Florida

Storm (?) Followup

It now looks like my weather predictions weren’t all that far off.  Here, locally, this has been a non-event.  We may have received a grand total of 7 minutes of rain since Saturday morning.  Wind conditions are at worst, breezy.  There were a few gusts yesterday evening and overnight, but not ‘tis nothing.

My tweet from yesterday evening. Just before the one rain band we had hit.

I’m not trying to downplay this, or any storm.  Growing up in South Florida in the 60’s and 70’s, I know how devastating hurricanes can be.  I count myself as lucky that we missed this one.  It was a Cat1 as it approached, but then dropped down to a strong tropical storm the closer it came to us.  As the graphic below shows, wind speed at 0800 (8 AM) was still sustained at 70 MPH.  That’s just 5 MPH below a Cat1 hurricane.  And we are still under a tropical storm warning since the winds can wrap around the back of the storm and still affect us.

The track as of 0800, Monday 3 August.

Guess today will be spent moving everything back into the yard that we brought in.  Guess there’s worse things we could be doing.


Not much else going on today, so here’s a somewhat relevant video. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Randomness Followup

It would seem that my meteorological musings were wrong.  Nothing new there. The mountains of Hispaniola did not kill the storm, which has grown and become Hurricane Isaias.  The predicted track for the storm moves back and forth from hitting the east coast of Florida, to staying offshore.  What this means is the more it moves west, the weaker the storm but more impact on my family (as well as my brother’s).  If it stays east, then the storm will be stronger but will impact us less.  In either case I am again so extremely glad that I don’t work for the city any longer and will not see any EOC duty this time. 

According to this map from the NHC & NOAA we have about a 30% chance of getting tropical storm force winds at about 2000 hours (8 PM) tomorrow evening.

We did a quick grocery store run last night, just to make sure we had our supplies if we lose power (again).  In 2004 we had three hurricanes hit us.  We were without power after the first storm for about 17 days, then another 11 days from the second storm.  I will test the generator later today.


Today (1 Aug 2020) marks the day that MTV launched 39 years ago in 1981.  The cable system in our little suburb of Miami didn’t carry it.  It was several years later that we were living somewhere we could get it without paying for a higher tier package.

A number of years ago we were sitting in a local restaurant that had a DJ playing music.  The DJ had some prizes to give away and was asking music trivia questions you had to answer to win the prize.  His first question was to name the first video that MTV played.  I jumped up, went to the booth and gave him the answer, but I didn’t want the prize.  The prize for this question was tickets to a NASCAR race.  I am not a race fan.  I have no use for tickets to any event like that.  When I told him, I didn’t want the tickets, he couldn’t believe it.  Why was I in a restaurant in the middle of the tourist area on a race weekend if I wasn’t a race fan?  I can’t answer that.  But that’s how it happened.

Here’s that video.  Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Random Randomess

Just keeping the blog name relevant here..

Seems to me that Mars (AKA the red planet) is turning into an interplanetary Club Med.  The UAE, China, and now NASA have all sent rockets out that way.  I’m thinking that a Motel 8 with an attached Denny’s will be built soon.  But we all know that it all comes crashing down on 5 April 2385.  What, you don’t watch Star Trek: Picard?  Shame on you.


Seems mother nature is at it again.  #Floriduh is once again in her sights as a tropical storm is bearing down on us.

But it’s only a tropical storm so us natives don’t get too excited. We just check the battery cabinet, grab another adult beverage and call it a day.  Besides this is, as of now, a rather disorganized storm. Not to mention it is expected to cross over Hispaniola and its rather tall mountain range, a known storm killer.  As the image show, the current track takes it east of us which means the strongest part of the storm will be on the other side, out in the Atlantic.  I am so very happy that I am not working my last job anymore.  I would be getting ready for another stay in the lovely EOC if the storm does hit.  Tropical storms are anything but predictable, so this may change.  Watch this space!


