sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)

Lunar Cycle Turns Hurricanes Into Beasts

Michael Reilly, Discovery News

March 5, 2009 -- Werewolves aren't the only terrors that follow the lunar cycle; hurricanes strengthen more often under a new moon than at any other time, according to a new study.

What's this, hurricanes are werewolves? )
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
(Yvonne, I'll explain it later. *grin*)

http://xkcd.com/453/
sff_corgi_lj: (Dyfed map)
Wow, this is kinda even more exciting than Librarians Militant....

From the website of MapAction:
MapAction delivers information that saves lives and livelihoods. When disasters strike, coordinating relief efforts hinges on rapid transfer of information. MapAction delivers that information in the form of maps, created and distributed in the field. They make a crucial difference in delivering humanitarian aid to the right place to relieve suffering.

MapAction is unique. We are the only NGO with a substantial track record in mapping for disaster emergencies. From our UK base we can deploy a fully trained and equipped mapping team anywhere in the world. They can be on their way in hours.

Why maps? Catastrophic disasters can bring hundreds of international agencies to the scene within days. Maps are a powerful proven tool for creating the ‘common operational picture’ that is essential for coordinated decision-making about how to direct the relief response.

Without accurate and frequently updated information maps (and in the Iran earthquake in 2003 relief agencies had to resort to the sketch map shown here), responders may struggle to make sense of the complex and quickly-changing situation. This can lead to gaps in aid delivery that leave people in desperate need.

MapAction’s operational capability. We have harnessed the power and portability of modern geomatics – particularly geographical information systems (GIS) and satellite location systems like GPS. This means we can collect situation data, combine this with satellite imagery from our partner organisations, and produce maps from bases in the field, alongside the rescue and relief agencies themselves....
Emergency mapmakers! What an interesting niche! I know I never really thought of it....
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
So I managed to find PetsMart (kibble) and Walgreens (milk) open on the way home, just barely; missed all the grocery stores by a handful of minutes each, though. Extra salad fixings would have been nice....

I've driven through thunderstorms that had me more worried. Driving through Katrina (Phase I) was easier than some thunderstorms. It's just wet and more wet and totally overcast and just a little blowy. Really, it's no big deal and it's getting less so. And I'll get paid for a full day, too. ^_^

Now, if he'd ever have got his act together and charged in here as even a strong Cat 1 — then you keep your head down.
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
... there's 8 gallons of water under the kitchen table and all the aluminium recycling's been rebagged.

Boy, when this weenie of a tropical whatis oozes past, aren't we all gonna be disappointed!
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
~HAPPY END OF HURRICANE SEASON!~

[throws biodegradable confetti]
sff_corgi_lj: (Politics - Liberty weeps)
I'm sure many... maybe even most of you have heard or seen more news on this than I, but anyway:


Seriously, can any of those who believe either more literally or more devoutly in the specifics of the AntiChrist please explain to me how George 'Dubya' Bush, who either causes these evils to happen or enables the men and women who command these evils to happen, does NOT more and more resemble the αντίχριστος? With his false Christianity and his lies and his war and his imperialism?

So now, in the name of America, we find out civilians have been being burned alive with the same kind of weapons 'we' have been accusing our phantom enemy of using.

Nienna, weep for us.

woof horizontal rule

In a not dissimilar vein of destruction... the damage to the trees around South Florida is heartwrenching. Sure, other areas have been hit harder, I'm not saying South Florida's any kind of Ground Zero - but everywhere I've been driving lately, I see fallen trees and trees snapped in half and dead branches the size of fireplace logs. Around work, a good 90% of the trees - younger ficus trees, for one type - are lying around in pieces, waiting for dumptruck pickup. The only shade left, really, is from a few lucky leaf-stripped mahoganies and the buildings themselves - which means none at all, really. And Miramar is only one smallish area in the counties impacted.

Consider this - Wilma was a strong 2, I think, churning over the east side of Florida. I have seen multiple stop signs in which the upright, that heavy steel stock, has been twisted about 90 degrees before being folded into a near right-angle. Now think about Louisiana and Alabama again.... *sigh*
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
I have not been having the best of days, from some angles.

For instance: while doing an ice run over to my VFW post, D'Argo and I met an adorable 7-month-old boxer and his little 6-month-old Boston Terrier friend (complete with small cocoanut). The larger puppy, whose name I never quite caught, gave me happy schlurps and finally engaged D's attention, at which point they started doing that thing with their 'hands'... and I got clobbered in the side of the mouth. Ouuuuch.

