Saturday, October 29, 2005


Yeah, another storm in the Caribbean. ::yawn::
If You Love Something

If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it will always be yours. If it doesn't come back, it was never yours to begin with.

But, if it just sits in your living room, messes up your stuff, eats your food, uses your telephone, takes your money, and doesn't realize that you had set it free...... You either married it or gave birth to it.

Ain't it the truth?
Words of Wisdom

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Make someone feel important's never too late to live happily ever after!
Another Email - Just too cute

I live on a farm and times are pretty hard and the area I live in is considered economically depressed and I have heard the neighbors were having a hard time making ends meet.

This morning, I woke up to hear a knock at the door, when I went to answer the door -- this is the sad sight that I saw. It just broke my heart!

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Like you, I get a lot of emails that instruct me to pass this along to at least (insert number) of friends in order to .... whatever. I don't forward everyone I get, I have certain conditions that must be met first. It must amuse me, or it touches me in some way. Some, I've decided to share with you, my favorite reader. Should you feel a need to pass it along, or link to it, I give you free leave to do so.

Along those lines, I like the rose and the sentiment in this and I'd like to share it with my friends.

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You're My friend,

My companion through good times and my buddy through happy times. Beside me you stand, beside me you walk.

You're there to listen, you're there to talk with happiness, with smiles, with pain, and tears.

I know you'll be there throughout the years.

You are all good friends to me

And I am grateful to you.
Better Late Than Never

I guess. October is breast cancer awareness month. I've been fortunate that I've never been directly affected by breast cancer, so that's probably why it escaped my radar. For those of you who have lost loved ones, or know or are victims of this terrible disease, I sincerely apologize. It is something I would have written about much sooner.

I just got this in email which is what reminded me. I hope that it will remind us all that breast cancer is something that we must be aware of all year long, not just one month of the year.

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This woman is walking the World for Breast Cancer. Please pass her on so that she can reach her destination. Say a prayer for all those who are affected by this terrible disease. She's walking around the world - via e-mail!! Pass it on so she can get there!
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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

More Weather Phenomenon

In all the years I've lived in Florida, I've never seen a hurricane season like this. One day, a hurricane roars through South Florida (we had tropical storm winds and rain here in West Central Florida) and that evening, a cold front comes through. What a difference!

The cold front actually pushed Wilma through so fast that she was clipping at somewhere around 30 mph (nearly unheard of for a hurricane). I heard today that after she moved off the Florida coast she sailed along at 53 mph. Now, I have never heard of a 'cane moving that fast. Unless it was a Manatee High or a University of Miami student leaving school for the day.

In any case, it is an absoultely gorgeous day. Sunny and cool. Beautiful blue skies with wispy clouds roling by. I plan to sleep with the bedroom window open.

I will sleep just wonderfully tonight.
Map Yourself?

Thanks to Raven at
And Rightly So! I've got a map where my visitors can place themselves. You can upload a picture and leave a message. The Link is on the sidebar.

I'd really like to see where my visitors are from. And especially interested in Florida bloggers.

So, please! Map yourself :D

Update: I'm having problems placing this dang thing on the sidebar, so until then, here's the link.


Update 2: Okay, the sidebar link is set, but I'll leave this one active, at least for the time being.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Indian Winter

It was October and the Indians on a remote reservation asked their new Chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.

Since he was a Chief in a modern society he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky he couldn't tell what the winter was going to be like. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.

But being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea.

He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"

"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold," the meteorologist at the weather service responded.

So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.

A week later he called the National Weather Service again.

"Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?"

"Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter."

The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.

Two weeks later the Chief called the National WeatherService again.

"Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"

"Absolutely," the man replied. "It's looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters ever."

"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.

The weatherman replied, "The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy."

From email

Howard Dean Says

"The first thing we're going to do is we're going to have ethics come back to Washington again."

Just incase Howard didn't know, there's plenty of lack of ethics to go around.

'Nuff said.

Hurricane Reporters - Brave or Stupid?

Governor Jeb spoke at a press conference this morning regarding the begninng of the end of Hurricane Wilma. Various topics were covered then a reporter asked a question about annoyances or something to that effect. Governor Jeb indicated that there was (at least) one thing that annoyed him and that was reporters standing out in the middle of a storm.

It's been something that has been on my mind a lot over the last 14 months. I'm sure reporters have been standing out in the middle of huricanes for years, I just don't particularly remember it happening until last year. Probably because of the sheer number of storms these past 14 months.

Here they are standing out there telling us the wind is blowing and it's raining. They also tell us about the debris that is flying past them. I don't want it to happen, but a reporter or a camerman is going to be killed or seriously injured by flying debris on camera one of these days. Or maybe they'll step into a puddle that a live power line has fallen into. Won't that do their ratings a lot of good? Well, sure it will. People will be tuning in to see who's next.

And that's what it is, a ratings gimmick. Personally, I don't have to have a reporter telling me that the wind is blowing, or blowing harder than it was. Or that the rain is coming down like needles. I know that. A camera positioned at a window, or even outside will tell me that. If it's happening in my own backyard, I can look out the door or window.

