The totals for Bastrop (the biggest fire) are 36,000 acres destroyed, 1400 homes burnt, still 30% containment, according to the Austin American Statesman, but I don't think it's been updated yet this morning. The DC10 tanker is supposed to start dropping fire retardant this morning. There are more flare-ups in the county next to us, but nothing closer. The smoke was apparently very bad in Houston yesterday.
The big map of fire looks a bit more sparse this morning:
Texas Wildfires Seen From the International Space Station.
There pictures and video were taken by the sister of a friend, and posted as an iReport on CNN: Fires in Bastrop, TX (or why I was late getting home last night)
Me: I was feeling bad yesterday, congested, itchy eyes, nosebleed, and had trouble eating without feeling sick. Not fun. I couldn't smell smoke here, so it might just have been the dry air, which is really, really dry. I did get some work done on the third Cloud Roads book, and found out my word count was off, so I've actually got more than 86,000 words on it.
A while back we had gotten tickets to see the Prairie Home Companion: Summer Love tour with Garrison Keillor at the university last night, and I'm glad I still felt well enough to go, because it was really good. If you haven't heard it on the radio or seen the very surreal movie, it's a lot funnier and weirder than you think it is.
For one thing, they performed more than three hours continuously. They gave the audience a 15-minute intermission two hours in, but Keillor and the woman singer stayed on the stage the entire time and did audience participation singing to entertain the people who didn't go to the bathroom. Some of the other people took breaks, but Keillor was out there the whole time.
Keillor also did a song that was basically a very detailed description of sex, including oral sex, but all in metaphor. "Like Billie Holiday singing an aria" was one of the metaphors for the highlight moment. They also had a song that was a bunch of jokes, one of which was "God made woman with three breasts, but the third one just got in the way, so he took it off. Woman came to God with the third breast in her hand, and said, 'But what do we do with this useless boob?' and God created man."
Guys Lit Wire has an update on Ballou High School Book Drive At the beginning of the year Ballou had less than one book for each of its students. (The ALA standard is 11 books for every student in a school library.) Well, after all the publicity and the gifts you all purchased (and the many others that were donated by authors and publishers) there are now FOUR books for each Ballou student.
Madeleine Robins: History is an Unknown Country I was thinking about this because I’m reading Black London, a terrific and fascinating book by Gretchen Gerzina about the history of Africans in England. Early in the book Gerzina tells of going into a bookstore looking for material about people of color in London. The saleswoman told her, with a touch of asperity, that everyone knew that there were no blacks in England prior to the end of WW II.
For dark fantasy/horror/zombie fans: zombileaks.com and panamalaugh.com, for the new book The Panama Laugh by Thomas Roche.