[livejournal.com profile] heidi8 and I never made it to lunch -- her Publix got restocked and Ma decided she was far too uncomfortable not to go to the doctor right this minute -- which means I left the house, after having changed into non-yardworky clothes, having left my driver's license and any possible plastic money at the house.

Not that I could find rechargers for my Treo 600 anyway, since both the wall and car chargers have broken. :headdesk:

And my laundry is adamantly refusing to dry.

However. Considering I am not experiencing Sebacean Heat Death, I feel I am getting off somewhat lightly. This falls under 'nibbled to death by ducks'.

And I am very soon off to a land which has power, functioning environmental controls appropriate to the environment, power, Starbucks, laundry facilities and T-Mobile stores which are properly supplied. And power. And food I don't have to cook over a hibachi in the dark, although the fire looks very pretty that way. [falls wearily into the care of [livejournal.com profile] sit_good_dog]

We'd bloody well better have power by the time I get back. Even people in Broward have power already, never mind all the places I mentioned previously. Grumble.
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
South Beach, that is. At least along Alton Road. I saw Epicure's exterior lamps, and neon, and functioning traffic signals! Wild Oats still seems to be running on genny, though. It's so sad! They've got this huge pile of garbage. :( All the Odwalla juices are marked 'no sell', because their refridgeration lapsed. (Hey, they're pasturised and sealed, I'd be willing to take a chance!)

The three service stations around 18th Street, which is where the functioning traffic signals seemed to cease, had the police running some rather interesting logistics managing the fuel traffic. Actually, of the three (BP, Chevron, Citgo) the Citgo seemed to either have run dry or not managed to get their pumps functioning. The other two were beyond jammed.

I, on the other paw, have 5/8ths of a tank left.

---=>°<=---

38%, last heard, of at least Dade County electrical customers have been restored by now; also, at least 99% of those damaged substations. Go, FP&L! You're playing it just like Scotty! My street is starting to get bracketed by restored sections now. It'd be ever so nice [/understatement] if we got it back before it got icky-warm again.

woof horizontal rule

Oleg Lundstrom (sp?) just died. Now, I didn't know who he was either at first, but apparently he was Russia's answer to Duke Ellington, so to speak. They played a bit of one of his most famous works, which I think is called 'The Mountains of Georgia' or maybe 'Georgian Mountains'. I'm going looking for a recording, the thing gave me chills.

Look for the obit on NPR's 'The World' website.

woof horizontal rule

The soi-disant President flew down today -- gee, I hope our hurricane didn't interrupt one of his vacations! -- glad-handed people in the supply queue up in Pompano, then choppered down (in Marine One, of course) to the National Hurricane Center to glad-hand some more and pretend to understand find out from the director what he needs to make their job their easier or at least, even more accurate.

He went to a church assistance site, apparently. God must have been surprised at that, considering the man's track record compared to the pseudo-Christian blather that keeps coming out of his mouth. One interviewee, I think in Pompano, allegedly said 'He makes you feel like he really cares!' Madam, he cares about how his photo op comes off, he could care less about your personal situation. That's been proven.

More gushing of the rather sickening ilk came out of the mouths of Tony Segreto (usually quite respectable, to my mind) and his co-anchors, as they went on and on about how one volunteer, whose roof had been taken off, was still out there helping other people get water and ice -- Pres. Bush signed the man's cap (apparently Gov. Bush's autograph was not in demand today). The anchors, who tempted me greatly towards reporter-cide, kept repeating how it's not political, it's the office; when the President shows up, he's like a rockstar, and these people will tell their children and their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren about this momentous occasion... blah, blah, blah. Gag.
'Mister President! What are you and your brother planning to do to provide relief to the hurricane victims in Belle Glade? Even the ones who are HIV-positive?'

'Mister President! What are you going to do about global warming?'

'Mister President! What offense against good sense are you going to nominate to the Supreme Court now that your buddy, Harriet Miers, has had the dignity to withdraw her nomination?'

'Mister President! Can you explain without invoking either voter base or family ties, why the response here in South Florida was so much better for less damage than the response to Katrina's damage in New Orleans?'
If you had a chance -- seriously, you're standing there innocently and all of a sudden the Secret Service dressed in dark glasses, earpieces, guyaberas (AND narrow ties?) come sweeping up and around you, and you're face to face with... [fill in your favourite description of the soi-disant President here].

