Rain, rain everywhere — or so you’d think.
But that’s not the case.
Rick Husband International Airport recorded 1.4 inches of rain over two days this week. But at our house across town, we got only a sprinkle. Our rain gauge recorded next to nothing.
What’s more, Lake Meredith’s levels continue to fall. It’s at 44 1/2 feet — and receding. I looked recently at a local television Web site and read an explanation of just how the lake could return to its historic levels, about double where it is now. It would have to flood in Fritch, pouring enough water into the lake to bring it back up to where it used to be. Goodness, I would hate for that happen to our neighbors in Hutchinson County.
I received a note this week from a Hansford County commissioner that thanks Texas transportation officials for their response to the horrendous torrent that fell across that region.
So here we are, nearly halfway through the year and the year-to-date moisture levels are considerably greater than normal at the National Weather Service station at AMA.
Why, though, does it still seem so dry?
Republican U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry of Clarendon isn’t known for snarkiness — unlike, say, Democratic U.S. Rep. Barney Frank or U.S. Sen. Al Franken.
But he unveiled a different side of himself Wednesday when commenting on the Changing of the Generals announcement at the White House. Stanley McChrystal is out and David Petraeus is in as commander of allied forces in Afghanistan. McChrystal got into serious trouble when he and his senior aides were quoted criticizing White House and Pentagon officials over their conduct of the war in Afghanistan. Vice President Biden was the target of some of the sarcastic comments from McChrystal’s staff.
“General McChrystal said some things he should not have said, and his staff engaged in immature banter — all in front of a (Rolling Stone) reporter,” Thornberry said in a statement. “It was poor judgment. There was never any indication of insubordination or of policy differences, however. Even the president admitted that.”
“So it came down to personalities and political embarrassment,” Thornberry said, adding this:
“If every person in government who has made fun of Vice President Joe Biden is forced to resign, there will be few people left.”
John Isner has just defeated Nicholas Mahut in the longest tennis match in the sport’s history.
Good for him — I think.
Isner, the American, defeated Mahut, of France, by a score of 70-68 in the fifth set. The match lasted more than 11 hours over three days. Usually these five-set matches end in tiebreakers. Not at Wimbledon, however.
So, now Isner goes on to the next round, but only if he can pull himself out of bed. Both men claimed utter and complete exhaustion. No kidding?
Allow me to make a couple of predictions:
— Inser and Mahut are going to become best friends for the rest of their lives.
— Sports historians will link them forever, the way they did Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
I was telling friends and colleagues Wednesday that I would hate to be the guy who actually won the match. Isner won’t have anything left for the next match. Mahut, however, can take as long as he needs to sleep it off.
This might be my all-time favorite roadside marquee message. It’s at Southwest Church of Christ, at 45th and Cornell in Amarillo.
Honk if you love Jesus, text while driving if you want to meet him.
I added the emphasis on the words “text while driving,” for reasons I hope you’ll understand.
Way to go!
I had a horrifying thought this morning as I was driving north along a major west Amarillo thoroughfare en route to work: My effort to read the other side of a marquee as I was traveling along the street could have resulted in a tragic accident.
It was early this morning. I noticed the sign, then realized that the rest of the message was on the other side of the marquee. I turned my head to read the “punchline” on the other side. I was distracted for, oh, about three seconds. I was traveling about 35 or 40 mph, which means I traveled quite distance in a short period of time.
Given that traffic was very light at 6:30 a.m., I had no particular worry at that moment of hitting a car in front of me.
But what about the morning rush hour, when the street is clogged with northbound traffic? Or how about the evening rush hour, when the southbound lanes are full of vehicles? What if someone cranes his or her neck to read the sign, as I did this morning? You’ve taken your eyes off the street, and the traffic, for a moment. Then a critter — or, heaven forbid, a child — darts out into the street. The driver in front of you slams on the brakes. You hit the car and, thus, you are liable for the wreck.
I enjoy reading clever signs as much as the next guy. I also fear auto accidents.
Therefore, I plan to take more care to keep my attention focused on the road.
And business owners perhaps ought to rethink the wisdom of putting two-sided marquee messages out there to tempt motorists into taking their eyes off the street in front of them.
The cat’s out of the bag downstate, with reporting today in the Houston Chronicle that Wales Madden Jr. is crossing the partisan divide to support Democrat Bill White’s candidacy for Texas governor.
Madden is a longtime Republican stalwart who supported Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s gubernatorial bid in the GOP primary. Hutchison lost and now Madden is backing White, a mountain-climbing pal who has worked with Madden on nuclear issues relating to the Pantex arms assembly and storage plant in Carson County.
Madden has been a longtime lawyer and businessman in Amarillo. He’s a big hitter in this part of the state and he joins a number of other Republicans who are crossing over to support White’s challenge of GOP incumbent Gov. Rick Perry.
The question of the day, though, is this: Will this support among the movers and shakers translate to actual votes among Republicans in November?
I just watched John Glenn being interviewed on TV and have concluded the following: This man still could suit up and fly into space.
The former astronaut/senator argues that President Obama shouldn’t discontinue the shuttle program. Keep it flying, he says, because it’s basically going to cost the U.S. as much to use Russian space vehicles to fly men and women to the International Space Station as it would to use our own space ships.
Glenn flew twice into space, once in 1962 and again in 1998. The 36-year gap between space flights is — by far — the longest such span in U.S. or Russian space travel history. When the shuttle Discovery lifted off in 1998, the space flight communicator announced to the world that “we have liftoff of the shuttle Discovery, with six astronaut heroes — and one American legend.”
Oh, my. I get goose bumps whenever I think of that moment.
I, too, remember when my mom and I would awaken early on many mornings and wait for the Mercury and then the Gemini flights to take off from Florida. Glenn’s first flight was postponed several times before finally taking off on that measly three-orbit fling around the planet.
Today, the senator/spaceman proved once again that he has as much mental acuity as he’s ever had. He’s sharp, knowledgeable and speaks with tremendous credibility.
John Glenn’s a legend, all right. And he’s still my hero.