Hurricane Ivan has warranted a wikipedia entry. Worse, over a week after the storm ripped apart the Caribbean, the storm is returned to the Gulf and is now attacking the Texas/Louisiana coast as a tropical storm. It looks like Ivan might loop back around and gain strength in the Gulf again. The storm that won't die...
We have talked with our friends on Cayman several times since Ivan passed. The first phone calls were full of happiness and almost hyper-active energy. Everyone was ecstatic to be alive.
Now, reality has set in. It is hot and all of the flooding means that it is extremely muggy. None of the trees have foliage, so there is no shade to be had beyond the waterlogged structures that have survived. There is no electricity, water, or sewage services outside of the George Town beyond a few locations. Of the structures that are left intact, none have screens. That combined with all of the sea life washed ashore and the dead animals and plants have resulted in an infinite number of flies and no way to escape. Fresh water is in short supply, though the grocery stores are selling what food they can (rationed) and gas is available. At least, the stores and stations that survived.
Caymanians are incredibly resilient and optimistic people. Ivan is definitely stretching their resolve to the limits.
Some corrections from before. I could have corrected the original entries, but the corrections over time are a far more honest picture of the overall story.
There is still very little communication across the island and, certainly, no unified source for news or supplies. The communities are mostly left to their own devices.
In the Bodden Town shelter, there were 120 people. Not 175 as I had originally reported. Still, 120 people in a 12ft by 12ft room is cramped. The one fatality was actually due to a heart attack, not falling debris.
We still don't have any definitive word on the state of the house, but we can assume the damage of anything within is complete. Our neighbors reported that the living room couch from the house was left in their front yard, a good 150 yards away. That a couch could float out of the house would indicate that the storm surge made a pretty damned big hole in the beach facing side of the house.
The neighbor's first floor was flooded out. The surge washed a stainless steel table out of the house and they have not found it anywhere in the vicinity. Could be halfway to Cuba.
There have been many more pictures posted. Probably the best are from Courtney Platt.
I found it particularly painful to view her pictures. The Palm Beach restaurant was within walking distance of my parent's house. We would frequently walk down for a Rum Punch and some Conch Fritters.
The Lighthouse Restaurant catered our wedding. Brilliant place to eat. At least, it was. The back wall-- reinforced concrete block-- was washed away by the storm surge. Portofino was another spot with great food; totally gone. Certainly, Reef Point is devastated or gone, as well, as it was very close to the Lighthouse. We had our rehearsal dinner there as it was a good friend's restaurant and a wonderful place to eat some excellent traditional Caribbean food.
She loves it. Not surprising as my wife has a background of dancing her ass off in some of the finest clubs of Manhattan.
Of course, I had to give it a try. Some things that I have learned from playing only a handful of times.
1. Either DDR provides a heavy aerobics workout on even the most basic levels or I'm in bad shape. Honestly, I'm just plain out of shape.
2. My sense of rhythm sucks, but improved over only a few games.
3. The soundtrack gave me flashbacks to the early '90s and any of a number of bad parties I attended while at school. Yet, still, the need to move my feet in an orchestrated manner is an effective distraction.
4. The game is stupid simple. Yet, it is also quite a bit of fun.
I now fully understand how a number of my friends in the computer industry have done some combination of losing weight and getting in shape via marathon DDR sessions on a regular basis. The game includes a workout mode for exactly that purpose.
In this one case, I might just have to put together the open source version-- including dealing with the pain of custom wiring, custom software installation, system administration, etc-- just so I can use any of the thousand or so danceable electronica or world music tracks I have in my collection as the soundtrack. As much as trying to stay on my feet distracts me from the crap music, that'll only last so long.
Hmmmm.... PyDance seems to be the way to go. Python, too. Yum.