On the genealogy side, I found two cousins that appear to be on the Campbell side!  This is most unusual, as I’ve always maintained that my Campbells won’t do a DNA test lest we be connected to a 15th century cattle raid.  We Campbells’ aren’t the most trustworthy lot, after all.  As both these matches are just beginning their family trees, I can’t yet place them on my tree.  Hopefully, they will take my offer to help them get going and we can find our common ancestors.  Only time will tell.


I did enjoy the way many of our news outlets stated the testimony of several of our big tech companies had before members of congress yesterday.  To paraphrase “Congress to grill tech CEOs”.  I offered to bring the charcoal, but nobody took me up on the offer.  Their loss.


Things here at the house are changing.  Seems that our granddaughters will be here full time.  Meaning my thoughts of a “quiet retirement” have been changed.  Not that it bothers me.  I look forward to having them here to do their remote schoolwork.  The tech available at our house is much better than what is available at other family members homes.  I will have to get at least a part time job to offset the additional costs that are associated with having two more folks here full time, but in all honesty, I was already looking. 


Remember this meme from before the 2016 election?

It’s becoming more and more true.  Our “Dear Leader” will not say if he will accept the November election results if he loses, and today floated the idea that the election should be delayed “…until people can properly, securely, and safely vote???”.   The “last president” indeed.  I do fear a civil war is brewing.


For those of us here in #Floriduh (and I can call it that as a native-born son), our “Dear Leader” Governor Ron DeSantis has spawned several new memes.

I have long referred to him #GovRonDeMoron or #GovRonDeVirus, but #DeathSantis fits so much better.  Once we can get rid of him we can go back to being #Florida.  Yes, #FloridaMan and #FloridaWoman will still help keep us #Floriduh, provided of course that they survive.


Seems that beers sales are bouncing back.  Well, I had nothing to do with that for once.  I’ve been avoiding beer as of late, although the growler of Pale Ale son-the-younger brought home from his work last night was very tasty.  The main reason I’ve been avoiding beer is the carbohydrates.  I am trying to lose weight although at my age that’s neigh on impossible.   I’m hoping that even a part time job will get me out of the house enough removing me from the snack box.  Whisky on the other hand is a genuinely nice substitute.


Wifey and I are ready to go back to Scotland. Who’s with us??


Have to figure out where all the coffee is going. It seems we are buying bags and bags of beans every week. You don’t think my being home all day has anything to do with it, do you? Nah…


Finally, get out and #VOTE.  Yes, I’m talking to you.  I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, nor ask you who you did vote for.  I will ask you if you plan on voting.  I will vote via mail this year.  Having been in the military for so long it seems second nature to me.  Plus, I hate standing in line for anything!


Here is a totally unrelated video for you.  Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Food! Glorious Food!

So, today while making lunch for the crew today, I saw this on the bag of fries;

That is a very specific temp.

You don’t normally see a temp of 420. 425, 450, or 350 are the usual settings. So I asked Wifey, how do you think they came up with 420? Was it years of testing? Trying all the variables of times and temps? I would love to have seen the lab records…

“Tried half a bag @350 for 1 hour. Still soggy, inedible. Gave to the dog. He wouldn’t eat them either.”

“Tried half a bag @475 for 1 hour. Had to call the fire department. Dog howled at the sirens.”

“Tried half a bag @475 for 30 minutes. Dog chipped a tooth on them.”

“Tried half a bag @350 for 90 minutes. Same as last attempt. Dog afraid to try them.”

“Gave up and ate them frozen. Dog is very pissed.”

Poor dog..

But what I think really happened was like this.

Tech 1: “Let’s try half a bag @420.”

Tech 2: “420? Who the fuck cooks at 420?”

Tech 1: “It’s 420. Get it?”

Tech 2: “Huh??”

Tech 1: “420 – you know.. As in.. (points at baggy in lab coat pocket).”

Tech 2: “Ah… Yes, they’ll eat anything after that shit!”

OK, maybe not. But it could have happened at my house!

It’s like the story that sharks don’t eat people because they don’t like the way we taste. Now who the hell did that taste test? I say it went like this;

Scene: Two labs techs stand by a large pool with a great white shark swimming in it.

Tech1: Throws in a chicken and watches while the shark eats the chicken.

