I have seen a few of the pictures of devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan along the Alabama coast and the Florida pan-handle. Quite a few of them from Gulf Shores, where my grandfathers beach house is, or was—I don’t know how it fared but considering that the island Gulf Shores is on was for some time totally submerged and the amount of damage I have seen in the pictures I doubt it fared very well.

Having just been in Gulf Shores before I came it Singapore, it’s a little surrealistic to see pictures of places I know — places several miles inland, under three or four feet of water. To see places I just shopped now leveled with their wares scattered across the parking lot. Places I ate with their roofs upside down and their interior filled with sand and water.

It’s the price you pay for living along the Gulf coast. No different than earthquakes in Southern California. But it’s still surreal. I just posted a few of the better pics I took while I was down at my Grandfathers—you can look at them here [].

I don’t know when the next time I will be in Gulf Shores might be, but it won’t be the same. For some time the relentless march of capitalism has been ripping up the small homes and businesses and replacing them with high-rise luxury condos for visitors. Now I expect that process will be greatly accelerated as people sell their land rather than rebuild. The well backed investors will come in and buy up every plot of land along the beach—wherever it lies now—and they will build up make as much money as they can before the next big storm huffs and puffs and blows all of their houses down again.