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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

T Storms

Rolling thunder woke me at 5 a.m. - a huge lightning show was going on over the lake. I took some video and some photos - might get a chance to post it later, if i can get myself moving more than 5 mph.

I've been FLAT for the last two days - either it was a bug or I just was out of gas. That means I will have one speed for today - SLOW.

Forecast is for rain showers 50-50 for the next couple days. I'll have to get out in it anyway for meetings.

I've been really mad at what Mugabe is doing in Zimbabwe - even after his opponent withdrew from the Presidential race his people have been killing and beating people. And nothing is done. Why should it always take OIL to get our attention?

I believe that the situation in Africa is a unique area that a President Obama COULD address, but not a white President. It needs to be addressed. Democracy is being murdered by people who are paying no price for their inhuman conduct. How can people watch and doing nothing about it is beyond me...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Texas Governor's Mansion on Fire

I'm in Austin. I tried to watch "Meet the Press" on TV today - but the local news was all about the Governor's Mansion burning, a real shock. It started last night about 2 a.m. It sits only a mile or so from my hotel.

Had my window faced downtown, and I looked, I could have seen it burning--but the loss of that much history is too hard to watch even on TV. I'd rather not. Funny, but I woke up about that time. The A/C kept making odd noises.

Before coming here I attended the Hurricane convention at the George Brown in Houston. I was shocked that under "Preparations" they only listed two items, shutters and plywood! Plywood? How old tech for space city.

There was zero mention of New Tech -- Miami Dade certified Security Window Film -- which has been saving offices and houses in Florida for years! That was confirmed in the 2004 "Project Safe Windows" study of the Florida Hurricane damage caused that year. Buildings with security window film survived storms that destroyed buildings next door that did not have it. It's all because of wind-borne debris breaching windows and wind blowing the structure apart.

Not only does the film protect the building, it is "green" and cuts both UV rays and energy use. It works 24/7 (shutters and plywood don't). It's high tech and costs a fraction of shutters or impact glass. It's a win-win.

On top of security film, homeowners need to install a device I saw at the GRB to keep their garage doors from blowing in during a hurricane (this breach also leads to roof loss).

We need to upgrade our building technology BEFORE the next storm. But that requires the awareness to get there. I did not see that awareness among many of the emergency presenters yesterday at the GRB.

Hurricane season is here. Time is not on our side. We need to get new protection technology information to the public, and our emergency personnel, before it is too late.

Later, I hope to have breakfast with a niece I haven't seen in years before heading back.

Lated word: Missed Niece and this just came in from mom in Mason City Iowa, which barely missed the Parkersberg killer tornado:

"Nobody remembers when we have what is going on now. Floods Rain & more rain. We have so many flooded streets. Rose said they couldn't find a sump pump in town so they are bailing water out of the sump pump hole to keep water out of the basement. The water treatment plant shut down so I don't know how we are going to get fresh water at this time. We did have a couple of pitchers of water in the frig. All bottled water was already out in the stores,they are rescuing people from there homes any way possible."


Monday, June 02, 2008

Only Way to Buy a Car

My Van went to the car doctor one time too many last week - the 4th visit in a month -- so I had to shop for a car. I discovered how much better it is with the Internet. Instead of wandering HOT through car lots, I did an Internet search and was able to spot the best car with the lowest mileage for the price - something impossible to do the old way.

I ended up at Carmax - and was impressed. There system is all computerized --no paper until the title stuff is printed at the end. They took my name and address and soon they had banks making offers so I could pick the lowest interest rate offered.

A few hours later, I drove out with a loaded 2005 Montana with only 28,000 miles on it - without paying a dime. My old van was enough for the down payment and the payments are only $285 - my last repair bill was that much! Amazing.

I took it by my trusted 20-year mechanic at the Swiss Garage and Mike said it was in great shape. And it gets a little better mileage than the van, has a DVD player and an audio warning when I get close to something when backing up. Wow, what a painless upgrade.

I highly recommend trying Carmax. It worked for me. I will need a reliable car as hurricane season gets underway. My Armor Glass International business is really on the upswing - people need the protection and this could be the year we get hit again.