Tech 2: Writes on clipboard; “Shark likes chicken”

Tech 1: Throws a pig into the pool, watches while shark eats the pig.

Tech 2: Writes on clipboard; “Shark likes pig”

Tech 1: Pushes a cow into the pool. Shark eats the cow.

Tech 2: Writes on clipboard; “Shark likes cow”

Tech 1: Thinks for a moment, pushes tech 2 into the pool. The shark bites Tech 2, but doesn’t eat him/her.

Tech 1: Writes on clipboard; “Shark doesn’t like humans”

Actually, the shark was full, and was hoping for some ice cream.

No? Then let me tell you a true story. Yes, really. This is true.

When we lived in Alaska our neighbors called us the “ethnic family”. Not that we were “ethnic” (whatever that means). After all we are your basic WASP. They were referring to our eating habits. If you follow me on Twitter or better yet, Instagram (links at the bottom of the post) you know we eat from just about every “ethnic” group out there.

One guy in particular, “Long John” asked almost every night; “What are you making tonight?”

Fish & Chips!

“Don’t you guys eat normal food”? He would ask…

Now, to be honest, those pictures are not from when we were in Alaska. They are much more current, but that’s what we ate then and now. We have stepped up the game since then tho..

And seafood, of course. This is #Floriduh after all.

Breakfast anyone?

And I haven’t even started on the grilled and/or smoked stuff!

Give me your food story!

Peace,
B

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Another Post Bites The Dust

I had a really cool idea for a post, even had Wifey on board to help me, just to find out my entire premise was wrong… So what’s a ramblin’ blog writer to do?

Well, I guess I could write about genealogy. How I had a cousin (not on the Campbell side, of course) that I had not heard from in many years contact me. Now she did send me the message on a website I very seldom use back in August and I just saw it yesterday. But we’ve had a good conversation via email since then.

I could post about the ongoing home repairs, but all we’ve really done since the last post is hang a few pictures. I did finish painting one set of closet doors. But that’s it. It was while we were going through the many boxes of photos we have to see if we want to put new pictures on the wall that made me go to the genealogy site where I found that message board post. Funny how things tie together like that.

Also there was the little fair we went to Friday night. We all took the girls to see the newest Aladdin movie “under the stars”. I didn’t stay long as my back and legs were acting up in a very bad way. Plus even though there were two beer tents they weren’t selling any beer that night. What a waste.

Maybe I could use how our contracted garbage company (contracted by the county, not us personally), won’t pick up some wood that’s in a garbage can. I realize that when they came by for their usual pick up they thought that it was construction waste. It does look like that. This is wood from some old chairs that son-the-younger broke apart so we could stash them away when the last hurricane was headed our way. But when I called and explained what it was, I was told I had to take it out of the can and “bundle” it. WTF?? They won’t take loose pieces. This is the same company that doesn’t have a claw truck to pick up tree branches and such. We live in a very hurricane prone state, and trees not only get blown down in these storms, folks have to cut them back on a regular basis for safety.

I guess I don’t really have anything to post about after all. So here’s a video. Enjoy!

You saw this one coming, didn’t ya??

Peace,
B

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Guess We Just Don’t Have It In Us

Both of my faithful readers, along with those that follow me on Twitter and the FaceBook (links are at the bottom of every post folks), know we like beer. A lot. Although we usually go for US craft beers, and even then specifically local brews, we are not above some of the mass produced stuff either. But before you go and think we’re drinking the big brews we all know (and hate), we do our best to avoid anything from the really big guys; ABIn-Bev (Budweiser and such) and the Miller-Coors group, among others. As far as I’m concerned (Wifey wisely is not chiming in on this topic), all that those guys produce is yellow fizzy water. Or, if you prefer cougar piss.

One of the mass produced beers we do like is Modelo. And yes, sadly, it’s owned by ABIn-Bev. </sigh> We prefer Negra Modelo, but even Especial is nice.

So what am I getting at here? (Yes he’s off on some tangent again…) Well it’s this. Modelo has taken a very macho stance in it’s current advertising. They’ve been using UFC fighters, futbol (soccer for us Americans) teams, and now this. As a wimpy old fat guy, I guess I don’t fit their profile. Wifey was the one who saw this commerical and said “We can’t drink Modelo anymore. We’re not fighters”.

