The Gull Reef Club

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7/12/2017 · 4:22 pm· Trouble · Half of Us Are Wrong or in the Alternative, Half of Us Are Right
I've been following the saga and cataloging links of interest that contain more than mere rhetoric.... | Read More

12/23/2016 · 8:43 am· lordhelmet · Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve!
Merry Christmas to you and Mike as well as a Happy New Year!... | Read More

11/3/2016 · 1:30 pm· Jaime · See Something, Say Something, A First Hand Account
Sure doesn't, which in no way explains why the Cubs won! Interesting that we all woke up this... | Read More

11/3/2016 · 12:21 pm· LH · See Something, Say Something, A First Hand Account
No good deed goes unpunished. But at least the Cubs won.... | Read More

10/28/2016 · 6:42 am· lordhelmet · Official Release – Jaime 2.0
I already voted for Trump of course. He was my last choice in the primaries (I supported Kasich)... | Read More

1/8/2018

Nostramikus

Filed under: — Jaime @ 1:36 pm

There is a lot of chatter in the news today encouraging Oprah Winfrey to run for president, which is based on some acceptance speech she gave at some awards show. I just want to point out this is not new news.

Mike made this suggestion on August 13, 2002. To be fair, he suggested Oprah as VP and Tom Hanks as the presidential candidate, but did say that ticket would be a ‘guaranteed winner’. His exact prediction/statement: “Here’s a guaranteed winner, although they would likely be Democrats. How about the Tom Hanks – Oprah ticket? Everyone loves Tom Hanks, and Oprah would certainly get the female vote, and likely a good percentage of the black vote. So if the Dems put up the Hanks-Winfrey ticket, I’m headed to Canada!”

I suspect the threat to move to Canada is nulled by now, but maybe I better ask.

(Source)

1/4/2018

Snow Day

Filed under: — Jaime @ 3:08 pm

Yesterday was our first real snow day since we moved to Savannah. We have had at least two other days with snow, but nothing like yesterday. In fact, there was so much of it, and it was cold enough overnight, that it lingered into today. It is now melting, but things are still pretty covered.

Given that snow and cold were one of the top reasons I left Illinois, I surprised myself at how much fun it all was. We actually went outside multiple times to check out the progress. It was surreal seeing our normally green, lush yard look like a winter wonderland.

The memories of snow days of old came rushing back. I had stored a lot of this knowledge for going on two decades, and had completely forgotten it until yesterday. For example,
-Snow sounds. I had forgotten how much I absolutely despised the crunching noise that wet, icy snow makes when walking on it. It’s like walking on bits of styrofoam. It’s squeaky and it grunts and is generally gross on the ears.

However, snow also brings a sound-deafening property that is peaceful and calming. Once everything is covered with a layer of snow, ambient sounds are insulated. Add that to the fact that everyone is nestled inside, and the quiet is delightful, and in the city, so rare.

-Snow lighting. The lighting of everything outside changes when covered in snow. I had forgotten how everything is enveloped in a light blue hue when snow is on the ground. During the day, everything gleams. It is so bright that sunglasses are an absolute must. Snow blindness is real. At night, everything seems to glow from the ground level. We had the bonus of a waning full moon last night, so the moonlight added to the glow. It was very bright out last night. It is still pretty bright today, but getting back to the more green-tinted light that I’m used to than the light-blue of snow cover.

-Could I be wearing any more clothes? When I left Illinois, I gave away my most hardcore winter gear – like a jacket and boots. I never replaced them when I moved here. In order to enjoy the snow without freezing (and I am known to be freezing in 70 degree weather), I had to layer up. From the bottom up, I had my hiking shoes, wool socks, long underwear, sweatpants (classy!), long sleeve body shirt, tshirt, sweatshirt, fleece, windbreaker (with hood), Blackhawks knitted cap with ear flaps, and Isotoner gloves. I wish I had a scarf, but otherwise, wasn’t too bad off. Actually, a balaclava would be really nice, but owning those around here just means ‘robber’. Boots of some sort would have been helpful too, but more for the warmth/waterproof qualities. The snow wasn’t all that deep. I had forgotten how long it takes to put all of that on and take it all back off again.

