Hurricanes

Seems like I used that title before. Ok here we go again. I actually told Amanda that when we moved we would not be moving to Florida or any of the Gulf Coast states. I am getting tired of evacuating.

This one is a little too close for comfort. We had been ordered to manually evacuate the lower parish, and since I live on a river, I decided to follow their instructions. My parents, Amanda, and I are currently living in the Hilton Hotel. Unfortunately its only 40 mins away from my home, so if the hurricane decides to hit us head on we will be in a tight spot. Due to Katrina, there are no hotel rooms in Louisiana, Mississppi, Arkansas and most of Texas. We could have gotten a room in Jackson, Tennessee or San Antonio, Texas, but we would have probably arrived at the hotel after the hurricane had hit land. Texas could have been worse. I hear it is taking people 12-16 hours to go 50-75 miles.

We are safe for now. I will be working throughout the weekend for anything the Hilton needs. (Bad thing about staying here is I cant call in sick or state the flood waters have blocked me in.)
I will keep everyone updated.

Wilbur

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Students, Hurricanes, and Anime

It was a busy week and became an insane weekend. As I tried to adjust my teaching methods to a new method, I realized the process method had some flaws. Biggest one is I need logins for all of the students before we can begin the process. So lecture time again. I should have the logins by the time classes begin again, Tuesday?
Thursday I went into work at the Hilton and realized the Anime convention was there, Mecha Con. I had forgotten when it was. Torn between being at work and dealing with the “chaos” that may erupt and the want to go upstairs and join in the celebration, I patiently waited for time to sneak up and see what was happening. Thursday and Friday was lackluster in events and participants. It disappointed me because it would be interesting for Lafayette to be the host of a large yearly convention of this kind.
Now here is where the fun begins.
Friday night, Amanda’s mother calls me worried about the hurricane. It was still in the gulf and hadnt started its turn north. I was not worried. Plus it was a category 2. Saturday morning I went into work to find the panic had started. The hotel was filling up with oil rig crews as the hurricane went deeper into the gulf. We shot from -20 rooms when I arrived to +10 rooms and everywhere between. Also, the attendance to the MechaCon went through the roof, which meant I was constantly answering questions that bordered on the inane. The Hilton had a large convention coming in Monday, so we were again sold out. Because of the monday convention, which we knew would be cancelled, we were stuck with telling every caller that we were sold out. It was extremely busy. I didnt leave the desk and didnt get a chance to see the convention. Sunday’s mess made me reminescent of Saturday’s pace.
I walked in with a line of about 30 oilfield worker waiting to be served. To help smooth things out, the intelligent NA’s thought it was a good idea to only push the reservations instead of assigning rooms, checking them in, and then making keys for them. Because of their wonderful minds, we spent 30 mins sorting oil field workers into rooms they shouldnt have been in: king rooms, since there were two per room; murphy bed rooms, since these were big guys; and our whirlpool suites, this one should be self explanatory. It was a chaotic start of what would become an insane day. Also the NA decided she had to finish her daily downstairs which left us without the aid of a computer next to the phone. This may not be a big problem most of the time, but we were receiving anywhere from 10-15 calls a minute asking if we had rooms. It took all three of us to keep the phones answered, but for 3 hours we all had to use the same phone to do this. This meant we had to transfer calls to separate phones. Because of the mess caused by the NA, it caused more problems than it needed.
Also along with the group of oilfield workers, people were starting to arrive asking to check in to rooms that wouldnt be ready for 8 hours. It became a madhouse. As the three desk clerks tried to accomodate everyone, already inhouse guests, arriving guests, the costumed convention attendees; we barely kept pace with the rushing, panicked, desparate crowd. Luckily the GM was on duty, this meant that I could get the answers for any question I had, since he had the last say. Although he wasnt happy to have picked this weekend to be the MOD, he proved to me that he deserves the position of a GM. His speed at making decisions and adjusting the system to open or close new reservations kept a few steps ahead of the crowd. There were times we both joked about how we wished we would have not been there. Typical conversation (happened once every 15 minutes when I had enough problems to need his attention):
“Hilton sales and marketing this is XXX, how can I help you”(he answered the phone this way because he was too busy to worry if it was an outside or inside call)
“Goodday sir, how is everything?”
“Im doing good sir (or having fun sir). What can I help you with Wilbur?”
(at one point we stated we should drop the pleasantries because we were doing this too often, but we never did)
“Well we have a small problem(or I have a small question)”
“Anything to help you, sir”
“Well we need XXXX(or someone is upset or someone did this and I want to know how you would like me to handle it)”
“Oh well, why do they want that?” (stalling to figure out an answer)
“Because they are guests (workers, idiots), sir”
Realize that I know how to handle most situations and I handle most situations myself even playing the role of a concerned MOD who has his hands tied and hopes he can find a solution that will make the stay “bearable” for the upset guests (usually for petty reasons).
On weekends where are MOD is a manager from a department that has nothing to do with customer service: housekeeping, engineering, and strangely enough the restaurant. We handle all the complaints. We avoid getting the MOD because we have seen the situation get worse with their help. They were not hired for their positions because they had great skills with dealing with customers. They were hired because they could manage a large amount of workers.
This went on for 8 hours. It was a maddening shift. The Monday convention finally canceled, but we didnt have any extra rooms because all the guests that were attending the MechaCon and the ones inhouse picked up the extra nights,which left us with telling all the callers we didnt have rooms.
Throughout the day, we received updates from certain guests about the condition of the roads, the strength of the hurricane. The hurricane’s direct path was for the city of New Orleans. New Orleans is 30 feet below the sea level. It survives storms with luck, levees, and water pumps. NO has never been hit with a hurricane of this nature. Scientist warned that a direct hit of a category 3 hurricane would be catastrophic for NO. Last night the hurricane was a category 5 with sustained winds of 175 mph. Winds of this magnitude disintegrate buildings. At 3:00pm Sunday, the mayor of NO declared a mandatory evacuation and stated that no one could return for 5 days. Everyone who had fled NO knew they would return to nothing.

