Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Just read an article about Waveland.
Waveland practically wiped off map by force of Katrina

Monday, August 29, 2005

update on people

Chuck and Nadine: In Chicago, well Batavia, with Darryl and Donna and I spoke with them this afternoon.

Joe: I talked to Joe today in the afternoon. He's been pretty busy with the S&WB. Turns out the pumps require water so that water main breaking caused a huge problem.

Vera and the kids: Staying with Eric Maier in Houston. I talked to Eric and they are all OK.

Stephen: The latest reports on Stephen, he called Eric in Houston, is that he is still at the Hyatt. Yes the hotel with all the blown windows. He is doing fine after some pretty harrowing experiences and now just wants something to do. He may try to go check on the Westbank tomorrow if he can and then may head to Houston.

LeSaicherres: They are staying in Houston with the family.

Barattinis: The "upside" of all of this is that we are getting to visit with Tony and Amee and the girls here in Austin. Isabel, our goddaughter, is so cute.

Centannis: They decided to come see Jerry and are now safely in Austin.

Ailie, Bill, and Keri: They are checked into a hotel in Clanton, AL which is about halfway between Montgomery and Birmingham. Chuck talked to her this afternoon. They packed up as much as they could from Waveland.

Lizette and Keith: They were heading to Bogulusa last anyone heard. Haven't heard from them in a while.

Beth: She went to Dallas with Steve and his family.

Please give me any updates you have and leave a comment for new information you have or questions you are trying to get answered.

Calling cell phones with New Orleans area codes doesn't appear to be working. They can call out but we can't call them. It doesn't matter if they are in Illinois or Iowa. It seems the area code makes all the difference.

I have heard no reports from Waveland or Hancock County. On CNN they mentioned they couldn't get any closer than Gulfport.

From random reports on the web, and Jackie's phone in interview, it seems Algiers is mostly OK. Flooding on DeGaulle and certainly trees everywhere, but no water in homes. Many homes have roof damage however. I haven't heard anything specific to English Turn.

To get information we have been watching CNN and The Weather Channel. Times Picayunue weblog has been an excellent source of information as has wwl's website. The local station's live feeds, when they are working, are also very good.

I'll post more if I have any further family news or specific our area of town news.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

evacuation update

Ailie, Bill, and Keri: packed up Waveland and heading to Florida

Vera and the kids: in houston

Stephen: at the Hyatt

Lizette, Keith, and Beth: in Bogulusa

Joe: in New Orleans

Barattinnis: in Austin

LeSaicherres: in Houston

Fritz: in Memphis

Centannis: on their way to Texas?

more to come, keep me updated if you can

Saturday, August 27, 2005

keeping in touch

Katrina appears to be taking dead aim at New Orleans.
4 PM Update

I'm trying to keep in touch with everyone I can contact from the area and I am going to try to keep this post updated with everyone's whereabouts. I'll also post links to useful information.

Nation Hurricane Center page - Best source of hurricane info.

Contraflow diagram - useful if you actually want to choose where you are going when you leave the metro area
UPDATE: Contraflow going into affect at 4PM today.

Chuck and Nadine: In Iowa - What is it with them traveling when other people are evacuating?

Fritz and the Eskers: Hotel booked in Memphis possibly leaving late tonight

Poogie: stuck in town due to Sewage and Water Board

Ailie: staying in Waveland but getting off the beach

Vera and the kids: room reserved in Sulpher, LA, likely headed there soon

Stephen: room booked at the Hyatt downtown for bank reasons

Jay and Joan and Chris: talking about heading to Houston

Fred Wild and family: leaving soon, possibly for Shreveport

Tony and Amee: heading to Austin tonight

Jerry, Diane, and Donna: heading to Humble, TX tonight

Thursday, August 25, 2005

as little as possible

I had seen enough of Chinatown before to know that is was a movie I would like but not enough to really get an idea of what was going on. We netflixed it a while back and I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure if it was just the mystery plot or the fine acting, but it just works. Then I found out the plot was based in part on the actual California Water Wars and I liked it even more. So yeah it's good. Go see it.

Bruce Almighty: At times funnier and more touching than I thought it would be. At times more over the top and sillier than I thought it would be. Pretty good use of Carrey's type of comedy. Always nice to Jennifer Aniston.

Shakespeare in Love: Alamo had a showing of this the other night along with a special dinner for two with wine. As this is one of Melissa's favorite movies, and she had just finished a book about Shakespeare, it was hard to pass up. Seeing it again on the big screen reminded me of just how good this movie is.

Broken Flowers: Just read Fritz's review. I liked it and am gaining respect for Bill Murray with every movie I see. Who knew the funny guy in Ghostbusters would grow up to be this guy? But yeah, it's slow. Not for everyone.

Closer: I liked it but it's not a Jerry movie. Very raw. Not at all what I would have expected it to be if Sara and Fritz hadn't given me a heads up. Excellent character studies. Wouldn't suggest seeing it if you aren't secure in your relationship.