-Mud Rooms. Now I remember why so many Midwestern homes have mudrooms. Tracking snow inside is really annoying. I guess we, at least, have the bonus of our snow being untainted by road salt, which is a floor-ruiner and cat-sickener. Truly, I am unsure if the amount of snow we tracked in was more, even, or less than the amount of saltwater we track in after fishing/boating. It maybe be that it was the visible sight of snow in my house that was weirding me out. Snow in the house just isn’t right.

All in all, yesterday’s snow day wasn’t all that bad. I just hope it clears out quickly. I also it doesn’t happen again any time soon. snowfish

1/2/2018

Fragile Magic

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:09 pm

Christmas was hard on us this year with the passing of my paternal Grandmother on the 28th. Circumstances being beyond our control, we won’t be able to make it to her wake or funeral. This is especially upsetting for me, but I know it is the most reasonable option.

Christmas was without its usual magic in 2017. This was also upsetting because the magic of Christmas is my favorite part. I love that enchanted, far-away feeling you (sometimes) get during this season. While I don’t have any kids of my own, I particularly love seeing how much children love the magic of Christmas. They understand it better than anyone.

The passing of my Grandmother at Christmastime did offer me some valuable perspective, however. In remembering my Grandma, one of the key themes that I keep going back to is the magic. Grandma had this amazing way of keeping the Christmas magic alive all year round. I cherish the fact that nearly every Sunday, growing up, I got to spend the day at their house. Being at Grandma and Grandpa’s house was enchanting and magical. Grandma always encouraged our creative side. It was a place I could always be me, be an uninhibited kid.

Now that I am older, I realize what a very special and unique influence I had because of my precious Grandma. I wish I could be more articulate in describing how honored I feel having had her in my life. I just keep going back to ‘magical’ because truly, she was.

Rest in Peace, Grandma.

1/1/2018

New Years Eve Around the World

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:22 pm

For many years now, I have spent New Year’s Eve watching midnight arrive on live, usually unsecured, webcams from around the world. This year was no different. I managed to write down all the cities I viewed and made brief notes about what I saw at each location. Here is the list.