As I write, the hurricane has dropped to a category 4 as it comes on land. The trees are shaking back and forth, but for the most part its calm here. NO, Mississippi and Alabama are receiving the bulk of the hurricane.

Wilbur

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Lions and Tigers and Bears .. oh my

School starting again. I am going to be teaching three English 92 courses in New Iberia. This will make it fun when I go to New York in November, but oh well. Mother and Dad are trying to sell their house. They may have a buyer, which means they will be leaving here in the “Chateau” next to my grandparents house and me. Going to be some fun down by the bayou.

I have starting working on my thesis again, in an attempt to graduate.

Saturday:
Last night, I went to a concert and watched three bands: System of a Down, Bad Acid Trip, and The Mars Volta. System of a Down put on a hell of a show. The audience loved them, and they played for over 2 hours. The Mars Volta was phenomenal. They are extremely talented musicians. They played 4 songs, which lasted in total nearly 1 hour. They moved from one song to the next with such ease and the jam sessions were wonderful. They remind me of the Doors with their ability to follow each other. At least their singer doesnt take the spotlight all the time. They actually share the stage really well. Bad Acid Trip was exactly what can be expected from a band called Bad Acid Trip. They were a heavy punk band: the singer sang in exagerated tones (such as the death metal rasp or a high pitch screech) and the musicians played their instruments as loud and as fast as they could. They were talented, but I couldnt make out a single word of what they were trying to say, even when they were just talking to the crowd. The Mars Volta was the highlight of the show for me. I kind of got tired of System of a Down about 1/2 way through, which doesnt mean they were good, just I didnt know the songs as well as the rest of the audience, so I got lost a lot of times. Plus, I was too busy keeping the “mosh” pit from running over a 12 year old in the audience. He was there with his older brother, but his brother was not very big and was having trouble keeping the moshers away.

Then we have Sunday. I came in early this morning from Houston and the concert. Took a shower, because I was covered in sweat, went to bed and work up around noon. Watched some movies and played a few games with Amanda. I have been trying to finish one called Resident Evil 4 for a few months now. I gave up after a really bad turn of events in the game. Amanda loves watching me play because the game is a horror title and she loves those. I had been successfully progressing in the game and finally made it to the second disc. (Amanda joked that she didnt know there was a second disc and damnit it had taken long enough to get to it.) Unfortunately, I have gotten to the part were the “super” bad guys appear. Each Resident Evil has pushed the limit of how hard the “super” bad guys were. In the 1st, they were jumping reptile monsters that could slice your head off. In the 2nd game, they were skinless wall/ceiling climbing freaks with long tongues called lickers (though they appeared pretty quickly in the game.) In the 3rd game, one creature chased you throughout the game. (Cant remember RE:Code Named Veronicas “super” creatures. I refused to finish that game. It was such a horrible game.) RE4’s bad guys are super-regenerating hopping around after their arms and legs cut off demon looking greyed deformed humanoid son of a fucking mother fuckers. They fucking suck.

