Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Outer Bands

Gustav has arrived in Acadiana in the form of light rain. Roxi and I were just out walking and as we got back home, thunder cracked accompanied by the slightest sprinkling of rain. We still have several hours to go before the strong winds arrive, but we are ready. Roxi's parents and grandmother arrived a few hours ago and we promptly started drinking hurricanes. The weather will get worse, but for now, it's time to play some Mario Kart for Wii while we still have power!

More Gustav Preparations

This morning, Roxi and I went a local park where sandbags were being filled. We got enough bags to protect the doors of our house in case flood waters rise higher than they ever have in this area. I'm really not expecting waters to come close to our doors, but over the past few years, our back yard has tended to flood more than it used to. That being the case, I'm only slightly concerned about flood waters rising several inches to our back doors, but better safe than sorry!

Out in the streets of Lafayette, there is a lot less traffic and other activity than usual. Some stores and some of our neighbors have boarded up their windows while many others have chosen not to do so. We don't have any plywood to board up our windows, but we have never done so in a hurricane and we are hoping for the same during Gustav. It's a typically beautiful pre-hurricane day here in Lafayette, so we are going to enjoy this calm before the storm.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas State

I've been preoccupied with the Hurricane Gustav preparations, but in the meantime, apparently the Aggies lost to Arkansas State by a score of 18-14. This will probably be a very long season for new head coach Mike Sherman and the team.

Gustav Preparations

Although I thought it was a little premature a few days ago with the course of Gustav still so uncertain, I began getting ready for the storm on Thursday by getting plenty of bottled water. I continued my preparations by filling both of our cars with gas since there may not be any available immediately or even for several days after the storm. Today, I secured all of our outdoor furniture and other potential projectiles from the expected high winds. I also went shopping for anything that we sill needed before the storm. The stores were surprisingly unchaotic. But as the day has gone on, traffic has decreased considerably for a Saturday afternoon.

Roxi's parents and grandmother are planning to ride out the storm with us in our house. I feel good about this house as it has gone through several hurricanes since it was built including Andrew, Lili and Rita. There was some tree damage to the house from Rita, but it is really no worse for the wear. I'm a still concerned about Gustav's projected course as it will be passing directly over Lafayette sometime between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. There is currently a voluntary evacuation of Lafayette Parish and mandatory evacuations of all of the southerly bordering parishes. I'm not sure what we would do in the event of a mandatory evacuation of Lafayette. Contra-flow on I-49 will begin soon and that would help us get to Shreveport and points north but I honestly don't know where we would go because it is doubtful that there are any hotels in north Louisiana. In fact, evacuees will be lucky to find places to stay in Arkansas.

So unless a police officer comes to our house and tells us to leave, we will be staying and I will try to blog occasionally as long as we have power.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Here it has been almost another month since my last post, but work has been keeping me very busy. We are now going six days a week as our project deadlines get closer. In my limited spare time, I am playing with a bunch of new toys that we have gotten for the Wii like Rock Band and Mario Kart, but my new favorite entertainment device has to be the Roku. Roxi gave it to me for my birthday and since we have set it up, we have been loading up our Netflix Instant Queue and ripping through movies and television shows.

For the uninitiated, a while back, Netflix started to offer movies in streaming format on your computer instead of having to wait for the disk to arrive by mail. As a "Mac guy," I couldn't participate as the streams were and are still only availble on PC. Initially, there was also a limitation to how many "instant" movies you could watch per month but now any unlimited movie package through Netflix includes unlimited "instant" movies. No one really wants to sit at their computer and watch a movie and few people have the patience to move their computer near their TV so that they can watch movies that way. So it was only a matter of time before devices would be available for transferring those movies to your television. Roku is one such device and it couldn't be easier to use.

We connected our Roku in a matter of minutes and the device was linked to our Netflix account and activated in almost no time. Then it was just a matter of populating our new Instant Queue. The movie selection is definitely limited right now, but so was the selection of DVDs when Netflix first started doing business. The selection will only get better with time and we are finding plenty of things to watch. The movies are streamed wirelessly to the TV and the picture quality is as good anything else we watch. The movies only take a minute or two to initially load and so far have run uninterrupted as long as we don't fast forward or rewind. Those actions do cause the stream to rebuffer, but again it only takes a minute or two.

The most beautiful part of all is that there is no additional cost beyond the regular monthly Netflix fee. On top of that, any unlimited movie rental plan includes unlimited instant movies. Right now we are paying $16 per month to get three DVDs at a time, but we will be downgrading to one DVD at a time for a mere $8 and will still enjoy unlimited streaming movies. That's a pretty great deal if you ask me!

I love the Roku so far and look forward to expansion of the instant movie cataloge. It appears that Netflix has finally lived up to its name.