can get a flight out of town. You have problems with hotels. Your vacation is ruined and your patience is waning. You didn't get to see that Broadway play that you waited months to get tickets. New Yorkers got off easy. Trust me. You are thinking that this was all a bunch of pontificating for nothing. Maybe...until the next time. Then you will be glad you were told to evacuate.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irony in Heaven

Two men are waiting at the gates of Heaven and speak to each other.

"How'd you die?" the first man asked.

"I froze to death," the second man said.

"That's awful," says the first man. "How does it feel to freeze to death?"

"It's very uncomfortable at first," says the second man. "You get the shakes and then you get pains in all your fingers and toes. But, eventually, it's a very calm way to go. You get numb and drift off as if you were sleeping. How about you? How'd you die?"

"I had a heart attack," said the first man. "I knew my wife was having an affair,so one day I showed up at home unexpectedly and found her alone watching TV. I ran around the house looking for her lover didn't find him. As I ran up the stairs to the attic, I had a massive heart attack and died."

The second man shakes his head. "That's so ironic."

"What do you mean?" asked the first man.

"If you had only stopped to look in the freezer, we'd both still be alive."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Selling Insurance to Whom?

Sometime I wonder if insurance people have ever noticed this. I saw an ad on televison for a "Senior" care life insurance. What's so special about that? Nothing really, except for one samll thing. The ad showed the age range from "0 to 85"... The voice-over person said "if you are between zero and eight-five call this can't be turned down.... While I know that "Seniors" may times need more life insurance this caught my attention for only one reason. How is a person age "0" going to hold a phone, yet alone dial it? How is a 0 aged person going to speak? How is the operator going to hear them or be able to understand words. Who will the bill for the insurance go to? Do they even know their mailing address? How much life insurance will they need to buy. After all they can't be turned down for insurance, right? Heaven help the 0 aged person trying to muddle through the telephone system of some companies. If you want English press 1, if you want to speak to an operation press 2, to hear this message again, hang up and do something else.

Yeah, I want to see this. Don't you? Then again I want to see how long my dogs would actually wear a snuggie blanket.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Just What I Need, A Light Bulb

As I played around on Facebook the other day I saw an ad which made me think "what"? We all know that energy efficiency and savings are hot topics these days but this really made my day. The ad was showing a light bulb from GE that is supposed to last 200 years. Yes, I said 200 years. Personally I think it was a joke. We all know that the average energy efficient lightbulb is supposed to last longer than the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs that we all know. Some have said ten years. Good. But 200 years? Come on now. Why should I care if a light bulb will last 200 years? I'm not going to live that long, right? Sure we can live longer, healthier lives thanks to modern medicine and good genes, but not 200 years. So why should I buy a light bulb that will outlive me? That just sounds a little creepy to me.

I can just see this now. The newest rage in baby shower gifts. The gift that keeps on giving. Give that brand new baby a light bulb for the nursery and later their bedroom, their college dorm room and even into their brand new home when they grow up. Sure it would be easy to store and pack every time a person moves and I guess it would save money (and energy, remember). Then we move on to the eldercare home. Yes Grandma, you can bring your light bulb. Yes I know it will help with your failing eyesight. By the way, have you updated your will?

Any light bulb that is said to last 200 years should be passed from generation to generation, right. Imagine the fight at the reading of the will. Bobby gets the golf clubs, Susie gets the jewelery, Don gets the house, Jane gets the light bulb. Now everyone is mad at her. Jane is happy (I assume) to get this, but it still has a lot of years left. What is she going to do with it since it will outlast her. Somehow I just don't see any joy in this. Who wants to keep a light bulb for 200 years.

At my age if someone gave me a lightbulb for a Mother's Day, birthday or Christmas present I would wonder what the real motive of giving this as a gift was. Are my children trying to tell me something? Do they really think I would like this. Did they spend a lot of time trying to decide on "just the right gift"? Do they want to make sure it stays in the "family" like family heirloom? Will there be fights over it? Will it increase in value? Someone will have to figure it out. I won't be around. Neither will my children, grandchildren, etc. Get the picture? Or maybe we need to turn on the light?