We’re in the final countdown to Rita’s landfall and while I am here in sunny Northern California, a number of my friends are in the greater Houston area and - it seems, in for quite a few hours of rain.

I was originally slated to go to Austin this weekend, but as the city will be full of evacuees and cumulonimbus clouds, I decided to postpone for another week. Elle, being of the Southern California state of mind finds the prospect of facing a hurricane particularly scary (not that I can blame her after the Katrina coverage). I had to explain to her that, for me, facing a hurricane (or 2-5) a summer is just the way things were. Once I said that our hurricanes were like her earthquakes or wildfires, much worse owing to media coverage, she seemed a bit calmer. Nevertheless, we’ll be around these parts this weekend.

But it is certainly the seared after image of Katrina that has led many Houstonians to bail on the Bayou City. Not my dad, though. I think he’s right to stay at this point. The governor of the state and the mayor are certainly not going to jeopardize their political futures by not encouraging everyone - and we do mean everyone - to get out of town (and make sure they have no sob story to tell the drama-hungry 24-hour news eye. Houston’s highways are jam-packed, it’s taking 9 hours to get out town – you might as well stay as long as you’re not in the flood plain.