+Tbilisi, Georgia – lots of personal fireworks. One office of some sort was open and the front desk was manned by an older man. Near midnight, three women appeared from behind some of the closed doors and joined him in the lobby and squatted near a Christmas tree. They all took some photos and went back to behind their doors.
+Armenia – fireworks in the distance
+Lithuania – groups of people shooting off fireworks and holding sparklers in parking lot
+Athens, Greece – huge fireworks. Watched this on an NBC live feed and I suspect the fireworks were doctored
+Jerusalem – a small group of Muslim women in a candy shop who prayed, ate some candy, and then closed up shop
+Bucharest, Romania – organized fireworks
+Bangor, N Ireland – a bar, but with lots of unruly, young kids, but no doubt it was a bar. No one really reacted to the arrival of midnight, just a few hugs but mostly everyone kept on doing what they were doing before midnight, which was drinking or dancing or if a kid, throwing crap around.
+Croydon, England – very large Church service, not sure the denomination, but maybe Catholic, lots of iconography in the the church. Seemed pretty formal.
+Bognor Regis Beach, England – fireworks
+Dublin – an Earthcam pub cam. I was embarrassed for this crowd, which was pretty large. At least three people were sporting those oversized, green, leprechaun hats you see at all the St. Pat’s parades in the US. Who does that? So tacky.
+London – also watched this on the NBC live feed and, like Athens, I suspect the fireworks were doctored
+Rio de Janero – third one where I watched on the NBC live feed. Nearly all the fireworks were red. Now I am unsure if it was doctored; who would doctor something that ugly? It was a bit creepy. Like a communist/Chinese rally or something.
+Georgetown, Guyana – a webcam to the New Testament Church of God, and I think this one was my favorite. The church was packed with people wearing vibrant, and tropical colors. They were singing and really seemed to be the happiest people ringing in the new year.
+Ascension, Paraguay – everyone at a restaurant was wearing red, glitter bowlers (got to get one of those!), but at midnight headed outside and I did not see most of them again after that
+Mar del Plata, Argentina – seems like the town started their fireworks about 5 minutes late. Does Argentina run on ‘Southern’ time, too?
+This is where the East coast would fall, but since I was celebrating at that time, I didn’t watch any cams, nor did we turn on the TV. What’s the point? The channels that cover New Year’s eve in the US only cover New York anyway and who wants to see a bunch of diaper-wearing adults freeze their asses off, listening to auto-tuned/lip-synced ‘music’, under the watchful eye of police snipers?
+No fireworks for the following: Tuscaloosa, AL, a marina near Minneapolis, MN, the extremely cold (-21) Brookings, SD, or Brookfield, WI
+Chicago, Navy Pier fireworks. Whoever was operating the cam was an idiot and kept moving off the fireworks to the Ferris wheel which had pretty lights displayed on it. We want to see the fireworks, that is how we know it is midnight. Duh.
+Park City, UT – a surprising amount of fireworks for how cold it was
+Colorado Springs, CO, some fireworks
+Jackson, WY – a Ski Resort had it’s lights on and people using the hill until about 5 minutes to midnight. Then they shut off the lights and sent out three Zamboni-like machines that smoothed all the snow. I assumed they would be having some sort of fireworks or celebration based on the shut-down time, but no show. The snow smoothing machines disappeared and the place closed for the night.
+Boise, ID – nothing that I could see
+Venice, CA – an outdoor restaurant, about half-full of hipsters who were so obviously trying really hard to ignore midnight. Most pulled out their phones at midnight, casually looked at it and put it down and continued eating. Sometimes, California seems more foreign to me than Tbilisi, Georgia.
+Chino Hills, CA – a cam of someone’s garage and alley, some fireworks
+Banff, Alberta – cute little street scene, lots of bundled up people, possible fireworks in distance but couldn’t really tell with the cam I had
+San Diego, CA – a city street scene with a few fireworks
+Palm Springs, CA – a tightly manicured city square, dotted with police vehicles, a few fireworks
+Leavenworth, WA – very bright decorated town square. Very cute, like Banff. Also with a lot of bundled up people. The Christmas lights were so bright it washed out any fireworks that may have happened.
+Hollywood, CA, Hollywood Blvd – ending New Years with a serious whimper in Hollywood. There were a lot people milling about, but none of them appeared to acknowledge midnight whatsoever. It was like a throng of zombies just wandering among each other.

I couldn’t make it any longer to ring in the New Year with Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. I’m sure theirs were far warmer than any of ours.

Well, I hope you all had a safe and peaceful New Year. Here is to hoping for a healthy, prosperous, and joyous 2018!

12/18/2017

Q4 Report

Filed under: — Jaime @ 10:55 pm

Here are some items of note from The Gull Reef Club for the last quarter of 2017.

*This weekend, we partook in an orange harvest, our Second Orange Christmas. We estimate we came away with a little over 100 lbs of oranges. The marmalade making begins soon.

*You regular readers know I adore old Christmas music. Really, I love all old audio. Awhile back, Mike introduced me to the UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive. Some of the recordings there are over a century old. The sounds are often haunting, yet warm and familiar. I recently came across a Cylinder Christmas music collection. Listening to songs that were sung over a 100 years ago and knowing them well enough to sing along is the definition of tradition. These are a treasure. Give them a listen and time travel to Christmas past.