Think fast. What you [Poll #599836]
---=>°<=---

(psssst -- if Al Gore had shown up, I would have been a lot more impressed and flattered. For one thing, it's not Al's job to do so at this stage of things.)

woof horizontal rule

The tree schleppage IS FINISHED!!! I actually got a couple extra sets of hands helping drag stuff out to the street. However, the pile is still about 85% mine (give or take 5%). I'll show you a picture eventually.

And no sunburn! :D

woof horizontal rule

[livejournal.com profile] gryffinjack!! TROPICAL STORM BETA!!

woof horizontal rule

[livejournal.com profile] heidi8, I'm not sure if you didn't get my e-mails or we're just missing each other's communications, for which I apologise. Since I'm still not certain of your hours (naptimes and such), I hesitate to call again. Still up for a lateish lunch tomorrow?
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
My friend Missy's mother's service has indeed been postponed -- she can't reach the rabbi at all. What we - consisting of me, two friends of hers down from various up-norths and her Labrador Gabrielle - was just meet at Missy's house and talk about all sorts of things. Her mom was nice, even with all the medical problems that just kept mounting. A little nuts with the saving of things (I found the must-save-chicken-fat thing really quite hilarious), but as Missy says, that's how she was raised, when they had to make things stretch farther.

Ah well. Hopefully, I'll be back from my holiday (see, I'm warning you lot about it this time) in time to make the rescheduled memorial.

woof horizontal rule

Alas, poor quiet and darkness -- I knew it, Horatio. Aside from MIA having planes coming and going almost constantly since they restarted service yesterday afternoon, the sky was never really dark dark. Even at ick-o'clock in the morning, there was always enough of a glow all the way around my so-called horizon, enough for me to see pretty well by, and for trees et al. to be clearly silhouetted. But then, I do have pretty good night vision.

Tonight, though, it's really ripped. They seem to've restored power (those priorities of theirs) to the elderly-residences a few blocks away, and as a side effect, the Great Big Lights that stick above all the nearby buildings from my PoV are on. So there's these great glaring sodium vapour lights casting all this light on an empty park. Because, y'know, curfew. What a waste. They couldn't save my knockwurst instead?

woof horizontal rule

The cast iron has been busy. Eggs and hot beverages (well, the hot water was in the kettle, really) this morning in the frying pan, oatmeal and a mini-pizza this evening in my mini cauldron and personal-pizza-sized frying pan. I've got quite the little setup just outside the back door. I think I need some tips in fire maintenance, though.

woof horizontal rule

Back to tree schleppage tomorrow. Oh, I got to use a machete yesterday! Not well, but eventually successfully. I think I'll stick to my tree saw, though.

We really have to find my mother's car keys, too -- her car is really in the way of dragging this great pile of proto-mulch out to kerbside.
sff_corgi_lj: (Science - Deep space)
Only problems are -- they've got worklights on at the Orange Bowl (at least, that's what it looks like -- and/or maybe the hospitals at the Civic Center), and the people next door with the generator (who are not sharing with the street) and their friends with their stupid backup lights and headlights and suchlike are spoiling my nice dark clear night I was anticipating.

Meh, I say; meh.

[livejournal.com profile] erised1810, you might be amused to know that just about anything I do after sunset, I have to do by touch and spacial memory. With the shutters mostly closed, I don't even get incidental light.

I think... I'll watch the Batman animated Return of the Joker in a little while. It'll let Sothis charge again, and I'm surprisingly not as tired as last night. Goddess help me... I'm getting USED to tree-schleppage!

woof horizontal rule

If anybody's got anything left to donate to relief efforts, please look for something earmarked for 'Belle Glade'. It's one of the poorest communities in Florida, (way west in the sugar country part of Palm Beach County) which means they were living in crummy hurricane-bait housing, and have nothing to turn to. They'll need it more than anybody else this time around.
sff_corgi_lj: (Caribbean)
Still no power, of course. I've been able to listen to a little of our local NBC station, as they're the only ones who broadcast on a normal radio band as well. They said about 60K+/- customers have had power restored; apparently 200 substations have been damaged, it's not something as relatively simple as 'a ficus fell on your copper'.

Broward County has major water problems - there's some sort of leaks in their mains, apparently, and those who have pressure at all are under a boil-water order. [livejournal.com profile] alysoun_ff, we need to check to see if Sangre del Sol needs water run up to them.

Fuel's going to be a problem soon, of course - no power, no pump. Channel 6 has reported a couple service stations near, ironically, Channel 4's HQ are open, though, out in Doral.

