So far 2011 has been a year of gargantuan natural tumults that have devastated broad areas of the world's greatest, most advanced nations and caused enormous global economic impact. In a virtually continuous explosion, today's headlines push out the headlines of last month's disasters before the full story is in on any one of them."
Massive flooding in Oceania
A woman trapped on the roof of her car awaits rescue during the Toowoomba flash flood
"January's torrential rains and floods throughout the southern hemisphere inundated so much of Australia that government officials quickly acknowledged it as the greatest natural disaster in the nation's history. Queensland alone had floods the size of South Africa, with preliminary estimates of $10 billion in losses. That was without counting the impact on the enormous coal and coking operations, 90 percent of which were disrupted, and accounted for most of the immediate 20 percent rise in world coke prices. Coke is essential for manufacturing iron and steel products. Australia is the world's leading coal exporter.
As the floods spread south to New South Wales and Victoria provinces, the total area flooded was the combined size of Germany and France. The flood destroyed major parts of Brisbane, a metropolis much larger than New Orleans with scenes of devastation similar to Hurricane Katrina.
Simultaneously, 5,000 miles to the west, rains rampaged much of Sri Lanka's countryside, wiping out 21 percent of the rice crop. The same week, flash floods killed 626 in Brazil.
2011 defined by earthquakes
A woman walks past the rubble from collapsed buildings after an earthquake Feb. 22 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
"New Zealand's February earthquake flattened much of Christchurch, center of the region's population of 500,000. New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key observed, "We may be witnessing New Zealand's darkest day."
Japan's March 11th earthquake was the greatest in Japan's history and one of the greatest recorded in world history. The 24,000 death toll would have been much greater were it not for that nation's amazing social cohesion, high building standards, preparedness and ability to contain the ongoing nuclear disaster. But the 30-foot tsunami rolling over the coastal landscape is being followed by a tsunami of economic consequences for Japan and potential worldwide economic disruption.
Like a tsunami watch, analysts and central bankers are surveying the tides of capital flows, watching to see if the shock suddenly surfaces like a tsunami in capital markets in New York, London and the interconnected web of the global system of capital markets. Japan's earthquake disaster is far from over."
North America not excluded from disaster
A graph of the 2011 United States tornado count as of May 24
"April's outburst of tornadoes in the American South and Midwest is the most devastating in American history. In fact, the recent volume of tornado activity defies explanation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the official weather service of the United States and the most sophisticated on the planet. This April's total of more than 600 tornadoes far exceeds the monthly average of 125. On April 25th, there were 305 tornadoes in 24 hours, resulting in yet uncounted billions of dollars in damage and an estimated 100 deaths.
The NOAA website states: "It should be noted, due to the extreme nature of the tornado activity this month, that it will take several months for the count of tornadoes and tornado-related fatalities/injuries to be finalized. Numbers reported here will likely change in the coming months. A special report on all of the extreme weather and climate conditions of April 2011 will be released by early summer 2011.''
The insurance industry is likely to sustain billions in losses from the disaster. But even this is only the beginning of economic impacts on the United States. As part of the weird North American weather pattern, excessive rainfall combined with continent wide snow melt has led to flooding in the vast Mississippi River system similar to Australia's in January, flooding millions of acres of prime cropland just as planting of essential grains was to be completed.
And most recently a massive tornado swept through the city of Joplin, Missouri, killing over 130 people and causing massive damage. While Joplin is no stranger to tornados, the size and ferocity of this one was both unusual and horrifying. (This brought the tornado death toll to over 500.)
Where does this all end? This may only be the storm before an even bigger storm of geopolitics in the Middle East and Europe. The unprecedented scale of these natural disasters certainly constitutes "tumults" as Jesus predicted.
Throughout these events, millions have prayed daily for relief, bringing meaning to the words of Christ to His followers: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Before the Kingdom comes, those words will be prayed by countless millions more.
Massive natural, environmental and economic disasters have defined the first half of 2011. Bible prophecy identifies events like these as one of the identifying signs of the end times. Where will all these things lead?
These natural disasters certainly constitutes "tumults" as Jesus predicted."
