Sunday, August 28, 2005

New Orleans and Hurricanes

We have Customers in New Orleans and Louisiana and my heart goes out to you all. I also have many fond memories of time spent in New Orleans- maybe 20-30 visits. A crazy, dangerous, beautiful, colorful town full of hard scrabble, hard working, blue collar people.. Yummy and deadly (fat!) foods too (sigh).

Years ago I lived in a small coastal Alabama town (Fairhope) 130 miles to the east of new Orleans and we got hit by some "small" hurricanes. It was not fun, and the clean-up, well the clean-up just sucked. It went on for months. What many of you don't know is the fire ants cluster on downed branches and detritus and when you grab that branch they just swarm you.

A fire ant bite hurts like hell. A bunch of them can really make you miserable. I am allergic to them as I found out after several bites caused an anaphylactic reaction. No fun.

Anyhow, It looks like New Orleans is going to get the big one, and we wish you the best. We all choose to assume risks no matter where we live. Here in Northern California we of course have earthquake faults all over the place. It is our destiny to get shaken but good sometime. It is a risk we live with.

500k or so people trying to "evacuate" is just not possible and being in a car during a hurricane is terrifying and dangerous. I wonder if I would just try to stock up on water and ride it out at the 3rd floor or above for 3-5 days until they pump the water back out of the city.

Quantifying, confronting and trying to mitigate risk is a key to a long and successful life. Ultimately the choices we make today shape our lives tomorrow.

Take care y'all.