Musing at the start of a long weekend…

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I took a day off from work today…It seemed like a good investment in mental health. My wife had already scheduled the day off planning for the scheduled arrival of our latest grandson. In case you are wondering, he’s decided the schedule wasn’t approved by his royal personage so he’s going to be fashionably late.

Now, under normal conditions, this wouldn’t pose a concern. But, depending on just how long this soon to be kid hangs on, we may be facing a bit of a travel conundrum…

CHALMETTE, La., Aug. 28 — Determined to avoid the mistakes made when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, federal and state officials began preparations for massive evacuations if it becomes clear that Tropical Storm Gustav will sweep over the region with the same force as Katrina.

Preparing for Mass Exodus As Gustav Gathers Strength – washingtonpost.com.

Now, the closest thing we have to an oracle, my wife, states with no uncertainty that Gustav will not pose a threat to this blessed event…Do you hear that Gus. But just to be safe, I think I’ll be monitoring the weather sites all weekend, even as I make plans for the best little birthing coaxer I know…Labor Day Barbecue.

It was an after Christmas family barbecue (this is Texas you know, and if I recall the temperatures were in the 70’s that day) back in 1982 that coaxed our first born to begin that journey into the world…Maybe it will work again with our youngest and her own little bundle of joy. So I’ll be shopping for a great big chunk of beef brisket to put on the pit for a couple of days of slow smoky cooking…And just in case, I think I’ll plan the meal for Sunday. That way if it works we have Monday to get this kid born before the worst of a possible storm can play havoc with the twenty mile drive to the hospital.

And speaking of driving…

Houston ChronicleNEW YORK — Drivers might want to top off their tanks early before hitting the road for Labor Day weekend.

Consumers could face higher prices at the pump during the busy holiday period as Gustav swirls toward the Gulf of Mexico on a path that could disrupt energy production. Any damage to oil and gas facilities — especially along the Gulf Coast — could send retail gas prices spiking back to $4 a gallon or higher, analysts say.

Regardless of where the storm hits, gasoline prices look to be headed higher.

“Prices are going to go up pretty soon. You’re going to see increases by 5, 10, 15 cents a gallon,” said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief analyst at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, N.J.

That’s because supply worries over Gustav have pushed wholesale gas prices up nearly 40 percent along the Gulf in the last few days, meaning struggling filling stations will have little choice but to pass on the costs by ratcheting up prices at least temporarily.

The sooner, the better if you plan to fuel up | Business | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

So, while I’m out I guess I’ll fill up the vehicles…And they say speculation doesn’t have any effect on the price of gas…Isn’t that exactly what “supply worries” in the above is all about?

And on the subject of Gustav…

Gov. Rick Perry issued a disaster declaration Thursday as Tropical Storm Gustav — which is already blamed for as many as 67 deaths in Hispaniola — appeared likely to strengthen into a major hurricane and threaten the Texas Gulf Coast.

“I urge Texans along the coast to monitor this storm closely, heed warnings from their local leaders, and take necessary precautions to protect their families, homes and businesses,” Perry said.

Louisiana and Mississippi also declared states of emergency in advance of the storm.

The National Hurricane Center forecast Gustav to strike anywhere from Texas near Port O’Connor to the Florida Panhandle by early next week, possibly as a Category 3 hurricane.

Perry intensifies preparations as Gustav nears | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

So that means I am living in a declared disaster and the storm is still messing with Jamaica. So what does it all mean? At five days out…nobody knows. Bu here are the latest computer models…

Keep safe and enjoy the weekend…I will.

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