my Keens, or the end of my Birkenstock era

I've been wearing Birkenstocks to work everyday since March 1999. I have two pairs, a black pair and a brown pair and I've resoled them both numerous times.

I thought it was time for a change and couple weeks ago, I started wearing Keen sandals. They're very comfortable and seem to be well designed. I do hope they last a long time or I'll just have to pull out my Birkenstocks again.

Katina's Family Hurricane Fund

Donate via PayPal
* I'm working with friends at PayPal hopefully to waive the transaction fees…I'll let you know how it goes.

Short version of the story:
My wife Katina is from New Orleans and her family was affected significantly by Hurricane Katrina. They're all accounted for, safe, and doing okay, and they're currently in Dallas, Texas and Brandon, Miss. If you'd like to donate to her family, we set up a PayPal link above. Otherwise, just keep us in your prayers. You know how Katina and I do things, we're going to take care of business and make sure our family is taken care of.

Here's the full story:
Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans about two weeks ago (just as I was finishing Ironman Canada). Most of my wife's family evacuated and usually, they can come back in two to three days. But clearly not this time. All of our family lives on the West Bank so it looks like their property may still be in tact and wasn't damaged too badly by the flooding. Not sure what the hurricane damage was like but they can't go back home. There's nothing to go back to yet. It's looking like 6 months to a year before they can go back home.

Our family includes:
In Dallas, Tx
Katrina = (Katina's sister…yup her name is Katrina)
Joe and Gary = Katrina's 7 year old and 4 year old
Debra = Katina's aunt
Charlene = Katina's aunt
Tiphane, Ricky, Tynia (& Leroy) = Charlene's kids, Leroy is Tynia's husband

In Brandon, Miss.
Rochelle = Katina's Mom
Grandma Ellen and her husband
Darlene & Alaiya = Katina's aunt and cousin

Alaiya and Gary Frederick the Third!

Our family in Brandon is in good shape. Our family in Texas could use some help. They're essentially having to start over. The kids were supposed to start school already and so we have to take care of that. Katina and I actually pay for Gary to go to school. He goes to Arden Cahill Academy, one of the best schools in New Orleans. So, getting the kids to a good school is a priority for us. Also, everyone is pretty much out of a job, FEMA isn't much assistance, and we have four kids to take care of.

What the money will be used for:
– essentials until we get these guys settled into a job
– food, gas money, clothes
– household items, they have to start from scratch with household goods
– stuff for the kids
– medicine

We've sent some money over but not a lot yet. They still have to establish bank accounts in Dallas.

They've got apartments, three via HUD, so rent will be covered for a year. We're working on getting FEMA relief help (which is just ridiculous), insurance stuff, and other paperwork.

I'll write more as we go. But thank you already for all your support. It's very much appreciated.