A few quick program notes from the VSL H.Q. Re: Weather Prep.

Just a situational report from Austin about our weather event:

We're being told on the news reports to expect between ten and fifteen inches of rain in the next 72 hours as a result of Hurricane Harvey, which is now a category 4 storm event. The reach of this system is pretty massive. So, what does this mean for Austin, Texas?

Based on past events we'll see flooding in central parts of the city. We'll see a dramatic rise in the level of Lady Bird Lake, which is part of the Colorado River system and we'll see hundreds of roads closed because they have low water crossings at certain points. For people in low lying areas of Austin, such as Dove Springs, there will be wide spread flooding.

The VSL headquarters is located to the west of the city of Austin in a separate, small community called, Westlake Hills. As the name implies these are the western hills bordering Austin. Our semi-secret laboratories are on a property that's about 450 feet above sea level and about 430 feet higher than any flood level in the history of Austin. Our bigger concern in storms such as this is wind damage.

We may also experience some water on the floor in the main office because the studio sits a bit lower on the property and depends on a French drain to direct water away from our east wall. In previous storms like this we have gotten water on the floor. Our jumbo shopvac is standing by.

We have stocked the pantry with lots of low prep food items that keep well. The wine cellar and liquor cabinets are well and recently stocked. I've been charging batteries for LED panels all day and will stage the panels around the house in the event that we lose electrical power.

We have a library of several thousand books, some of which I have not yet read, so I don't think we'll succumb to boredom even if the event turns out to be protracted. We have had to cancel several weekend events and will sorely miss the income but I am certain my readers will avail themselves of some "must have" purchases from Amazon.com, using my links, and helping to salve the pain of my lost fees.

The gas tanks in the cars are filled and we seem ready. Please wish us luck.

I've heard from VSL friends in Calgary, Paris, Moscow and Saratoga Springs who inquired about our status and that is so nice. If we screw up and were unprepared we'll let you know.

Please remember in your thoughts and prayers all those folks who live in Corpus Christi, Houston and other coastal towns as they will bare the brunt of the storm's impact. And for months afterwards.

The perfect storm camera? That would be the GH5 with the 12-100mm. Both are weather sealed.

Hope everyone rides this one out successfully..... Thank you for the inquiries and good wishes. Kirk

Saturday morning update: Of course, swim practice was cancelled. Sad. The rain didn't start here until about 5 am today and most of it has been brief flurries of rain interspersed with wind gusts. Predications are that the bulk of the rain will start up after noon and go through Sunday. No leaks or incursions to note. I have two different sets of portraits to retouch today so cabin fever probably won't set in until tomorrow. We'll see just how long I can go without swim practice.....


  1. Actually the perfect storm camera would be the Nikonos V ;)

  2. It has been 46 years since I last lived in an area prone to being affected by hurricanes. I clearly remember the preparations she had made around hurricane season. What else can I say except that I wish all the best for you, Belinda, and the studio dog?

  3. Fingers are crossed up here in the Great White North. Though, books, wine....sounds like you're ready.

  4. Good luck and stay safe from the Netherlands.

  5. Good luck, Mother Nature often is unpredictable. I traveled a lot to Victoria and am concerned about my friends there's.

  6. Good luck from Leander, TX- just north of Austin for VSL readers. I charged my rechargeable batteries, bought instant coffee in case the power goes out and I refuse to be Hurricane impacted without coffee-my gas grill will work for cooking!

    Also as I have an Amateur radio license (Ham Radio) and went through the San Francisco earthquake, where all infrastructure including cell phones and internet failed, in my location, got my portable HAM radios charged and prepped for operation if needed. Ham radios have repeater stations that usually don't fail and allow communications.

    Since we are higher than Austin no flooding worries. I plan on doing some photo editing. Summer Weather in Austin-usually heat-tends to force many indoors till evening cooler weather of fall weather shows up.

    Another day in Weird paradise.

  7. First Austin casualty of the storm. Franklins BBQ - featured on Jimmy Kimmel- caught fire. AFT is containing. It started in the Pit room and spread to the main building.

  8. Oh boy, best to you and your family. Stay safe!

  9. Glad you live in the hills. I was working in Huston for a long time after the last one there. I hope Texas doesn't get as much rain as they are predicting. Good Luck!


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