Tuesday, 27 September 2005

"Somebody's Watching Me" - Rockwell, 1984

We live in an incredible world.

Last weekend, on the computer monitor on John's desk in Hertfordshire, UK, we watched live local television from Houston, Texas, USA -- some 4800+ miles away!

All three of the major American network affiliates in Houston were sending out live webcast feeds during the storm last week. I was hoping that these might continue afterward, but I'm noticing this morning that it's not the case. Still, for someone like me who likes getting some "hometown news" from time to time, these three websites are still a great resource. All three now feature video clips of their major news stories on their sites, even if the live webcasts have now been discontinued.

Check them out, if you have time and are interested. Here are the links...in my personal order of preference:

KHOU.com -- Channel 11, the CBS affiliate station
abc13.com -- KTRK, Channel 13, the ABC affiliate station
Click2Houston.com -- KPRC, Channel 2, the NBC affiliate station

AND while I'm talking about webcasting, you might also like to check out some local radio in New Mexico! I have family in the beautiful mountainous area of Ruidoso, and it's not too far from where John and I will be getting married in January. Have a listen to KWES radio, via the link on Ruidosotoday.com. You'll enjoy their relaxed style.

The world's getting smaller all the time, isn't it? Makes it so much easier to be an ex-pat these days!


Monday, 26 September 2005

"You Can't Do That" - Beatles, 1964

John found this one on the BBC this evening: Cooing At Newborn Babies Banned

"....their human rights are being breached..."



"Fernando" - ABBA, 1976

CONGRATULATIONS, Fernando, on becoming the youngest EVER Formula One champion! Thanks, too, for allowing "JP" to win yet another race...especially one in front of South American fans!

Here's a good source of F1 information. The BBC Sport website is another good place to read about Formula One.

OH...and the Renault F1 team are my neighbors in Enstone, Oxfordshire! (No wonder the drivers in Oxfordshire are so crazy -- so many of the racing teams are based here!)


Sunday, 25 September 2005

"Houston" - Dean Martin, 1965

"...goin' back to Houston, Houston, Houston..."

I couldn't help but recall Dino's old song as I thought about all of those Houstonians having to face their returns to the Bayou City, after evacuating for Rita a few days ago.

Although I haven't heard from all my Houston-area friends yet, I believe they should all be ok. My friend Krista, in Sugarland (southwest of Houston), remained "hunkered down" at home with her family. We've already heard from her, as they didn't even lose their electricity during the storm! She reports that gasoline is very hard to find, though, and they were happy to be well-stocked with enough food and water to carry them through until stores reopen . Bill & Carole drove from their home north of Houston to the Texas Hill Country, to avoid Rita, and we haven't heard from them yet. Melanie & Brian and family were heading from the west side of Houston up to Dallas, and we haven't heard from them yet either. I assume they'll all be home by early this coming week. And my "big sis" Claudia was hosting quite a few of her Beaumont family and friends at her home well north of Houston. I suspect they may have lost power, as we haven't heard from her since Rita came onshore on Saturday. But I trust they'll be all right, too, given where her home is located.

It could have been SO much worse. A direct hit on Galveston would have left that interesting city completely under water. And Houston would have been badly damaged, even though it's about 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. But I have to wonder how the residents and businesses in the area between Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange (in Texas) and Lake Charles (in Louisiana) are faring today. It can't be easy for them. Rita, although only a Cat 3 hurricane when she came onshore, came in right on top of them.

We must not ever underestimate the power of "Mother Nature"...


Monday, 19 September 2005

"Lovely Rita" - Beatles, 1967

This is a bit of a catch-up note. I've been teaching in London since returning from Scotland, and my best-laid plans to post some Scotland photos and to write at length about the wonderful B&B we stayed in while in the Inverness area haven't materialized. I just haven't managed so far, but I promise I will when my work schedule slows down a little.

Since I'm feeling a bit guilty, though, at least I'm posting something tonight.

I'm already worried that "Rita" might not be so lovely. I just heard this afternoon, from someone in the Houston area, that now-Tropical Storm Rita might be headed straight for the Galveston/Houston area once she's crossed the Florida Keys. I suggest that those interested can follow Rita's progress on the US National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center website. It's a very useful information source. Is it possible that the very areas providing so much aid and assistance to the exiled South Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast residents might be next to be hit? Or could the fates be about to deal New Orleans a second blow? It's hard to imagine...but we'll see over the course of the week.

Meanwhile, there's better news from North Korea...although I have to admit that I don't completely trust them. Perhaps I'm just becoming more cynical in my old age.

On a brighter note, I've just seen on the BBC's website that 30 years ago tonight, the very first episode of "Fawlty Towers" was aired on television. It's pure comic genius. I'll never believe that there were only 12 episodes! What a fantastic anniversary this is!


Listening To: "40 Days", the Wailin' Jennys

Monday, 12 September 2005

"We Are The Champions" - Queen, 1977

That's right. England have won the Ashes series of cricket matches vs Australia! These matches have been so exciting that even I have become a cricket fan...although I could still use a good rule book, John!

Read all about it on the BBC's website!

Meanwhile, I need to start posting comments and digi-photos from our terrific Scotland vacation week. But I'll wait another night. Time to savor this evening's victory!



Friday, 2 September 2005

"When The Levee Breaks" - Led Zeppelin, 1971

Sorry I haven't written lately. I just haven't known what to say. What's happened to the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama because of Hurricane Katrina is too horrible for words. I just hope that Federal and state officials quit holding press conferences and posing for photo-ops and DO SOMETHING SOON FOR THE PEOPLE WHO SO DESPERATELY NEED HELP!

I've been teaching in London this past week for one of the international oil companies, in their offices. After being in Cape Town all last week, I'm very tired. But all will be well soon -- John and I are off on a week's vacation to the Highlands of Scotland tomorrow. It's one of my favorite places to go, and we're going to enjoy every minute of it!

I'll write again when I can. Meanwhile, let's all pray for the victims of this past week's hurricane.