Ray came to do some more painting in the cargo trailer. I showed him what Jay and I had built the day before, and where to paint, so he could carry on without me, which he can, anyway. I had just taken a shower and colored my hair, so I didn't want to get all hot and dusty out there, as I was leaving soon. Yes, we are still in a drought.
My destination was a celebration luncheon for my granddaughter's graduation. She graduated the night before, but the ceremony was in Huntsville, TX, and I don't do dark, so she knew I wouldn't be going to that.
I had a couple of stops to make in our little town before getting on the freeway. I needed to get some more Exclusive dry cat food for the kittens from the feed store. They were out of the smaller bags, so I bought them some Taste of The Wild. As I mix their food with other brands all the time, it won't hurt them to have a change of food, as they will still be eating half of the other brand that they are used to.
Then as an added gift, I bought Michelle a bottle of softgel 1200mg Calcium with 1000 mg of D3 , and a bottle of softgel Vitamin A with Omega 3. I had taken an extra pretty bag with a bow on it for those, on which I wrote that I wanted her to be healthy and happy, because I loved her, and when she ran out that I would buy her more. Like a lot of young folk, I know she doesn't eat right.
The I-45 was packed with southbound traffic on it's way to Houston, or further south to Galveston. Being a local person, I went east over to SH 75, and went south on it … just like the rest of the locals, I found out! I am not used to being out on a Saturday afternoon. In fact I don't go anywhere in the hot summer afternoons, if I can help it.
It was a very hot sunny day, 95 deg., but when I arrived at the Mexican restaurant which had no shade in the parking lot, I could hear a dog whimpering in a car. So I went inside, hugged my granddaughter, and then tried to find out who the dog belonged to. It was a member of our big celebration party, who had driven down from Dallas. He seemed annoyed that I mentioned the dog, and huffily walked out to his truck muttering that the dog was fine, and he had just checked on it. The windows were only down about 1-1/2 inches on each side, so the dog was panting hard, and it's tongue was hanging out longer than it's Chihuahua nose. The man showed me that the dog had water, a little tiny metal container that must have been so hot that the dog couldn't drink it. I didn't say anything, but I could see he didn't appreciate my presence, so I went back inside, but I heard him start the truck. Maybe he finally realized how distressed the dog was. He didn't come back to the table for a long time. I was so sorry for the poor little dog.
The many tables were placed in a U-shape, and I was at the head table across from my granddaughter and her boyfriend.
Left: Michelle and Cory.
Right: Jimmy, (Michelle's older brother), Michelle, and me.
The waiters brought us big serving plates of great food to pass around, including chicken and beef fajitas. As long as they kept the guacamole coming, I was happy.
My son Kevin, Michelle's father, was not invited, but he did go to the graduation in Huntsville, which was quite a trip for him. Probably just as well he wasn't at the luncheon, as he is miffed at Michelle's mother, Becky. She got the school to hold Michelle back a year, so she could get another year of child support! Kevin had already bought Michelle a car and other things.
Michelle's little brother, Carson, was a good, well behaved little boy as usual, he will be 2 years old on 4th. July.
A while later, the dog owner asked me if I had called the police. Someone had, but not me, though I had thought about it. That is why he hadn't come back to the table for so long. If the silly sod lives in Dallas, he should know that it is illegal to leave a dog in a hot car in TX. He should have had more sense anyway, I could tell he was a bit stupid, no one in TX likes hot leather seats!!
People should be more prepared when they travel with an animal, if he had had a carrier, I am sure the restaurant would have let him leave the dog in that outside cool covered enclosed patio, behind Michelle and Cory, as no one was in there. When several of the party went outside for a smoke, I saw that he had turned the truck around, so that the windshield wasn't getting the full brunt of the sun, and the motor and AC was running.
A great time was had by all, and I saw some of Michelle's relatives on her mother's side, that I haven't seen for a while, even though they live near me on another part of Lake Conroe.
Another of her relatives said that Michelle looks like me, maybe she will in another 50/60 years!
So it was hugs all around, and that ended a wonderful day.