Friday, September 15, 2017

Irma Postmortem

I appreciate the many concerned contacts and questions from those who ask how things went for us with Hurricane Irma. Here's the sum of it.


By the time Irma reached us, it had been significantly weakened by its trip over land and by an influx of dry air (in hurricane terms, cyanide) from the west. The south half of the storm virtually disappeared as a hurricane. The ragged remnants of the north eye wall went right over us, but by then much of its force had been spent.


Our home suffered no damage. The only sign on our property that the storm had passed was that several of our trees had lost many of their leaves, and one oleander in the back lost a limb.


Our power went out at 9:50 PM on Sunday night and was restored around 5 PM on Tuesday. I'm not sure why it was restored so quickly, but it may have to do with our proximity to two major east-west thoroughfares and a hospital.


Since I had no idea how long power might be out, I elected to find us a cheap but clean dog-friendly motel to stay in the next two nights. My thought had been that if we had to be away longer, I'd look for a place where I could set up shop and still do work. It proved unnecessary. Irma personally cost us maybe $200 in motel rates and food purchases in the end.


Orlando as a whole was not as seriously affected by the storm as locations you will see in the news like Naples and Fort Myers. There is no massive scale of suffering here. A few low-lying areas are flooded; none are near me. Lakes and ponds that had been nearly dry in May due to a drought are now full or near overflowing. Some 15-20% of my county (Orange) remained without power as of last night. Many gas stations are closed, but fuel is available if you don't mind waiting a few minutes behind 1-2 people. (Having a Prius is a good feeling at times like this.)


Grocery stores are short on a few necessities like bread and milk, but only the crowd addicted to caviar and crème fresh is "suffering" for this lack. A fair number of volunteers are stepping up to serve those in need. Ice is also hard to get; we helped one of Mrs. H's co-workers by freezing some water in gallon bags for them. Cocoa's favorite park for a walk was closed because of trees being down.


The sum of it is, Irma was an inconvenience here for us personally, not a disaster. I encourage you to give to help those in need in other areas.


I have some major news upcoming, and this blog will next be updated when I have that news ready. In the meantime, I will post on the Christian CADRE blog when I have something to write about.













Friday, September 8, 2017

The Hurricane and the Trollstorm

I’m in the Cone of Doom for Hurricane Irma here in Central Florida; it’s probably about the 10th time in my life I’ve been in that range for a hurricane, and this is probably the 40th time in my life I’ve experienced the dance that goes with one of these. Such are the perils of Florida nativehood and residence. But today I want to mention another associated peril that isn’t life-threatening, although it rates as high on the Saffir-Simpson scale as Irma does. I’m talking about long-winded blowhard fundamentalist and fundamentalist-atheist trolls.

Every time we get a hurricane, you see members of this crowd show up in the comments section of news stories. On the fundamentalist side, you’ll get the loonies who say that we’re getting hit with this thing because we approved gay marriage, or because we voted for Donald Trump, or because we let the Seminole Indians open bingo parlors. On the fundy atheist side, you’ll get the crackpot troll who savages each and any expression of prayer by taking a few moments of his valuable time to copy and paste (mentally, if not actually) an extended rant about how your sky daddy isn’t going to save you from a Category 5.

These two pests are two sides of the same coin. They’re both immature trolls with a theology that wouldn’t pass muster in a pre-K setting. They also clearly need something better to do, because they’re spending too much time evangelizing for their cause, and they’re doing it in a way that’s not much different than the guy with the Chick tract whose initial friendly greeting to you is, “Hello, do you realize you’re going to hell?”

They also have this in common: They’re both too dense to see why they are trolls. The fundy thinks he’s helping save you from Satan. The fundy atheist thinks he’s helping save you from spiritual immaturity (and in some cases, from voting for Trump again in 2020). You have to ask yourself why they bother. The likely answer is that they are vultures who are far too concerned with inserting ideology into every discussion, no matter how inappropriate it may be in context. These are guys who would make tactless rats of themselves in a funeral parlor, to the point of slipping the latest Jack Chick or Dan Barker tract into the casket at the viewing, just in case.

Anyway, with the current forecast, I expect to be out of power for at least a day or two; so if you don’t hear from me next week, there’s a good reason for it.

I’m out hunting trolls.