I don't need a news team risking their lives to tell me what a hurricane is. I don't think it's necessary to literally bring it into my living room. Even if I lived in Butte, Montana, I don't think I need someone to tell me how dangerous a hurricane can be. I can see it from news footage both before and after.

Along the same lines, I don't need a news team standing in the middle of Colorado fire telling me how hot it is, or how acrid the smoke is, or that a fire, too, is dangerous. I don't need a news team in Hawaii standing in the middle of a lava flow telling me how hot it is, or how dangerous. I can get the idea from pictures taken from a helicopter.

Ratings are part of it, sure. And then some reporters feel the need to experience the danger of war, weather events, and crime. Some do it so that they can have some leverage when their contracts come due. And, if they "pay their dues" in the field, one day they'll get a job on the anchor desk. There are many reasons, and even though they take precautions, accidents happen.

If something goes wrong, resouces will be used to rescue and/or transport this reporter or camerman or producer or whoever else might be on this news team, to the hospital. Putting the responders into danger that they wouldn't have been in. Causing more cost to the local authorities than would have been necessary. Causing the hospital to take care of a person or persons who were injured who didn't need to be.

Brave or stupid. I can't really doubt the bravery, but I have to believe there is some stupidity there, too.

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One morning you will never wake up, do all your friends know you love them? I was thinking...I could die today, tomorrow or next week, and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that needed rekindling or three words needing to be said. Let every one of your friends know you love them. Even if you think they don't love you back, you would be amazed at what those three little words and a smile can do.

And just in case GOD calls me home before I see you again....... I LOVE YA!!!

Live today to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised.

The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Received in email. Feel free to pass on.
Wilma Update 6 - Goodbye, Wilma!

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Here in Manatee County, we got off light once again. The rain started about 6:30 last night and continue sporadically until early morning hours when it was pretty constant. According to My Other Half, he's seen more rain in a summer storm. That's what we said about the storms last summer. I apologize to those of you who experienced far more weather than we did, but that's all we got.

According to news, wind gusts got up to about 45 mph. Right now, the sun is shining. I stuck my nose out the door at about 9:30 am and was amazed at how cool it was. Bay News 9 was reporting 61 degrees and temps will be about 10 degrees below normal for the next few days. The temps have climbed to 69 degrees right now. For the record, I love it! Sunny and cool - that's my Florida.

Wilma made landfall about 6:30 am and the eye has moved off shore. In another couple of hours Wilma will be but a memory. Another good thing about the cool weather, it makes it less likely that another storm will form. Not impossible, but less likely. Storms must have warm water and warm air to intensify.

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Our cable internet connection was interrupted and the box had to be reset. The power was off long enough be little more than a nuisance to have to reset clocks.

I took Wyatt out a couple of times for a few minutes last night between rain bands. Wyatt is NOT a water dog and DID NOT like getting his feet wet (he also DOES NOT like baths). I don't expect more in our neighborhood than a few limbs down and a lot of tree debris. The usual for the storms we get.

Bay News 9 is reporting that damage is already being assessed at between $2-$6 billion dollars. In this area, downed power lines and tree limbs and street flooding seem to be the worst of it. The Highway Patrol closed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge early

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this morning to high profile vehicles, and then later to all vehicle traffic. It's now open, but caution is urged. The Skyway connects Manatee to Pinellas county and spans the mouth of Tampa Bay. It's 150 feet high, so wind gusts can be a problem to high profile vehicles. When it gets too windy, the bridge is closed altogether.

I wish I could say that everyone fared as well as we did here, but I know the story is different in South Florida, where Wilma made landfall and continued across the state.

Some stats reported by Bay News 9:
The Dry Tortugas reported the highest wind gusts 134 mph
Naples reported wind gusts of 121 mph
Lakeland-Mulberry had up to 9" of rain
River flooding expected in the Manatee and Little Manatee Rivers
Wilma Update 5

Probably the last for tonight. The eye is more developed, meaning that it has intensified. Landfall will be somewhere in Collier County (Naples), but the entire South Florida area will be effected.

Wilma currently is moving at 18mph and has 105 mph winds. When she makes landfall sometime around daybreak, she is expected to be travelling at 25mph, making this a very short term event.

Here in Bradenton, we're getting a bit more rain, but still not a lot. The ponding that was occurring in the parking lot has had time to soak into the ground. I expect that by this time tomorrow we will have standing water.

More tomorrow...if I have electric and cable.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wilma Update 4.5

My cousin Buddy sent this intense satellite image of Wilma to me

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I had to tell him it wasn't quite the same view I had :D
Wilma Update IV
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I just looked outside and we're getting the first rain from Wilma. The barometric pressure has dropped enough that I've got a headache. The rain has picked up a little bit, but not much, and I just heard some thunder.

