Who are the experts?

Long term Floridians (25+ years) are old hats when it comes to Hurricanes. I have been here for 30 years (Cupcake 25 years) and we have had to “prepare” for maybe 20 hurricanes headed our way. We have been fortunate that they all opted for a path different than the forecast, but that is not what this blog is about. Nope. It is about….

Exaggerated journalism.

Hurricanes attract a lot of viewership. Almost 24/7 increased ratings. Because of that, they sensationalize. I get that. If they did not, people would become complacent. Thing is, if they sensationalize too long, they create a jaded viewing audience who will take the next Hurricane lightly. They turn a firecracker situation into a thermal nuclear explosion situation so as to keep the audience glued to the telecast.

Here is some major advice to the meteorologist crews: We know more about preparedness than you do. All we need you to do is plot the expected path, the probably landing point, and the potential strength at landfall. We can take it from there.

We know when to evacuate, we know the cone will shift, we know the landing point has a margin of error of +/- 100 miles. We know the damage expected of each level, 1 through 5. We know what a storm surge is, and the damage based on each level of surge. We have our own hydrometers to measure rainfall, vanes for wind direction, and trees to gauge the wind speed.

We know to gas up our cars, have spare gas for generators, clear our lawns of potential flying debris, and to expect power outages. We know to board windows, sandbag water entrance points, and latch down boats and grills.

We know where shelters are, what to do with our pets, and safe points in our house. We can predict to the minute when bridges will close, schools will announce closures, and when local grocery stores will close (and when the bottled water will be gone).

Stop broadcasting this information ALL DAY LONG! All that tells us is that you really have nothing important to say or update. If we were REALLY in danger, you would not need to repeat the same crap all day long. ALL DAY LONG!

Sandbags my ass

Most folks know what Florida is focusing on. Big issue with Ida will be flooding. We are in a no-evac, no flood zone, but when 24 inches are forecast, all bets are off. We are slightly elevated, but as a minor precaution I will seal garage door bottom and doors, but unlike the fools standing in a 4 hour line for sandbags, I used Bagged bark chips.

When they get wet, they are as heavy as sand, and when you are done, you can spread them on your garden. Sandbags sit around for years until they become concrete and part of the landscape. This has never failed me.

When I went to HD, there were maybe 4 people doing the same thing. Everyone else was in the wood section trying to buy non-existent plywood.

Pirates, Foiled

Today I think I interrupted a porch pirate. Here is what happened:

I had a delivery coming today from Prime, but the delivery was by USPS and not Prime. The difference is, the USPS does not give you a tight delivery window like Amazon deliverers do. So watching out for your package is a little more difficult. Now, my office desk with desktop computer is in front of a window that has a clear view down our driveway all the way up to the front door. I sit there, and wait until I see the delivery person come down the driveway, then open the door and greet them. Worked a million times without a flaw.

Today, I had to get up and go and take care of some business that took me away from my spy post for about 10 minutes. I then came back and noticed a small late model silver sedan (think 1990’s) sitting at the end of our driveway with three teens of Hispanic origin inside. A little unusual, so I just kept watch waiting for them to move on. They didn’t.

I then got the ding. You know, the noise your phone makes when they announce your package was delivered. Okay. So I opened the door, and there against the entry way was my delivery.

Now this little car was not the USPS, and do not be liberal and try to go woke defending these turds….I would lay solid odds they were there to steal the package. As soon as I stepped out, they squealed away like a dragster on a green light.

Now I know. Our house is a porch pirate target. Too bad for them. They will also be a target. Of a more final, different kind.

Random thought

I wonder what a caveman born with OCD did to alleviate his/her frustration? Run around sorting rocks by color and weight? Maybe lining up dinosaurs by height and jaw strength? Measuring their clubs so they are all exactly the same length? Maybe even dragging straw over the dirt floor so all the lines were parallel.

Just wondering.

So, is it hoarding?

If you have Winn Dixie in your area, then you have probably visited there new “Dollar” Aisle. Of course, it is now a “Dollar and a quarter” Aisle (Thanks Joe!), but it is still a cool feature. Lots of decent daily use stuff and food can be found here. Not all Winn Dixies have them, but if you can find one, it is worth perusing what it has.

Anyway, they have these boxes of biscuits (cookies) in three flavors: Cinnamon (six to a box), Blueberry (six to a box) and chocolate (5 to a box). I have taken an insane liking to the chocolate ones, although the blueberry are a close second. Problem is, a LOT of folks have taken a liking to the chocolate, making them damn near impossible to get. I have been to five stores in the last two days, and those that carry them have been out.

