Tag: houston

Leaving on a Jet Plane (Archive)

Edit: This post originally appeared on my Blogspot blog.

(Houston, Texas) I’m sitting here in Hobby Airport waiting for my 1:00 departure, and apparently whoever is in charge of the sound system has put on a John Denver playlist. I’m not sure what is scarier: that his songs have been played continuously for the past hour, or that I have recognized all of them. Not that I have anything against John Denver. In small doses.

I’m on my way to Lincoln to see the family. Dad’s not doing too well, so I’ve made arrangements at the school to go up for a visit. I hate having to miss classes, but it’s not because of the kids. Honestly, what I hate are all the damn lesson plans. My mom pointed out it would be faster just to teach the classes myself.

So I’m feeling remarkably well considering the circumstances of this trip, that I only got four hours of sleep last night, and that I’m sitting in an airport with CNN blaring on the monitors in clear discordance with the Denver-fest. (Personally, I’m rooting for John). Part of the reason for my easiness is that the airport has done little to offend me today. Check-in and the security screening weren’t onerous today, which are usually the worst part of air travel. Here at the gate (again, with the exception of CNN) things are pretty peaceful as well. Conspicuously absent from my travel experience are the hordes of screaming children. I suppose that’s one of the benefits of mid-week travel.

One other point of note is a sign of our changing times: here in the terminal, amidst the usual rows of uncomfortable benches, I’m sitting at a courtesy laptop bar. It’s just a smallish table with built-in electrical outlets and stools, but it’s really smart. Internet access isn’t included, but it’s nice not to have to jockey for juice with the business folks looking to charge their Blackberrys and the college students with their Apples. Even the guy with the electrical banana looks happy.

Lovely Rita, Hurricane (Archive)

Edit: This post originally appeared on my Blogspot blog.

I-10 Eastbound

Fourteen hours. One hundred eighty-six miles. The news footage made it look crazy. It was. Truth be told, Melina and I were lucky. We didn’t run out of gas (thanks to the diesel VW). We didn’t break down (but we did loose our air conditioning). We actually made it to where we wanted to go. Lots of people ended up turning around, or were in car accidents or worse.

Fortunately for everyone, Rita didn’t do much to the Houston area. There was a lot of wind which knocked down power lines, but other damage around us is minimal. I’m glad we left though. The campus well was without power for four days, which meant that even though our house had electricity, we wouldn’t have had water. The four days we spent in Seguin with friends were restful and calm.

I do have to say that while I have no respect for the Department of Homeland Security, I think that the Texas DOT and City of Houston did the best they could. The whole situation was a mess, but the really amazing thing is that the fourth largest city in the United States was evacuated with a minimal cost of life and hardship. There was no rioting in the streets. People on the highway were friendly (something you don’t often see on Houston highways). As terrible as it was, people kept things more or less orderly.

Yes, it could have been better. But on the other hand, it could have been much, much worse.

Stuck (Archive)

Edit: This post originally appeared on my Blogspot blog.

Seguin, Texas.

Kevin writing for Jarrett at 11:45 on Thursday: stuck, stuck, stuckity stuck. Left Highlands before dawn to beat the traffic. Unfortunately, so did everyone else. Wasn’t there a Volkswagen commercial like this in the past year? Made it to downtown Houston and no further. Less than 5 miles since 5 am. Stopped to get gas once. Car was passed by “fat guy carrying water bottle” on foot- a bad sign indeed.

Heading for Seguin – about 40 miles East of San Antonio. Should arrive sometime before Hurricane Andrea devestates the Gulf Coast next Summer…..

Jarrett to call with updates every 50 feet or so. I’m going out for lunch. I’ll be back before he calls.