Considering how far north we are from the probable landfall, I'm hopeful that we won't lose electric power, although it's a possibility. A cat coughs up a hairball in Tallahassee and our power goes out. At other times, we'll be in the middle of the mother of all storms and the power is on all through it. Never can tell. I kind of think we'll be fine. The storm is going in south of us, and our power lines, as I have been told, run from the north. But that might not matter, and even if the premise is correct, the person who told me that might not know beans.
Wilma Update III

Acting FEMA Director David Paulison had a press conference where he stated that FEMA was ready for Hurricane Wilma because Florida is ready. People and supplies are in place to roll when and where they are needed.

FEMA has at least 300 trucks of ice, water, and food ready. Eight military helicopters are ready for medical mergencies.

Sounds like FEMA is ready. And you know that there won't be the problems that occurred in New Orleans such as FEMA refusing help from the Red Cross. It's most likely already worked out anyway - because Governor Jeb won't stand for that mess.

Several Florida counties are already under tornado watches and warnings. A tornado was spotted by eyewitnesses and by Doppler radar south of Zolfo Springs in Hardee County. That put Manatee, Hillsborough, Polk, and Hardee Counties on watch. Warnings are in effect for Sarasota, Okeechobee, and Oscelo counties as I write this. A tornado has been spotted in Okeechobee County.

Schools, of course, have been cancelled in South Florida counties. Will probably resume Tuesday.
Wilma Update II

Well, the southern half of Florida is under hurricane warning. Wilma is expected to make landfall somewhere south of Sarasota with the Ft. Myers/Naples area taking the brunt of the storm.

I heard Governor Jeb earlier giving a rundown on what is ready for the hurricane. Let me tell you, Florida is on it! After four hurricanes last year, Dennis and Katrina this year, Florida government is seasoned at this.

I didn't realize that Governor Jeb was going to give the details he did and I've been hoping to see a repeat of the press conference, but it hasn't happened yet. I don't have all the numbers, but if I get them, I will change this post. Here's the run down:

220 million gallons of gasoline in ports
130 million gallons arriving on 29 ships over next few days
13 million Meals Ready to Eat (MRE's)
Trucks with ice on standby ready to roll
Trucks with water on standby ready to roll
National Guard on standby
Helicopters standing by
Teams of Doctors, nurses, and paramedical personnel on standby in Orlando
Tolls have been suspended in South Florida

He stated that there may be spordic outages of gas in some areas, but be patient. It's coming.

Personally, I think Governor Jeb would make an outstanding FEMA director. Who, besides maybe Rudy Guiliani, has had the experience with natural disasters that Governor Jeb has had?
Sunday Wilma Update


Category 2 Hurricane Wilma accelerating towards southwest Florida and the Keys…Hurricane Warnings posted from Longboat Key on Florida's west coast to Titusville on the east coast…Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches in effect for the remainder of Florida's east and west coasts...Tornado threat to increase this evening ...

According to the weather channel, Wilma should make landfall sometime tonight or early tomorrow morning somewhere in the vacinity of Ft Myers. I was watching the track they were anticipating and thought it looked like Wilma was making somewhat of a turn more towards Key West. Even if Key West misses the worst of the storm, they will get a good deal of wind and rain.

Key West reports that it is losing $5 million dollars a day because of cancelled events. Tourists and non-residents have been evacuated. Key West expects to be up and open for business by Tuesday.

Speaking of business. One of my supervisors called earlier and advised that the word came down from The Ivory Tower On High that I have been declared non-essential personnel and do not need to report for work tomorrow. Yee-haw! Sometimes, it's nice to be told you're so unnecessary that you can just stay home. All kidding aside, my job during a hurricane or major weather event such as this, is unneeded, and if the computers go down, I'd be totally unnecessary and I'd just be one more person to keep track of. Any memos or filing I would do tomorrow can wait until Tuesday.

Sunday Email Fun

Thought I'd entertain you with some gems I received in an ezine email this week.

Doug was describing a 30 pound bass he'd caught recently after fighting it for three hours.

Bill interrupted the story saying, "I saw the picture you took of that fish. You're lucky if it even weighed 10 pounds."

Doug replied, "Well... a fish can lose an awful lot of weight during three hours of fighting."

My Dad and I were talking the other night about love and marriage. He told me that he knew as early as their wedding what marriage to my Mom would be like. It seems the minister asked my Mom, "Do you take this man to be your husband?"

And she said, "I do."

Then the minister asked my Dad, "Do you take this woman to be your wife?" and my Mom said,"He does."

The newlywed wife said to her husband when he returned from work: "I have great news for you.Pretty soon we're going to be three in this house instead of two."

The husband started glowing with happiness and kissing his wife said: "Oh darling, I'm the happiest man in the world."

Then she said: "Oh, honey, I'm glad that you feel this way because tomorrow morning my mother moves in with us."

My dear friend, a divorcee, never remarried and her daughter wanted to know why.

"The men I know would bring too much heavy baggage to the marriage and I simply don't want to put up with it," she explained.

Taking her mother's hand in hers, my friend's daughter said sweetly, "I hate to break the news to you, Mom, but you're not exactly carry-on yourself."