Today, I went to two. One was out, the other was well stocked. They had 14 boxes! Yippy Kay ay! So I bought 8 of them, not knowing when I would see them again.

So here is my poser to you: Is this being too greedy, or by leaving six was I all good? I figure that if Winn Dixie is too slow on stocking them or not ordering enough to meet demand, and I am in the right place at the right time, so be it. Note: I am not going to feel any guilt or do it any different next time, I was just wondering (not caring, just wondering) what you readers think.

Own Worst Enemy

We wake up everyday to a new round of problems, and they create anxiety that can be crippling.

Except it shouldn’t. We just choose to create the anxiety from problems that, well, are not really problems. They are inconveniences. Huge difference. Some examples? Sure.

You come out to the parking lot and you have a flat tire. Inconvenience. You come out to the parking lot and your engine is on fire. Problem.

You are on a plane with a screaming baby. Inconvenience. You are on a plane that is crashing. Problem.

You are walking in the woods and hurt your ankle on a rock. Inconvenience. Walking in the woods and getting bit by a snake. Problem. Meeting a Bear. Big Problem.

Swimming off Myrtle Beach and getting bit by a Jellyfish. Inconvenience. Getting chomped on by Jaws. Problem.

Pulling into Starbucks for your morning Coffee and the line is 47 cars long. Inconvenience. Pulling up to the Starbucks window just as your transmission falls onto the road. Problem.

A leak in your roof. Inconvenience. Wind blowing your entire roof three blocks down the road. Problem.

See the difference? One has alternative solutions. The other does not. So if we can make the separation, you will find your life has very few actual problems. Yes, a shitload of inconveniences, but few problems.

Inconveniences can usually remedy themselves quickly and with little need to pull a Karen. So, just think of them as annoyances, and much of your anxiety will become a laughing point.

So there. Your abstract lesson for the day, courtesy of “Ulcer Man”.

Good News, Lead Lining

This election cycle, our County had a vote for a new tax. Nothing new there. This one, however, got me a little more angry than usual. It was a millage tax, requested by the School District to recruit more teachers with better pay. On the surface, sounds like maybe a good thing. Except it was not. They wanted a one mill increase.

For those that are not home owners, a millage tax is a tax on homeowners.  By definition, one mill is equivalent to $1 owed per $1,000 (one-thousandth of a dollar) of the value of the home. So a home valued at $500,000 would have a tax increase of $500. Again, on the surface, not too bad.

Here is what got me all Karen-like. This is a new tax ONLY on the homeowners. Never mind that half the kids in school are from families that rent, and renters are not affected by millage rates. So the tax is directed at a specific target, and avoids the end user. In our area, a substantial percentage of homeowners no longer have kids in school, but they will be taxed out the ass to pay for kids whose parents who have no skin in the tax increase. Why wouldn’t they vote yes? Shit. Let’s spank those nasty selfish people that dare to own their own home!

It Is an attempt at redistribution of wealth, pure and simple. Too boot, the increase in teachers salaries would hardly be enough to lure new teachers or keep existing teachers. Teachers leaving is not because of money, it is because of the lack of discipline control. The inmates are given the keys and then the teacher is held accountable for the gate security. In addition, this county has a BAD BAD habit of using these funds for everything EXCEPT teachers. The expected revenue would be gone months before it was even realized, and then they would ask for more.

This is not a money problem, it is a priority problem.

Here is the Good news. It got defeated. By the slimmest of margins (basically one millage point worth of voters). Common sense prevailed on this one.

Mother Nature agrees

So, let me get this straight…California is running out of water and taking the entire Southwest with it. Lakes running dry. Ponds and streams running dry. Colorado River running dry. In the meantime, Florida may have to expand our water retention because everything is at capacity, and we continue to get 2-3 inches everyday (all compact into an hour, the rest of the day is blue sky). You can hear a constant flow in the pipes that take the water to the storage reservoirs, never mind that the water table can be reached 24″ into digging.

So what does this mean? My conclusions?

  1. People are not the only thing leaving California. So are the clouds
  2. California is unable to manage anything with restraint
  3. When the big one comes, it will be just sucking dry arid land into the pacific

So, in conclusion: I may be warming up to this Climate Change Thingy. (Ha! I made a funny! Get it…”Warm” up to climate change…Ha!)