*In case that last item made you just a wee bit too warm and fuzzy, I have something that should send you in the other direction. When making wreaths with my sister a few weeks ago, we heard Nat King Cole’s very depressing version of The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot. Complete with the very seasonal lyrics, “I feel sorry for that laddy / because he hasn’t got a daddy / the little boy that Santa Claus forgot” What a bummer.

A slightly cool aside to all this, is that in researching this song before I wrote about it here, I learned it was originally performed by Vera Lynn. If Wikipedia is to be believed, this song is used in the opening scene of the movie, Pink Floyd The Wall.

*Thanksgiving. Going back in time just a bit, I am clearly late on the annual Thanksgiving post. This year was perfect. I can’t think of anything we could have done to make it better.

The menu this year was:
Starters – Pumpkin soup with apple, ginger, lime puree, served cold and corn chowder with pea puree, bacon, and parmesan tuiles served hot.
Main- Turkey and gravy
Sides – Stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, collard greens, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and rolls
Desserts – Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cranberry donuts, cranberry pudding (think southern-style banana pudding and use cranberries instead), and homemade vanilla ice cream.
Beverage – Spiced cider, and hot coffee.

*Hallothings. This is actually a post I originally started back in October and never got around to posting. Better late than never, I guess.
Things I read:
Black Paradox
Voices in the Dark/Yami no Koe, both by Junji Ito
Manga of the Dead, Various
Things I listened to:
Inner Sanctum
Thing I watched:
War Neuroses Netley Hospital, 1918, not sure why the title says 1917. The film was released in 1918.

I’ll try to make my end of the year post timely, but no promises. Past performance is usually a good indicator of future returns.

10/31/2017

It’s Halloween It’s Halloween

Filed under: — Jaime @ 1:47 pm

It’s Halloween, The Shaggs

Do you know the story behind the making of this, uh, band? It’s actually pretty sad, reference: Wiki, The Shaggs. Still, there is something endearing about this song.

It’s Halloween

It’s time for games
It’s time for fun
Not for just one
But for everyone

Have a safe, fun, and spooky Halloween, everyone!

10/15/2017

Version 2.1 – Official Release

Filed under: — Jaime @ 1:06 pm

Using a rather hot birthday to lounge about and be lazy. We had our fun yesterday in the boat. Mike caught dinner (a redfish/trout combo), and the weather was great. A Hawks OT win was a nice bonus.

Tonight’s dinner will be Mike-made pizza. I’m hoping to summons the energy to make some snickerdoodles, but don’t hold your breath. I was delighted that I got one of my favorite treats as an early birthday present – a toasted coconut donut from a shop way out in Rincon, brought to me by a friend (I apologize for not remembering the shop’s name or I’d give them credit.) – bdaydonut

I also got these adorable pens, one representing each of my kitties – kittypens.
I errantly referred to them as ‘kitty pens’ when I first described them to Mike, and some funny inferences arose involving cats being used as livestock. On top of this, I was gifted a lovely mana-tea set. I also appreciate all of the kind greeting you all have sent me on FB and elsewhere. Feeling lots of love this year. Thanks!

Now, off to indulge in some laziness.

10/10/2017

AHS: American Hockey Story

Filed under: — Jaime @ 6:03 pm

Any of you watching this season of American Horror Story? How about you Blackhawks fans? If so, have you noticed the remarkable similarity to Evan Peters and Jonathan Toews? Like brothers from another mother (but probably not Kai’s mother). See for yourself:

PetersToews

10/9/2017

Donut Disappointment

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:04 pm

The internal Homer Simpson that I carry with me at all times, is always seeking out a good donut. I endeavored today to a newish shop in hopes of finding such a delectable treat.

Whenever I try a new donut shop, I always opt for the most baseline of donuts – yeast-risen, plain, glazed. This is a test. If the shop can’t get this very basic donut right, they certainly won’t be able to get anything fancier right either.

