We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Amazingly, just three weeks after Katrina reached an atmospheric pressure of 902 millibars out in the Gulf, Hurricane Rita has been measured at 897 mb, making it the third most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin (behind only Gilbert in 1988 and the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935). Conditions have been perfectly suited for intensification thus far (stormtrack has details here), but as the storm continues on a collision course with the Texas coast atmospheric patterns should become somewhat less favorable, hopefully helping to weaken it somewhat before landfall. While we here at Maggie's Farm are praying for the safety of everyone in the path of the storm, it's still awe-inspiring to look at the satellite images of this astonishingly powerful hurricane.