Thirteen: Just finished watching it so it's kinda hard to say. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. I guess it could be accurate but man that is so different from the sixth grade I knew. Some of the camera work made me feel motion sick. Makes me a little scared to have children. But yeah it had an impact on me so it's certainly decent.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Lisa and Bridget

Normally this post would be used to go over the details of the previous weekend. However, this weekend, nothing overly interesting happened. So why post? Thursday, oh yes, Thursday.

Melissa and I went to the Killers concert at Stubb's on Thursday and for the most part it was a typical Stubb's concert. The only difference was we made friends with the random people next to us. Melissa says this happens all the time, but this was new territory for me. They asked if we wanted to go out with them after show, and after initially refusing, we caved and went down to Sixth. Keep in mind this is a Thursday night and I have work the next day and this is something I don't ever do. Clearly Jerry's Germany trip has been a bad influence on me.

Lisa, having been to Austin before, wanted to show her friend Bridget, who had never been to Austin before, a good time and decided we should start the night off with Sake Bombs. So we found some Sushi place on Sixth that I didn't even know existed, sat down at the bar, and did Sake Bombs, two of them, on a Thursday night, with two girls I barely know. We left the Sushi place and they didn't have any idea where to go next so I suggested Lovejoy's. They said they were OK with beer so we went. Bridget tried some oddly name IPA, which she didn't like but drank anyway, and Lisa didn't want something hard so ordered a Woodchuck, which she didn't finish because it was too sweet, and then in trying to pass it to Bridget, spilled it right down Bridget's pants. Bridget's response was to grab what was left of Melissa's beer and pour in on Lisa. It was part fight, part friends having a good night out. Things quieted down a little while we sipped mixed drinks ordered to max out the tab. After that they wanted to get more shots so I figured Cheers Shot Bar was as good a place as any. Bridget ordered some flaming shot with butterscotch schnapps for the four of us and it was about this time I decided I needed to stop drinking in order to drive home. Our two new friends had a few more drinks while flirting with the bartender while I ordered water after water and chowed down on pretzels. Eventually, we all decided we were done for the evening and Melissa and I offered to give them a ride back to their hotel. After some protest they accepted and we proceeded to walk the five blocks to the car. Well, Melissa and I walked; Bridget and Lisa stumbled while being supported by the two of us. We made it to the hotel, exchanged phone numbers, and went our separate ways.

Best random night out ever!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Louis and Anna

After documenting Louie's incident a while back I never spoke of him again. Well he is doing just fine, amazing even the vet who treated him. He is now an indoor cat and just loves it. In fact, he loves it so much, he wines nearly all the time to go out. Ugh. But we love him anyway, most of the time.

There is also a new addition to the Dickey animal household, Anna. She showed up at Melissa's work one Friday morning after an especially rough thunderstorm and we decided to adopt her. We think she is around six weeks old and she weighed 1.5 pounds at her last vet visit. She is feisty as hell for being so tiny. Louie and her have yet to meet so keep you fingers crossed for us.

About the name, we wanted something that would go with Louie and would possibly sound French. Now growing up I was always told Louisiana was named after Louis and Anna the King and Queen of France. After doing a little research, I'm not entirely sure that's true, but the name has already stuck. Oh I have some more pictures of the two of them if any of you are interested.

Friday, August 12, 2005

funny name, excellent news

Some time in the past I came across the website for the Christian Science Monitor newspaper. I remember being impressed with the articles I read, especially one about race relations in Los Angeles, but I never went back to the site. I think the Christian Science name threw me off. Well the other day I was reading an article that had been linked to from the Yahoo home page in the headlines section. It turned out to be from the Christian Science Monitor and not from AP or Reuters as I thought all Yahoo headlines were. The article was well written and just seemed better than what I was used to reading. Because of this experience, one day I decided to venture over to the CSM homepage and read all the articles I could. Amazing enough they were all of the same level of quality. One series of articles on Europe and religion was particularly good. With most newspaper articles I read, I get the facts, but I don't really understand the issue. The CSM articles always give me a sense of understanding. If you have any interest in well written news, you owe it to yourself to check this site out. If the name of the paper throws you off, read the about us page to understand why it is named the way it is, then read a few articles, and I think you will be surprised.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Last Wednesday, Melissa and I celebrated three years of marriage. We started out with hamburgers at Fran's. Good burgers in a nice throwback diner environment are always good. After dinner we worked our way over to Town Lake to take a bat cruise courtesy of Melissa and Andy. I must say, I have been underwhelmed by the bats before, but not this time. They came out a little early and seeing the countless numbers of them against the evening sky was impressive. On the way home, we stopped by Sandy's for some custard. One of the things Melissa and I both enjoy about going out just us is that we always get dessert. All in all, a very low key Austin night out.

