Our friend Carol in Taipei reports on Typhoon Taili that just passed over Taiwan. Certainly no Katrina, but all the heavy weather across the globe is starting to concern me.

Back here in the Diablo foothills of California, we have a somewhat overcast and cool Saturday morning as the marine layer drifts in from the coast. It’s already starting to burn off. But weather really was never a major problem around here. We have other concerns

Don’t Seal Yourself

On the flight home, the cabin crew were having a little fun. They presented us with a demonstration of the airplane’s lavatory capabilities by taking a roll of toilet paper, unravelling it all the way from the rear lavatory all the way to the front of the plane so there was a single white strip all along the floor of the center aisle, sticking one end of the TP in the toilet, and then flushing. The line of toilet paper flew past us and down the hole instantly, like magic. It was hilarious.

Then the attendant reminded us: “If you have to flush, don’t seal yourself on that bad boy.”



This is getting ridiculous.

Update: This adds to the insanity… Misery Grows for Those Left in New Orleans

At midday, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses rolled up so some 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the line to be evacuated much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in the stinking Superdome since Sunday.

“How does this work? They (are) clean, they are dry, they get out ahead of us?” exclaimed Howard Blue, 22, who tried to get in their line. The National Guard made him get back in with the unwashed masses as other guardsmen helped the well-dressed guests with their luggage.

Update again: Kos says this reads like a Saturday Night Live skit, but I don’t find this humorous one bit:

Bush to women: “There’s a Salvation Army center that I want to, that I’ll tell you where it is, and they’ll get you some help. I’m sorry…. They’ll help you…..

Woman 1: “I came here looking for clothes…”

Bush: “They’ll get you some clothes, at the Salvation Army center…”

Woman 1: “We don’t have anything…”

Bush: “I understand…. Do you know where the center is, that I’m talking to you about?”

Guy with shades: “There’s no center there, sir, it’s a truck.”

Bush: “There’s trucks?”

Guy: “There’s a school, a school about two miles away…..”

Bush: “But isn’t there a Salvation center down there?”

Guy: “No that’s wiped out….”

Bush: “A temporary center? ”

Guy: “No sir they’ve got a truck there, for food.”

Bush: “That’s what I’m saying, for food and water.”

Bush turns to the sister who’s been saying how she needs clothes.

Bush to sister: “You need food and water.”

Waiting in ABQ

I’m sitting here in the cantina in ABQ waiting for my flight. I tried to get in on an earlier flight but everything is booked. At least this airport has free WiFi.

Bush is doing his photo op on the TV right now in Biloxi. What took the relief effort so long to get in gear? It’s been four days since Katrina left the Gluf Coast.

At the same time, some joy to report. There was a huge contingent of greeters at the security checkpoint, holding signs and waving flags. And then the troops showed up several groups that were no doubt returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. There were camera crews everywhere. The joy on these people’s faces, and the ecstatic shouts from their friends and family members, was really something. The whole airport broke out in applause.

Albuquerque Instrument Scene

I went over to Robertson’s Violins in Albuquerque this afternoon after work. They have some very nice instruments. Played one bass that just sounded amazing, and was just about the easiest bass to play that I’ve ever tried. And it was approaching 7/8ths size, which is typically considered a bit on the big size for us regular humans. Huge, booming sound. If I heard him correctly, it was offered at $65,000. To be honest, it sounded and played like it was worth every penny. It had one of Robertson’s trademark low C extensions, and the bass sounded like a Harley when hitting that note.

I played a number of bows, which was the real interesting part. I tried out several by Reid Hudson and they were nice. But what really impressed me was a bow by Jean Grunberger. The balance on this bow was incredible. String crossings, spiccato, sustain, everything about it was twice as easy with this bow compared to any of the others. I am amazed at the difference. The bows I tried were priced from around $2,300 to $4,500, and this one was at the top end of that range. We’ll have to save our pennies!

On the way back to the hotel, I saw a Guitar Center. Aw what the hell…. I went in to see if they had any decent classical guitars. Nope! They had one Ramirez that actually felt soggy, and everything else sounded like rubber bands strung across a cigar box. I think they had been sitting on the wall too close to the humidifier for too long. I left real quick.