I rolled into Rise on Broughton at about 10:30 this morning, and was greeted by excessively loud pop music – not a good first sign. There was a line of people, which didn’t seem to make a lot of sense since there were more employees behind the counter than in line, but whatever. I got in line and started looking over the ‘old school’ (their term not mine) menu. Then I looked again. Then again. Where the frick are the plain, glazed? I stood there for a good full minute or two staring like a monkey at a shiny trinket utterly confused. It really was not computing that this alleged donut shop couldn’t even deliver on the most basic of donuts. I finally gathered my wits and left.

After I returned, sans donuts, I went to their website to make sure I just didn’t miss a listing for plain/glazed. Nope. I didn’t. They simply do not serve what is arguably the most popular donut in the USA. I was really disappointed with Rise and do not expect that I will ever go back. Clearly their products are aimed at hipster doofuses and children, and not a regular gal like me.

Oh well, I guess I will be donut free today. Probably for the best anyway. Mmmm…no donuts…

9/25/2017

Trolling the NFL

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:25 pm

This weekend NFL fans witnessed their President call out the privileged players of the league who are electing to protest, uh, something, during the national anthem. In response, a record number of players added themselves to the protests.

While watching our recording* of the Bears v Steelers game, it occurred to me that the fans can get in on this with a little fun trolling. My suggestion is for the home team fans to start signing the national anthem collectively/spontaneously whenever they need the other team to take a knee or leave the field. Think this would work? Even if it doesn’t (and it likely wouldn’t), wouldn’t you get a kick out of hearing an entire stadium spontaneously sing the national anthem to these spoiled brats?

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for the NFL.

*If you watch any NFL games live, you are a fool. How can you sit through that onslaught of advertisements and boring banter?

PS – 10 days until pucks drop!

9/20/2017

Misc For Later

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:18 pm

The following is a list of books and the like that I’ve read this summer. Why yes, I am an adult writing a book(s) report unprompted. I wonder what young Jaime would think of this. Probably wouldn’t be surprised, actually.

Earlier this summer, I read Deborah Blum’s – The Poisoner’s Handbook. This is a well written history of the birth of forensic medicine in NYC and how it came to be accepted as legal evidence. I’m not much of a scientist, but I had no issues following along with the book. Ms. Blum’s writing was articulate, and clearly well-researched. I really loved this book; highly recommended.

Sometime after that, I read a 21-part series in the Pittsburgh Post from 1948 called I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days. It is hard to say what I think of this. I’m not sure what it was but something struck me as odd or off about it. It won’t take you too long to read so you might as well.

Next up was Barton’s Island, Harl Vincent. 1929 SciFi published in Amazing Stories. Dystopic future setting, with remarkable modern, real-life similarities (although heavily steam punk). It was a good story, but a typical and predictable (ie communist) ending. This is worth reading just for the future predictions and descriptions.

For my Irma reading, I checked out Erskine Caldwell’s God’s Little Acre. Having already read Tobacco Road, I sort of knew what I was in for. I had not anticipated it being so full of the Big Fs – fighting and f#*^!ng. Wow did it have a lot of that. In fact, that was pretty much the entire story. So yeah, I loved this book. I really would love to see it made into a tv series. The characters, the Walden family and their associates, are a riot and quite believable. Trigger warning for any of you snowflakes (though I suspect no snowflakes read my blog) – there are some ugly topics covered in this book – racism, patriarchy, sexual aggression. If you can’t handle it, run to your safe space and play with your play-doh.

I think that about sums up my summer (non-news) reading. If you’ve ever read any of these, let me know what you thought.

9/17/2017

First Flounder

Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:45 pm

Got this beauty, my first flounder, yesterday. Bank fishing; the boat isn’t all back together yet from the hurricane lock-down. My first catch with my new reel as well, a Pflueger Lady President. Made for an amazing Sunday dinner. Here’s to catching many more!

1stFlounder

9/11/2017

Irma, The Conclusion

Filed under: — Jaime @ 4:01 pm

Irma has descended upon and mostly passed through Savannah. We have some winds and a rain, but nothing really different than any given late summer day. We did lose power briefly but it’s on and steady now. We also lost internet, but it’s Comcast, so this was expected. Mike somehow magically got us online, not sure how, not asking questions. Sometimes ignorance IS bliss.

