Sunday, September 19, 2010

Keep Looking Up!

Watts up with that had a post pointing out that
Jupiter will be at opposition and at the closest approach to earth for
the next 12 years on the night of the 21st/22nd. He dedicated the post
to Jack Horkheimer who apparently died last month.


When I was in school I always tuned in to whatever show was on
pbs at 10 pm so that I could see the Stargazer show at 10:30.

Jack Horkheimer's enthusiasm got me to learn most of the northern
hemisphere sky and always look up when I walk outside at night.
It's a comforting feeling that no matter where I am in the world I can
look up at night and see familiar stars and constellations.

...always, keep looking up!


I've been reading the debate over on the Big Picture blog in
the comments about tax rates. Should they raise taxes, or just for
the "rich" people. I strongly believe that people will work less at higher tax rates. I know I don't work more for more money at my current tax rate. (Meaning
my real job that I make my salary for I'll work as hard as it takes, if someone offered me money to go to a rig and work I wouldn't even though I have in the past)

But I don't think our problem is a receipts problem that needs new taxes
but a spending problem. You can look at the above table, and see that with the tax cuts revenue decreased $145 billion from 2000 to 2004, spending increased $503 billion. Even with this glut of spending (Iraq, Afganistan, bloat) by 2007 the
deficit was only $160 billion and decreasing by $70B per year. If not
for the crash, we'd be in surplus now. So no new taxes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rivers rising

The main effect of the storm was delayed by a day. There was 200 mm of
rain up in the hills above Cordoba and all of it is flowing down into
the rivers feeding into the Jamapa River. They are evacuating the subdivisions
close to the mouth of the river, using school buses, boats and helicopters.

Where's the US navy, it would be a good moment for some marine helicopters
to show up.

To help send money to the Mexican red cross:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Storm over

The rain has stopped and the storm seems past.
Someone is already out in the surf playing, and
the major problems outside seem to be trees down.
The satellite loop shows the storm starting to
dissipate over land. Good riddance

The hotel has some damage, part of the entry way
was ripped off and the skytv satellite isn't working.
I'd expect wherever the storm came ashore could be pretty damaged,
here there is Cat 1 damage and we're 30 miles south of landfall,
I hope everyone is ok where it came ashore.

Looking more carefully at the map here, the beach faces northeast,
so I need to rotate any wind directions I gave 45 degrees.

I'd give pretty crappy ratings to the news here, they barely
mentioned the storm until it was 3 hours from landfall, then
after it made landfall they were saying it's just the eye and much
worse is coming. (probably true for the people just north of landfall,
but not for here) That got the hotel to bring everyone down to the lobby,
if there was any real danger they were 3 hours too late.

No Salgan!

The palm trees outside look exactly like the graphics that the
cbs new station used to use in New Orleans when there was a
hurricane watch, it always scared the heck out of me when I was
small....a hurricane is watching me? Yikes!

Local news is saying that we're seeing hurricane force
winds here in Veracruz boca del rio. The only recommendation
they are giving is don't go outside, the eye is touching the coast
and wind may drop off.

tv report:
Trees are down everywhere and electricity is out in some subdivision.
Some streets are flooding, with half a meter of water. "its an extreme situation"
and some palm trees are projectiles.

Wind is due east, blowing straight down the boulevard parallel to the coast.

The news is interviewing people going out to buy food, "si no compramos tortillas
falta para comer". Zero preparation here. Of course I have to walk downstairs
in a few minutes, if the hotel says they have no food then all I have is a
pack of almonds. doh.

Hurricane Blogging, Karl, 11 am

Power just blinked off and came back on, i think the hotel
is on a generator now, the lights seem dimmer and the wifi
signal is almost zero. Hopefully the generator has diesel
for several days.

The government is now saying to stay in place if you're in
a strong structure. I think they are missing the idea of a
forecast that would have said yesterday to be ready to go to
a shelter. There's a problem with the coverage we get in the
USA, sensationalism from the weather channel and news ('we're
all gonna die'), but here it's too far the other way, they are
talking about preparations and the center of the storm is almost
onshore. The real problem will be flooding of already full rivers.

Here the wind appears to be from the southeast, the waves are
mostly blown down and flat, any crests are swept up by the wind
in a flash of spray. The corridor outside is filling up with water
from blowing rain, and the satellite tv is down, other than that
and the power, not much effect. If no more posts that means the
lights went off.

