Friday, September 23, 2005

Waiting for Rita...

I'm in downtown Houston waiting for the storm to hit. The winds have picked up a bit, although I don't think they are quite "tropical stormish" yet. The skies are also still disquietingly clear. Of course this will change over the next few hours. Our greatest fear is that our windows will not resist the winds or some flying debri.

The city is largely deserted, although we still managed to find open business. We didn't feel like sitting at home for two days, so we decided to out for lunch. My wife's parents arrived from Sweden on Tuesday... After driving for a while through downtown, midtown, West Gray, Riveroaks and Kirby, we found that most restaurants were closed -- I remember just one open greek restaurant early on. Just as we were beginning to think about going back home, we decided to try Rice Village. It was almost completely deserted, but one restaurant was open -- Prego. Not my favorite and a bit pricey for my taste, but yesterday it felt great!

Another island of sanity in these tense days has been SciGuy's blog, written by Eric Berger, a science writer for the Houston Chronicle. His posts have been one of the best news sources around, consistently informative, clear, succint, and not overly dramatic; a wonderful antidote to the hysterical drivel from local and cable news. No wonder so many people have decided to leave town... Thank you!

Talking of science blogs, if you want to take your mind off the Rita madness you should check out Carl Zimmer's latest posts: one on whale evolution, the other on science blogging. Now I think I'm going to turn to some evolutionary biology of my own, as I prepare to resubmit my latest manuscript. The clouds are getting darker.

Update: It's over now. It lasted some 12h but, as you know by now, Houston was lucky. It was hard to sleep because one of our windows thought it was in a bad horror movie and howled and whistled all night.