Things are mostly normal except that everything is closed, which is really annoying. I could really go for some Popeyes right about now…or anything we didn’t have to cook ourselves. Actually, everything being closed is not entirely true. Many Chinese food places are open as well as a handful of gas stations/convenient stores. Also, I noted the liquor store on Skidaway was open.

We drove around town today to see how the rest of our little hamlet fared. Overall, pretty well, and way better than Matthew. The fact that we could even drive around is a testament to that. After Matthew, most of the streets were impassible because of downed trees, debris, and power lines. After Irma, most of the streets are passable. The few that are closed are not because of trees, debris, or power lines, but because of storm surge concurrent with the high tide (which happens to be higher than normal tides anyway due to the time of year/moon phase).

On our little tour about the county, we drove out to the islands first, and that turned out to be a fortunate decision. We wanted to inspect the spot where we like to get bait to see where the water level was. Highest I’ve ever seen it. The water had filled all of the banks and was nearing the road. It was like this on most of the roads around the islands. The marshes were swollen and as the tide was approaching it was clear the roads were going to be flooded out. As we were heading off back to the mainland, the cops shut down the road. We jockeyed a bit to make a new route, and got back without issue.

We toured about Midtown next, with not much to see. Lots of power out at intersections, meaning dumb people not remembering how to navigate, but other than that, nothing but minor leaf debris.

Downtown was next. Again, on the mainland, nothing but leaf debris. Even most of the street lights were working. River Street was a different story, however. The tide had peaked just after we got there and the river had overflowed into the first walkway/parking lot areas. In some places, it encroached even further over the road and was nearing the sidewalk along the building side.

Irma Visits River Street
Irma Visits River Street

We’re back home now and fine. Hopefully this is my last post on Irma. Good bye and riddance.

9/10/2017

Irma Watch, Day 5

Filed under: — Jaime @ 12:56 pm

Slowly we creep, inch by inch, closer to…I don’t know what. For the first time since we’ve gone into this round of Hurricane Mode, it is actually overcast. In fact, it is exceptionally cool – only in the 60s. Not much breeze yet, though. This is winter weather to us. Perfect for the Bears season opener against the Falcons – which we’re recording so we don’t have to watch commercials. Don’t ruin it for us.

Things are quiet in Savannah today. We anticipate rain to start later and it will probably keep falling through Monday night. Our house, according to the surge maps, is safe to past a Cat. 5 storm. We’re on some of the highest ground in Savannah outside of downtown. We have the added bonus of our house being on 3 foot stilts. Flooding is not really a concern for us. The rising water would have to get pretty high to hit our house. As for our car, take it, Mother Nature. We want a truck anyway.

Last night Irma started to hit the Florida Keys and making the turn northward. We spent some of our time watching live feeds and news from that area. Miami’s NBC6 has proven to be an informative and interesting source of news. We also found more storm chasers, Ben Holcomb and some friends whose names I didn’t catch, whose commentary was quite funny, although rather sophomoric. They never did show much in the way of weather last night. They are back live now so maybe they will eventually get out of that parking garage…

Well, I better wrap this up before the Bears start and someone on Facebook ruins the game for me. I’ll update if and when there are any updates worth sharing.

Pressure at 1017.86.

Go Bears!

9/9/2017

Irma Watch, Day 4

Filed under: — Jaime @ 1:35 pm

Not really much of a watch for us anymore. The latest updates have us completely out of the ‘cone’ of the area to be affected by Irma. It continues to move west and hasn’t made it’s turn north yet. We may see a bit of rain and wind, but I don’t expect it to be any different than any other summer afternoons in the sub-tropics.