This past Saturday we had a fancy dinner in honor of our annivesary at Hudson's on the Bend. All I really knew about Hudson's before last Saturday night was that it was expensive and served wild game. And now that I have been, I can say that is a pretty complete description. Over the course of the evening I ate rattlesnake, buffalo, rabbit, quail, and venison. Definitely out of the ordinary and all of it quite tasty. However with entree prices in the 30s, it will be a while before we go back.

Often times I find myself very focused on the things I don't have in my life. What should I do for work? How should I spend my free time? Where should we live? What is it worth my time to do? I forget about the things I do have in my life. And that reminds me of a quote. "Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness and misery." I'm just glad the stuff I worry about, is the other 10%.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Here is a quick weekend recap. Friday night: dinner (chariot chicken) and a movie (Ben-Hur) with the Riches. Saturday: playing golf with Taylor and watching Anchorman with Melissa. Sunday: reading lots of wikipedia and going swimming.

So, yeah, Ben-Hur ... weird. I really had no idea what to expect. Pretty much all I knew ahead of time was it involved a chariot race. Before we got it Melissa reminded me that it was nearly four hours long and that's when the thoughts of epic came into my head. And then when we got it from Netflix and the sleeve had something about Jesus on it and that's when I knew I had no idea what I was getting into. It's a good movie, possibly even great, but the devil's advocate in me can't help but talk about the things I didn't like. I didn't find that the Messala vs Judah plotline meshed very well with the Jesus plotline. It almost seemed like the Jesus stuff was thrown in. I like the concept of having a main story line and having the traditional Jesus story in the periphery, but they just didn't seem to pull it off as well as they could have. As to the epic scale of everything, it's hard to appreciate it 46 years later. At times it was just like, "Stop with the horns already" or "How long is this line of centurions?" but I'm sure it all seemed grand at the time. I suppose epicness doesn't age well. Despite those last two points, I did enjoy the movie and I think it is indeed a good film.

The golf lessons I took finally seem to be paying off. After setting a personal best last time I played, I went out and broke that this weekend with a 93. Sure sure it was the airport course from the white tees, but whatever. It's a shame the place is closing down, though it's nice to know that building was never meant to be the clubhouse. In slightly related news, Mezzaluna is closing as well.

Despite the sand paint incident, the Riche condo is really coming along. It's really amazing what they have done with the place. After they get the sink installed this weekend I'll try to take pictures.

And now for a possibly lengthy ramble about my current computer game obsession, Battlefield 2. If you don't think this will interest you, I encourage you to stop reading now.

Last night I hopped online to play some BF2. I usually go into a night of playing with some sort of goal in my mind and last night was no different. Having already obtained all the kit combat badges other than sniper, one that I may never attempt to get, I decided to play as my favorite kit, the engineer. Now usually I wind up on a server, try to find a squad that is actually playing as a squad, fail to find such a squad, and then start my own. What this means is my total time logged as squad leader is pretty high but my time as a member only is low. Since the Distinguished Service Ribbon requires 10 hours of both, I figured it was time to play as a member.

So I find a free slot on a server, join a squad that appears to look good, and seeing no orders from my squad leader, I decide to just follow him around. Soon enough he makes his way toward a support helicopter and I hop in and man one of the guns. While taking off I asked the squad leader what our goal was. His response? "Points." I had no idea how right he would be.

The guy was an excellent pilot and had at least one other squad member that was committed to riding with him the whole time. We just flew around the whole time, taking points and gunning down anyone we saw with the massive mounted guns. As soon as we took enough damage, he would just fly away and me and the other guy, both being engineers, would repair the helicopter while still in it. It was awesome. If I got shot out of the helicopter, I could respawn inside since the pilot was my squad leader, and when the helicopter got shot down, which was rare, it never took long for the leader to find it again. It got to the point where I would just randomly shot at the ground in case anyone spawned and would take aim at bases way in the distance on the off chance I would hit someone and in both instance got kills. My crowning achievement was, after getting stuck in the back of the helicopter, equipping my grenades, tossing one from the moving helicopter, and actually getting a kill.

So after flag points, kills, assist points, and repairs point, how did I do? Basic Helicopter Badge, Meritorious Unit Ribbon, over 100 points, and the Silver Star. Awesome.

Those guys dropped off after the round so I figured I should try something else for the next round. Since you also need 10 hours of commander time for the Distinguished Service Ribbon I decided to apply for the job of commander. That turned out to be a good call.

Things started off fairly well, a little artillery strike here, setup a UAV over there, toss down a supply box for good measure, but things quickly got nasty. All the points were takable on the map and we wound up switching main bases. That in and of itself would not be a bad thing, but the other side quickly took out the commander assets and would not let me repair then. A lesser commander, or possibly smarter, would have quit but not me.

I sat there and issued orders just like things were normal. I did all I could by dropping supply boxes and spotting with the satellite fully zoomed in. Odd thing was, people actually started to follow what I was telling them to do. All I think of is that they could directly see the results of my actions and occasionally they actually helped. Crazy. It turned out to be a long round with lots of flag switching which led to me getting the Basic Command Badge and the Staff Officer Ribbon.

I love this game.