Also, money - no power, no ATMs. Wachovia's the only banking chain who's opening up right now, 9 to 5 hours tomorrow.

---=>°<=---

Naturally, our splendid exemplar of a refrigerator/freezer [/sarcasm] reached 'ice cream soup' stage by yesterday afternoon. Mind you, we've had amazing weather since Wilma passed! Right now, Ein -- either the world's most expensive or cheapest private electrical generator, depending on which direction you want to look at things -- says it's 72F. With a breeze! It's gorgeous!

Thinking of 'gorgeous', the sky last night, alas, was niceanddark, but also covered with a light haze except pretty much at the zenith. Bah. I think tonight will be clearer, though, and almost as dark.

---=>°<=---

Today, as yesterday, I have schlepped tree. Lots and lots and lots of tree. I've de-canopied most of the large chunk of mango which fell over our fence (nota bene: mango is very much easier to saw than shaving-brush tree), and the neighbour has been machete-ing the large sections still on his side. I'm still working my way through the shaving-brush tree trimmings, too, and doing some large-scale weed-whacking -- an errant Florida holly, some weird thing with big leaves that grows into a fat stem way too fast -- at the same time.

D'Argo has been thinking this is all rather lovely, except for people swinging machetes. He doesn't like that motion or something at all. I think somebody might have spooked him often enough, as they walked on the pavement past our fence and D bounced along inside trying to get their attention.

---=>°<=---

Would you believe a 15-mile drive was enough to charge Sothis up to 66% full battery? Woo! I still can't get anywhere on T-Mobile, but I registered on the network much more quickly today. I can still use Po Tolo as a PDA, of course. Considering that's where just about all my phone contacts are saved, that's a good thing.

woof horizontal rule

[livejournal.com profile] selenesue, you and those-who-camp might appreciate this -- I have shown my mother how cast iron works on a hibachi (even if it's a hibachi in poor condition, it still does what it needs to). I poured her homemade chicken soup into my Dutch oven, plunked it on top of the coals that I started while I hacked away at the mango some more, and by the time I came back from my ice run to the VFW post on Miami Beach (ID needed after 17:30, thank you), it was flat-out boiling. I'll heat up water in the morning for us to have hot drinks, too. (Take that, propane! Nyah!)

I've got three sizes of frying pan, so there's eggs and stuff; the Dutch oven; and multiple drawer-creaking muffin pans, but I think we'll skip on trying to do muffins over a small fire. [livejournal.com profile] myfanwy got custody of the pie iron (I'd link, but I have to go inside to connect, and bah, Google for it. ^_^) since she grills so much more, but it's not really a pie iron sort of week. I'm still lusting after the Lodge grills, even if I wouldn't use one often. The oval ones have room to do two things at once, I think. And a camping coffeepot, I'm worried I'm going to burn the kettle if I don't do something like set it in the large frying pan for heat conduction.

Now, if I'd only picked up that ceramic cooking grill at Home Depot after all....

woof horizontal rule

[livejournal.com profile] heidi8, I'll e-mail you my mother's number, since I can't use my cell. The La Mia market near me, zoo that it usually is, is running on genny, so if you need something you can't get yourself, I can look there. This is, of course, assuming that your Sidekick hasn't been completely drained already.

And I think that's about it for now. Might come back out here to the driveway and watch a movie after it gets dark. :)
sff_corgi_lj: (Science - Deep space)
But... I can see stars!!

(And the temp is dropping below... oh, 75F at the very least. Maybe even into the 50s!)
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
All right, I'm an hour late, but that's because I was picking up branches.

I stuck my nose out (meaning, my whole self) around 11ish to see what near-eyewall conditions look like. The front door is both inset and opposite the wind direction, so it's not quite as mad as it sounds. Scary wind....

Around noon proper, the wind started abating; I scurried out to Ein-y-Gwyn to see if I had indeed left my phone out there (I had) and whether it has signal (it doesn't). Battery's dead anyway. Stupid phone.

We've got a strangler fig the idiot neighbour left unbalanced from Katrina - and lied about cleaning up the branches he sawed into our yard, too - that's taken out half the back-gate's fence. The shaving-brush tree came all the way down, it's a loss. A palm tree, half the mango and a large portion of the avocado from the back-fence neighbour are now in our yard, too. Our trees stood up very nicely, thankyousomuch, except the baby cassia, which just bloomed quite enthusiastically, fell flat over for the umpteenth time. It doesn't seem to mind being floppy, though. I mean, it bloomed.