Well, they are so creeping and scary that Amanda actually asked me to stop playing the game. I did, and we were watching some MST3K, when we heard a loud noise outside. Remember we live in the country, so loud noises means we have an animal getting into something. So I turned on all the outside lights and grabbed a flashlight and opened the door to see what was making the noise. As I open the door and look out, I notice a white bag laying in the driveway and suddenly a large black creature runs off behind a tree in the front yard. I thought damnit, fucking dogs getting into the trash. I shined the light following after the black “dog” and when the light hit the tree I noticed something was odd. There were a set of yellow eyes looking back at me. But they werent at the level of a dog. They were 5 feet above the ground and looking back at me. I thought is that a huge racoon that climbed up the tree. Then I realized it wasnt climbing the tree. It was standing up. Oh shit, its a fucking black bear staring back at me.
I knew there were reports of bears being seen in Vermilion parish. Amanda’s younger brother has had bears around his house in Erath, which really is only 15 miles away. I just never thought I would see one this close. When I mean close it was standing about 15 yards from me. (For the ones familiar, it was standing behind the tree that is next to where fritz’s dog house use to be.)
SO, its standing there look at me. Now I was ready to slam the door shut and lock it, but it wasnt acting like it was going to run for me. I waited a few moments and then it must have decided not to chance anything and started to run off back towards the river, right past the storage buildings. I told Amanda to get her gun (first time I ever asked her to get it). She came to the door and we waited for a few moments to see if the bear was coming back or if I could see its eyes in the outlining trees. I decided I had to at least pick up the trash bag and put it back into the trashcan and move the trashcan away from the house. Amanda watched as I walked out to the bag threw it into the can, dragged it about 15 yards from the house and put a huge rock on top of it. I know, the bear will find that funny. I called the sheriff who referred me to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, who should come out tomorrow.

So now I have to keep my eye out for bears while I am also looking out for snakes and nutria rats and wolves and wild dogs and spiders and flying insects. God sometimes I love the great outdoors and living in the swamps of Louisiana.

Wilbur

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Doctors visit

So after three weeks of waiting. The doctor cancelled on me twice. I got to see him. and I have to say I love the man. He is the perfect doctor for wilbur.
I have never heard him mention the “s” word.
He is built the same as wilbur, so no talk of diets.
He is into cheap and alternative medicines.
He is pratical.

Good news, I dont have pneumonia(sp?). I have an infection of the bronchial(sp?) passages or something, but he said it didnt sound too bad. He gave me a prescription to a generic antibiotics and said if I still feel bad in a week give him a call. He thinks I may have allergies which are causing the sinus infections and then the other infections. He gave me some samples to try and see if that will keep me from getting the infections in the first place.

He suggested yoga for my back problems. He said,” I could give you stuff to knock you out where you wouldnt feel anything, but it wont stop the backpain. Strengthen your back muscles and learning relaxation techniques would do more good for you than anything I could prescribe.”
Amanda got all excited about the yoga.

In other news, some kids had fun with my $60 parish provided special would have to buy another one or not get garbage picked up trash can. Dad found it near a rice field about 1/2 a mile away. Must have been a strong wind to push it around that corner and down the road then leave it standing up.

I havent written on my thesis the last week. Being sick and the content of the previous post has left me not in the Linguistic mood. I talked with Clai today. Its going to be ok.

Wilbur

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WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?

if things lately were not going bad enough
harddrive failures and computer problems
having trouble detailing my argument
cars breaking down on me

This was not what I needed.
Continue reading

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What is Wilbur Doing?

Well, I have been doing a lot.

I went to New Orleans for a wedding: more on this later.
I started digging a new water line. We have the ditch dug now just to put the water line in .
I am slowly fixing problems with my website so it will run correctly. I have integrated PHPBB and WordPress for a bit.
Working on my MA thesis.
Have put nearly every vehicle I own and dont own into the shop.
I am working on other neat things which I cannot divulge because if they dont come true I will be a tease.
Invite Melissa over before she leaves.

Wilbur

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WPHPBB (Version 2.4) (Updated 07-29-2005)

New Location

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PHPBB – WordPress

After some counseling, PHPBB and WordPress are now talking to each other. Its a tentative arangement, but I think they will overcome their differences.

Let’s keep an eye on them.

Wilbur

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Bancker

Trying out a new way to do the photos. I hope this works.

Here is Bancker again.
Move to folderblog

Take note David, this is a combination of Picasa 2 and WP. It takes the export feature of Picasa 2 and parses it into a Post. Pretty neat.

Wilbur

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Im sick, again.

I have lost my voice. I have mucus blocking my breathing passages. And I cant hear anything. Damnit.

Wilbur

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