Sunday, August 26, 2007

When bloggers meet

Here’s what I love about my fellow bloggers: they’re completely open and honest.

Like at the Friday night party that kicked-off the Rising Tide 2 conference. I saw Ashley across the crowded room and made my way to him to say hello. “Hey, Tim!” he said, and then without missing a beat or any prompting whatsoever, “I had a vasectomy today!”


Later, I was telling Bart how much I admire his ability and willingness to really open up on his blog and tell the whole story of his life. “That’s not true,” he protested. “I don’t blog about when I take a crap. Of course, if somebody else takes a crap—like in my yard—I blog about that.”

It's true. There are pictures.

Here’s something else I love about my fellow bloggers: they understand the power of words. They savor words in the way a wine connoisseur swishes the wine around her mouth before finally letting the fruity liquid descend through the throat. Bloggers enjoy the bouquet of good words in much the same way.

During my talk at the conference yesterday, I mentioned how the word “polder” had entered the vocabulary of my fellow engineers. Polder is the Dutch word for a drainage basin or sub-basin.

Mark immediately recognized the significance of the word and its impact. It’s a sign that we’re working with the Dutch and learning from them. It’s a symbol of the partnership and hopefully signals better things to come.

I did not realize that until now. I had blurted out the word as if it was just another carbonated beverage we gulp without a thought. It took Mark recognize and appreciate the fine vintage.

Overall, it was a fun, informative, engaging, entertaining event. I can’t believe I got all that for just twenty bucks. Many, many thanks to the good folks who had the vision and put forth the effort to make it happen. At the risk of leaving someone out, as I am sure I will, we definitely owe a debt of thanks to Maitri, DangerBlond, Oyster, Ashley, Morwen and Lisa. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Tim, that was so you would know I was under heavy sedation, so if I said something stupid, I could blame the drugs.

To me, your talk was the unequivocal highlight of the conference. I'm glad you came, and your talk just rocked.

Unfortunately, you didn't get as much time as I thought you should have. My question would have been: if we want to get 1 in 1,250 protection, can we do it with levees alone? If so, how high must they be?

Anonymous said...

Ditto what Ashley said. Unequivocal highlight. Zirin's talk was damn good too, but I learned the most during yours, Tim. Thanks.

Tim said...


I hope you know that I'm just joshing you. You know I think the world of you, whether your plumbing works or not!



Tim said...

Ashley and B,

Unfortunately there is no good answer to the question, "What would it take to get 1 in 1,250 chance per year protection for New Orleans?" Nobody is working on that.

There is a study called LACPR, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration, that will be showing what it would take to provide 1 in 400 and 1 in 1,000 chance per year protection. They picked the 400 number because that's what the National Weather Service said Katrina was. More importantly, the LACPR study will give an estimate of how much those higher levels of protection will cost. That report is due to go to Congress in December.

Cross your fingers!



mominem said...

I was wandering what the Dutch picked 1/1250. That seems an odd number, I guess its 1/4 1/5000.

But why that number? 1/1000 sounds pretty good to me.

Anonymous said...

Should have commented earlier. But I loved your talk at Rising Tide 2. I learned more from you than I have from countless news articles over the past 2 years. Thanks.

Julie G