I need to be working.
But for the last four hours or more, I’ve been glued to my laptop.
I’m watching live coverage of the horrific Category 5 tornado that has devastated Moore, Oklahoma, which is 15 minutes north of my hometown.
Very early in the piece, KFOR’s weatherman said this two-and-a-quarter mile wide, killer tornado had caused at least three times as much damage as the monster tornado that smashed much of this same area back in May 1999.
The “measured” news reports by Okie journalists is impressive.
And tears from reporters on the ground, with the dead and injured, are totally understandable.
Seems this tornado is “the worst case scenario”.
It went from clear blue skies over Moore, just south of Oklahoma City, to a Category 5 tornado in one hour, which is unheard of.
Then came the onslaught of bad news and more bad news and then worse news:
- an interviews with a dazed old man. His horse farm was simply gone, including 80-100 dead horses
- an emotional reporter talks about seeing four bodies, including a baby, being pulled from one collapsed building
- helicopter shots, and then, later, street shots — after media finally get to the devastated area — show vast areas that look like Ground Zero
- then the worst news of all: up t0 75 kids appear to have been in an elementary school that was smashed to bits
- 37 confirmed fatalities. And it is still early.
- plus 30 children may have died in the elementary school that took a direct hit
All the while, I am Facebooking and Tweeting.
Even though phone lines are down, social media are still working.
My Arkansas niece has already confirmed that our family in Norman and Oklahoma City are safe.
I ring a childhood friend who lives north of the affected area. He is fine. But he sounds grave and shaken.
A high school friend Facebooks from Mexico. “I should be in the pool but I cannot take my eyes of my iPad watching the live streaming.”
Sort of Like 9/11
On Sept. 11, I heard about the terror attacks on the World Trade Centers as I was pulling out of my driveway in West Auckland to go to work at my PR agency.
Almost for the whole day, I was glued to the TV — doing no work — praying for the victims and especially a friend in New York City.
As I write this now, I am sick to death of watching this “heart-breaking and mind-numbing” devastation in Moore. Relentlessly live.
But I cannot stop.
I’m watching confused people, carrying their cats and Bibles, and maybe a single bag, wandering aimlessly, not knowing where to go, but being told they have to get somewhere before night hits.
The number of dead is 51.
And that number will do nothing but climb.
The “search and RECOVERY” at primary schools is still underway.
“Recovery” means those babies and their teachers are dead.
Oklahoma, my heart is on the ground.
Kia Kaha from New Zealand.
I write this, because there is nothing else I can do.
Lord have mercy.
Go here to donate to the Red Cross.
I may be slightly run down from the week’s horking (see post below).
Or the Lemsip might have been spiked.
But I think the reason I had an all-timer nap this afternoon was because of the wet Crack Puppies.
The GM Finance ran both of them through the dishwasher today.
Then she blow-dried them.
Or blew-dried them.
If you are a grammaritran.
There is no way I have the flu.
I know this because I had a flu shot a month ago.
So it must be something else that is causing me to hork up bits of lung.
And be a real pleasure to be around.
So I sit here in front of my laptop, looking out the window, into yet more rain and darkness.
New Zealand is beautiful. But fall/winter here sucks.
Or horks, to be more accurate.
I was getting a fix at McDonald’s today.
And I could not help noticing, because I am not quite dead yet, a hotsy young Chinese coed who was wearing a miniskirt that, if I were to have measured it, and not been arrested, would have proven to be shorter in inches than her stilettos were tall.
Now, I may be a curmudgeon, but I do understand this.
She was young and strutting her stuff for her McCheapo Caucasian boyfriend.
What I cannot understand, for the life of me, is the following scenario that plays out every single day in Auckland’s CBD.
Clomp. Clomp. Clomp.
The passing of the legendary George Jones brings back a lot of high school memories.
Not because we were huge George fans.
To us, C&W meant more Waylon & Willie & the Boys than George.
But George played a big part in our senior year at Norman High School.
The Race Is On
I feel tears wellin’ up cold and deep inside
Like my heart’s sprung a big break
And the stab of loneliness, sharp and painful
That I may never shake
Now you might say that I was taking it hard
Since you wrote me off with a call
But don’t you wager that I’ll hide the sorrow
When I may break right down and bawl
It’s always funny.
You pick up an American at the airport, you put their suitcase in the “boot”, and then they walk round to the driver’s-side door.
“Ha. I forgot the steering wheel is on the wrong side down here!” they say in their jet-lag coma.
Then they repeat this behavior about a thousand times over the next few days because they cannot break a lifetime habit.
It’s even better when you are visited by a gutsy Yank with Hobbit fever who is absolutely committed to making the Haj to Hobbiton.
Such was the case recently.