CEMA, our local emergency management agency, went forward with the mandatory evacuation. As much as I want to avoid getting political with these hurricane updates, I can’t help but wonder if CEMA’s insistence on keeping the evacuation mandatory is creating a potentially dangerous situation. When the mandatory evacuation order was first issued last Thursday, the recommendation was to go west. As the storm has continued to shift west, it now appears it will run over the path into which all of these folks are headed. It strikes me as irresponsible to send people into that. This goes back to my point from yesterday – you can’t rely on the government’s recommendations or even ‘orders’. You can only use them as guides, educate yourself, and make the most appropriate decision for you and your family.

We are calling off any further hurricane prep for now. In fact, I’m ready to shift into Decorative Gourd Season, M&$*F$*@s!!! I will continue to monitor things, and of course watch some live cams in Florida. If anything new develops, or I have some ridiculously clever/snarky thought, I’ll be sure to share.

Pressure at 1018.07. Stay safe everyone.

9/8/2017

Irma Watch, Day 3

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:06 pm

The latest Hurricane Irma forecasts are remarkably favorable for Savannah. Current track has her heading quite west of here. We have yet another brilliantly sunny, slightly breezy, and rather cool day here in Savannah.

We are cautiously optimistic we don’t have to go into full-on hurricane mode. I would be greatly relieved if we can avoid having to do all of the most difficult prep, particularly the guitar breakdown. That was really hard and costly to put back together for Matthew.

As it stands now, we’re prepping to stay and likely won’t evacuate despite the evacuation order not having been lifted. This is why we don’t follow government evacuation orders. We use them as guides instead, and educate ourselves on how to read the weather so we can make the most informed decision for ourselves. One size does not fit all and the government can never know what’s best for us as individuals. They can only make recommendations for the whole community. It’s up to you to know how to use their recommendation to craft a plan that is best for you and your family.

Where we’re at now is to shift our priorities to securing things outdoors in anticipation of winds and rain. We’ve pretty much ruled out evacuating, but will continue to monitor things in the event we need to revise again. That’s pretty much what we have to do for this – watch, wait, revise, repeat.

Pressure at 1018.80 millibars, and it appears to be rising. Go figure. It’s as peaceful as a hurricane eye around here…

Irma Watch, Sandman Edition

Filed under: — Jaime @ 1:07 am

The most recent forecast for The Gull Reef Club and surrounding area was a significant improvement over the last few. Clearly still too early to tell anything, but as of right now Irma is still tracking west. If the forecast holds up, by the time it turns, it will be pretty west of here; meaning, we would certainly be hit with some sort of tropical storms, but nothing nothing we couldn’t handle.

We are still prepping like we’re going to be hit hard. The evacuation order is for 8am Saturday. We are reasoning we have all day tomorrow and probably some of Saturday to decide if we really are going to leave. In fact, it’s not really supposed to hit here until overnight Sunday into Monday, so we may have more time to batten down the hatches. This is good because we seem to have a lot of hatches.

Earlier tonight a lyric from America’s song Sandman popped into my head, “He flies the sky / like an eagle in the eye / of a hurricane that’s abandoned.” I was confused and inquired of Mike as to how one abandons a hurricane. He clarified it’s the eagle who is abandoned not the hurricane. Duh! How did I miss that? I am so grateful to him in times like this! That and the million other things he’s done/doing to secure our house.

Sleep soon. Tomorrow will be a long day with lots of hard labor. This is an endurance race.

9/7/2017

Irma Watch, Day 2

Filed under: — Jaime @ 9:49 am

Not much to report yet. Things always look positive in the mornings. In fact, it was a bit hazy, but otherwise sunny and clear this morning when I rode into work.

It did just occur to me that this is tracking to hit us on 9/11. So we have that going for us.

I ran a search of our house’s entire music collection for Hurricane songs, because of course, every Hurricane needs to be scored. One gem I found that I didn’t know we owned and don’t recall ever hearing is Florida Hurricane, by St. Louis Jimmy Oden and Muddy Waters. ‘Some speak of tornadoes, the hurricane be worst of all.’

