Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I know that's not a word, but it's been that kind of a day.

Glued to the news reports of hurricane damage and floating corpses while I watch my city get deluged by the remnants of Katrina...she swept up into the Ohio Valley and it's been pouring and windy here since about six this morning. Nothing like what happened in the South, but impressive nonetheless; lots of flooding and weather alerts and such going on, in the midst of...

...this. Yet again, Cincinnati has made the national news for something utterly and completely inept that could have been prevented. A train-car tanker full of styrene has been sitting on some railroad tracks near the Lunken airport (east side of town) for around nine months, apparently forgotten by the powers that be. But when you leave a tank of pressurized styrene sitting all by its lonesome for nine months, through one of the hottest summers on record, apparently some problems can develop, such as those chemicals rotting a hole in the top of the tanker and starting to spew forth. This in turn necessitates such precautions as the evacuation of hundreds of people from their homes in the area, the closing of local schools and businesses and a whole bunch of roads, and the fire department spraying cold water all over the damned leaking mess around the clock because there's a danger that it could explode, sending us all to high heaven and releasing a shitload of benzene into the air.

Oy. The mayor is pissed that the railroad company left this thing just sitting there. He said, and I quote, "Wal-mart can track a pair of socks, but you can't track a train car filled with dangerous chemicals." Also, our local terrorism unit is investigating. What are they going to find, terrorists? Ha! No. They're going to find ineptitudities.

Coming into work this morning, I walked through the wind and the rain coming at me sideways, rendering my umbrella useless, smelling the stink of this thing. Since the hurricane is pushing all the air around in funny ways, the wind is blowing east to west instead of the way it's supposed to, which means the stink of this crud is all over downtown now. Luckily this building has a good ventilation system, and if the tanker explodes like they're afraid it will, it's far enough away that it shouldn't hit us here.

Interesting days.


At August 30, 2005 12:57 PM, Blogger deputyswife said...

Holy crap, people are stupid.

Stay safe, sounds like Ohio is a war zone now.

At August 30, 2005 1:48 PM, Blogger Mr. H.K. said...

I like what the mayor had to say!

Mr. H.K.
Postcards from Hell's

And I Quote Blog

At August 30, 2005 2:15 PM, Anonymous atpanda said...

I totally thought of you yesterday when I saw about that thing on the news. Bummer. As if there's not already enough junk floating around in the air.

At August 30, 2005 3:19 PM, Anonymous Jenelle said...

Armageddon, anyone? That's what it seems like anyway...

At August 30, 2005 3:58 PM, Blogger Sorted Lives said...

I agree with your mayor -- hell, Wal-mart could track those socks 4 years later -- hope you are safe --my heart goes out to the people of LA, MS, and AL!

At August 30, 2005 7:29 PM, Blogger Sangroncito said...

This week sucks. I feel so sad every time I turn on the t.v. and see the death and damage keeps getting worse and worse. At least it's a 3-day weekend coming up for my friends. We can hang out together and have a group hug.

You hang in there, too.

At August 30, 2005 7:46 PM, Anonymous Heather said...

Good grief, it's hard to believe that in 2005, a train car full of chemicals could be left and forgotten about. Kind of ridiculous.

Congratulations, you're enjoying the weather I had yesterday (thankfully ATL just got the edge of it)! :) Only we didn't have any stinking chemicals blowing through as well; that, umm, stinks.

At August 30, 2005 8:23 PM, Blogger Jen said...

Can I just say something? Don't you think that the weather patterns are becoming a bit freaky everywhere? It seems like every time I turn around, I hear the term "Record _______"- whether it's talking about hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, storms in general or the blazing sun.

What's this world coming to?

At August 30, 2005 8:54 PM, Blogger The Great Saphenous said...

In regard to what Jenny said, this really has been a weird year in the weather world. Arizona's "monsoon" season lasted about a month less than it normally does, so I guess all the moisture has been in the South this year. Most of the time you only see easterly winds near the equator and the poles, but I have noticed that they're pretty common in North America this year.

At August 30, 2005 8:56 PM, Blogger The Great Saphenous said...

Don't die in a massive explosion, BTW. I forgot to put that in my first comment, and now it's totally weird and unnecessary. Just lookin out for ya dude. No foolies.

At August 30, 2005 8:58 PM, Anonymous E said...

Awwwww....Heather stole my line. I was all set to type "THAT STINKS", and I thought it was really funny, but now I just look like a big copy cat. :)
Sorry you got the crappy weather we were supposed to get.

Oh, and J...I know I tell you this all the time, but I'm glad to have you as a friend. Thanks for the "niceness" on my site this week. I appreciate the kind words.

At August 30, 2005 10:14 PM, Blogger Indigo said...

You've got to be kidding! That's crazy. I wonder if my Hubby has seen this bit of news ... he was in the train unit in the army, so this would be something he's interested in.

(Just out of curiousity, when you and M broke the winch system, how much did that baby cost to replace?)

At August 30, 2005 11:19 PM, Blogger Raehan said...

Thanks for this post. My mother in law lives in Cincinatti. Your writing took me there.

Cincinnati is always making national headlines for the worst reasons!

Stay dry!


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