Now... to wait for FP&L or their delegated associates again. THIS time WITH sunscreen.
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
[livejournal.com profile] heidi8, hope you're still browsing, because I'm fighting my connexion here.

The eye is now centered on Palm Beach County, enclosing both Boca Raton and WPB proper. I feel bad for the migrantes and other poor people in Belle Glade -- that place has no resources. Miami and Lauderdale are getting the bottom edge of the eyewall and the first band outside of that.

From my limited view out door windows, it looks like the hurricane-hardened poinciana's lost half its fight - there's a lot more light outside, both front and back yards, than my foliage was allowing for yesterday. The tree in the back is a massive... erm... 'jambalamba plum'. That tree's over 50 years old.

We've got a mysterious thump on the roof Ma is insisting is a branch, but we had this thump during Katrina, too.

Best get going, I've got barely more than half my battery left.

P.S. The eye's about 35 miles across right now, and is about 1/3 of the way off the Palm Beach coast already.
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
The time of outage is 07:08, EDT (GMT-4). [livejournal.com profile] wo1f, m'dear, as much as I appreciate your optimism, I'm afraid you're going to 'lose' -- something down at this point means either a line broke or a fuse popped, and either way a crew won't even leave the depot within two hours, at the rate this storm's going.
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
...and 3 of them within the space of 5.

Frag the DSL, I'll go to dialup until I get sleepy again.
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
According to the satellite, the eye is munching on Ft. Myers et al. right now. We've lost power here at least once, briefly, as Sothis's LAN connexion and the microwave clock were both knocked for a loop. It can't have been for long, otherwise I think the lack of A/C would have stirred me awake.

Looking out the front door doesn't look like too much, until you move around the house and hear the rain lashing the shutters. I opened the back door briefly -- it's sheltered, and I wanted to make positive that the screen door was latched -- and got hit with the same moist warmth as before, only this time it was moving. And sounded angry. I opened the door just in time to hear and see the sounds of transformers blowing, so it's anyone's guess (any takers on that poll yet?) how much longer I will have power.

The wind seemed to increase as I was standing there, and remembering that we had a tornado sent by bloody mad Ophelia when she was already all the blazes up to North Carolina, I thought it might be a good idea to close the door. Quickly.

---=>°<=---

And then we lost power again. Might not be long, folks... get your bets in now.
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
I keep refreshing this: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/FLOAT/IR4/20.jpg

It's the storm floater sat image, in infrared, because 'visible' at this hour's pretty useless. The 05:45 UTC image shows the eye almost level with Key West (along the path of movement, I mean) and strong bands just getting to the southwest coast. I'm not sure what [livejournal.com profile] crevette et al. are getting/have been getting all evening, but it looks like they were catching more than I expected.

And now, time for a poll![Poll #596982]And with that... I sleep.
sff_corgi_lj: (Expletive deleted whatever!)
I just sent the following e-mail off to the U.N. organisation in charge of hurricane name lists:
Dear sirs and madams,

Considering the recent prolific activity of the Atlantic hurricane season, I wish you would consider including the missing letters of the English-Roman alphabet -- Q, U, X, Y and Z -- into our lists. Obviously you have name pools to draw from, as evinced by the Eastern North Pacific lists. I'm sure we could share, considering how unlikely it is the same name could occur on both sides of the continent at the same time (due to the alternating genders).

For instance:
Qadir      Qamar
Quentin    Queen
Quigley    Quenby
Quincy     Quon
Quinlan    Qadira
Quinn      Querida
Qadim      Qamra
Qingyuan   Qubilah

Transliterated Arabic and Chinese use 'Q' in Roman alphabet to represent some of their particular phonemes.

Ursula     Uriel
Uta        Ulysses
Umbriel    Upton
Ulla       Ulric
Uhura      Udell
Urania     Uriah
Undine     Umberto
Usagi      Urban

German and Indian name origins are particularly rich fields for 'U' names.

I hope you will take these lists into consideration.

Thank you,

[boring mundane name and location so they can tell I think about hurricanes a lot]
Those last couple 'Q' names were a pain! (Drat, I meant to alphabetise that before sending... oh well.)

woof horizontal rule

Living in MIA final approach, I keep getting this sort of weird feeling every time I hear an aeroplane overhead right now -- 'They're not coming back....'

woof horizontal rule

P.S.:  Alpha is a himicane.

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