Well, I’m not changing to Corona (Mexican yellow fizzy water). Guess we’ll have to sneak our Negra’s. And to really screw things up, with our “Cuban” dinner tonight (Citrus Skirt Steak, Yellow Rice and Black Beans, with an Avocado Salad, I’ll have a Warsteiner Pilsner.

No, this is not some half-assed attempt to get Modelo to send me free beer. It’s a full-assed attempt. Please make this go viral so they send me FREE BEER!!!

Peace,
B

P.S. I’m drinking my go-to beer, a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale as I write this. Wifey is enjoying a New Belgium Fat Tire.

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Summer’s End

Well, maybe for some of you…

I’m sure you know by now that I live in Floriduh. We don’t really have seasons here. At least not like the rest of the world.

We do get winter. It lasts about 2 days, usually in February. We have lived where there were all four seasons. North Carolina has all four seasons, the Army saw fit to send us there twice. It didn’t snow all that much during those two tours, but we did get some. Alaska on the other hand, was lots of snow. It did hit 95 F once, for about 90 minutes during the very brief summer. I think it was a Tuesday that we had summer that year. And we did get 24 hours daylight during this time, not quite 24 hours of dark. We were not quite north enough for that. The least sunlight we received would be about 15 minutes. The sun would come up, move over about a half an inch then drop back down. And it was so very cold.

The Autumn equinox is coming up; Monday, 23 September actually. I can see the subtle differences outside. When I leave for work in the morning, before the sun comes up, the humidity is much lower. Not that it’s gone, it’s just that the dew point occurs after I leave, so my windshield is dry. That won’t last long of course. By mid-December, I’ll be dealing with it all over again. Plus those few days where the dew turns to a very light frost on the windshield. All it takes to clear it is about 3 minutes of the defroster on high. No need to scrape.

This is my favorite time of year. Not only is the weather a little marginally cooler, my two favorite holidays are coming up. Samhain (Halloween for some) and Thanksgiving.

Last year we took the wee bonnie lasses to a “Fall Festival” as we try to do every year. But last year we almost got heat stroke while in the corn maze! It was extremely hot and muggy. And no beer! Only water and sports drinks, although the coffee and hot chocolate were selling briskly. Go figure.

I do hope that wherever you are you get whichever seasons you enjoy the most. Maybe you’re like me and want to just move around to enjoy the variety of all the seasons. Personally, I do not enjoy snow all that much. I don’t mind the cold temperatures, I just don’t care for the white stuff. Having said that, we are taking the wee bonnie lasses to the mountains of Western North Carolina just after Christmas this year. They have been asking to see snow for several years. Hopefully, that will happen. But you never know, the weather is a fickle bitch.

It took me sometime to decide which video to use (and there’s always a video isn’t there?). I was thinking of Summer by War, or Summertime by Janis Joplin. Instead, I went with this one. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Up With Mother Nature?

And why does she hate #Floriduh so?

I realize that stories of #FloridaMan and #FloridaWoman are all over the place, and that my home state has a bad rap. But what did we do to piss off Mother Nature this time?

Yes, they’re coming for us!

Maybe it’s just me. We moved back to #Floriduh in 1996. 1997 was the year of wildfires. We were evacuated from our house (which we had just moved into) 3 times. In all truth, my yard still hasn’t fully recovered. Then in 2004 it was the year of 4 hurricanes.

Yikes!

Ivan was probably the most powerful of the 4, but it didn’t come near us. Charley, on the other hand, went directly overhead. But it wasn’t all that powerful. Son-the-elder’s FLANG unit was deployed basically the entire summer doing hurricane relief all over the state. He had his picture in many local newspapers. They also provided relief for hurricanes Katrina and Michael, and probably more that I can’t recall right now.

We are not under any serious danger with “#9” just off the coast. It is expected to become a named storm “Humberto” sometime in the next 24 – 36 hours. The current track has it just off the coast, following in Dorian’s footsteps. As of this writing, no EOC activation has been discussed.