Pressure at 1016.9, seems to be rising, but it will begin dropping soon enough. Stay tuned.

9/6/2017

Irma Watch, Day 1

Filed under: — Jaime @ 10:44 pm

Ok, I’ve actually been tracking this mega-sized hurricane for a few days now, but since it is the first day I’m writing about it, we’ll call it Day 1. We’re pretty far out so there isn’t much to do yet, but watch and wait. Mike did resupply us on bottled water and non-perishables. Even before Matthew we were relatively well prepared to ride out any low level hurricanes. This one’s a Cat 5, though, biggest ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin. I’d be lying to say I’m not concerned or stressed, but I also know there is no reason to freak out.

So far it seems the locals are trying to be prepared. There certainly has been a run on water in most area stores. Of course, a lot of it was sent to Texas so I’m not sure how much that is affecting supply. As far as I know, no gas lines, but don’t quote me on that. I rarely go to gas stations (ironic if you knew the 17 year old me, eh?). Most businesses plan to stay open, although I have read that Gulfstream, one of the largest employers in our county, plans on closing all but essential operations starting Friday.

The plan at this point is to monitor things and prepare like we are going to evacuate as well as ride out a storm. We won’t actually make the decision to leave until at least Saturday, but the smartest move is plan for everything. Plan on leaving and plan for staying. The only thing we don’t have planned is where we will go. Any takers for two adults and three, well-behaved cats?

Right now the best bet is to make sure I get proper sleep while I can. I distinctly recall that ‘weariness’ was an overriding theme during Matthew so I better stock up now. Proper sleep can make all the difference.

The current barometer reading at The Gull Reef Club is 1013.80 millibars. I’ll try to keep you all posted while I can.

8/28/2017

2017! Live and Uncensored!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:16 pm

May You Live in Interesting Times – ancient Chinese curse.

This phrase always seems relevant, doesn’t it? The latest example of its relevancy came on Friday night. Hurricane Harvey was making landfall, and having experienced our own hurricane less than a year ago, I wanted to keep up with this one as events occurred. So, the TV was turned on and we jumped around various news/weather channels, and of course, we also dug down online to find anyone broadcasting directly from the Gulf Coast Texas area.

The most erroneous assumption we made both this time and during Hurricane Matthew was to tune into The Weather Channel first. The Weather Channel is the absolute worst place any one can go to get current, on-the-ground information. Their routine was exactly the same both during Matthew and Harvey. Two or three people on the ground at a location they never leave, and some studio folks. They bounce back and forth between them and repeat themselves, ad naseum. Once you’ve seen about 5 minutes of their coverage, you don’t need to see any more. It just cycles.

The web was the place to be to watch this come in, real-time. Advances in online technology have us in a place where folks can now broadcast live from their own homes. We scoured the usual places for any live feeds we could find. Of those we saw, the most compelling was the live stream run by storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski. His live videos were one of the most riveting things I’ve watched all year. I distinctly recall saying to Mike, after the roof of the carwash Mr. Piotrowski was sheltering in blew off, “Are we prepared to watch this guy die live on the internet?” It was so intense watching it, I actually found myself getting out of my chair and standing anxiously (like my brother does during hockey games lol). We watched the view count and it never reached more than 50-60k people watching. It was an oddly intimate experience for the internet (and the reason only a small handful of us understand why The Blue Shed twitter feed exists). Mr. Piotrowski still has the videos from his live feeds on his twitter account. Worth watching.

This is where we are in 2017. I don’t trust the mainstream news much anymore. I don’t trust second hand sources, really, much at all anymore. However, as it stands right now, I can trust live video. I can trust that it will be raw and uncensored. I can believe it when I see it, if it’s live. I realize that as tech advances, this won’t always be true. We will eventually have the ability to fake live video too. As it stands in 2017, live is trustworthy. Live is uncensored. Live is real.

Stay safe, Texas.

The Gull Reef Club