Karl, 9:30 am

Note to self: Don't open the window in a hurricane.
I tried to crack open the window and stick my cell phone
out to film the surf. The wind looks calm because I'm in
the lee of the hotel, but as I crack open the window the
curtains were sucked out and billowed out towards the sea.

I got them back in, but it was a struggle, sort of a Lucille
Ball type fight, when I let go with one hand to push the window
shut a different piece of curtain went out the window.

The surf is laying down somewhat and the wind has changed from
an oooooo to a higher pitch, more like steel groaning. Spooky.

Not much on Mexican TV about the storm, they're still using up
their footage of the independence day parade. Different from US
news reports where it would be 24/7 stories on this 'possibly very
dangerous storm". (ok, i take that back, they just announced it's
category 4 and the whole state of Veracruz is on alert, a little bit
late to go on alert.)

Hurricane Blogging, Karl, morning update

It's 8 o'clock in the morning, the wind is moaning
awoooooooooooooo, and the waves are higher than the
breakwaters that extend out perpendicularly from the beach,
but the waves are spent by the time they hit the seawall,
and that's 15 feet high, so no big deal.

The latest center update is 60 miles away, and the center should
pass 30 miles north of here. Looking out of the hotel to the
south out of the lee of the structure, the wind looks like
it is from the SSW, which means the center is almost due north
from here.

Hopefully the worst is past and things should be
nice and calm by lunch. There is one outlier on the models
that show the storm approaching the coast, then dribbling
back east. That would suck.

It's kind of neat watching the waves build up, the spray blows
off the top then it curls over. It's especially neat being
30 feet higher up inside a cinderblock building with internet
and hot coffee.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hurricane Blogging, Karl

it's 12:30 am and a pretty good squall is passing here in
Veracruz, wind sounds like it's 30-40 mph and the waves are
marching against the seawall in long white parallel lines.

Hurricane Blogging

I'm in Mexico and strangely enough there's hurricane headed right
here. I've been watching weatherunderground when the hotel's
internet is up, and as usual the projected track is behind the model
response. Eg. An outlier model points off the main forecast, then the
other models start to agree with the outlier, then they adjust the
forecast track. The key learning is when just one model points in your
direction and you have an easy option to leave and go to Mexico City
or Little Rock...then start to make plans to go there.

In theory the forecast takes it north of here enough that it will just
be windy and rainy, but the drumbeat from the surf is getting louder
by the hour, by morning the waves will be crashing on the seawall.

It's a big hotel, built up high and pretty sturdy looking, at this point
probably safer than being on the road at night, so I'll hang out here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

bloglinks gone

I took off all links to other blogs, is triggering
a malware warning from google chrome. Not that anyone would notice,
this really is just a note to remind me to learn the real way to post
a blogroll, blogrolling appears to have issues.

Feliz Compleanos a Mexico

September 16th is the 200th anniversary of the "Grito of Dolores"
that started the the war of Mexican independence from Spain.

My children: a new dispensation comes to us today. Will you receive it? Will you free yourselves? Will you recover the lands stolen by three hundred years ago from your forefathers by the hated Spaniards? We must act at once… Will you defend your religion and your rights as true patriots? Long live our Lady of Guadalupe! Death to bad government! Death to the gachupines![3]

Reading the wikipedia entry for the war of Mexican Independance,
it sounds like the Spanish were more relentlessly evil in fighting
the rebels; Hidalgo who delivered the Grito was executed by the
Inquisition. I'm not sure if the spanish were more evil than the British
or just more competent at putting down revolution, but like the Indian
independence movement, the independence of the USA depended partially on
the British not being relentless and evil. (If the British had put more
effort to capturing and executing leading rebels in the first 2 years
when the continental army lost almost every battle, the revolution might
have fizzled.)

Anyway, the celebrations of the night before the Dia de la independenca
are on every channel on TV here and I should go out and drink beer, but I
have to catch a bus in the morning. (Nice bus with flat screens showing
movies, no chickens or goats)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A test, Government sucks

I blogged about some recent travel woes last week
and posted by accident on my old blog url, complaining specifically
about and continental. Strangely enough Orbitz
posted a comment, then apologized and gave me a voucher.

I can see that my blogs have power over time and space now,
so as an experiment, I'd like to say that I think Obama is doing
a poor job as president, and the government sucks. Can I please
have a non-obama voucher?