And the models have it moving further off shore, again, just like Dorian.

Luckily we had no big plans this weekend. Our god sons first birthday is today, and there’s plans for a small party tomorrow, and some wind and rain won’t bother that. Hopefully.

Since we are looking at yet another rainy weekend (Sunshine State?? I call shenanigans). Here’s a video about another rainy season. Enjoy! (And sing along too)

Peace,
B

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In The Early Morning Rain

‘Cause that’s about all we’ve had from this hurricane. But I’m not complaining. The folks in the Bahamas really got hit hard. Dorian was over Abaco and Grand Bahama Island for damn near 24 hours. The islands are devastated. This makes me very sad. I really like Freeport.

But here in #Floriduh, at least in my area, just some rain and wind. But then, isn’t that exactly what a hurricane is? Wind and rain?

So here I sit deep in an undisclosed location in the bowls of a dormant volcano, somewhere in.. uh.. can’t say where. Day 2 in the EOC. Yesterday was long. A full 12 hour shift on about 4 hours sleep. Almost felt like I was back in the Army. Just with air-conditioning. But the same old jokes and lousy food, but no MREs (YEAH!!!).

The storm is about 100 miles due east of us. It only took about 12 hours for it to reach us as it was stationary for a very long time, then slowly moved north west. It has picked up speed, but is still moving very slowly. Current speed estimate is 8 MPH.

No track today, but here is a radar shot;

The western edge of the storm is hitting the coast, but not much.

I should say that we are currently just over halfway through hurricane season. This is the height of the season as well; as this image shows.

That yellow X over the western coast of Africa is out next worry. All the others are not going to bother land, but that storm is still an “unknown”, but it does have a 60% chance of becoming something “known”.

My house, and my brother’s house (he lives about 45 minutes west of me), have not any real issues. He did lose power for about an hour, but luckily bourbon doesn’t need refrigeration, so he made it through just fine.

Right now, our city manager says he hopes to close the EOC around 5 PM this evening, and we’ll return to a more regular schedule tomorrow. Sound good to me.

One thing I noticed on the way in yesterday and today was that almost every fast food place was closed. All the McDonalds, Dunkin’s, and Taco Hell Bell were dark and gloomy. But the Subway was open. Yesterday the local “greasy spoon” was open, but not this morning. Roads are basically clear. Only a few scattered palm fronds here and there.

I picked out a video that actually goes with the topic. I was going to use Gordon Lightfoot’s Early Morning Rain, but choose this one instead. I used Lightfoot’s song for the title (call it a two-for-one). Enjoy!

Some REO Cookies for ya!

Peace,
B

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Still Waiting…

Yes, it’s Labor Day here in the USA, and we are laboring. We haven’t started any painting yet this morning simply because we are worn out. But, all we have left are two little hallways so we have plenty of time.

As far as the storm goes, it’s not much different than yesterday. Hurricane Dorian is still a Cat 5 storm (but the sustained winds have dropped to 165 MPH from 185 MPH) and is still very dangerous. The biggest problem is that it has basically stalled over Grand Bahama Island. The forward movement is down to 1 MPH. Toddlers can crawl faster than that.

Image courtesy of the National Hurricane Center

As of the 5AM (EDT) updates, we don’t expect tropical storm force winds until tomorrow, 3 September, about 0800. Which is when I have to report to the EOC. Let’s hope my truck doesn’t get blown off the road.

This image is from the Weather Underground (again, NOT the 1960’s radical group). This shows the four models for the storm’s track. What is striking about this graph is that all the models have finally come so close together. Just yesterday there was still one model (GFS) that had the storm making landfall, now they’re all offshore. There are still some differences as to just how far offshore.

The GFS track still has it closest to the coast. We’re still hoping the the Euro model holds true.

I’ll make one more pass through the yard this afternoon just to make sure everything is picked up and stored away. Then one more test of the generator and I’m calling prep work done.

My biggest concern this morning is breakfast. I’m hungry!

You knew this one was coming…

Peace,
B

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